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PA Receptionist/ Administrative Assistant Job in Kenya


Closing date: July 18, 2021



We are an international development organization putting ingenious ideas to work so people in poverty can change their world.
We help people find solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems.

Challenges made worse by catastrophic climate change and persistent gender inequality. We work with communities to develop ingenious, lasting and locally owned solutions for agriculture, water and waste management, climate resilience and clean energy. And we share what works with others, so answers that start small can grow big.
We’re a global change-making group. The group consists of a UK registered charity with community projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, an independent development publishing company and a technical consulting service. We combine these specialisms to multiply our impact and help shape a world that works better for everyone.

We help people find solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems, made worse by catastrophic climate change and persistent gender inequality. Our aims are to:

  • Make agriculture work better for smallholder farmers, many of them women, so they can adapt to climate change and achieve a good standard of living
  • Help more people harness the transformational effects of clean affordable energy and reduce avoidable deaths caused by smoke from indoor stoves and fires.
  • Make cities in poorer countries cleaner, healthier places to live and work.
  • Build disaster resilience into the lives of people threatened by hazards – reducing the risk of hazards and minimizing their impact on lives and livelihoods.

We work on holistic solutions that change systems and have a framework to help us achieve our aims:

  • Analyze the root causes of a poverty and vulnerability
  • Define the change at scale we need to make
  • Develop activities along three complementary paths: Demonstrate, Learn and Inspire.
  • Demonstrate that our solutions are sustainable in the real world
  • Learn by capturing evidence and adapting our approach
  • Inspire wider support to multiply our impact.

Practical Action is an unconventional, multi-disciplinary change-making organization

  • A highly innovative community development charity operating in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Practical Action community projects use ingenious ideas to design, test, refine and prove new ways to overcome poverty and disadvantage and then ‘open-source’ knowledge of what works so that it can be implemented at a greater scale by others.
  • A world-class consulting operation that helps socially responsible business, government policy makers and other development organizations. This draws on learnings from our own development work as well as the combined brainpower of a roster of over 2,000 expert consultants. Practical Action Consulting helps to extend the reach of our influence by providing the best advice to others, whose work can make a bigger difference.
  • A well respected specialist development publisher. Practical Action Publishing brings together development practitioners, researchers and thought leaders to create publications that stimulate discussion, strengthen peoples’ capabilities and inspire sustainable change.

In East Africa, Practical Action has a long history of addressing systemic barriers that prevent people from accessing energy that transforms their lives, helping communities and government makes cities healthier and safer, making agriculture and markets work better for small holder farmers and supporting communities and government to become more resilient.
We use a mix of programming with communities and consultancy services with shapers of policy and practice to achieve our aims in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.

This post is for a Receptionist/Administrative Assistant for Kenya, Nairobi office. The job holder will work under the direct supervision of Practical Action People and Culture Lead. The job holder will also work with all Practical Action staff in order to ensure that all office administration tasks are implemented in a smooth manner.

The position is responsible for the day to day smooth running of the front office and to provide a positive first contact with visitors/callers and to provide administrative support to other departments so as to ensure effective execution of operations. This role is to provide general office administration assistance to support the implementation of Practical Action’s work in Nairobi, Kenya. Externally the job holder will have basic interactions with all Practical Action visitors, and/or partners who come to and/or through the Nairobi office.


Title: Receptionist/Administrative Assistant

Reporting to: Head of People and Culture

Matrix Management: Procurement & Logistics Coordinator

Direct Reports: None

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Grade: 4

The Receptionist/Administrative Assistant’s role is to provide general office administrative support to the Kenya Office in the following key areas:
Front Office Reception (50%)

