Job Advertisement: Country Manager
About us: WISER empowers girls in rural Kenya to overcome the barriers that threaten their health, safety, and education.
We envision a world where girls are healthy, educated, and in control of their own destiny, and we work on building that world every day.
The WISER campus in Muhuru Bay serves as a high-impact development hub, providing the region’s most advanced holistic education program for 240 girls each year, clean water for 15,000 people, health services for hundreds of community members, and peer-led sexual and reproductive health (SRH) for over 2,000 youth.
Our flagship program, the WISER Girls Secondary School, provides the resources girls need to be successful including scholarships, applied learning opportunities, clean water, nutritious meals, school supplies, essential medicines, and sanitary products.
We supplement this with leadership training, psychosocial support, sexual and reproductive health education, and hands-on STEM opportunities to build long-lasting capacity in all of our students. We also place girls in a holistic support network through peer mentorship, guidance and counseling, and a teacher-led house patron model that connects students to designated lines of support.
WISER operates as an international partnership between two teams, one based in Kenya (the WISER NGO) and one based in the US (the WISER International nonprofit).
Our Kenya team has nearly 40 staff, though the vast majority of them are program implementers like academic and admin staff in our school and none of the staff are currently exclusively focused on NGO management, fundraising, program strategy, or partnership development.
Our US-based team, as of mid-2020, will have 3 full-time staff, led by our US-based Executive Director (ED). These teams work seamlessly together and we value team members who are flexible, communicative, independent, and who believe in a “punching above our weight class” mentality.
In 2020, WISER will complete a four-year expansion plan that saw our programs and beneficiary population grow steeply.
Now, we are looking to the future and asking key questions about the growth of our student population, the strengthening of our programs, the creation of new STEM opportunities for girls, and the development of our first-ever in-country fundraising and partnerships strategy. No matter what, we want our next strategic steps to be stewarded by strong leaders on the Kenyan team.
About the role: WISER is hiring an organized, passionate, and insightful Country Manager who can drive the implementation of programs for our growing NGO, build systems and culture, create and flawlessly execute plans, grow WISER through passionate networking and partnership creation, and serve as a reliable point person.
Our Country Manager will serve as the leader of all non-school programs, will manage the principal of the WISER Girls Secondary School, and act as the face of many WISER NGO partnerships in-country.
We are creating this role to manage and amplify our programs, partnerships, and resources in-country. Our candidate will also be responsible for building WISER’s network across Kenya and beyond as we seek to make WISER more visible and more accessible to funding and programmatic partners.
You will be the only staff in Kenya exclusively focused on strategic program design, implementation, and partnership development and will leverage those around you to do so: including the school team, the US based-ED, and the board.
Over the coming years, you will have the opportunity to build a small, similarly-focused team, grow board engagement, and may have the opportunity to expand your responsibilities as the organization grows and evolves.
Success in this position will mean WISER’s implementation of a set of high-impact, well-monitored programs, the strong management of a dedicated network of partners who find value in working with WISER, and the further development of WISER as a worthwhile and reliable partner and investment.
Our ideal candidate multitasks with ease and connects with new people in various contexts with enthusiasm and an opportunistic mindset.
We are looking for a strong communicator who is consistently accessible, quick, open, and clear.
Your responsibilities will include:
Programs and Programmatic Partnerships (60%)
- Develop a thorough understanding of the needs and realities of WISER’s communities and WISER’s current approach and programs while also remaining aware of the ecosystem of education and programmatic opportunities for girls across Kenya.
- Seek and develop new program opportunities and vet them for feasibility, timing, impact, and fit with the organization.
- Oversee WISER’s current and future programmatic efforts in health, community outreach, education innovation, psychosocial support, alumni support, and clean water provision.
- Execute all current programs in collaboration with WISER staff and leadership. The delivery of these programs can be delegated, but their ultimate implementation and outcomes will be your responsibility.
- Implement these programs while ensuring strong buy-in from key stakeholders in our community including family members of WISER students, local principals and teachers, healthcare providers at clinics, community leaders, and Ministry of Education and other government officials.
- Ensure that grant-funded and donor-supported programs are implemented in line with or exceeding the expectations outlined in their related funding agreements.
- Manage and deepen existing partnerships within multiple areas of focus including, but not limited to:
- Girls’ empowerment (incl. AMPLIFY, Creative Action Institute, East African Girls Leadership Summit, and more).
- Science and Technology Education (incl. AkiraChix, J&J STEM Academy, Lumen Labs, We Care Solar/WISEE).
- Health (incl. Huru International, Johnson & Johnson, KIWASH, Lulu Lab, the Muhuru Bay Community Water Board, Medical Impact, Saalt Co. and more).
- Coordinate the logistics for the implementation of partner programs, visits, evaluations, and feedback with the assistance of WISER staff.
