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Program Director Job in Nairobi Kenya

Program Director, G-United
G-United - Nairobi, Kenya

About G-United: G-United is a high-profile, national volunteer program initiated in Kenya by the Presidency, implemented through the Kenyan Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and supported by Evidence Action. 

The program aims to promote national cohesion, improve educational outcomes for children in over 15,000 primary schools across the country, and create enriching opportunities for over 30,000 unemployed Kenyan youth. 

Under this selective and prestigious program, the government will recruit recent university graduates to serve as volunteers in primary schools, where they will support remedial education and serve as ‘education ambassadors’ in the surrounding community. 

Volunteers will receive training, a small stipend to cover living expenses, and career development opportunities as a part of the experience. 

This evidence-based program is modeled on effective government-run programs that have successfully achieved impact at scale in South Asia and West Africa.

Role and Responsibilities

Evidence Action seeks a dynamic, strategic leader who is passionate about using excellent people and program management skills to work collaboratively with the Government of Kenya to build an evidence-based nationwide program. 

The Director will lead the Evidence Action team responsible for supporting the government in running, reviewing, testing and growing the G-United Program. He/she will have an entrepreneurial spirit while also being a seasoned professional with strong project management and partnership skills. 

This person will take over from an Acting Program Director who has assisted in designing and launching the program. 

He/she will report to the Director of the Africa Region and will be accountable to G-United’s Steering Committee, which consists of senior Government of Kenya officials and other stakeholders including the private sector and development partners.

Responsibilities will include:

1. Management and strategic direction
  • Strategic management: Lead program to maximize opportunity for meaningful, measurable, and cost-effective impact at scale;
  • People management: Build and manage a high-performing team across operations, policy, and technical expertise; and
  • Financial management: Responsibility for program P&L, and the budgeting, oversight and leadership on financial and administrative functions that entails
2. Partnership building
  • Government of Kenya (GoK): Skilled at building and maintaining collaborative relationships with senior government officials at both the national and county level. As you will be supporting a government program, your skills at relationship-building with senior government officials will be of the utmost importance.  In particular, you will be working closely with officials from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Office of the Deputy President, counties and sub-counties
  • Private Sector and others: Success at pitching the value proposition of the program to a wide range of stakeholders, from potential corporate partners and NGOs to key stakeholders within the education sector, including the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and Teachers Service Commission, to bi- lateral donors and foundations
3. Program Implementation including field operations and technical integrity
  • Ensure technical quality of the design and implementation of the program: This  will  include  working  with  thought-leaders and implementers of similar programs globally to incorporate best practice methods into the design and delivery platform
  • Collaborate with cross-cutting functions at Evidence Action to build the necessary programmatic systems to ensure quality delivery
  • Ensure  technical  integrity  of  the  program:  While  one  need  not  be  an education expert or statistician, one must appreciate the value of evidence and ensure the  incorporation of  educational  outcome  monitoring into  program design and implementation
  • Balance strategic thinking with execution: You will be rolling up your sleeves to build a program from the ground up, but also need to incorporate long-term strategic thinking into program management and implementation
Desired Skills and Experience
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred;
  • Track record of inspiring and empowering teams with the right level of structure and direction (at least 5 years of senior management and leadership experience);
  • Experience building a new social program and comfort with ambiguity that a start-up mentality requires;
  • Demonstrated project management capability and love for developing a good GANTT chart;
  • Experience working with government programs, including collaborating with senior government officials at national and sub-national levels;
  • Experience working in East Africa with an in-depth familiarity with the Kenyan context;
  • High level of comfort with information technology and using data for decision-making;
  • A critical, analytical, and process-oriented thinker with a willingness to form and adjust opinions and course-correct, based on evidence and results;
  • Inspired by the principles of G-United, Evidence Action, and the potential to improve social cohesion, educational outcomes, and youth employment;
  • Track record of being a good steward of program funding and responsibly managing resources; alignment with our philosophy of building cost-effective program;
  • A strong commitment to evidence-based practice and policy in the development field;
  • Enthusiasm for leading in a fast-moving start-up environment;
  • A sense of humor;
  • Experience working in the education sector desirable, but not required;
  • Willingness to spend ~20% of the time in areas of Kenya outside of Nairobi (at least initially); and
  • An ability to interact effectively and strategically with highest-level officials from government and the private sector.
How to Apply

CLICK HERE to apply online

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