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Director of Program Quality and Learning Job in Kenya

Position Title: Director of Program Quality and Learning
Primary Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Position Status: Full-time, regular, field-based

This position is contingent on funding and donor approval.

Program / Department Summary:

The Director of Program Quality and Learning (DPQL) will play a key leadership role in the implementation of a proposed five-year $35 million program to mitigate conflict and support peace in select Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) member states. 

This USAID-funded program will build and strengthen local-level cross-border conflict management mechanisms in the Horn of Africa – Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan and Uganda. 

The program will support conflict management mechanisms that incorporate local civil society groups and local governments, mentor local non-governmental organizations to be able to address community-level conflict management, and provide technical assistance to the regional conflict early warning and response mechanism.

General Position Summary:
The DPQL will provide technical oversight to the Peace III Learning and Program Quality Unit, consisting of advisors in youth, gender, monitoring and learning, trauma healing, and others. 

The DPQL will be a member of the senior management team based in Nairobi with significant travel to field sites across the project area to ensure synthesized approaches, technical innovation, and incorporation of program learning.

Essential Job Functions:

Program Quality Oversight
  • Provide leadership and strategic vision to selected technical components of the PEACE III program, including workplan development, conflict and stakeholder analysis, partnership selection and management, and overall sector strategy.
  • Provide direct management oversight to the Peace III Learning and Program Quality Technical Unit.
  • Best practices, standardization
  • Dissemination of lessons learned to internal and external stakeholders
Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) and Reporting
  • Facilitate the achievement of program targets and objectives and lead efforts to design effective M&E systems.
  • Oversee the scheduling and production of formal and informal reports on all aspects of the program in a timely and efficient manner, including key evaluation activities and learning briefs capturing key program learning for public dissemination.
  • Ensure that M&E team members focus on assisting programs to generate practical information that can be used for ongoing program decision-making while also capturing results at the impact level.
  • Ensure that M&E systems contribute to staff and management learning about program implementation, progress, results and impacts.
  • Encourage systematic opportunities to use data for learning and improvement, and to focus on learning lessons throughout the life of the program.
Technical Unit Management
  • In close partnership with the COP, create a work atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development of excellent personnel at all levels.
  • Implement, and ensure all team members are effectively using, the performance planning and management system, establishing performance expectations and regularly providing constructive feedback. 
  • Promote accountability by conducting staff annual performance reviews with direct supervisees, and ensuring that supervisory staff do the same.  
Organizational Learning 
As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve - we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility:
Direct supervision of: Technical staff including advisors in youth, gender, Monitoring and Learning, trauma healing, and other team members to be determined.

Reports Directly To: Chief of Party

Works Directly With:  DCoP, Regional Cluster Leads, Mercy Corps and Pact HQ technical advisors, Country Directors.

Knowledge and Experience:
  • BA/S Advanced degree in peace-building and conflict management, social sciences, international and MA preferred
  • development, political science, or other related field
  • 5- 7 years of relevant professional experience managing and implementing peace-building and conflict management projects
  • 2- 4 years of relevant field or management experience of complex, multi-sector programming. Previous experience working on USAID-funded programs preferred.
  • Previous experience in East Africa and in-depth knowledge of current cross-border issues and events in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Uganda and South Sudan preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage staff working in multiple locations affected by conflict
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with communities, civil society, local government representatives and other stakeholders
  • Demonstrated expertise in one of the following technical areas: youth, gender,  trauma healing
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively in English, both verbally and in writing
Success Factors:
A successful candidate will be conscientious, with excellent judgment. 

S/he will combine strong communication skills, creativity, initiative, participatory leadership and tactful decisiveness to assist in the development and implementation of the Peace III strategy. 

Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. 

S/he must have the confidence and humility to work effectively with a large variety of people who will be diverse culturally, economically and in social status – as well as be sensitive to political and cultural nuance - be able to consistently apply excellent judgment to a variety of demanding and fast-changing situations while working as part of a team and coordinate with project personnel.

Living Conditions/Environmental Conditions:
This position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya, with travel up to 30% to all countries of implementation. Travel may be to areas which are insecure with limited access to basic amenities.

Nairobi is an accompanied location suitable for spouse/partner and/or dependents. It is a major metropolitan center with world class healthcare and excellent education options. 

Mercy Corps provides expatriate staff with a housing allowance that covers rent, utilities and security for comfortable accommodations in safe areas of the city. Telephone and internet access is available and there are dozens of excellent restaurants along with easy transport links to the rest of Africa and Europe.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Interested applicants should apply directly at

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