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Education Portfolio Manager (Kenya Country Office) Job in Nairobi

Save the Children International 

Role Profile

Education Portfolio Manager – Kenya Country Office

Team / Programme:Programme Development and Quality

Location: Nairobi

Grade: TBC 

Post Type: National 

Child Safeguarding: Level 3 - the responsibilities of the post may require the post holder to have regular contact with or access to children or young people

Role Purpose: 

S/He will provide strategic and operational leadership and assume the overall responsibility for the growth, development and implementation of the education portfolio (approx £8m), currently with three projects.  

S/He must bring a senior leadership profile with a proven track record in education and a sound technical background in programme design and delivery. 

They should also have experience managing complex programming delivery in fragile contexts.

Scope of Role: 

Reports to: Director of Operations (with strong links to Director of Programme Development and Quality)

Dimensions: Save the Children has been operational in Kenya since 1984, providing support to children through developmental and humanitarian relief programmes delivered both directly and through local partners. 

Current programming focuses on child protection, child rights governance, education, health, HIV/AIDS, livelihoods, nutrition and WASH. 

Save the Children has an operational presence in Dadaab Refugee Camp, Eldoret, Habaswein, Mandera, Meru and Wajir and has a logistics hub in Garissa. 

Currently, we have a staff complement of approximately 370 staff and expenditure of approximately US$30 million this year.

Staff directly reporting to this post: TBC

Key Areas of Accountability:

  • Overall oversight and implementation of a multi-million pound portfolio
  • Strategic guidance, providing strong leadership and ensuring technically sound decision-making processes 
  • Provide technical support to individual project managers of project activities and implementation
  • Build a strong team and create external partnerships 
  • Identify future funding opportunities in country and design programmes accordingly 
  • Ensure that an effective monitoring system is in place with the project managers and M&E staff for achieving prior agreed targets in relation to project activities 
  • Ensure budget allocations and financial expenditures, ensuring that value for money can be effectively demonstrated to all donors 
  • Ensure that the project is appropriately staffed across Save the Children including the appropriate combination of expertise across technical and operational areas
  • Develop and maintain efficient and effective operating systems, and ensure compliance with all Save the Children Minimum Operating Standards, with a particular focus on safety & security management
  • Nurture strong relationships with Save the Children’s partners in country, national and regional level government and donors, as well as other key stakeholders in the country of operation
  • Provide high level representation and negotiations with donors and GoK
  • Build capacity of project staff and conduct trainings
  • Support and ensure donor compliance in all projects- reports narrative and financial 

Skills and Behaviours (our Values in Practice)


  • Holds self-accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
  • Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities - giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved
  • Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves (and their team), takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages others to do the same
  • Widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
  • Future orientated, thinks strategically


  • Builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, members and external partners and supporters
  • Values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
  • Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to


  • Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
  • Willing to take disciplined risks


  • Honest, encourages openness and transparency

Qualifications and Experience

  • Masters’ degree or equivalent in education or related field
  • Prior experience at a senior level within fragile or conflict affected states, managing programmes in excess of £10m
  • Technical expertise in education
  • Demonstrated experience of developing and managing relationships and funding from donors such as DFID, USAID, ECHO, EC, World Bank
  • Demonstrated experience of working with national and/or regional level government structures to strengthen the capacity of the state to deliver services
  • Strong communication, and interpersonal skills in English, with substantial experience in managing multicultural teams
  • Experience of building, leading and developing a team of staff with different backgrounds and expertise
  • Experience of building personal networks at a senior level, resulting in securing new opportunities for the organisation
  • Experience of solving complex issues through analysis, definition of a clear way forward and ensuring buy-in
  • Experience in managing programmes in complex security settings
  • Commitment to the Save the Children values


  • Familiar with the Horn of Africa and Kenya in particular
  • Experience in pastoralist, refugee education
  • Experience in cash transfers
  • Experience in leading a consortium
  • Exposure to NGO security management 
  • Highly developed cultural awareness and ability to work well in an international environment with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures.
  • Strong results orientation, with the ability to challenge existing mind sets
  • Experience of solving complex issues through analysis, definition of a clear way forward and ensuring buy in.
  • Fluency in English, both verbal and written, required.  Swahili preferred.
  • Commitment to Save the Children values and willingness to abide by Child Safeguarding Policy.

The application period is now open and will close on Friday 30th November, 2012 at 4.30 p.m. 

To apply for an open position, please send a short cover letter and CV to  indicating the position applied for in the subject line.

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