MESPT Programme Manager Job in Kenya

Micro Enterprises Support Programme Trust (MESPT)

Job Vacancy: Programme Manager

Job Ref: 003/2018

About MESPT: The Micro Enterprises Support Programme Trust (MESPT) is a leading development organization in Kenya established in the year 2002 by the Government of Kenya, through the Ministry of Finance and the European Union (EU), who later relinquished its founding rights to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (Danida).

Our purpose is to solve pressing challenges such as alleviation of poverty, promotion of sustainable economic growth and creation of employment for small holder farmers and other value chain actors. We provide lasting solutions through our unique business model that enables beneficiaries to access capital, increase agricultural productivity and access markets.

MESPT current interventions are designed to support the Government and the people of Kenya to achieve Vision 2030, towards a globally competitive and prosperous country with a high quality of life. The Trust has it’s headquarter in Nairobi with satellite offices in seven (7) Counties.

The organization is anchored on three (3) pillars namely:

  • Green Growth: Promotion of Resource Efficient, Clean and Climate Sensitive Technologies & Solutions
  • Enterprise Development: Market Development for MSMEs through a value chain approach to enhance effectiveness
  • Value Chain Development: Inclusive and Holistic View of the Micro-Enterprise

MESPT has in the past 14 years implemented a range of programs including the EU funded Assistance To Micro Enterprises Support Programme (ASMEP), The Innovation Fund for Agriculture, The Endev-K Clean Cook stoves Market Acceleration Project, The USAID/WINROCK Cook stoves revolving fund, The DANIDA funded country programme among which was the Business Sector Programme Support (BSPS) under the Business Competiveness Component as well as the Natural Resource Management Programme (NRMP).

Currently MESPT is implementing the DANIDA Country Programme dubbed the Value Chain Greening and Financing Programme under the Green Growth and Employment Thematic Programme (GGYEP) 2016–2020.

The programme focusses majorly on addressing poverty and sustainability issues, accelerating private sector led growth and rendering it more green and inclusive. It is expected to create employment opportunities, business growth and increased rural household incomes, hence reduced poverty levels.

Further, the programme will promote technologies that build household resilience to climate change consequently reducing the poverty factor that causes households to unsustainably exploit natural resources and the environment.

The AGRIFI EU funded programme is an additional agreement between MESPT and DANIDA to be implemented for the next five years (2018-2022).

ABOUT AGRIFI PROGRAMME: The AGRIFI programme is an EU funded project whose objective is to support production initiatives for the smallholder farmer that are adaptive to the changing climate and market requirements.

The 5 year programme runs from 2018 to 2022 and MESPT is implementing result areas II and III of the programme. Result area II of the project seeks to strengthen the capacities of actors along selected value chains through the Agricultural Technical and Vocational Education Training (ATVET) system approach.

To ensure compliance of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS) measures by the country, the responsible inspectors and certifiers need to be empowered and equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to regulate SPS compliance of horticulture, aquaculture and dairy produce.

Activities under the result area inter alia include supporting upgrading, development and upscaling of agricultural value chain based training curriculums under the ATVETs.

Under result area III the project seeks to increase the capacity of the private sector and the selected counties to implement and enforce standards on animal health, food safety and plant health.

Whereas Kenya has high potential for commercial dairy, fruit, aquaculture and vegetable production for domestic and export market, accessing international markets, Kenyan products must comply with sanitary and phytosanitary standards.

Due, in large part, to the lack of awareness of the social, environmental, and economic costs of poor Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards(SPS) compliance, many producers do not implement good agricultural practices that would mitigate the SPS issues. Therefore, Kenyan horticultural market must strengthen their regulations in complying with sanitary and phytosanitary standards.

Activities under the result area will include translation of sanitary and phytosanitary regulations for value-chains supported under result area II into user-friendly sector guidelines tools and practices for use by the sector; and training private and public sector on sanitary and phytosanitary regulations (SPS) and food and animal safety requirements and supporting the development of quality management systems. Counties will also be supported in testing, surveillance and enforcement of SPS regulations.

