Position: Project Director
Department & Location: Programs (Project Based in Kilifi and Kwale).
Department & Location: Programs (Project Based in Kilifi and Kwale).
Date: December 2016
Reports to (position): Deputy Country Director (Programs)
Purpose: How does this post support Plan’s strategy and mission?
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.
We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected.
Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood.
And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.
We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 75 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.
Project Background – Tulinde Tusome
In partnership with Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Plan International Kenya is implementing a multi-disciplined education and child protection project titled Tulinde Tusome.
The project’s ultimate outcome is improved access to protective and quality school and community environments for children, particularly vulnerable girls and boys, in Kwale and Kilifi Counties.
The project spans 5 years from July 2014 to November 2019 and targets 180,000 direct beneficiaries and 1,700,000 indirect beneficiaries.
Plan collaborates with multiple partners in the implementation of this project, including government ministries and civil society organizations.
Summary of Position: The primary responsibility of the Project Director (PD) is to lead the strategic outcomes of Tulinde Tusome by ensuring the effective, timely and coordinated management of this 10+ million CAD project.
This role is responsible for strategic direction and planning, results achievement, quality programming and implementation, financial management, personnel management, donor relations and reporting, stakeholder and partner relationship management, and monitoring & evaluation.
Dimensions of Role:
The post-holder will primarily work in Kwale and Kilifi counties where this Project is based.
The PD is responsible for leading a small team of professionals across multiple locations within the two mentioned Counties and will have oversight of all other contributing staff and consultants on this project.
S/he will work closely with Plan International Kenya’s leadership, technical and grants teams; Program Unit offices in Kwale and Kilifi; Plan International Canada and Headquarters’ offices; national and county government departments; and local implementing partners.
The PD will also manage relations with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) in Nairobi and be responsible for ensuring donor guidelines and requirements are consistently met.
The success of this position will be measured through ability to achieve the project’s results.
The PD will uphold Plan’s Core Values, promote mission and vision, and program principals (transparency, gender equity and diversity) to enhance program impact, as well as ensure modelling of Plan’s values among all project staff.
Program Leadership and Financial Management
- Lead high quality, results-oriented program planning, implementation and reporting in compliance with donor, government and partnership agreements.
- Design and oversee an annual program cycle and budget for the project in accordance with donor’s annual planning cycle and compliance requirements.
- Oversee staff and partner work plans, deliverables and compliance requirements.
- Create management systems and processes consistent with program needs.
- Coordinate efficient procurement of project supplies and services with finance, program and procurement colleagues.
- Ensure program strategies in education and child protection adhere to best practices in the sector, integrating gender equality, child participation, inclusion and environmental sustainability as cross-cutting themes.
- Ensure that local laws and operational policies and protocols, including for security, are observed and respected.
- Serve as primary liaison with Plan International Canada on administrative, programmatic, financial and technical matters.
- Effective execution of the project in accordance with donor agreements, annual work plans and budgets.
- Monitor expenditure on a monthly basis to ensure spending is on track, and ensure forecasts are updated based on activities and in compliance with donor regulations.
- Ensure donor compliance requirements are met and the project is consistently ready for audit.
- Prepare programmatic and financial reports for donor, government and the country office as required. This will involve compiling of information from a range of program and financial staff, and working in teams to produce reports.
- Procurement of supplies and services is completed in an efficient manner and in accordance with the Plan’s Operations Manual.
- Ensure effective and efficient use of all program resources.
Strategic Direction and Program Quality
- Finalize the project’s quality strategy and develop a clear plan for execution. Internalize the outcomes in the Performance Measurement Framework (PMF), understanding the current position of the outcome and the target to be achieved.
- Lead regular planning and reflection sessions with the Tulinde Tusome team, local partners and government officials. As PD you will have the oversight and decision-making responsibility on program quality.
- Work with program staff and technical advisors to identify the technical support needs of the project and ensure this support is provided.
- Applying a children’s rights-based approach, assess the level of gender equality, child protection, inclusion and meaningful child participation integrated into key project activities to ensure that all project activities are safe, supportive and inclusive spaces.
- Identify barriers, risks and opportunities to higher achievement of gender quality, child participation, child protection and inclusion, as well as practical, feasible actions to address those factors.
- Develop, review and edit training manuals and activity guidelines to ensure achievement of project objectives and emphasis of key messages.
- Continuous monitoring of training and activity sessions (including in-person visits and reviewing activity reports) to ensure plans translate into practice; and provide constructive feedback to improve future activities.
- Oversee the implementation and maintenance of M&E tools and frameworks.
- Finalized project strategy on quality and linkage across results, complete with an operational plan (priorities, processes, timelines and responsibilities).
- Monthly work plans are adjusted based on outcomes of planning and reflection meetings, site visits, and review of activity reports to identify successful approaches and quality gaps.
