Evidence Action Associate Director / Senior Manager (Policy and Partnerships) Job in Nairobi, Kenya

Evidence Action

Job Title: Associate Director / Senior Manager, Policy and Partnerships | Africa Region

Location: Nairobi

About Evidence Action

Evidence Action aims to be a world leader in scaling evidence-based and cost-effective programs to reduce the burden of poverty for hundreds of millions of people in the poorest places. Our two flagship at-scale programs, Deworm the World and Dispensers for Safe Water, reached over 280 million people last year and have been named “top” and “standout” charities respectively by GiveWell in 2018, with Deworm the World being named a top charity for the sixth year in a row.

In addition to running these scaled programs, Evidence Action also leverages its unique Beta incubator to explore what interventions with initial evidence of impact might be suitable for massive scale up to become our next flagship programs.

Evidence Action partners with a diverse set of governments and non-government organizations, providing long-term, focused support on the scale-up of specific evidence-based interventions. Currently, in Africa Region, we partner closely with governments at the national and/or subnational levels in several countries – Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda and Nigeria – and have supported a partnership with the Government of Botswana.

Some of our current government partnerships include:

  • Deworming: In Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia, we support national governments to implement school-based deworming programs, annually treating children at risk for soil transmitted helminths and schistosomiasis. We also support the Government of Kenya to treat for Lymphatic Filariasis in endemic areas.
  • Teaching at the right level: Since 2014, we have partnered with the Government of Kenya to design and support the implementation of its national youth service initiative, known as G-United. G-United program recruits recent university graduates as volunteers to support struggling primary school children using the evidence-backed Teaching at the Right Level approach.
  • Safe Water: In Malawi, we partner with the Ministry of Health to implement Dispensers for Safe Water, reaching over 620,000 Malawians with sustained access to clean water and sustaining take-up rate of 70%+.
  • We are also keen to further deepen our government involvement in our Dispenser for Safe Water programs for Kenya and Uganda, so as to continue to sustainably provide safe water to 3.4+ million Kenyans and Ugandans.

Additionally, Evidence Action works with other non-government organizations. We have such active partnerships in Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Uganda and we are keen to continue forging more partnerships.

About the position

Associate Director/Senior Manager, Policy and Partnerships, Africa Region will lead the policy and partnerships function for Evidence Action in Africa Region. Supporting all Evidence Action programs in the region, this position will report to Africa Regional Director and will work closely and collaboratively with global, regional and country program leadership.

The role will be ultimately responsible for achieving cross-program advocacy and policy outcomes, as well as forging new and existing relationships with strategic partners.

Ideal candidate will be a champion for the scale-up of evidence-based, cost-effective interventions by government and non-government organizations across the continent.

We will determine whether successful candidate is offered Associate Director or Senior Manager role depending on our assessment of the candidate’s overall qualifications and experience.

Roles and responsibilities

Government engagement

  • In collaboration with Regional Director and program leads, articulate and execute key policy goals and objectives for Evidence Action programs in the Africa Region.
  • In collaboration with various programs, contribute to the thinking and development of appropriate frameworks, toolkits, and approaches around high-impact, scalable, cost-effective technical assistance models for various programs, within the context of optimizing for evidence-informed decision-making within government
  • Advise programs that are collaboratively delivered through or by diverse stakeholders/partners on the development of appropriate and strategic governance structures that efficiently advance the goals of the programs.
  • In consultation with relevant program leadership, coordinate and engage closely with program secretariats and/or different governance levels/bodies for our programs that are government-led.
  • Specifically, define programmatic objectives and work plans and follow through to ensure they are achieved.
  • Draft, review, negotiate and/or coordinate the signing of MoUs and other forms of agreements between Evidence Action and relevant national or sub-national government departments.
  • Actively explore or advocate for opportunities for public resourcing (financial and human resourcing) of the relevant interventions at national or sub-national levels to enable evidence-based interventions to reach greater scale and sustainability. Specifically map out budgeting processes and develop concrete strategies for engagement at different levels and with different players with a view of securing commitments and actual allocation of the resources.
  • Advocate for the inclusion of performance metrics within government performance and accountability systems for the relevant government-led programs.
  • Track changes in the government positions (transfers, promotions etc.) and build a strategic base of government relationship for Evidence Action to tap into.
  • In consultation with program leads and research partners, review “pre-policy plans” – an innovative tool developed at Evidence Action to guide decision-making on the basis of evaluation results before those results are available – and get inputs and alignment from government on decision making on the basis of evaluation results

