Youth Leadership Development Manager Job in Kenya – Yes Youth Can! Initiative

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Youth Leadership Development Manager

Program / Department Summary:
Yes Youth Can!, funded by USAID, endeavors to empower Kenya’s youth in new and meaningful ways. Yes Youth Can! is an unprecedented program that puts youth truly in the lead of their own and Kenya’s development. 

The core of the program is that it is:
  • Youth-led: Youth ideas, local knowledge and innovations drive the process.
  • Youth-managed: Youth implement program elements (grants, investments, Youth Bunges, research) while leveraging mentoring and coaching.
  • Youth-owned: Youth are in control of all decisions within the institutional structures as a result of fair democratic elections, using a bottom up, localized demand approach.
By integrating the principles of youth-led, -managed and -owned throughout each element of the program, young people throughout Kenya will begin to identify with and internalize these principles through a process where they lead youth self-help groups (called Youth Bunges), implement community grants, network with youth throughout the country, find linkages for their communities and increase their income through microenterprises and jobs. 
Through this process, youth will recognize that they are in charge of transforming their society and will become catalysts for development in their communities.  
Such an approach to youth development programming has the ability to change the paradigm for youth programming both in Kenya and around the world.

The Yes Youth Can! initiative comprises five implementing partners in six regions of Kenya as well as the national partner (Yes Youth Can! National – YYCN), which is led by Mercy Corps.  

YYCN is comprised of possibly four entities: a youth trust, a youth sustainable development think tank, a youth non-governmental organization to disburse community grants, and finally Tahidi Youth Fund to manage innovative micro and SME venture capital to youth enterprises.

General Position Summary:

The Youth Leadership Development Manager will be responsible for overseeing the establishment of the National Youth Bunge Association (NYBA) and associated networks through youth participation, democracy and leadership.  

The Youth Leadership Development Manager will also guide the Mercy Corps YYCN team to continually improve adherence to the youth-led, -managed and -owned principles.  
The position will work closely with youth leaders, government partners, civil society, NGO partners, donors and the youth think tank. 
This position is critical to ensuring real time and practical leadership skills and characteristics are exemplified by the youth leaders associated with the YYCN program to ensure positive impact.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Provide specific oversight to the development of the networks and links of youth groups and youth-serving organizations to help them become economically and politically self-sustainable, while promoting ethnic tolerance. 
  • Responsible for day to day programmatic management, including budget, to ensure quality deliverables are met on time and on-budget, in coordination with the overall YYCN strategy.
  • Regularly assess progress toward objectives and adapt implementing plans, as necessary, to achieve targets.
  • Develop tools and use them (such as the Leadership Toolkit) to support youth identified programs that promotes and develops youth leadership, youth advocacy, youth engagement, youth networking and overall good governance.
  • Work with youth leaders to facilitate the development of the National Youth Bunge Association (NYBA) and related entities to become a viable and sustainable youth-led, youth-owned and youth-managed association.
  • Use existing and new youth networks to achieve inter-ethnic integration among youth.
  • Work with the Technology Advisor on the establishment of technology platform for easy, faster and effective communication among mass youth groups and individuals.
  • Work with youth leaders on developing county and national action plans.
  • Map out a comprehensive engagement strategy and develop tools for the youth to engage with county and nationally elected youth leaders, YYCN at senior levels, with youth stakeholders, including but not limited to: national and local governments, financial institutions, NGOs, government-entities, businesses, and even proper dialogue with politicians.
  • Provide overall management of subgrantees, consultants and subcontractors related to objective three.
  • Provide timely reports on the project as per the reporting matrix for the project.
  • Facilitate learning, experience sharing and promotion of best practices among youth and document these for sharing with donor and Mercy Corps
  • Monitor quality, cost and timeliness of performance of all work performed against the set targets and deliverables stated in the YYC work plan for objective three.
  • Supervise YYCN staff as assigned or hired.
Organizational Learning
As part of Mercy Corps’ agency-wide Organizational Learning Initiative, all team members are responsible for spending 5% of their work time in formal and/or non-formal professional learning activities.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility: TBD

Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: YYCN Youth Leaders; the YYCN team including the Deputy Chief of Party, Think Tank Manager, M&E Manager, Fund Manager, Communications Manager, Operations Manager, Finance Manager and Country Director; and the YYCR teams.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • University degree in Organizational Development, Education, Public Administration, Public Policy and/or other relevant applied experience.
  • 5-10 years of professional experience managing youth programs in East Africa, with a preference for 3-5 years in a leadership position.
  • Good understanding of the Kenyan youth context (culture, leadership etc)
  • Applied experience using a variety of youth leadership development models and trainings within Kenya and other parts of the world
  • Experience engaging with Kenyan media
  • Relevant program development management experience
  • Experience working with donors and host governments on development programs; with a preference for candidates with prior experience with the Government of Kenya and USAID
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage a diverse team of employees, including managing both expatriate and local staff.
  • Kiswahili, Kenyan Sheng and English language fluency required.
Success Factors:
The successful Youth Leadership Development Manager will have strong interpersonal skills and demonstrate an ability to create and maintain effective working relationships with program partners. 
S/he will be able to productively work as a member of an overall project and country team and as an individual. 
S/he will have a commitment to staff and organizational learning and development and be skilled in engaging, motivating, and encouraging staff to bring creative solutions to development issues, identify opportunities for increased impact and pursue project objectives.  
The successful Youth Leadership Development Manager will also be able to prioritize and multi-task for the timely completion of tasks. 
S/he will have the ability to comfortably adapt to a quickly changing environment with a sense of urgency, humor, and curiosity.

Living /Environmental Conditions:

The position is based in Nairobi with 30-40% travel to project sites throughout the country.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit to a field posting. Staff are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Should submit on or before 15th June, 2012 a cover letter, detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) listing three professional references (including a recent supervisor) to

Applicants must clearly indicate on the email subject; “Application for the position of Youth Leadership Development Manager. Applications without this subject heading will be disqualified. 

Please do not attach any certificates.
Only qualified short-listed candidates will be contacted

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