Program Unit Manager – Kilifi (43732) at Plan International

The Organisation

Plan International is a rights-based development and humanitarian organization working for better lives for all children. We are independent of government and have no political or religious affiliation. Our purpose is to strive for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for more than 80 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries. Our global strategy has a specific focus on girls, as they are often the most marginalized and most often left behind. We have committed ourselves to the ambitious target of reaching 100 million girls over 5 years, to ensure they can learn, lead, decide and thrive. This is our contribution to reaching the sustainable development goals, and in particular the goals on gender equality. Our organization is transforming itself to meet this enormous challenge everywhere we work. We need bold, forward-thinking and innovative individuals to lead our country operations, driving change and delivering results that will allow us to reach our target of 100 million girls.

With approximately 38 years of experience in implementing its programme, Plan International Kenya (PIK) mainly operates in 10 geographical areas; Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Tharaka-Nithi, Siaya, Kwale, Kilifi, Homa Bay, Kisumu and Tana River.

Plan International Kenya Strategy statement

PlK’s strategic goal in the next five years is to end teenage pregnancies and end all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against adolescent girls and young women. We aim to help create an enabling environment where girls and young women are safe, valued, equally cared for, and have equal opportunities. PIK will contribute to the global strategy by aiming to reach directly approximately 2.75 million (children, including girls and Young Women over the period of the strategy 2022-2026 and to reach additional beneficiaries through its interventions. The role provides strategic leadership in order to create real change for children, especially girls, against Plan Kenya’s strategic programme priorities.

Role Purpose

This position will provide overall managerial accountability for the respective PUs and its programs when the opportunity for expansion arises. The position will oversee the development and implementation of gender transformative programs in line with country and global strategies. The role will support staff in ensuring program design, implementation, quality and effectiveness throughout the project cycle while building their capabilities to deliver on program excellence and influencing agenda.

The Program Unit Manager will report to the Director of Programs, Implementation and Quality and will provide overall Program Unit team leadership. The role will support the team in overall program quality and effectiveness throughout the project cycle. S/he will be engaged in building better partnerships that drive our localisation agenda as a country office and offer strategic leadership to manage partnerships & relationship with key stakeholders at county and sub-county levels, while ensuring alignment to Plan Kenya’s Country Strategy and Plan International’s Global purpose. S/he will contribute to the development of concepts and proposals while contributing to the Country Strategy fundraising ambition. The job holder will manage multi-million-dollar programs and must be abreast with donor trends, regulations, environment, reporting and donor retention.


Planning, strategy and policy (10%)

· Provide strategic leadership and support project teams to develop quality project outlines in line with the Country & Global Strategy and the Program Influencing & Quality Policy (PIQP).

· Ensure sponsorship and program work directly contributes to the outcomes for girls and young women are realized and that girls take lead in advocating for their rights

· Provide leadership in Phase Out Management processes while mobilizing and putting in place structures and systems that support a seamless PIK exit.

· Advance a seamless integration of Program and Sponsorship processes to give the organization optimal results

· Ensure compliance with relevant donor policies, contracts, and agreements.

· Influencing stakeholders and duty bearers to the enactment and enforcement of policies relevant to Plan work.

· Promote sensitization of staff, stakeholders and partners on Plan’s policies, strategies, procedures, values and behaviours.

· Enhance compliance to child sponsorship policies and guidelines

· Ensure correct and appropriate branding and media coverage at all times while working in contact with the Communications Manager and Country Director.

Project design, planning & Implementation at PU level (20%)

· Provide leadership in program design, while ensuring meaningful stakeholder (girls, boys, youth, communities and partners) engagement, to inform priorities of program participants in the project design, implementation and evaluation

· Enhance realization of children and girls’ rights through design and implementation of gender transformative program interventions.

· Lead development and phasing of project budgets and put in place a monthly budget monitoring process

· Hold quarterly programme reviews to monitor achievement of the outcomes and budget utilization to ensure all projects attain a budget expenditure of 90% each month

· Ensure compliance with relevant donor policies, contracts and agreements.

· Implement a case approach to sponsorship management to enable the PU to track progress of each family which has a sponsored child.

· Mainstream safeguarding of children and young persons involved in all the Program and Sponsorship work

· Provide oversight to sponsorship contracted CBOs for management and production of all sponsorship communications to ensure accurate, timely and complete data is available each month with a monthly target performance of 95%.