Policy research and analysis

  • Oversee all relevant and useful research and analysis of relevant policy and regulatory issues at sub-national and national levels that could affect programmatic operations or success.
  • Proactively collect, analyze and share program-relevant information on government development priorities and changes in policies, including conducting relevant analysis of government plans and priorities as reflected in annual budgetary allocations as well as in strategic development plans.
  • Collate information on government structures, general protocol within government, and proactively share the same with relevant program leadership
  • Support program expansion and/or new program launch in new and existing countries, including developing and maintaining active database of profiles of high priority/strategic countries in the region, detailing basic to intricate political, economic and social factors, and their potential implications for Evidence Action.
  • Research on programmatic/intervention registration requirements in a new country/geography and support the programs with the registration process, including obtaining relevant licenses, agreements/MoUs, if any.
  • Proactively identify and assess policy and political risks that could impact our programs and work closely with program leadership in developing mitigation plans.
  • Conversely, proactively identify and assess policy and political opportunities that, if leveraged, could enable our programs to achieve greater impact, more cost-effectively, and at greater scale, and collaborate with program leadership to leverage such opportunities.


We are keen to develop deep and broad partnerships across private sector, NGOs, social enterprises, think tanks

  • In collaboration with various organizational and program leaders, take the lead on or actively contribute to the development of Evidence Action partnership strategy in the region.
  • In consultation with program leadership, identify and assess strategic partners with capacity to implement/scale some of our key interventions and/or partners willing to share information and best practices of strategic relevance in general. Take the lead in cultivating relationships with the partners in the region.
  • Keep an active database of historical partnerships developed or engaged with in the region and lessons learnt or knowledge acquired from such partnerships.
  • Draft, review, negotiate and/or coordinate the signing of partnership agreements/MoUs between Evidence Action (and/or Evidence Action programs) and local implementation partners within Africa region, and generally monitor compliance of the agreements internally and with the partners.
  • Draft or review progress reports to and from partners as needed.


  • Contribute to fundraising proposal writing as needed, especially with regards to providing or reviewing policy and partnerships content.
  • Draft or review memos and other communications to government and other external partners/stakeholders
  • In collaboration with the External Relations and Program teams, draft or review relevant policy content for external dissemination/publication (eg via media)
  • Document lessons learnt from partnerships, including government and NGO engagements, and facilitate the use of these lessons learnt in future or ongoing partnerships

Team Leadership

  • Directly manage a team of 2-5 staff on the policy and partnerships team
  • Develop strategies and tools for engagement and support between policy & partnerships teams and programs.
  • Provide mentorship and train program staff involved in policy and partnerships in the region, including developing and sharing relevant tools and templates for their day to day use.
  • Work collaboratively and closely with program leaderships across all our Africa countries

External Relations

  • Represent Evidence Action at strategic events for policy purposes, including participating in conferences, workshops, technical working groups, and round tables about cross-cutting themes related to Evidence Action’s work (e.g., evidence, scale, innovation) and themes specific to current or potential future Evidence Action programs (e.g., WASH, education, early childhood development). Prepare and support other colleagues and research partners to participate in such forums.
  • In collaboration with the External Relations department, take the lead on improving awareness of the organization and relevant programs within in the region, including within government and non-government partners.


  • Evidence Action places strong value on relevant personal qualities: entrepreneurialism, responsibility, tenacity, independence, energy, and work ethic.
  • We seek a highly committed and adaptable individual able to deliver quality results in quickly changing circumstances.
  • S/he should be able to work independently and effectively in a high-pressure, unstructured environment and handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Master’s degree in a relevant field.
  • Minimum of 5 years working experience in areas related to policy and advocacy with a demonstrated deep understanding of the policy environment in at least one of our Africa region countries (Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia or Nigeria)
  • Experience working in international development/social enterprises, especially in an African context, with concrete achievements to show.
  • Experience managing a team and collaboratively working with diverse programs across multiple countries
  • Outstanding relationship builder and manager, able to win over champions and to passionately advocate for the scale-up of highly cost-effective, evidence-based interventions to reduce the burden of poverty.
  • Strong writing and oral communication skills (in English), and excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to travel regionally/internationally at least 25-40% time (so as to forge strong relationships across the continent.)
  • Alignment with Evidence Action vision, mission and values

How to apply

CLICK HERE to apply online

Communications and Media, Community Development, Economics and Statistics, NGO and UN
Updated: March 26, 2019 — 2:39 am