Broadly the project will strengthen the capacities of value chain actors, bolstering commercial farming and improving food security. Implementing partners include Department of Veterinary Services (DVS), Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS), Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Horticulture Crops Directorate (HCD) and the respective county governments.

The project approach shall be participatory and will comprise various interrelated methodologies: market-driven approach, competitive selection of counties/beneficiaries, training of trainers (ToTs), blended learning methodology and use of incentives.

MESPT is therefore looking for an experienced Programme Manager to lead and coordinate the successful delivery of the programme towards achieving its objectives and targets.

The person shall be a results-oriented leader with excellent and proven capacity to develop and execute efficient strategies and tactics.

POSITION: Programme Manager

DEPARTMENT: Programmes

SUPERVISED BY: Head of Programmes

SUPERVISES: Programme coordinators

LOCATION: Nairobi, with frequent travel within Kenyan counties

1.0 Job Purpose: The Programme Manager (hereafter The Manager), is an employee of Micro Enterprises Support Programme Trust (MESPT), being under deployment to serve under the AGRIFI Programme (hereafter The Programme). S/he will report to the Head of Programmes, MESPT, and will be primarily responsible for delivery of the Programme.

The Manager will be responsible for the overall design, implementation, coordination and control of the programme to ensure successful achievement of its goals and objectives. This will entail programme management, financial management, human resource management and oversight for M & E and overall reporting of the programme.

S/he will be responsible for partnerships development and management within and related to the Programme. The Manager will also participate in programme development for MESPT while liaising with other departments and technical staff. S/he is further responsible for institutional capacity strengthening initiatives as well as overall management of programme risks and quality assurance.

2.0 Main Roles and Responsibilities

Specifically, the Manager will:

  • Take active role during the inception phase through provision of technical leadership in the design and implementation of the Programme
  • Guide partners in developing projects and activities that are aligned to the programme’s strategy and contribute to the continuous development and review of the overall strategy for the Programme.
  • Take lead in guiding and coordinating the organizational development and capacity building program for partners implementing the programme.
  • Responsible for tracking the overall performance of the team, through coordinating preparation of annual work plans, quarterly activity plans and monthly & quarterly performance reviews.
  • Provide leadership, in liaison with partners to develop and implement programme performance management system and structure.
  • Generate learning and liaise with relevant departments within MESPT to contribute to organizational learning, sharing and incorporation of lessons in subsequent programme development and implementations.
  • Provide leadership on programme issues in the MESPT management fora and organize and support facilitation of capacity building activities for partners.
  • Take responsibilities for all assets and equipment assigned by MESPT to facilitate discharge of the functions of the Programme.
  • Supervise the Programme’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Learning (MERL) function to ensure successful delivery of all M&E outputs and achievement of the intended programme objectives.
  • Lead the Programme coordinators to ensure complete and successful delivery of all Programme targets.
  • Establish, coordinate and manage a comprehensive implementation structure for the programme both within MESPT and externally.
  • Take lead in sector, county and national level policy engagement relevant to the programme.
  • Mentor the programme team and partners, to ensure they embrace relevant cutting edge development practices, through tailored continuous mentoring and varied practical exposures including training.

3.0 Financial and Human Resource Management

  • Ensure the programme follows and fulfils the donor and MESPT’s financial management systems, processes and controls and that they are compliant with good operating standards.
  • Responsible for budget preparation and implementation in accordance with the annual work plans.
  • In liaison with the MESPT Finance office, prepare annual and quarterly budget forecasts for the entire programme and actively engage in overall budget tracking for the programme.
  • Provide leadership in needs identification, selection and participate in recruitment of the programme staff.
  • Define performance standards for the team members and coordinate the staff / team for efficient and effective delivery of the projects.
  • Ensure all staff are appraised regularly and staff development plans are implemented as well as promoting continuous learning among members of staff.
  • Manage staff to deliver on the programme objectives and the strategic objectives of MESPT and ensure the programme is well resourced and all staff have a good work – life balance.
  • Motivate staff to work as teams and focus on the programme’s strategic priorities.

