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Head of Programmes | ReliefWeb


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.

How to apply:

Please apply online by filling out the application form here and upload the specified documents: your CV, including the names and contacts of two referees; and a letter, no longer than two pages, explaining why you are interested in the position and how your experience qualifies you for it. Only applicants invited for interview will be contacted.

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