Save the Children Head of Strategic Portfolio and Award Management Job in Nairobi Kenya

Save the Children International

Job Title: Head of Strategic Portfolio and Award Management

Team / Programme: Programme Operations

Location: Nairobi

Grade: Type of Contract: Fixed Term

Child Safeguarding: Level 3 – the post holder will have contact with children and/or young people either frequently (e.g. once a week or more) or intensively (e.g. four days in one month or more or overnight) because they work country programs; or are visiting country programs; or because they are responsible for implementing the police checking / vetting process staff.

Role Purpose: As a key member of the Regional Programme Operations team, you will be leading Awards (grants) management support across East and Southern Africa.

Working in close collaboration within the Regional Office with the supply chain, finance, advocacy, HR, security, and operations managers, you will ensure that all country offices operationalize optimally the awards management cycle that SCI new programming model requires.

In particular, you will shape country offices award management processes so that they are effective and compliant. You will be the key focal point for all compliance and awards systems and tools management related issues.

You will actively manage the review of all relevant awards at regional level and play a key role in coordinating multi-country regional awards. Building on the experience you will gain in implementing the new SCI award management tools, you will identify best practice and short comings and work to improve these processes and tools in collaboration with the centre

Scope of Role:

Reports to: Regional Programme Operations Director

Staff reporting to this post: 1 Regional Awards Analyst, 2 Regional Roving Coordinators and 1 Regional Awards Management Officer

Role Dimensions: Save the Children works in 12 countries in East and Southern Africa (Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi) with a current staff complement of approximately 3500 staff and current expenditure of approximately $300 million each year

Key Areas of Accountability

Leading the strategy for Award Management in the East and South Africa region

  • Strategic development and delivery of SCI International Programmes objectives in line with Save the Children mandate, strategy and theory of change
  • Meet the support requirements of SC members and their donors and work collaboratively to address issues
  • Improving outcomes for children through delivery of Save the Children strategy and global initiatives and growth targets
  • Role modelling and supporting the development of an organisational culture that reflects our values and promotes accountability and high performance
  • Define the strategic direction of the awards management function, undertaking effective planning that supports the function, and maintaining an efficient and effective awards management process.
  • Contribute to global and organisational thought leadership, projects and development of the award management function.
  • Provide strong line management to award management team in the regional office and provide matrix (dotted line) management for country awards’ leads in the region, and create a collaborative team culture that supports our program results for children.
  • Establish and maintain a broad network at all levels both internally and externally to stay abreast of changes in the sector and operating environment, consider and mitigate impacts to the organization, and share back to the leadership team for course correction in strategy where applicable.
  • Ensure that the East Africa Regional Office and East Africa Country Office awards functions maintain appropriate preparedness and capability to respond to emergencies.
  • Lead and/or backstop award management in Category 1 and 2 responses in East and Southern Africa.

Strategic Portfolio Planning

  • Identify further strategic initiatives to support Save the Children’s business strategy in driving and accelerating sustainable growth for Save the Children within the region, working in alignment with the global Member Growth strategy.
  • Support country offices to develop strong portfolio analysis, funding assessments and donor landscape mapping.
  • Work with the regional PDQ Director to ensure that robust Funding Strategies are developed in each Country Office
  • Ensure accurate and up to date information on the award portfolio is readily available to regional SLT and members.
  • Working with the Regional Finance Director, ensure that country offices have a clear framework for master budget development, cost allocation, monitoring of award budgets, phasing and forecasting, in particular ensuring alignment between the master budget and country office funding tracker.

Award Management Systems, Processes and Essential Standards

  • Accountable for upholding SCI Award Management Essential Standards, Award Management KPIs
  • Understand and analyse KPI results, provide supporting information to the RO and Centre, and identify improvements that can be undertaken to improve results in the Award Management related KPIs
  • Input to and support the rollout of High Performing Organisation (HPO) projects including COOM, ER/CAM, Coding and PPM/PRIME
  • Support country offices in complying with requirements through coordination of capacity building and responding to support requests.
  • Support and drive the use of AMS across the region and focus on data quality improvements and systems integrity
  • Act as the key contact for broad donor regulations and compliance issues, including coordinating with members to ensure donor compliance support as necessary.
  • Contribute to the improvement of key Award Management processes and practices in conjunction with other functions.
  • Contribute to shape global tools based on best practice observed and analysis of tools and systems.

