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Africa Alliance Director (Nairobi) at Ipas

Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the Ipas Africa Alliance for Women’s Reproductive Health and Rights works to reduce maternal deaths from unsafe abortion; to expand the availability of high-quality comprehensive abortion care; and to advocate for policies that advance women’s reproductive health and rights across the continent.

Reporting To

Regional Program Director (based in North Carolina, USA)

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

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