Senior Project Associate at UNDP

Background

Amkeni Wakenya is a grant management facility established by UNDP for supporting civil society organizations working in the area of democratic governance.
Established in 2008, Amkeni Wakenya has supported more than 300 organizations across the country from small grassroots-based community organizations (CBOs) to national-level NGOs to engage with national institutions such as Government ministries, Regulatory bodies and Constitutional Commissions in shaping public policy. Some of the notable governance processes to which Amkeni Wakenya has contributed include promoting national healing and reconciliation following the 2007/8 post- election violence; Civic education in the run-up to the 2010 Referendum on the Constitution, Civic education on the 2010 Constitution, and civic and voter education on the 2013 general elections and the transition to devolved government; supporting implementation of the Legal Aid Act (2016)
Amkeni Wakenya has adopted an integrated approach in the form of grants, capacity building and knowledge management. Amkeni Wakenya’s current strategic framework guiding the second phase of the Programme introduces a new devolved arrangments to the project with the project management unit (PMU) in Nairobi and three regional offices across Kenya. It makes implementation of the 2010 Constitution of Kenya the central framework on the basis of which all CSO projects will be supported.
Guided by the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) (2018- 2022), UNDP’s Country Programme Document (2018 – 2022,) the UN system- wide approach, and Kenya’s Medium- Term Plan III, the project will on devolution, human rights, access to justice, civic education & contemporary governance issues. Amkeni Wakenya is currently implementing a human rights promotion programme with funding from The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (EKN) and an access to justice project with funding from the European Union (EU). The two projects cover a combined 16 counties are expected to run until 2020 and 2022 respectively.
Amkeni works to achieve the following objectives:
  • To improve respect, enjoyment and promotion of access to justice, human rights and freedoms for Kenyans
  • To entrench rights-responsive devolved system of governance
  • To improve organizational performance, sustainability and enabling environment for CSOs in Kenya
  • To enhance capacity of civil society to respond to contemporary governance issues
The Senior Project Associate will implement Amkeni Wakenya’s project activities in the designated Regional Offices and be the first point of contact for implementing partners. Serving as a “one-stop-shop” facilitator, the Senior Project Associate will coordinate an integrated service to implementing partners in the region from initiating calls for proposals, grant management, policy support, capacity building to monitoring and reporting. Supported by a project driver, the Senior Project Associate will report to the Project Manager.
Duties and Responsibilities
Summary of the main functions:
  • Act as “One-stop-shop” for all Amkeni Wakenya programmatic activities in the Regional Office of responsibility
  • Support to Core Project Stakeholders Group (Stakeholder’s Reference Group, Donors Group and Project Approval Committee)Support to Strategic Partnerships and Resource Mobilization
  • Support Partnership Building and Resource Mobilization
  • Regional Office Team Management Support
1. Act as “One-stop-shop” for Implementing Partners and National Stakeholders within the designated Regional Office of responsibility, focusing on achievements of the following results:
Project & Grant Management
  • Oversight of project management and grant activities of all counties covered by the designated Regional Office
  • At the regional level, provide support in the management of the grant coordination cycle (from call for proposals, assessing grant applications, selection of grantees, approval by grants committee, award, capacity building, monitoring & reporting) and related procurement processes ensuring transparency and project accountability
  • Collaborate closely with a team of specialists in the project management Unit (PMU) in managing implementation of grants
  • Prepare consolidated documentation on grantees for submission to Stakeholder’s Reference Group and Project Approval Committees; participate in these stakeholders meetings if required
  • Ensure that grant funds are advanced on time to implementing partners in liaison with Grants Associate
  • As the primary focal point for grantees/Civil Society Organizations in the Region, provide technical advice on grant management & reporting, respond to CSOs’ queries and provide updated information at all times
  • Working closely with the Finance Associate, ensure that the Project Manager has detailed insight at all times into planned and actual financial expenditures incurred under Regional grants for all budget lines
  • Provides an important feedback mechanism to PMU regarding performance, challenges, critical issues to be addressed at the regional level related to programme design, implementation, communication, monitoring and evaluation & capacity building efforts. These inputs will benefit the design of new initiatives and adjustments of existing ones to better serve the project’s stakeholders & partners
  • Implement recommendations of the Project Steering Committee (PSC), Audit and other corporate governance bodies related to Amkeni Wakenya
  • Orient new grantees on all areas of Amkeni Wakenya’s work
  • Ensure reports are prepared timely and are of good quality.
Capacity Building
  • With support from the Capacity Building Specialist/Officer, analyze capacity gaps of implementing partners, document them on a regular basis and contribute to development of a capacity building plan. This includes following-up on the implementation of the capacity building plan
  • Provide recommendations for strengthening capacities of partners in the regional office
  • Assist the Capacity Building Specialist in building technical skills of civil society stakeholders/implementing partners in accordance with their needs through identification of appropriate training activities and organizing the training sessions
Monitoring & Evaluation (M & E)
  • Prepare monitoring & Evaluation plans for the regional office and submit to M & E Specialist
  • Ensure financial and substantive monitoring and evaluation of projects within the counties, identify operational and financial problems, delays in processing and disbursements of grants and develop solutions
  • Arrange and participate in regular visits to the implementing partners, assess the projects, identify gaps, propose optimal solutions and respond in a timely manner to Implementing Partners queries on grants
  • Liaise with all relevant partners to determine level effectiveness of the activities and outputs of the project
  • Keep an updated risks and issues log and inform PMU about risks and issues arising within or outside the project that are relevant to any of the project components
Communication, knowledge building and sharing
  • In liaison with the PMU, develop, customized and high quality knowledge products for the Regional Office based on an assessment of needs and demand for the products. Such products may include; publications, films, toolkits, how-to-guides etc.