4.0 Learning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Knowledge Management

  • Participate in setting and tracking programme performance targets in line with overall strategic goal of the programme.
  • Participate in quarterly and other scheduled programme performance review meetings, both internally and externally.
  • Coordinate and participate in preparation of periodic programmatic and financial reports to donors and MESPT.
  • Share information and lessons learnt with other programme staff.

5.0 Representation and Networking

  • Represent MESPT externally on all matters related to the programme, at county, national and sector levels, including meetings and other formal engagements.
  • Establish and maintain regular contact with partner organizations and beneficiary groups to liaise and co-ordinate with the appropriate government bodies, whenever appropriate to ensure successful programme progress.
  • Negotiate collaborations with partner institutions and government ministries, departments and agencies, in support of the Programme and MESPT.
  • Liaise and maintain contacts with private sector partners and government agencies (especially Ministries of Agriculture and Education at National and County Level, Regulatory Bodies among others), as well as relevant civil societies.

6.0 Contribution to Strategic Planning and Performance Standards

  • Work with other MESPT staff to identify and develop, where appropriate, new project ideas and strategic opportunities that contribute to furtherance of the AGRIFI programming.
  • Participate in programme planning and review meetings, and programme co-ordination meetings for MESPT.
  • Contribute to the formulation and review of MESPT programme strategy and business planning.
  • Provide support to the Supervisor, the CEO and other Departmental Heads as and when requested.
  • Conduct regular team performance reviews by the first week of the subsequent month and prepare reports on the same summarizing achievements, pending or delayed activities and plans for subsequent month
  • Conduct quarterly team meetings to review overall programme performance and results and develop strategies to manage performance of partners.
  • Ensure requisite site visits for the programme partners and grantee are carried out to track financial and programmatic implementation.
  • Ensure quarterly programmatic and financial reports for the programme are prepared.
  • Responsible for the quarterly and annual AGRIFI programme reporting to MESPT and donor.
  • Document new project ideas and strategic opportunities leading to the development of full proposals.

7.0 Qualifications, Experience and Skills

The minimum required academic and professional skills for the jobholder to perform successfully in this position are:

  • Preferably a holder of Master’s Degree in Development/Agricultural Economics, Economics, Business Administration, Rural Development, Strategic/Project Management, Development Studies and other relevant fields.
  • Thorough understanding of the project/programme management techniques and methods.
  • Should have professional and field experience of at least 8 years in any of the following areas – agribusiness management, value chain development and curriculum development. Candidates with knowledge of multiple of these areas will have an added advantage.
  • Should have a good understanding of the Kenyan agricultural sector, animal & plant health and food safety issues and vocational education system.
  • Strong leadership and communication skills and proven capacity to plan strategically and flexibly.
  • Demonstrated hands on management, community development, business skills, sub-sector analysis, feasibility studies, training needs assessment, research and training experience.
  • Demonstrated ability in workshop planning and facilitation.
  • Strong analytical and report writing skills.
  • Willingness to travel extensively across the country, but more so within AGRIFI counties, work extended periods in the field and interact effectively with rural communities.
  • Self-driven and able to work with minimum supervision.
  • Good leadership capabilities and people management skills.
  • High innovation capabilities.
  • Demonstrated ability as a team player and willingness to work in a multi – sectoral team setting.
  • Must have excellent report writing and presentation skills: computer skills including, but not limited to, working, and generating reports with MS office.
  • Experience with PowerPoint presentations is desirable.

8.0 Application Procedure

Interested and qualified candidates should forward their applications in PDF format via email clearly quoting the job title (Programme Manager) in the subject area as well as the cover letter.

The application should include a cover letter, detailed curriculum vitae indicating their telephone contacts, email address, names and contacts of 3 professional referees.

Please note the application will only be considered valid if it is sent to email address and copied to

Applicants must indicate their current and expected salaries in their application letters.

Do not send certificates at this stage.

Deadline for applications is 4th April 2018

MESPT is an equal opportunity employer (EOE).

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted

Agriculture and Agribusiness, Business Administration, Community Development, Economics and Statistics, NGO and UN, Project Management
Updated: March 21, 2018 — 6:56 am