Africa Alliance Director

Ipas Africa Alliance Program:

Established in 2001, Ipas Africa Alliance works in Kenya and Uganda to support the provision of safe abortion services, including post abortion contraception, to the fullest extent of the law. As of October 2019, Ipas is supporting nine Kenyan counties: Bungoma, Busia, Kajiado, Kiambu, Kakamega, Siaya, Trans-Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, and Vihiga. They currently support Ipas-trained health personnel at public facilities in the provision of high-quality sexual and reproductive health care, including both CAC and contraceptive services. Ipas also collaborates closely with the MOH and other stakeholders to advance evidence-based national standards and guidelines for abortion care. In light of the reinstatement of the abortion standards and guidelines in June 2019, Ipas has a stronger context in which they are working to ensure that women can access safe services.

In Uganda, Ipas supports health personnel at public facilities across Kampala, Busia, and Tororo districts. They work to mitigate abortion stigma through partnerships with Ugandan community-based organizations (CBOs) and journalists. Ipas Africa Alliance also oversees regional policy work in East and Southern Africa. Through strategic partnerships, they have strengthened policy and advocacy efforts and commitment to service delivery in multiple countries, including Ghana, Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, and Mozambique. Ipas Africa Alliance has forged strong relationships with several Rwandan civil society organizations committed to abortion access, as well as the African Commission on People’s and Human Rights.

Additional information on Ipas’s programmatic work in Kenya, Uganda and the region:

Regional policy and advocacy work to decriminalize abortion- Increasing Access to Safe Abortion and Contraception in Africa

Ipas’s broad vision is to help bring about a world where every woman and girl has the right and ability to determine her own sexuality and reproductive health. This vision aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ipas’s strategic plan specifically reflects SDG Target 3.7, which seeks to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including contraceptive care, and SDG Target 5.6, which seeks to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights through indicators ranging from policy change to women’s informed decision-making. Ipas’s work revolves around the use of a socio-ecological model for change that places the women and girls at the center of a larger environment that affects her decisions about her health, ranging from national laws and policies to the care of her community and health provider.

Ipas recognizes that enabling environments; safe care; and social support, knowledge, and self-efficacy are interrelated elements that empower women and girls to determine their sexuality and reproductive health. Ipas is striving to help to make this vision a reality in an area of the world where the needs are greatest.

Building Momentum on Abortion in Rwanda

The long-term goal of the efforts in Rwanda is that sustainable Comprehensive Abortion Care (CAC) services are established, widely available, utilized, and owned by national government in the country. Towards that end, Ipas intends to pursue the following short-term outcomes under the project:

· In partnership with Rwanda’s MOH, rapid assessment of current abortion landscape conducted, and findings disseminated to key country stakeholders and Ipas donors.

· Sustainable Abortion Ecosystem Assessment Tool leveraged by Ipas and key partners to develop an operational plan for advancing and sustaining CAC in Rwanda.

· MOH staff and other key stakeholders sensitized on safe abortion through values clarification and attitude transformation (VCAT) activities.

Addresing persistent service gaps

Despite the successes of Ipas and their partners, data demonstrate the need for continuing SRHR interventions in Kenya. While other reproductive, maternal, and adolescent health outcomes have improved, Kenya was unable to achieve Millennium Development Goals for overall maternal and child health. Critically, there has been minimal change in adolescent pregnancy rates. According to the 2014 Demographic and Health Survey, nearly 40% of 19-year-old adolescents have begun childbearing due to early marriage, high unmet need for contraception, and limited access to contraceptive services. Rates of abortion, many unsafe, are estimated to be high, with almost half a million procedures performed per year. In most cases, public health facilities lack adequate capacity to provide induced abortion and postabortion care (PAC). Where Ipas partners focus on expanding access to contraception, Ipas responds to gaps in abortion services. As the Kenyan government continues to devolve responsibility for service delivery to the county level, Ipas is working to capitalize on opportunities for improved abortion care across counties. Through collaboration with local stakeholders, Ipas has successfully integrated CAC into public health systems in 8 counties. They have also established strong relationships with health managers, who generally have now become aware of the magnitude of unsafe abortion and are open to trainings in high-quality abortion care. The County Health Management Teams (CHMTs) have included SRHR in their County Integrated Development Plans and annual workplans, an indication of their commitment to sustainability and service continuity beyond the project period.

Partnering with Community Health Voulunteers (CHVs)

Given the unclear policy environment, it is vital to ensure that women and girls understand their SRHR and are empowered to access care that reflects their reproductive decisions. Ipas-trained providers recognize the clear need for enhanced community engagement. Their ongoing medical monitoring support visits revealed that service providers were using previously served clients to share information with peers about the availability of CAC services. Providers also expressed the need for community involvement in the CAC program to further reduce cases of abortion complications, sensitize community members about safe abortion and post abortion care, and reduce backlash against themselves.