  • Organize sessions for implementing partners from various counties within the Regional Office to share information, discuss common implementing issues, challenges, come-up with innovative solutions to accelerate delivery etc.
  • Build on success stories from past calls for proposals and highly successful implementing partners.
2. Support to Core Project Stakeholders Group (Stakeholder’s Reference Group, Donors Group and Project Approval Committee)
  • Support the grant award decision-making committee meetings of the stakeholder reference group, donor group and project approval committees as required
  • Prepare and submit required materials and documentation for these committees such as implementing partners’ profiles, workplans, budgets & performance. Prepare corresponding reports
3. Provide substantive support to Partnership Building and Resource Mobilization
  • Identify partnerships and resource mobilization opportunities for in support of Amkeni Wakenya activities from the respective regions
  • Develop close working relationships with all Amkeni Wakenya stakeholders such as county governments, Civil Society Organizations, donors and other UN agencies in the respective regions
  • Participate in fund raising activities including meetings with development partners
4. Provide effective support in management of regional office
  • In charge of overall Regional Office projects and operations.
  • Provide day-to-day guidance, direction and supervision of project driver
  • Prepare, consolidates, compile annual, quarterly work plans, progress reports and budgets of the Regional Office
  • Ensure effective and efficient implementation of project work plans
  • Liaise and provide support to local experts and consultants and for any relevant missions under the project
  • Serving as focal point for administrative coordination of project implementation activities, involving extensive liaison with the Project Managers.
  • Follow-up on administrative actions, e.g. travel arrangements, training/study tours, authorization of payments, disbursement of funds, procurement of equipment and services
  • Comply with security and safety standards in collaboration with the Security focal point in the PMU
Competencies
Technical/Functional
Results-Based Programme Development and Management
  • Identifies Regional Office needs and strategies using a fact-based approach
  • Sets performance standards, monitors progress and intervenes at an early stage to ensure results are in accordance with agreed-upon quality and timeframes and reports on it
  • Ensures the full implementation of project objectives and Financial Resources to obtain results
Promoting Organizational Learning and Knowledge Sharing – Developing tools and mechanisms
  • Makes the case for innovative ideas documenting successes and building them into the design of new approaches
  • Identifies new approaches and strategies that promote the use of tools and mechanisms
Building Strategic Partnerships – Identifying and building partnerships
  • With support for the relevant specialist, identifies needs and interventions for capacity building of national partners, Implementing partners and potential partners
  • Aptitude in communicating effectively with different partners involved
  • Effectively networks with partners seizing opportunities to build strategic alliances relevant to Amkeni Wakenya’s mandate and strategic agenda
  • Sensitizes UN Partners, donors and other National Stakeholders in identifying areas for joint efforts
  • Develops positive ties with civil society to build/strengthen UNDP’s mandate in Democratic Governance
  • Displays initiative, sets challenging outputs for him/herself and willingly accepts new work assignments
  • Takes responsibility for achieving agreed outputs within set deadlines and strives until successful outputs are achieved
Resource Mobilization – Implementing resource mobilization strategies
  • Analyzes information on potential bilateral donors and national counterparts to recommend a strategic approach
  • Identifies and compiles lessons learned
  • Develops a resource mobilization strategy at the Regional level
Job Knowledge/Technical Expertise – In-depth knowledge of the subject-matter
  • Demonstrable expertise in the areas of democratic governance and key reform areas including governance, law, human rights, devolution and access to justice
  • Proven knowledge and experience of the civil society sector in Kenya
  • Demonstrable expertise in grants assessment and reviews
  • Demonstrates comprehensive understanding and knowledge of project management tools and utilizes them in work assignments
  • Program management and basic financial skills especially in the area of financial review of grantee reports
  • Strong drafting and report writing skills
  • Uses ICT and web-based management systems effectively as a tool and resource
Client Orientation – Contributing to positive outcomes for the client
  • Researches potential solutions to internal and external client needs and reports back in a timely, succinct and appropriate fashion
  • Organizes and prioritizes work schedule to meet client needs and deadlines
  • Establishes, builds and sustains effective relationships within the work unit and with internal and external clients
  • Actively supports the interests of the client by making choices and setting priorities to meet their needs
  • Anticipates client needs and addresses them promptly
Core Competencies
Innovation
Leadership
People Management
Communication
Delivery
Required Skills and Experience
Education
Bachelors’ Degree in Political Science, Law, Public administration, Business Management, Development Studies or other related fields.
Experience
At least 6 years with a Bachelors’ Degree (or 3 Years with a Masters Degree) of relevant experience in project management or a related field
Substantial experience in grants management and coordination including pre-and post-award management, financial analysis and budgeting
Proven hands on experience in programme planning, coordination, monitoring and evaluation of civil society organizations projects
Professional experience with civil society organizations in Kenya
Good understanding of political, developmental and other institutions of Kenya involved in devolution, human rights, governance and rule of law
Language Requirements
Excellent spoken and written skills in English and Kiswahili
Other
Experience in the usage of computers and office software packages
Experience in handling of web-based management systems and ERP systems, preferably PeopleSoft.
Disclaimer
Important applicant information

All posts in the SC categories are subject to local recruitment.

Applicant information about UNDP rosters

Note: UNDP reserves the right to select one or more candidates from this vacancy announcement. We may also retain applications and consider candidates applying to this post for other similar positions with UNDP at the same grade level and with similar job description, experience and educational requirements.

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UNDP is committed to achieving diversity within its workforce, and encourages all qualified applicants, irrespective of gender, nationality, disabilities, sexual orientation, culture, religious and ethnic backgrounds to apply. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

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