Head of Programming

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 30 December 2018

Job Description

Job Title: Head of Programming I

Department: EARO/Kenya

Reports To: Country Representative

Dotted line to: EARO DRD/PQ

Country/Location: KENYA/Nairobi


CRS has been working in Kenya since 1965. Programming activities during the early years focused on food distribution programs to help reduce infant mortality rates. Over the years, CRS Kenya’s focus has shifted from direct relief and food distribution to a comprehensive development program that works through partners and enhances local capacity. CRS Kenya programs now support children affected by HIV, de-institutionalization efforts in collaboration with the government of Kenya, community-based efforts to increase household incomes, improve family health and sanitation, and enhance agriculture livelihoods. The Kenya portfolio currently includes 12 projects with an annual budget of around $ 20 million. The HOP will strategically manage a programming department of 105 Kenyan national and two international staff.

Job Summary:

As a member of the Country Program (CP) Senior Management Team, you will provide overall strategic direction, leadership, and management of the CP’s programming to ensure the establishment and successful implementation of large and complex programming serving the poor and vulnerable. Your leadership, management and knowledge will enable the CP to deliver high-quality programming and continuously work toward improving the impact of its programming. As part of the Senior Management Team, you will proactively manage security and mitigate security risks.

Job Responsibilities:

  • In collaboration with the Country Representative (CR) provide leadership and strategic direction for the design of CP strategic frameworks and plans, including the development of resource mobilization strategies to optimize the impact of large and complex programming interventions in line with regional and agency strategic priorities. Represent and promote CRS.
  • Lead high-quality project design with innovative approaches that incorporate project management standards and MEAL methods, appropriate to scope, context, and technical requirements of large and complex projects. Contribute to establishment of new project management standards. Lead planning of activities across projects from different sectors to ensure integration and efficiency in implementation.
  • Effectively manage senior programming talent. Manage team dynamics and staff wellbeing. Provide coaching and mentoring for Deputy HOP and PM for Program Quality and Growth. Strategically tailor individual development plans and complete performance assessment for direct reports. Contribute to developing staffing plans for large and complex projects and to the recruitment process of senior project staff. Contribute to Global HOP orientation and training program.
  • Create and maintain proper conditions for learning. Establish a safe environment for sharing of ideas, solutions, and difficulties and the capacity to detect, analyze and respond quickly to deficiencies. Promote accountability, learning and knowledge management overseeing application of the MEAL policy, as well as cross-sectoral and cross-department learning.
  • Coordinate with regional and CP operations leads to ensure appropriate project budgeting and efficient use and stewardship of project material sources.
  • Lead the business development cycle of increasingly complex, strategic, and competitive growth opportunities from intelligence gathering and positioning to proposal development to learning and marketing to ensure quality proposals per agency and donor standards.
  • Lead the identification, assessment and strengthening of appropriate partnerships and the appropriate application of partnership concepts, tools and approaches.
  • Ensure technical assistance and capacity strengthening for project teams and partners in project management standards and related MEAL, business development and operational activities. Identify training opportunities, develop training curriculums and deliver trainings.

Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:

Education and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in International Development, International Relations or relevant field.
  • Minimum of five years’ work experience in a program management position with progressive responsibilities for an international NGO, including at least three years with middle/senior management experience.
  • Strong experience in project grants management for large and complex projects, including project design, budget preparation, expenditure tracking, monitoring and evaluation, reporting, etc., for projects funded by multiple public donors, including USAID.
  • Substantial experience with successful business development activities capturing significant public and private donor funding.
  • Excellent English writing skills.
  • Experience engaging partners and strengthening partnerships. Experience working with Church partners a plus.
  • Staff management experience and abilities that are conducive to a learning environment. Experience coaching and mentoring senior program staff.
  • Experience and abilities in capacity strengthening - developing curricula and facilitating trainings.
  • Experience using MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information and budget management systems, and knowledge sharing networks.

Personal Skills

  • Excellent strategic, analytical, systems thinking, and problem-solving skills, with capacity to see the big picture and ability to make sound judgment and decisions.
  • Strong relations management abilities. Ability to relate to people at all levels internally and externally. Strategic in how you approach each relationship.
  • Team leadership abilities with diverse/multi-disciplinary teams. Coaching/mentoring skills
  • Presentation and facilitation skills.
  • Proactive, resourceful, solutions oriented and results-oriented.

Required/Desired Foreign Language


Travel Required

25% travel within Kenya

Key Working Relationships:

Supervisory: Responsible for overall management of Program department (including business development and MEAL) with 5 direct reports including the Deputy Head of Programming, Chief of Party, Program Quality & Growth Manager, and Senior Sector Leads.

Internal: Country Representative; Head of Operations and other operations staff; program staff; support staff; Deputy Regional Director for Program Quality; regional technical advisors (RTAs), and HQ departments, including HRD during emergency responses.

External: International and national consortium partners, other regional and national partners especially Caritas Internationalis; government ministries; local church; USAID; DFID, UN agencies; local bilateral institutions; local/international NGOs.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff):

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

  • Integrity
  • Accountability and Stewardship
  • Build Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Continuous Improvement and Innovation
  • Strategic Mindset

NOTE: Applications will be accepted until this position is filled.

About the Organization

Catholic Relief Services was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. Our mission is to assist the poor and disadvantaged, leveraging the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to alleviate human suffering, promote development of all people, and to foster charity and justice throughout the world. Working through local offices and an extensive network of partners, CRS operates on five continents and in 98 countries. We aid the poor by first providing direct assistance where needed, then encouraging people to help with their own development. Together, these approaches foster secure, productive, just communities that enable people to realize their potential. As the official international relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community, CRS is also committed to educating the people of the United States to fulfill their moral responsibilities toward our global brothers and sisters by helping the poor, working to remove the causes of poverty, and promoting social justice.

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