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Deputy Program Manager Job in Nairobi Kenya

Vacancy Number: DPM/BIO-INNOVATE/11/11


 Nairobi, Kenya

 2-year term with possibility of renewal

Bio-resource Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio-Innovate) seeks to recruit a highly competent and dynamic Deputy Program Manager.

Bio-Innovate Program is a newly established multidisciplinary competitive funding mechanism, for biosciences and product oriented innovation activities in Eastern Africa, through the Bioresources Innovation Fund, supporting applications for regional, multi-disciplinary innovation projects in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

The Bio-innovate Program is supported by a grant SEK 90m (USD 12m) from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

The Bio-Innovate niche is characterized by a focus on the applications of bio-resource innovations, to support sustainable growth and transformation of the agricultural and environmental sub-sectors, from primary production to value addition, while enhancing adaptability to climatic change and strengthening innovation policy.

The program has four thematic areas (crop production, adaptability and diversification; environmental protection and management; technology incubation; and bioresources innovation policy analysis), all of which are closely connected to and build on AU/NEPAD Consolidated Plan of Action for Africa’s Science and Technology.

Bio-Innovate Program will focus on delivering new products through bioscience innovation systems involving a broad range of actors, including scientists, private sector, policy makers, NGOs and other practitioners.

It will use modern biosciences to improve agriculture and conserve the environment through improving crop productivity and resilience to climate change in small-scale farming systems; improving the efficiency of the agro-processing industry to add value to local bio-resources.

The program will also develop sound policies for commercializing products from biosciences research; and investigate innovative delivery systems.

Bio-Innovate Program is managed by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). It is co-located on ILRI’s Nairobi campus with the BecA -ILRI Hub, a biosciences research platform that is part of AU/NEPAD’s Africa Biosciences Initiative.

Bio-Innovate Program seeks to recruit a dynamic
 Deputy Program Manager who will be part of a small Program Management Team and will in particular involve in ensuring that adequate program and projects management systems are established and maintained.

He/she will be responsible for providing technical backstopping to the overall Program management. The job holder will report to the Bio-Innovate Program Manager.

He/she will also clo
sely work with relevant ILRI Departments and Units. This position will be based at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Headquarters in Nairobi but it may require frequent travel throughout the Eastern Africa region.


1) Bio-Innovate Program and its Projects Management

  • Provide technical backstopping to the overall Program management;
  • Develop implementation guidelines to ensure efficient execution of Bio-Innovate projects and consortia;
  • Develop project monitoring and evaluation guidelines and participate in the monitoring and evaluation of Bio-Innovate Projects, including monitoring of milestones and in the preparation of regular technical reports;
  • Reviewing and drafting documents (e.g. progress and final technical reports, summary/briefing papers and overall Program reports) to check conformity to agreed templates and donor requirements;
  • Maintaining a tracking system to monitor project milestones and status of deliverables and providing reports to concerned parties; and
  • Preparing periodic reports to Program Manger on resource mobilization and staff time allocation, as required.
2) Support Bio-Innovate Program communication activities
  • Contribute in Program networking with relevant partners and stakeholders and ensure that Bio-Innovate Program activities are harmonized with other activities in the region. This includes actively exploring synergies of activities with other relevant partners in the region;
  • Organize Bio-Innovate events, such as technical workshops, meetings of the Technical Advisory Committee, and annual technical meetings with research for development partners;
  • Work with Principal Investigators of the Bio-Innovate Projects in six countries of eastern Africa in sourcing stories about their work for the Bio-Innovate website and e-newsletter, ensuring the accuracy of the science as well as the liveliness of the news and pictorial interest;
  • Provide training and advice to Bio-Innovate Project Principal Investigators and their research and development teams on generating appropriate communications materials to reflect the work of the Bio-Innovate Program and its partners;
  • Manage public awareness events with the media, linked with events such as the annual scientific conferences of the Bio-Innovate program and the annual technical meeting, amongst others;
  • Coordinating presentations for annual reports, annual planning and review meetings, internal/external reviews and maintain databases of projects, collaborators and donors;
  • Preparing and maintaining program web pages on internet and intranet; facilitating links with other communication functions at ILRI
  • Organizing/co-ordinating workshops/conferences.
3) Program Office Management
  • Develop and maintain an efficient filing systems and databases for print and electronic files/documents on Bio-Innovate Program activities and projects;
  • Maintain valid and accurate records pertaining to funded projects in the Bio-Innovate program thematic areas;
  • Establish and maintain a key contacts data base and email list server, including all Principal Investigators, Project team members, and other stakeholders;
  • Oversee contracting of consultants and letters of agreements with partners;
  • Establish and keep up to date a resource mobilization list of key contacts; and
  • Carry out other duties as requested by the Bio-Innovate Program Manager.
Required skills and experiences
  • MSc and above with qualifications in the field of biosciences and/or bio-policy areas;
  • Post graduate training in communications is an added advantage;
  • Minimum 5 years post Masters relevant work experiences;
  • Demonstrated skills in program and or project management at regional and/or international levels; skills for project monitoring and program management;
  • Computer skills, including familiarity with Microsoft Office and communications tools, such as Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop;
  • Excellent networking and coordination skills; ability to work in a multicultural environment and team building capability;
  • Multi-tasking skills, with ability to coordinate, prioritize and organize workload, meet deadlines and work under pressure;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, capacity to take initiative, demonstrate good judgment and work under minimal supervision;
  • Excellent communication skills, in written and verbal communications in English, including web based communications; knowledge of other languages is an advantage.
Terms of appointment: This is a Nationally Recruited Staff (NRS) position based at ILRI’s Nairobi campus and is open to Kenyan nationals only. The position is on a 2-year contract renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding. 

This position is job level 3C with a starting salary is KES.240, 833.00 dependent on qualifications and experience.

This is exclusive of other benefits provided by ILRI.

Applications addressed to the Human Resources Director, a cover letter, curriculum vitae and the names and addresses (including telephone and email) of three referees who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience should be emailed to: by 21 November 2011.

The position title and reference number “DEPUTY PROGRAM MANAGER: DPM/BIO-INNOVATE/11/11” should be clearly marked on the subject line of the email applications. Only short listed candidates will be contacted.

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI):

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) works at the crossroads of livestock and poverty, bringing high-quality livestock science, communications and capacity building to bear on poverty reduction and sustainable development.

ILRI is one of 15 centres supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). ILRI has campuses in Kenya (headquarters) and Ethiopia, with other offices located in other regions of Africa (Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria) as well as in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka), Southeast Asia (Laos, Thailand, Vietnam) and East Asia (China). To find out more about working at ILRI visit our website at

Bioresources Innovations Network for Eastern Africa Development (Bio-Innovate) Program
 is a new regional innovation and technology platform supporting and promoting innovation and policy projects in eastern Africa. The Bio-Innovate also works closely with the African Union New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AU/NEPAD) and the new AU/NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NPCA) and Eastern Africa Councils for Science and Technology in strengthening regional collaboration in science and technology to enable the continent to adapt the rapid advances and promises of modern biosciences. The Program builds on AU/NEPAD Consolidated Plan of Action for Africa’s Science and Technology and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP).

Hosted at and managed by ILRI in Nairobi, Kenya, the Bio-Innovate Program provides support to biosciences and product oriented innovation and policy related activities in Eastern Africa. The Bio-Innovate Program aims to mobilize and deploy bioscience innovation systems to harness bio-resources, thereby promoting socio-economic development of the region. These activities focus on addressing key constraints in agricultural and the environmental subsectors in the region.

To find out more about the Bio-Innovate Program, visit our website at

ILRI is an equal opportunity employer

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