Head of Programmes, Kenya At Self Help Africa

Job Title: Head of Programmes, Kenya
Organisation: Self Help Africa
Department: Programmes
Location: Nairobi
Salary: Range between Ksh 5,473,140/- and Ksh 6,574,800/-
Benefits: 22 days annual leave, Medical Insurance (self + spouse and up to 4 children), 10% Employer pension contribution and 25% leave allowance
Reports to: Country Director
Expected Travel: International travel and national level travel to rural areas will be required
Restrictions: 6 months’ probation; employment contract 3-years renewable


Self Help Africa (SHA) is an international NGO dedicated to the vision of an economically thriving and resilient rural Africa. We have 50 years of experience working with smallholder farmers, farmer associations, cooperatives and agribusinesses across Africa to help farmers grow and sell more food, improve diets, diversify incomes and make their livelihoods more sustainable and resilient to external shocks. SHA also builds awareness of issues affecting smallholders and represent their interests at policy and institutional level.

SHA is a core member of The Gorta Group which is composed of a group of innovative organisations driving sustainable economic and social change across Africa. Comprising Self Help Africa, Partner Africa and TruTrade, the Gorta Group combines expertise in market-based solutions to poverty and rural development; climate change mitigation and resilience; trade facilitation and farmer and worker rights; underpinned by an inclusive ethos that specifically targets women and youth. In August 2021, United Purpose joined the Gorta Group, which operates as Self Help Africa (SHA), bringing together two organisations with proud histories of assisting those in greatest need. United Purpose, formerly Concern Universal, has worked for more than 40 years as a leader in community-led development and grassroots innovation. SHA now has over 700 staff worldwide, as a result of the merger, and a global turnover of over €40m.

We are currently implementing a portfolio of 80 projects in Bangladesh, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia funded by a variety of institutional and private donors including the European Union, Irish Aid and World Food Programme. In 2020, we supported close to eight million people in rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa, Brazil and Bangladesh.


Under the overall supervision of the Kenya Country Director (CD), the HoP is a key member of the Country Management Team (CMT), along with the Head of Financial Accounting (HoFA). The HoP is responsible for providing overall leadership at a strategic and operational level for the Country Office (CO); ensuring that SHA Kenyas’ programmes contribute to the vision of SHA and that overall programme goals are met. The HoP provides managerial, technical, mentoring and administrative support to a high performing programme team of Project Managers, Technical Advisors and Project Officers, leading effective planning and coordination across a growing and exciting project portfolio. He/she is the lead for the design of new and innovative programmes and coordinating the development of funding proposals for new or ongoing projects in line with agreed upon Country Office goals and strategic direction.

Key Responsibilities:

Leadership and Strategic Direction

  • To lead and engage with the programme team to promote SHA’s values in their day to day work
  • Participate in the strategic development of the Kenya programme, as a key member of the CMT
  • In liaison with the CD and programme team, design programmes and strategies in line with SHA’s mission, priorities and guidelines
  • Assist the CD in programme fundraising, identifying new areas of need and potential areas for project development and donor funding in Kenya.

Programme Management

  • Overall responsibility for the management of all SHA projects in Kenya consistent with good practice in project cycle management
  • Ensure adherence to timelines for all proposals and review proposals as necessary; Ensure strict compliance with donor contract requirements and reporting deadlines;
  • Coordinate effective implementation of programme activities, including the development of work plans and facilitate their timely implementation; developing annual programme budgets and monitoring budget expenditure.
  • Prepare programme reports such as Quarterly and Annual Programme performance indicators reports, Donor Reports, Board reports and other ad-hoc reporting needs
  • Support regular (monthly and quarterly) and highly rigorous approach to monitoring and evaluation, with a focus on outcomes, including systems for monitoring performance toward specific goals and objectives and developing and overseeing the baseline, mid-term, end term and impact evaluation component.
  • Ensure SHA complies with all legal and donor requirements in programme areas
  • Ensure good working relationship with all programme stakeholders including government, civil society, private sector and beneficiaries, ensuring they are fully involved in planning and design, implementation, monitoring and reporting of programmes as appropriate

Operations Management

  • Ensure expenditure and budget tracking are compliant with programme scope and donor guidelines
  • Ensure regular communication is maintained among field sites including between the field, the Kenya Head Office and the programme support staff in HQ and the UK
  • Ensure adherence to timelines for all proposals and review proposals as necessary; Ensure strict compliance with donor contract requirements and reporting deadlines;
  • Travel to the project sites as and when needed