Capacity Building and community of practice for Award Management

  • Creating an environment of continuous learning where staff are encouraged and supported to grow and develop and are willing to be held accountable for their commitments
  • Role modelling and supporting the development of an organisational culture that reflects our values, our dual mandate and promotes accountability and high performance
  • Developing and sharing best practices with other Regional Awards Leads
  • Sustaining a network of senior award management practitioners across the region, facilitating their engagement, relationships and sharing of practices across the COs
  • Support the capacity building of staff across all functions to manage awards and comply with donor requirements as relevant to their role by providing induction, training and coaching consistent with their various roles and responsibilities
  • Support recruitments, inductions and performance management of Country Awards Leads
  • Together with HR, coordinate learning and development opportunities for Award Management staff in the region.

Management of regional office awards (and Regional Director SOD)

  • Work with the regional finance team to review awards portfolio BVAs, analyse country offices reports and commentary, with a focus on programmatic and operational delivery generated variances.
  • Responsible for overseeing the cross-functional review of all relevant/high risks awards and sub awards agreements at regional office level, engaging relevant stakeholders as required.
  • Make recommendations to Regional Director on matters within their scheme of delegation.
  • Ensure regional senior leadership has timely and relevant analysis, management reporting and insights.
  • Responsible for co-ordinating, collating donor reporting and amendments and monitoring these awards
  • Manage the Regional Multi Country Programming Unit (RMCPU) awards management staff.

Donor Compliance and Issue Resolution

  • Play a leading role in strengthening and improving donor compliance in East and Southern Africa by providing innovative solutions and focal point for member collaboration to strengthen CO teams on donor compliance and quality award management.
  • Ensure effective dissemination of donor compliance requirements and guidance from Save the Children members to our country offices.
  • Resolve novel and complex donor-related issues needing senior management attention and interfacing with SC members.

Behaviours (Values in Practice)


  • holds self accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
  • holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved.


  • sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves and their team, takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages their team to do the same
  • widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
  • future orientated, thinks strategically and on a global scale.


  • builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, Members and external partners and supporters
  • values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
  • approachable, good listener, easy to talk to.


  • develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
  • willing to take disciplined risks.


  • honest, encourages openness and transparency; demonstrates highest levels of integrity.


  • Post graduate degree

Experience and Skills


  • Excellent planning, management and coordination skills, with the ability to organise a demanding workload comprised of diverse and challenging tasks and responsibilities
  • Proven track record of active contribution to a senior management team, and providing strategic support across multiple sectors and/or regions
  • Extensive experience with NGOs with increasing responsibilities including a proven experience of establishing and running the award management function in the field
  • Knowledge of the requirements of major institutional donors including budgeting, eligibility issues, compliance management, and reporting; experience of engaging with donors at a strategic level
  • Well-developed skills in staff management. Proven coaching and capacity building skills
  • Understanding of the financial aspects of award management, and understanding of operations and programming
  • Very strong attention to detail, problem solving skills, and ability to analyse trends
  • Computer literate (i.e. Word, Excel, Outlook, Internet Explorer, financial systems)
  • Cultural awareness and ability to build relationships quickly with a wide variety of people
  • Patient, adaptable, able to improvise, and communicate clearly and effectively under pressure
  • Strong communication (written and spoken) in English, and strong interpersonal skills, with experience in managing multicultural teams


  • Experience with award management policies, procedures and systems and Save the Children’s award management system (AMS)
  • Understanding of financial reporting from Save the Children’s accounting software (Agresso)
  • Experience of Project Management, M&E Management or Funding Coordination

Additional Job Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities as set out above are not exhaustive and the role holder may be required to carry out additional duties within reasonableness of their level of skills and experience.

Equal Opportunities: The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with the SCI Equal Opportunities and Diversity policies and procedures.

Health and Safety: The role holder is required to carry out the duties in accordance with SCI Health and Safety policies and procedures.

How to Apply

CLICK HERE to apply online

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Nairobi, Kenya, -1.2920659, 36.82194619999996

Nairobi County

Community Development, NGO and UN, Project Management
Updated: April 10, 2018 — 6:26 am