· Monitor adherence to donor requirements, timely and quality reporting as well as risk management.

· Lead start-up meetings of all new projects including sponsorship funded projects to guarantee a joint understanding among stakeholders and hold joint monitoring meeting with partners in the various projects bi annually

· Maintain clarity of strong context based influencing agenda at PU level and ensure all projects are gender transformative

· Provide mentorship for the project officers in integrating the project implementation and sponsorship communication roles

Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Reporting (15%)

· Establish and monitor the progress of project implementation and undertake corrective actions at project implementation level.

· Develop quality and timely reports in accordance with Organization guidelines and procedures.

· Promote evidence-based programming through data and information analysis and dissemination.

· With support of M&E, enhance learning and knowledge management through documentation and profiling of Plan’s work.

· Ensure the M&E team at PU level monitor and provide accurate and timely data on the status of the project quality and reach including capturing data on the sponsored child/families each month

· Put in place and implement a PU based outcome and impact monitoring process

· Work closely with Country Office, Learning Knowledge and Management to document learning and good practices.

· Continually identify opportunities for innovation and scale up of project initiatives to inform PIK fundraising efforts.

Partnership management and networking (10%)

· Act as the liaison and maintain cordial working between the organization and the County leadership with the various government departments Plan works with.

· Represent PIK in relevant County level cluster meetings and promote it’s development agenda.

· Promote effective working relations with county and sub-county stakeholders

· Promote active engagement and participation of boys, girls, men, women and communities in all project activities.

· Engage and influence key duty bearers towards realization of children and girl’s rights at the county level

· Actively identify and engage youth and girls led movements in PIK’s operation areas in projects and campaigns

· Map potential implementing and influencing partners for sustained Business Development

Financial Responsibility (10%)

· The incumbent will have oversight of all financial aspects of projects and program as the primary budget holder for PU allocated budgets.

· The incumbent will act within the provided delegated authority for all financial related processes

· S/he will track projects and sponsorship activity budgets during implementation phases and report on any variances to relevant project/program managers and the Country Office finance manager.

· Support the development and execution close out plans and budgets for the PU

· Ensure compliance with all donor requirements and contractual obligations.

· Monitor expenditures to promote prudent budget management.

Capacity Building and People Management (15%)

· Lead the day to day running of the PU taking into consideration safety and security of the PU staff, leave and general welfare of all staff and liaise with the relevant KCO Heads of Departments for support

· Embrace overall responsibility of the assets of the organization at PU level

· Provide strategic leadership that inspires the Program Unit team towards the realization of PIK purpose and goal.

· Promote team cohesiveness and integration at the PU level, dealing with conflict resolution in a timely way.

· Manage the performance, mentorship and coaching for all direct reports and dotted line reports

· Liaise with HR for any staff development issues as per the training needs analysis for the PU

Logistics admin and procurement oversight (10%)

· Support the development and usage of procurement plans in execution of project activities.

· Oversight on asset, fleet, office and inventory management

· In close collaboration with the Senior Administration Co-ordinator, ensure smooth operations for effective and efficient implementation of program and sponsorship activities at the PU

· Support procurement functions including engagement of service providers.

· Development and submission of administration related reports.

Risk Management (5%)

· Provide leadership in risk mapping and documentation.

· Consultatively with PU and CO stakeholders put mitigation measures for programme risks at the PU level

· Continually monitor the risks environment and act as appropriate.

· Ensure all PU staff understand PU risks and related responsibilities.

Safeguarding Children and Young People (Safeguarding) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) (5%)

· Understands and puts into practice the responsibilities under Safeguarding and Gender Equality and Inclusion policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), ensuring that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.

· Leads the orientation of programme staff to ensure that they are properly inducted on and understands their role in upholding Plan International’s safeguarding and GEI policies;

· Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded in project design, during implementation and as principles applied in day-to-day work of Programme team;

· Ensures that Plan Kenya contributes to Plan International’s global efforts to ensure safeguarding and GEI, including making sure that relevant reporting and data are submitted.

Other duties (5%)

· Any other duties as assigned by the line manager.

Technical expertise, skills and knowledge

Qualifications/ experience essential:


· Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences, Project Management, Development studies and related disciplines.