  • Receive and screen visitors to the office, assisting them with enquiries /references while directing them appropriately.
  • Call and fix appointments with external interlocutors upon request (Authorities, lawyer, & HQs.).
  • Manage incoming and outgoing official calls within the office through the switch board.
  • Take note of all messages left on the answering machine every morning and ensure proper transmission to correspondents.
  • Propose and champion for ways to manage phone utilization costs.
  • Summarize monthly bills for telephone and courier and provide input to finance department for charging to specific project budgets.
  • Ensure that the front office reception is maintained, neat, tidy and welcoming at all times.
  • Incoming and outgoing mail management, record and dispatch cheques and other payments made by the office for collection/delivery.
  • Manage the office diary, i.e. booking the meeting rooms, recording workshop dates, travelling dates and manage staff movement board.
  • Maintain and update the Practical action contact list of local hotels, travel agents and taxis.
  • Accurate filing of documents and correspondence while ensuring there is efficient movement of documents within the office.
  • Preparation of requisitions for office stationery, kitchen items and toiletries.
  • Attend meetings as expected and participate accordingly.
  • Preparation of minutes for monthly staff meetings and disseminate them once approved.
  • Manage the general e-mail addresses and ensure that information is distributed to appropriate staff in a timely manner.
  • Work closely with the Office Assistant and provide cover for each other as appropriate.

Logistics & Procurement Support (45%)
The administrative assistant, in conjunction with the Procurement and Logistics coordinator will assist in performing procurement and logistics functions including and not limited to:

  • Support in the strengthening of internal controls around asset management ensuring Practical Action’s assets are safeguarded at all times.
  • Assist in the preparation of procurement requests of office supplies for onward processing to the Procurement and Logistics Coordinator.
  • Assist in tracking orders and ensure timely delivery of the same.
  • Provide support in receiving goods and services while ensuring right quantities are delivered and quality services are rendered as per respective purchase orders
  • Take part in preparation of project procurement plans.
  • Assist in responding to queries from internal and external clients regarding procurement matters
  • Participate in monitoring stock levels and identifying purchasing needs
  • Facilitating travel/transport arrangements for staff and visitors including airline tickets, office vehicles and taxis, subject to appropriate approvals.
  • Arranging/making reservations of hotel accommodation for staff and visitors and process the associated costs.
  • Provide support in identifying and booking suitable meeting venues for official Practical Action meetings and ensure availability of all materials and equipment required at competitive rates.
  • Assist in maintaining relevant internal databases and procurement files in a chronological order
  • Assist in maintaining and tracking vendors’ contractual agreements on an annual basis.
  • Receiving approved invoices and ensuring payments are processed on a timely basis and forwarded to finance for remittance.
  • Conduct regular checks on office maintenance (furniture and fittings) and report any defects to the Procurement and Logistics coordinator.
  • Provide support in international travel requirements for staff and visitors to Kenya.

Human Resources (5%)

  • Follow up on Immigration, visa and NGO Board applications.
  • Organize and follow-up on staff welfare matters in consultation with the HRO.
  • Any other duties relating to Practical Action that may be assigned by the line manager.

Other responsibilities

  • Work effectively as a member of the Team by providing other forms of support as may be requested from time to time by team members.

To be successful in the role, the ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate:

Experience & Knowledge

  • A Diploma in Secretarial Studies, Business Administration, HR Management, Supply Chain or related field.
  • A first degree in the above fields will be an added advantage.


At least 3 years relevant working experience in a similar position.

  • Excellent administrative skills
  • Good communication (verbal and written) skills in English
  • Good inter-personal skills and ability to work in a team with minimal supervision
  • Ability to organize multiple tasks and prioritize appropriately
  • Ability to handle confidential information in a discreet and professional manner
  • Practical experience in the use of the Internet, email and MS Office applications (spreadsheets)
  • Time management skills.


  • Training in Human Resources and Supply Chain
  • High level of proficiency in MS Office packages
  • Training in procurement and logistics

How to Apply

If you have the experience, skills and the ability we are looking for, please forward the application letter and updated CV by email to: with the title Administrative Assistant – Maternity Cover not later than 18th July 2021.
We treat all applications for employment on their merits and do not take into consideration any factors that are not relevant to the job such as disability, race, age, religion, gender, gender reassignment or sexual orientation.
Practical Action is committed to safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults and as such candidates will be subject to pre-employment checks.

The successful applicant must have the pre-existing right to both live and work in Kenya.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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