Accelerating contraceptive uptake through post-pregnancy-care model

Globally, use of medical abortion (MA) is becoming more common as women and adolescent girls access MA drugs through health facilities or directly from pharmacies or medicine sellers. Given that many women and adolescent girls resume sexual activity shortly after a pregnancy is terminated by an abortion procedure, and that fertility may return within one week of first-trimester abortion, contraceptive information and services should be available to all women and adolescent girls so they can manage their own fertility and prevent unwanted pregnancy. The needs for contraception and contraceptive counseling for women and adolescent girls who use MA outside of health facilities and want to prevent future unwanted pregnancies may not be currently addressed or targeted by the settings in which they are seeking reproductive health care. Ipas is collaborating with partners to develop scalable, evidence-based interventions to increase uptake and continuation rates of contraception after self-use of MA among women and adolescent girls, age 15 to 19, in Kenya. Their work is divided into two phases—formative research and intervention design, followed by implementation and evaluation of the selected interventions.

MA Self Use Through Pharmacy Outlets

Ipas Africa Alliance is enhancing access to MA for self-use by training staff in private pharmacies, including pharmacists and laboratory techs and aids, to provide correct information and services. Drawing on prototypes and other information from previous and current work, Ipas is developing a package of care for women and girls at the pharmacy level that strengthens the integration of healthcare services. This package will include, but not be limited to, MA, pregnancy and HIV testing, contraceptive counseling, GBV screening, and referrals to other SRH services. Ipas is training Community intermediaries and university-aged women to act as peer educators, providing one-on-one information and peer group support to women seeking abortion. To improve the enabling environment for MA and ensure that their intervention is responsive to needs on the ground, Ipas Africa Alliance plans to sensitize law enforcement, support intergenerational community dialogues, and collaborate closely with a Youth Advisory Panel on project implementation.


Job Title

Africa Alliance Director

Reporting To

Regional Program Director (based in North Carolina, USA)


Nairobi, Kenya

Staff Strength

39 staff (based in Kenya and Uganda)

Job Summary

The Africa Alliance Director provides leadership oversight and strategic guidance for the Ipas Kenya and Uganda program, based in Kenya. Functions as a primary organizational representative for the Alliance and ensures strong collaboration with local government, international donors and sponsors, and partners. Builds partnerships with government and other private and social sector organizations, at national levels, and advocates for policies and programs that maximize impact and resources to further women’s reproductive health and the Ipas mission.

The Ipas Africa Alliance Director is responsible for leading and managing programmatic, financial and administrative aspects of the country programs. Leads a skilled, professional team to plan and implement a range of programs for women’s reproductive health and rights in line with the mission of Ipas. S/he develops and executes a country-specific strategic plan, annual operational plans, and generates new funding to secure program expansion. Ensures good stewardship of funding, adherence to Ipas policies and standards, and achievement of Ipas’s long-term strategic goals and objectives. Values high performance, accountability, efficiency, and innovation, and keeps results for the beneficiaries at the heart of everything the organization delivers. S/he is the primary Ipas representative in-country, working to maintain Ipas’ technical leadership, expand the country program, and maintain strong partnerships by ensuring strong collaboration with local government, international donors and implementing partners.

Primary Responsibilities:

· Program Leadership

  • Position Ipas as a sector leader primarily in Kenya and Uganda, including technical assistance for select scopes of work within the region
  • Lead design and implementation of the Ipas Kenya and Uganda strategic plan, in line with Ipas’ strategic plan, global vision and mission
  • Work closely with headquarters to ensure that country programming meets Ipas standards and is adequately supported by the global organization
  • Develop and lead the implementation of business development plans with the support of the Development team, to ensure the maintenance and growth of the country program
  • Lead and support the country program team, including strengthening programmatic and operational capacity of staff as needed
  • Foster a high-trust, positive management, high-performance work culture in the country office(s), based on Ipas core values and organizational culture

· Program Management

  • Ensure robust systems and processes are in place in country to support operations, drive productivity, and deliver results, including the effective use of state-of-the-art program and project management approaches
  • Ensure full donor contractual compliance for each project in the country portfolio, as well as compliance with Ipas’s minimum standards and policies
  • Promote evidence-based decision making and lead in the adoption of innovative solutions to improve country program effectiveness and efficiency
  • Ensure quality is maintained through development of and support of a quality and monitoring process for continuous quality assurance

· Finance and Governance

  • Ensure the country program entity meets good governance requirements
  • Ensures human resource (HR) systems and policies are aligned with best practices and local law, and that accountability is built into HR management processes and systems (e.g., annual performance goals, performance reviews)
  • S/he will be responsible to provide a lead in revenue growth and increased efficiency, basing strategic and operational plans on sound financial and programmatic results data
  • Ensure strong financial management aligned with Ipas’ financial compliance policies and award requirements, monitoring and sharing financial performance through regular reviews and follow on actions
  • Responsible to ensure robust internal controls are in place to minimize and manage risk
  • Monitor safety and security issues in country, and ensure country office complies with Ipas safety and security standards and policies
  • Ensure compliance with local statutory, registration, labor, tax and other laws and obligations.