· At least 7 Years’ experience in relevant field preferable in management of multiple projects

· A minimum 3 Years in a leadership/managerial role

· Demonstrable experience managing projects with budgets over and above US$1 million preferably across various thematic areas.

· Demonstrable experience in project cycle management

· Effective team management experience

· Thorough knowledge of programming methodologies.

· Demonstrable experience in Gender Transformative programming

· Sound understanding of integrated and rights-based programming.

· Willingness to sign and adhere to the Plan International Kenya policy on safeguarding children and young people.

· Good Interpersonal / Communication skills

· Leadership skills

· Results oriented

· Strategic planning skills

· Teamwork and Cooperation

· Analytical skills

· Risk management


· Master’s Degree

· Relevant computer skills

· Monitoring and Evaluation Skills

· Gender Transformative programming skills

· Knowledge in child sponsorship program

Languages required

· Excellent written and verbal communication skills in Kiswahili and English.


· In-depth knowledge of gender and inclusion and global/local development issues, with particular knowledge in girls’ rights and child rights, feminist movements, the key actors and institutions, and the power dynamics involved.

· Mastery of key gender inequalities, gaps, barriers and opportunities at the national, regional and global level and gender and inclusion in programs, and especially for children and girls.

· In-depth understanding of the policies, processes, institutions and organizations that shape the development and humanitarian context and standards within Kenya.

· Understanding of the implications of working with a rights-based approach to development and is able to analyze the situation of children’s and particularly girls’ rights in his/her working context

· In-depth knowledge on different types of partnerships and civil society strengthening and capacity building. Understanding issues, principles and strategies and their root causes and working with Plan’s principles and a range of strategies and approaches to improve outcomes


· Ability to lead project managers and staff to design and implement evidence-based solutions for gender transformative programmes, and to provide monitoring and quality assurance support to the programme areas.

· Ability to apply a range of gender and inclusion analysis tools and conduct high-quality and nuanced gender and inclusion analysis from a child rights perspective.

· Ability to influence power holders about the need for and benefits of addressing gender equality and inclusion, including being able to offer a range of evidence-based solutions.

· Mastery of the ability to analyze the social and political structures, dynamics and power relations that enable/exclude girls and boys from enjoying the fulfilment of their rights and equality.

· Excellent relationship building skills – networking, influencing and stakeholder management skills

· Ability to identify, analyze and monitor diverse, relevant external actors to work with and understand the purpose and implications of working with them.

· Experience in developing strong, equal and robust partnership contracts or experience in strengthening civil society

· Experience in capacity building

· Hand in experience and skill in result based MERL system


· Role model of Plan International values and behaviors both internally and externally.

· Engages sensitively with community members on issues of gender equality and inclusion, demonstrating an understanding of the local culture and context.

· Promotes equality, including gender equality, inclusion and girls’ empowerment in Plan’s work and in its work with partners

· Apply participatory influencing methodologies both internally and externally

· The ability to build collaborative working relationships

· Ability to influence

· Uses creativity to challenge the norm and promote innovation and thinks and acts for the wider organization – linking partnership opportunities with the context of the wider organizational strategy

· Communicates effectively at a high level and with a range of appropriate styles for different audiences

· Builds capability through knowledge sharing, networking, mentoring, coaching and advocates the importance of knowledge management

Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the very heart of everything that Plan International stands for.

We want Plan International to reflect the diversity of the communities we work with, offering equal opportunities to everyone regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Plan International is based on a culture of inclusivity and we strive to create a workplace environment that ensures every team, in every office, in every country, is rich in diverse people, thoughts, and ideas.

We foster an organisational culture that embraces our commitment to racial justice, gender equality, girls’ rights and inclusion.

Plan International believes that in a world where children face so many threats of harm, it is our duty to ensure that we, as an organisation, do everything we can to keep children safe. This means that we have particular responsibilities to children that we come into contact with and we must not contribute in any way to harming or placing children at risk.

A range of pre-employment checks will be undertaken in conformity with Plan International’s Safeguarding Children and Young People policy. Plan International also participates in the  Inter Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. In line with this scheme we will request information from applicants previous employers about any findings of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment during employment, or incidents under investigation when the applicant left employment. By submitting an application, the job applicant confirms their understanding of these recruitment procedures.


Disclaimer:Plan International is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate applicants on any basis. We also do not charge Job seekers any fees at any point of the recruitment process.

Female candidates are highly encouraged to apply for this position.


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