Safety and Security

  • Ensure field site safety and security guidelines are prepared and reviewed at least biannually
  • Ensure all safety or security incidents (fires, vehicle accidents, theft, etc.) are appropriately recorded and reported by project coordinators to relevant parties
  • Actively monitor field site safety and security and advise the RD of new developments


  • Liaise with Desk Officer, Head of Compliance at HQ and Kenya CD in identifying areas for improvement across all support areas;
  • Work closely with the HoFA and Project Managers to prepare and review budgets and anticipated results

People Management

  • Provide direct line management to Programme Coordinators and Project Managers and through them support the management and development of all project staff
  • Maintain good team communication, engender excellent team dynamics and actively manage all direct reports to ensure optimum performance across all programme staff
  • To mentor and coach direct reports as part of people management brief to ensure SHA attracts and retain the best talent within the Kenya programme
  • To ensure a Performance Development Review (PDR) is completed for each direct report (to include a training needs analysis) and the follow-up meetings as agreed
  • Ensure compliance with all organisational HR policies and procedures and local labour laws in relation to the selection, recruitment and retention of all programme staff
  • Assist in the recruitment of all new programme staff


  • In coordination with the CD and Programme Support Coordinator, represent SHA at national, regional and international levels; to donors, local and national government authorities, other NGOs, and any other parties as required
  • Support the CD’s strategic co-operation initiatives with government, private sector and national/international NGOs and CBOs active in the programme areas
  • In coordination with the CD, lead on national and regional policy engagements.
  • Ensure that relationships and formal agreements with government and partners are maintained and updated as appropriate
  • Ensure proper programme documentation and sharing with partners within and external to SHA programme;

Key Relationships:


  • SHA Kenya HoFA
  • SHA Regional Director (HQ)
  • SHA Desk Officer (HQ)
  • SHA Programme Support Officer (HQ)
  • SHA Programme Funding Coordinators (HQ)


  • Government of Kenya Ministry of Agriculture, central and devolved offices
  • Key institutional donors (EU, Irish Aid)
  • Kenyan Agriculture and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO)
  • International research institutes
  • International NGOs, social enterprises and private sector and consultants
  • Academic Institutions (Universities)
  • Private Sector

Aptitude Requirements

  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and on own initiative
  • Ability to contribute to a small team environment
  • Excellent interpersonal skills

Qualifications, Capacities & Experience:

  • Advanced degree in the areas of Agriculture, Agribusiness, Livelihoods, Rural Development, Project Management, Development Studies or any related economy, sociology, international development or Environment
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience in programme and people management at a senior level in similar/related role; Experience and evidence of programme development, proposal writing and a proven ability to secure donor funding
  • Strong understanding of and practical experience in agriculture, food and nutrition security and related activities;
  • Strong understanding and practical experience on project cycle management, monitoring, evaluation and reporting at a high level
  • Good team-worker; able to work closely with a small team with minimum direct supervision;
  • Commitment to international and humanitarian NGO codes, standards and practices;
  • Ability and willingness to travel to remote areas across the 13 Counties where SHA Kenya work;
  • Expertise in rural enterprise development – value chains, credit, cooperatives, farmers associations;
  • Clean driving license.

Download the Job Description from our website: https://selfhelpafrica.org/ie/head-of-programmes-based-in-nairobi-kenya-2/

This Job Description only serves as a guide for the position available and SHA reserves the right to make necessary changes.

How to apply


If you are interested in the position and have the right skills and attributes, please visit our website to download and fill in an application form and upload with supporting documents to our Online Recruitment Platform.

Please note incomplete applications will not be considered for shortlisting.

Closing date is Friday 8th October at 5pm.

Please note that Self Help Africa Kenya advocates for equal opportunity and does not require applicants to pay any fee at whatever stage of the recruitment and selection process. Canvassing will lead to automatic disqualification.

Self Help Africa is committed to the highest possible standards of openness, transparency, and accountability in all its affairs and is completely against fraud, bribery, and corruption. All employees are bound by code of conduct, child protection and conflict of interest policies.

Any candidate offered a job with Self Help Africa will be expected to sign Self Help Africa’s Safeguarding Policies and Code of Conduct as an appendix to their contract of employment and agree to conduct themselves in accordance with the provisions of these documents.

Police vetting is required.

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