Regional Head of Programme Innovations & Partnerships

Opportunity to work with a dynamic team:

Are you a strategic, agile, thought leader, looking for an exciting opportunity? Are you cut out to energise a team engaged in developing creative innovations for inclusive development solutions for the most marginalised communities in East Africa? Are you able to take up the challenge of developing and implementing innovative programmes that address real-world problems and mobilising resources in a highly competitive, uncertain, and dynamic donor environment? If yes, then apply for this position at Aga Khan Foundation, East Africa (AKF) to be based in Nairobi with frequent travel to the East Africa Region. This position reports to the Regional Chief Executive Officer and leads a team of technical advisors, programme specialists, consultants, as well as leading on special initiatives.

For nearly 50 years, the Aga Khan Foundation has been partnering with communities, governments, and the private sector to harness the best from people from all backgrounds to improve the quality of life. The Foundation’s work is rooted in core values of self-reliance, pluralism, and respect for human dignity. AKF is a member of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), one of the world’s leading poverty solutions networks. AKDN makes long-term investments, builds permanent institutions, and cultivates an active civil society, impacting tens of millions of people annually in 30 countries. Alongside its sister AKDN agencies, the Foundation implements innovative, community-driven solutions that are based on decades of experience, learning, and evaluation.

Overall Objective:

To develop and implement the AKF regional resource mobilisation strategy in alignment with the AKF regional strategy, AKF global strategy, and best global practices. The aim is to strengthen the AKF programme design processes for improved quality of programmes, increased scale of adoption of best practices, and transformative impact. Critically, the design processes should ensure that the programmes are contextually relevant and responsive to the needs of targeted groups, key stakeholders, and system actors, and are based on sound evidence while maximising resources to enhance value for money.

To develop, implement, and manage a robust and dynamic design and resource mobilisation strategy, adopting the most innovative and cutting-edge design tools, approaches, and methodologies focusing on priorities initiatives and opportunities in AKF target core geographies in East Africa. This position calls for dynamic thought leadership, a flexible mindset, and agility in executing iterative, highly participative, and consultative design processes involving multi-stakeholders. Ultimately, to contribute to building partnerships and strengthening donor relationships within AKF and be a key interface with all of AKF regional partners, including donors, government, implementing partners, civil society organisations, private companies, and sister agencies of the AKDN.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Challenge and guide the regional programme and country teams in identifying, developing, and prioritising resource mobilisation for strategically aligned initiatives and programmes while promoting the adoption of innovative tools, approaches, and methodologies in programme design processes.

  2. Promote innovative thinking by facilitating design processes that identify key problems in AKF priority target geographies, and ultimately, collaboratively designing innovative solutions for addressing those problems. This entails working with the AKF Global Innovation Unit to develop a strong cadre of design facilitators within the country offices.

  3. Promote excellence and quality in programming through people-centred, systems thinking, and evidence-based approaches to both design and implementation.

  4. Lead the development of close working relationships with AKF programme stakeholders across East Africa by promoting a shared vision for East Africa that enables delivery of AKF strategy and goals.

  5. Lead the development, implementation, and management of a resource mobilisation strategy including the development of internal capabilities to ensure focused and consistency in the mobilisation of resources for quality program implementation.

  6. Identify key programme risks and develop contextually relevant mitigation strategies in light of the working environments and programmatic investments.

  7. Support the adoption of relevant cutting-edge online technologies in programme operations and delivery mechanisms.

  8. Drive forward new initiatives that help to establish AKF as the primary partner of choice in the country core geographies, as well as for technical excellence within the priority technical themes throughout the region and beyond.

Required Qualifications & Experience:

  • Minimum Master’s degree or equivalent in international development or other relevant fields.
  • Minimum 7 years of senior management experience in partnerships, programme design. learning, and quality assurance.
  • Experience in leading, managing, and mentoring diverse multi-sectoral teams with a willingness to visit programmes in the field.
  • Strong networking skills to better understand the political, economic, and social environments and build collaborative relationships.
  • Exceptional English communication skills, able to make strong presentations and produce high quality written reports
  • Experience and knowledge of AKF/AKDN and East Africa will be an added advantage.

How to apply

Interested candidates are requested to submit a cover letter, CV including contacts of three references, by 17thJune 2020 by email to [email protected] with Regional Head of Programme Innovations & Partnerships in the subject line. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

“AKF is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is Committed to Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Children and Vulnerable Adults and Expects all Staff and Partners to Share this Commitment.”

The Aga Khan Foundation is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (

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