Call for Applications – Head of Programs

Youth Alive! Kenya - June 21, 2022 - 0 comments



Position: Head of Programs; Senior Level 

Reporting: To Executive Director 

Term: 2-year Fixed Term Contract; based on availability of funding Start Date: 1 August 2022 


Youth Alive! Kenya (herein referred to as Y.A.K.) is a youth-serving and youth-led Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that works in partnership with youth organizations, civil society organizations, private sector, and government to advocate for youth responsive policies, legislation, and programs within Kenya in particular and the region through advocacy, mentorship and capacity development. Y.A.K. envisions “A society where young  people are empowered to realize their full potential”.  

Our projects are based on three thematic pillars; Good Governance; Economic  Empowerment and Livelihoods; and Social Wellbeing and Equity. We are currently working with over 96 youth organizations in 12 counties in Kenya – with ambitions to grow our outreach in Kenya. We believe in strengthening youth participation in the development agenda in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets at the county, national,  regional, and global levels. 

Our team is young, highly professional, and passionate about the youth agenda. As part of strengthening our capacity and adding to our dynamism, we are looking for you, yes you,  to join our team as the Head of Programs. 

Job Summary 

The Head of Programs will design, develop and manage the organization’s project portfolio, ensuring the highest level of alignment with the organizational strategy, synergy across projects, and the quality and impact among beneficiaries and partners. They will ensure that relevant components of the Y.A.K.’s Programs are planned, implemented, and followed up on so as to achieve expected results and enhance the overall impact, quality, and strategic added value of the Programs. The Head of Programs will play a critical role in supporting resource mobilization efforts and lead/supervise program staff in overall 

program management, as well as manage their own projects, as necessary. This position is part of the Senior Management Team. 

This is a new role, which will oversee several strong pre-existing projects with the expectation and ambition that the role will increase the number and scale of Y.A.K.  program priorities and work in Kenya and beyond. 


1. Program Planning, Management and Implementation 40% 

• Lead on the management and further development of Y.A.K.’s project portfolio,  identifying results, operational synergies, and the alignment with the organization’s strategy with the goal to strengthen our impact and presence in Kenya and the  region 

• Lead a young energetic team of program staff and interns, ensuring effective project  design, planning, delivery, and compliance with donors’ and contract requirements  and timelines 

• Support the Executive Director in the development and review of annual organizational budgets and work plans, in line with the strategic plan 2021-2025

• Proactively facilitate learning, exchange, and innovation in the program team to enhance an evidence-based and continuous learning culture.  

• Build a strong understanding of local contexts, including socio-economic and political situations and local legal, media, business, and NGO landscapes. Work with  local partners and other stakeholders to understand local needs and capacities and  advise other teams on the local contexts, as necessary 

• Work with the Finance department to prepare organizational and project budgets and resources, conduct budget forecasts to monitor expenditure and ensure  prudent utilization of donor resources 

• Ensure timely and accurate submission of program and financial reports in line with organizational policies and procedures. 

2. Program Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning, and Reporting 30%

• Monitor Program activities to ensure quality, compliance and accuracy of work  outcomes vis-à-vis contractual and grant commitments, reporting timelines and contribution to overall Y.A.K strategy. 

• Provide technical support for the development of structured opportunities of  institutional learning including project monitoring and evaluation, highlighting  success stories, lessons learnt, documentation, and use of good practices 

• Represent the organization in various program-related knowledge sharing and  learning forums, document and share feedback with the team  

• Track trends in youth programming and development practices, document and incorporate these developments in Y.A.K programming and activities. 

3. Resource Mobilization, Donors and Partners Relationship Management 20%

• Contribute to the leadership of development and harnessing of program and project ideas into quality grant proposals through a community-informed,  participatory approach. 

• Identify partnership and funding opportunities that promote relationship-building among Y.A.K and other strategic organizations, networks, and/or individuals.

• Support the Executive Director in developing and nurturing partnerships and relationships with donors and partners.  

• Work closely with program staff to support Y.A.K networks including in capacity-building initiatives of the member organizations, and advise them accordingly as  necessary 

• With the Communications team, review communication plans and strategies to  increase Y.A.K.’s visibility with stakeholders, partners and donors  

• Identify, monitor, and manage risks to ensure excellent project delivery, staff,  consultant, local partner, and beneficiary safety and to promote the organization’s reputation 

4. Team Management and Development 10% 

• Lead and manage the program team to achieve its mandated targets in accordance  with annual operational plans  

• Promote an enabling environment for staff performance, recognition and reward of  the program team to encourage staff productivity, innovation and performance  • Participate in the development and review of staff job descriptions and setting of  performance targets 

• Participate in the recruitment of staff under supervision with guidance from the  Executive Director and Finance, where necessary. 

• Ensure that performance records of staff under supervision are submitted to the  Executive Director on time  

• Provide induction, training, coaching, mentoring, and advice to supervised staff to  ensure they understand and carry out their responsibilities effectively 

• Liaise with the Executive Director and Human Resources to identify training needs  and development opportunities for supervised staff  

• Implement all relevant policies and procedures to ensure that correct procedures  are followed by staff under supervision.


a) Academic Qualifications 

• Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management, Social Sciences or development studies,  (post-graduate degree in a relevant discipline is preferred). 

b) Essential Experience 

• Strong experience, minimum 3 years, managing several international donor-funded projects and programs in a non-profit organization across the project management cycle continuum. Knowledge of results-based management and strong MEAL skills  are desired 

• Demonstrated experience in managing funding from diverse donor agencies  including governments and aid agencies, private sector, international donors among  others  

• Proven experience managing dynamic teams and building synergies across  programs 

c) Essential Knowledge 

• Sound knowledge of the political, social, economic, and historic environment in which Youth Alive! Kenya’s programs operate regionally, nationally, and within the  community  

• Excellent understanding of development partnerships, fund-raising, donor  strategies, and governmental and international relations in the country  

• Good understanding of the project cycle management  

• Possess basic and functional knowledge of finance and accounting systems

• Strong knowledge of M&E methodologies and quality assurance  

d) Desired Skills and Competencies: 

• Proven ability to manage and drive high-quality donors and partnerships

• Excellent communication skills; written and verbal; including fluency in English. 

• Demonstrated ability to work under high pressure and meet tight deadlines

• Must be result-oriented, a team player, exhibiting high levels of enthusiasm,  creativity, diplomacy, and integrity. 

• Demonstrate excellent interpersonal, networking, influencing, and professional skills  in interacting with donors, partners, and other stakeholders Strategic thinking

• Self-starter and excellent planner; ability to manage self and teams’ tasks effectively

• Conflict resolution and problem-solving skills 

• Fun to work with, pleasant and adaptable 

Do you think you are who we are looking for? Great. Interested (and qualified) individuals are invited to submit their current CV (Maximum 3 pages) and Letter of Motivation describing why you think you would be a good fit for the role and the organization  (Maximum 1 page) stating your salary expectation to with the subject of the email as Head of Programs. 

The deadline for application is 3rd July, 2022 at 11.59 pm EAT. This position is open to youth under 32 years.

Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Possible start date is 1 August 2022. 

The position is subject to funding availability. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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