- Prioritized list of activities to focus on gender equality, child protection, child participation and inclusion, along with clear actions to support each activity.
- Completed manuals and facilitation guidelines to support training programs and activities.
- Oversee effective M&E processes for measuring the effects / impacts of the project, and that project data is disseminated to relevant stakeholders.
Synergy, Communication and Coordination
- Foster and maintain effective and professional relationships with and between all project staff, partners and stakeholders.
- Lead donor communication and relationship management in Nairobi.
- Organize and facilitate relevant committees and meetings between key stakeholders and regular coordination meetings in accordance with the governance structure of the project.
- Lead knowledge development and sharing.
- Leverage opportunities and synergies with other projects both internal (Plan) and external (other partners and stakeholders
- Ensure that agreed roles, responsibilities and deliverables between project staff, partners and stakeholders are fulfilled.
- Maintain a positive relationship with Global Affairs Canada in Nairobi.
- Foster strong coordination and collaboration among partners through regular coordination meetings/project reviews, joint field visits, action planning and ensuring partners have copies of quarterly work plans.
- Ensure productive relationships, synergy and good communications with and between all stakeholders.
- Document and share best practices and lessons learned, and monitor the integration of these into programming.
Human Resources Management
- Lead and manage a team of 8 staff, to ensure high levels of motivation, commitment, capacity, and teamwork.
- Participate in staff and consultant recruitment, in collaboration with Human Resources and program stakeholders.
- Directly supervise, build capacity and mentor 8 staff.
- Conduct periodic reviews of staff performance in line with Plan International performance management system.
- Ensure the internal planning of the team in accordance with the work plan of the Program Unit and other partners involved in the program.
- Clarify roles, delegate responsibilities to senior staff, and clearly communicate expectations for staff contribution to program activities.
- Ensure that staff welfare issues are communicated through appropriate human resource and management structures as well as back to/with staff.
- Handle grievances and participate in disciplinary hearings as relevant.
Knowledge, Skills, Behaviours, and Experience Required to Achieve Role’s Objectives:
Educational Qualification & Experience
- Masters degree in an interdisciplinary areas such as International Development, Strategic Planning, Program Management, etc. or equivalent knowledge gained through experience.
- At least 10 years of demonstrable experience in managing government and bilateral donor funded grants.
- Progressive experience working for INGOs in increasingly senior positions (Chief of Party / Program Director level strongly preferred), ideally in Kenya.
- Previous management of projects with budgets of $10 million or higher, and with multiple partners (including government and civil society).
- Experience managing complex and multi-thematic programs, specifically in areas of education and child protection
- Track record of achieving programmatic results and impact.
- Strong understanding of gender responsive programming and meaningful child participation in programs.
- Knowledge of development challenges and context in Kenya, in particular of education and child protection systems.
- Remote management of project staff
- Demonstrated experience working collaboratively without the need for close supervision.
- Ability to communicate clearly and professionally in person and with remote teams.
- Familiarity with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) guidelines and requirements.
- Experience in child-centered programming.
- Fluent in both English and Swahili.
- Proficient computer skills and use of relevant software and other applications (e.g. word processing, spreadsheet, database, internet).
- Believe in the potential of all people to succeed if given the right support and willingness to multi-task.
- Ability to perform under stress, innovative, build relationships, coach and mentor, facilitate change, develop teams, initiate action, strategic decision making, planning and organizing.
- Lead through vision and mission and a personal commitment to children’s development and protection.
Leadership Attitudes and Behaviours
- Proven leadership, inter-personal and cross-cultural skills, and ability to build and motivate multi-disciplinary teams.
- Possesses a demonstrated ability to establish strong working relationships with senior representatives of international donors, national and local governments and local partners.
- Ability to take responsibility, make decisions and monitor implementation in a timely manner.
- Ability to effectively lead multi-stakeholder meetings and processes.
- Demonstrable skills in strategic planning, financial and human resources management, supervision, and budgeting.
- Demonstrated ability to implement programs with rigorous timelines and deliverables and to track program quality through donor approved monitoring and evaluation systems.
- Ability to compile and finalize reports, analysis and briefing notes for senior management and stakeholders.
- Strong negotiating, facilitation & influencing skills while maintaining political neutrality.
- Demonstrated creativity and willingness to innovate.
- Strong analytical skills and problem solving skills.
- Ability to work under pressure, multi-task and meet deadlines.
- Commitment to working transparently and with integrity
Values: Commitment to Plan International Kenya’s core values and behaviours:
Physical Environment and Demands: Ability to travel 50% of the time (dependent on duty station)
Level of Contact with Children: Medium contact – Occasional interaction with children
The position will be based in Mombasa / Kilifi with frequent travel to Kwale / Kilifi Program Units.
Level of contact with children will be occasional.
How to Apply
To view the entire job descriptions and make an online application, please visit
The deadline for applications is 21st October 2016.