· External Relations and Resource Mobilization

  • Build and nurture strong partnerships with government, donors, health institutions, local organizations, media, and other stakeholders
  • S/he will be the lead in developing and implementing a program development and resource mobilization strategy
  • Represent Ipas and our mission at the country/regional/international level, advocating for women’s reproductive health and rights


Qualification and Experience

  • Masters level degree or higher preferred, in Public Health, Medicine, International Development, Gender Issues, Policy, Administration or Related Studies
  • A minimum of 10 years of increasing responsibility in Team Leadership and Program Management
  • Strategic leader with sound general management skills; previous experience as a Country Director/ Country Manager for an international NGO preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a complex ever-changing external environment with acumen, entrepreneurial spirit, and invested in building the long-term future of Ipas in Africa
  • Experience and demonstrated success in fundraising and maintaining relationships with donors

Applied Knowledge & Skills

  • Experience in designing large scale multi-sectorial programme interventions, provides the vision and stewardship in delivering integrated programmes along with partners on the ground
  • Knowledge of the evidence bases pertaining to programme design and implementation in public health is preferred
  • Appreciation for rights based (pro-choice) approaches to development
  • Experience in building sound operations management systems and policy; that support efficiency in programme delivery, financial-budgetary management, cost-effectiveness, workflow planning and implementation, transparency and accountability in decision making. Sound systems thinker and process orientation by training
  • Ability to analyze an organization’s strength of management, vision and adaptive capacity
  • Experience and demonstrated success in fundraising and maintaining relationships with donors; is able to develop short and long term goals to ensure financial sustainability of the programme in the region. Understands the donor environment, key stakeholders in the funding eco-system
  • Demonstrated, excellent advocacy and representational skills, including communication and diplomacy skills, particularly in the areas of reproductive health and rights, gender, human rights, public health and related areas
  • Understands the socio-political context (policy environment) of East Africa, experienced in influencing policy work in the country with the Government (in Kenya and Uganda) and other key stakeholders like donors, bi-laterals/multi laterals, and regional -international policy alliances
  • Well respected (credible) within the development eco-system in the country
  • Strong team leadership expertise and experience, with proven success in strategic planning, fundraising, critical thinking, and problem solving
  • Team management skills – ability to recruit, guide, influence and/or advice management teams to effectively implement programmes
  • Strong consultation, conflict resolution, and negotiation skills
  • Proven ability to build positive working relationships with country partners, especially district/state/national Government officials, international donors, local organizations and UN and bodies
  • Understanding of and experience overseeing key project management and compliance issues and minimum standards, including for program design, work planning, budgeting, and monitoring
  • Understanding of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in the context of East Africa; able to think ‘out-of-the box’ and leverage existing programme/technical capacities to support expansion of programmes (and technical assistance) in the region
  • Strong representational skills, ability to speak and write articulately about programmes for women’s reproductive health and rights, and gain credibility with a variety of audiences
  • Excellent English written and oral communication skills
  • A self-starter, with resilience, pace, and interpersonal flexibility
  • High on integrity and professional values
  • An innovative thinker with a pragmatic and solution-oriented mindset

Preferred Skills

  • Decisive Risk Management & Problem Solving: Anticipate challenges and find solutions. Seeks the necessary inputs, analyzes the data at hand, identifies potential risks and takes a decision. Can move forward even when information is imperfect. Documents analysis, intentions and desired outcome of key decisions. Reviews the impact and consequences and openly learns from mistakes
  • Communication & Collaboration: Actively listens and communicates -connects easily with her/his team and gains their trust and respect. Works well across all organizational teams. Demonstrates clear and concise information and idea sharing**
  • Critical Guidance and Conflict Management: Has the skills to face conflict and provide critical guidance with empathy and facts. Can deliver difficult feedback with care. Encourages team members to directly share their concerns and helps develop the skills to make it a productive and valued experience. Understands the benefits of conflict and supports colleagues to embrace different perspectives, learn from others, to understand themselves and co-create new ideas**
  • Take the Work Seriously but Not Yourself: Strive to do your best but know no one is perfect, you can laugh and learn from your mistakes. You also know when the search perfection will have a negative impact on the women and girls Ipas is trying to serve

How to apply

Ipas invites interested candidates who meet above selection criteria to send a profile of their suitability including a cover letter and CV to [email protected]. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis therefore we recommend that potential candidates submit their application.

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