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  • Head of Programmes at Rift Valley Institute

  • Posted on: 17 May, 2018 Deadline: Not Specified
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    The Rift Valley Institute (RVI) is an independent, non-profit organisation working in eastern and central Africa. The aims of the Institute are to advance understanding of the region and its diverse communities, connect local knowledge to social and political action, defend freedom of information and promote social justice. RVI programmes include action-oriented research, field-based training, digital archives, distance learning and open-access publishing.

    Head of Programmes



    Essential knowledge and interests

    Proven interest and competency in at least three of the following themes:

    • Education and training
    • Social research and evidence based policy
    • Gender and social inclusion
    • Conflict analysis
    • Knowledge management

    Essential qualifications and skills

    • University qualification at Masters level in a relevant subject.
    • Minimum of six years’ relevant programme and organizational management experience in the development sector or relevant field.
    • Fluent spoken and written English.
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
    • Strong analytical skills and proven capacity to develop and implement strategic plans.
    • Experience of conducting and managing research.
    • Experience of working in the international NGO Sector.
    • Proven operational and project management experience.
    • Experience of developing and managing organizational budgets.
    • A team player with proven management and leadership experience, and excellent interpersonal skills.
    • Proven experience of developing and implementing monitoring and evaluation systems.
    • Able to travel.

    Desirable experience and skills

    • Knowledge and working experience in one or more countries where RVI works.
    • Spoken and written French and/ or one or more language of eastern Africa.
    • Experience of working with donors and proven success in fundraising.
    • Knowledge and practical experience of designing and implementing research.
    • Good presentational and facilitation skills.
    • Human resources management.


    Programme Oversight, Development, and Coordination

    • Supervise and support the management of existing RVI programmes in Africa, developing working practices and tools for effective project management and implementation.
    • Coordinate and support exchanges and synergies between programmes.
    • Provide strategic leadership, and support RVI staff in the design and development of new projects and proposals.
    • Support the development of relations with project partners and collaborations with other like-minded regional and international organizations.
    • Develop and maintain systems for monitoring the quality and impact of RVI’s work, including standards of research.
    • Ensure documentation of projects, including narrative reports, budgets and lessons learnt reports, and promote best practice in these areas within the Institute.
    • Maintain oversight of programme budgets, monitoring income and expenditure and ensuring that financial reporting complies with RVI’s procedures and policies and the requirements of funders.
    • Participate in projects as a researcher or project manager where your services are specified in the proposal or are otherwise appropriate.
    • Support and advise the RVI education team in the design and implementation of existing training courses and the development of new ones.
    • Advise and assist in the peer-review, author management, editing and preparation of RVI publications.

    Strategic Development

    • Work with the Executive Director to advance the development and operationalization of the Institute’s strategy, in consultation with colleagues, Trustees and Fellows.
    • Oversee the development and implementation of RVI’s annual work plan, together with programme managers and other staff.

    Partnerships, Collaborations and Networking

    • Cultivate and expand RVI’s network of international consultants and regional specialists, and collaborating institutions, including regional and local NGOs and educational and research organizations.
    • Represent RVI in external engagements with government and civil society actors.

    Personnel Management and Development

    • Line manage RVI Programme Managers.
    • Work with staff to identify organizational staffing needs.
    • Support the professional development of staff through structured trainings.
    • Assist in the recruitment, hiring and supervision of staff and consultants.
    • When required, prepare and approve job descriptions of programme personnel.
    • Deputize for the Executive Director as required.

    Fundraising and Communications

    • Support the expansion and diversification of RVI’s funding sources.
    • Work with Programme Managers to identify new projects and funding opportunities, and prepare funding bids and proposals that fall within the aims of the Institute and support the long-term development of RVI’s programmes.
    • Negotiate and conclude funding agreements with funders.
    • Monitor the implementation of programmes, and develop tools and systems to do this.
    • Ensure compliance with donor contract requirements, and RVI’s own internal policies and procedures.
    • Represent RVI in discussions with funders, international organizations and officials from governments of the countries in the region, and at seminars and conferences.
    • Publicize RVI and raise its profile in the region through participation in public events, official functions and media appearances.

    Knowledge Management

    • Maintain an on-going analysis of political, social and economic developments in the regions and countries where RVI works, ensuring that RVI’s programmes, operations and strategies are informed by this analysis.
    • Ensure reporting on RVI programmes is completed on schedule and is of expected quality.
    • Oversee preparation of monthly narrative and financial reports for RVI internal circulation.
    • Chair weekly meetings of Nairobi-based RVI staff according to an established schedule, and bi-monthly meetings with programme managers.
    • Assist in the collection and addition of new contacts to the RVI contact database and updating of existing contacts.
    • Maintain contact and calendar data in Daylite or other database software used by RVI; file documents appropriately in RVI Dropbox or other RVI online storage systems.
    • Assist in the creation, testing, revision and updating of manuals, templates and guidelines related to the areas of responsibility outlined in this job description.


    • Ensure that RVI’s programme of work is delivered in a safe and secure manner.
    • Monitor the security situation in countries where RVI works.
    • Develop and update RVI security protocols in consultation with staff and the Executive Director.
    • Ensure adherence to security protocols and procedures for programmes in Africa.

    Method of Application

    Interested and qualified? Go to Rift Valley Institute (RVI) career website on riftvalley.net to apply

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