Senior Programs Manager
Reports to: Country Director, Kenya
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
1 in 9 people around the world lack access to safe water and 1 in 3 people don’t have access to a toilet. We are working every day to change this. We are Water.org. We’re here to bring water and sanitation to the world. We want to make it safe, accessible and cost-effective because we believe that water is the way to empowering a bright future that we can all share in, worldwide. We are an international nonprofit organization based in Kansas City, Missouri that has positively transformed millions of lives around the world through access to safe water and sanitation. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, we pioneer market-driven financial solutions to the global water crisis. For 30 years, we’ve been providing women hope, children health and families a future.
The Senior Programs Manager is a professional position that is directly accountable for the effective and timely execution of programs within her/his assigned portfolio. This includes assisting with program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation with assigned partners. S/he is additionally responsible for supporting contributions to pipeline development, fundraising and donor support, report compilations, and global learning.
- Participate in strategy sessions at the region and country level and assist with developing regional and country work plans and budgets. Assist with collecting and organizing information on potential partners and prioritization for making contact. Attend introductory meetings with potential partners, assist with soliciting EOIs, and assist with all related follow up.
- Develop, document and share programmatic learnings internally and externally through meetings, publications and participation in sector forums. Draft and/or review learning materials and publications.
- Develop proposals in determining sizes of programs – number of people served, total budget, number of loans – based on available funding and commitments to donors.
- Work with I&I team on M&E plans for initiatives (e.g., timeline for baseline/end line surveys, case studies, programmatic evaluations, metrics to be tracked, etc.); providing information to inform evaluation design, and review proposals for evaluation activities; provide inputs, data and information by reviewing baseline and/or end line reports before reports are finalized.
- Review and approval of partner Concept Notes and/or proposals. Provide technical support and training to partners as required and ensure lessons learned and best practices are incorporated into the program design and/or subsequent implementation; support partners when required to make changes to their program scope, deliverables, and/or implementation geographies.
- Design program activities, work plans, and formal agreements (e.g., non-disclosure agreements, memoranda of understanding, contracts, etc.) for signing with partners (implementers and collaborators). This may include identification and engagement of third-party service providers and execution and management of contracts with third parties.
- Build and maintain effective working relationships with partner program implementation teams. This includes conducting regular check-ins, support visits and meetings with partners as needed throughout the program implementation cycle to support on-time and on-budget program implementation.
- Mitigate risks to program implementation by addressing areas of risk with partners and assisting them in developing risk mitigation plans.
- Initiate and/or build relationships with partner organization leadership, program/operation staff, government officials, and other program stakeholders, and advocating on behalf of the partner implementation team for smooth program implementation.
- Review regular program reports from partners to ensure timeliness, completeness and accuracy, and provide guidance and feedback to partners as needed.
- Monitor partner progress toward program deliverables, budget utilizations and provide regular feedback to them.
- Review evaluation materials disseminate findings to partners, and ensure learnings are incorporated into future program design.
- Be able to take calls outside normal working hours to coordinate with US based staff or staff at other country offices.
- Respond to proposal questions and make necessary proposal revisions based on donor feedback, in coordination with Development team leads; assist with preparing documents and templates for new programs;
- Individual contributor with supervisory responsibility over independent contractors in the region.
This description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required. Some duties, responsibilities and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice
Skills and Competencies
- Program and Portfolio Management – Experience with managing a project lifecycle, implementation of related Water Supply and Sanitation (WSS) projects, analyzing information and formulating appropriate action, mitigating risk, and applying lessons learned.
- Sectoral Knowledge – Sound and up-to-date knowledge of concepts, methodologies and techniques including knowledge of at least one specialty area within finance, WSS, and/or economic development. Clear understanding of issues related to gender and inequality in development and demonstrated commitment to promoting gender equality and pro-poor strategies within the organization and in program work. Innovative mind- set oriented toward constructive problem-solving, proactive strategic development and thought leadership. Familiarity with capacity building and technical assistance programs in the finance and WSS on sectors.
- Builds Networks – Effectively building formal and informal relationship networks inside and outside the organization. Establish or use already established networks for smooth operation of the programs.
- Communicates Effectively – Development and delivering multi-mode communications that convey a clear understanding of the unique needs of different audiences.
- Customer Focus – Building strong customer relationships and delivering customer- centric solutions.
- Nimble Learning – Actively learning through experimentation when talking new problems, using both successes and failures as learning fodder.
- Drives Results – Consistently achieving results, even under tough circumstances.
- Collaborates – Building partnerships and working collaboratively with others to meet shared objectives.
- Self-development – Actively seeking new ways to grow and be challenged using other formal and informal development channels.
- Optimize Work Processes – Knowing the most effective and efficient processes to get things done, with a focus on continuous improvement.
- Manages Ambiguity – Manages ambiguity by operating effectively, even when things are not certain, or the way forward is not clear.
- Instills Trust – Gaining the confidence and trust of others through honesty, integrity, and authenticity.
- Financial Stewardship – Demonstrates fiscally responsible decision making as applicable to one’s role.
- Bachelor's degree in finance or water engineering or social sciences or related fields; Master’s degree preferred. Additional relevant certifications, trainings, and coursework also considered and preferred.
- At least ten years of relevant experience within the WSS sector or international economic development sectors with increasing levels of experience and responsibility. Experience in financial product development services preferred.
- At least five years of project and/or program management experience required.
- Demonstrated proficiency in facilitation and capacity building to ensure collaboration and linkages between staff, donors, partners and stakeholders.
- Proficient in the use of effective communication techniques, particularly across a variety of constituencies and stakeholder groups. Skilled at cross-cultural communication and collaboration.
- Possesses knowledge of contacts within the WSS sector (such us utilities, service providers, product manufacturers etc. and financial sector (such as microfinance institutions, commercial banks, fintech’s, cooperatives, associations, etc.), relevant county governmental institutions, the local development sector, and other relevant stakeholders.
- Demonstrated ability to identify new opportunities, establish cross- sector partnerships and design programs that are creative and leverage different stakeholders' capacities.
- Knowledge of relevant computer applications and ability to integrate technology into office and program activities.
- Language proficiency in English and Kiswahili required.
Must be able to travel a minimum of 50% of his/her time within the Africa region as and when required.
Salary and Benefits
Water.org pays a competitive salary/fee with similar positions in the international development sector and is based on education and experience.
Water.org is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing an inclusive environment. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy status, military and veteran status, genetic information, and any other status protected by law. We provide qualified applicants and employees reasonable accommodation, when necessary, to enable individuals to complete the application process and/or perform the essential functions of the job.