- Assess the performance of WISER programs by monitoring their implementation and collecting indicators of their success. Work closely with the US-based ED to draw conclusions from these assessments.
- Identify major opportunities for growth within and beyond WISER’s current programming, research and benchmark best practices, and make recommendations to pursue solutions and growth.
- Spearhead a team culture that values program excellence and resourcefulness. Leverage and develop WISER school staff that are involved in programmatic efforts, supporting people to excel in their dual roles.
Fundraising and Donor Management (30%)
- Work in strong collaboration with the US-based ED on fundraising activities related to both donor cultivation and donor stewardship. Constantly leverage each other to meet the ultimate goals of both global and local fundraising.
- Develop a network of potential funding partners and other financially-beneficial partnerships within Kenya in line with our ambitious growth plans and develop WISER’s first-ever in-country fundraising strategy and portfolio.
- Strengthen meaningful relationships with current funders and coordinate WISER’s efforts to sustain these relationships. Steward relationships with new and potential funders to deepen mutual understanding. Activities include deliberate conversations, serving as a point of contact with the WISER campus, creating opportunities for site visits, offering programmatic updates, positioning our results and opportunities in engaging ways, arranging for long-distance Skype exchanges, and more.
- Represent WISER during relevant conferences, meetings, trainings, and other events that may have either short- or long-term fundraising-related benefits. Generate leads, make nuanced follow-ups, and work towards being invited for proposals. Discuss opportunities and strategize next steps with the ED. Over time, ensure that we are invited to more relevant networks and forums in Kenya and the region.
- Hold ultimate responsibility for the successful acquisition of in-country fundraising targets, beginning in 2021, and work toward an organizational goal of $50,000 USD or more acquired in-country in 2022.
Operational Management and Financial Accountability (10%)
- Manage and develop the Secondary School Principal (who manages the largest team and program at WISER). Coordinate with the principal on all school-related programming and ensure that WISER’s education-based programs are being delivered with quality and consistency.
- As a part of this management, develop a working relationship with the Principal that acknowledges their expertise in the education field and leverages their experience for the betterment of the entire organization.
- Assist the Finance Administrator and Operations Manager (US) in creating budgets for NGO programs and corresponding funding reports.
- Work with the Finance Administrator and Operations Manager (US) to track restricted funds and adhere to grant requirements.
- Prepare budget estimates from a programmatic perspective as needed.
- Manage on-campus capital and operations projects including monitoring construction.
Who we are looking for:
- You have a strong demonstrated passion for girls’ empowerment, adolescent health and life skills, or community development.
- You have at least 5-8 years of experience in nonprofit program management:
- Track record of implementing successful programs in community settings through developing partnerships, closely monitoring program implementation, and tracking program impact through data collection and grant reporting.
- History of strategic thinking in the context of program design and project planning and having refined programs over time to improve outcomes.
- Experience working with programs and partners in a rural setting and understand related logistical and cultural challenges for program implementation. You know how to achieve programmatic results in this context and have successfully built trust with a community.
- Preferred: your work experience also includes periods of time in which you resided in the rural setting in which you were working.
- You have the ability to inspire others to join your cause and you are practiced in pitching an organization or program as an opportunity or a solution to a particular problem.
- You are well-versed in relationship and partnership building for both programmatic and fundraising-related opportunities. You have experience and strong past results in:
- Researching and mapping potential partners.
- Vetting and evaluating these partners and their programs for their “fit” with an organization.
- Engagement with partners through networking, presentations, and meetings to gauge and create mutual fit and interest.
- Developing relationships with potential partners to secure opportunities, including funding.
- Preferred: you bring with you a pre-existing network of connections that may be immediately useful while cultivating new relationships.
- You have experience managing relationships with funders and other international partners via email, call, story-sharing, brief reports, in-person meetings, and site visits.
- You have at least three years of experience managing small and dynamic teams.
- You have proven results in developing employees to meet their goals, and have coaching-focused management skills, and know how to influence with or without formal power.
- You have translatable management skills to manage the Principal of a flagship educational program.
- Preferred: experience managing in a school or education program setting.
- You are excited about the opportunity for collaboration and culture-building in an evolving team.
- You have at least basic skills and knowledge in (or strong interest in learning more about) financial management, monitoring and evaluation, and communications.
- You have experience with working remotely and are comfortable establishing a productive work environment outside of an office. You are committed to remotely building strong working relationships with co-workers and stakeholders.
- You are fluent in English and Kiswahili.
- You are willing to work closely with WISER staff in the US on a daily basis and being available via phone and email during reasonable hours.
You have the cultural fit to work with the WISER team if:
- You have an unwavering belief that rural girls can succeed.
- You make things happen regardless of obstacles and resource-constraints.
- You believe that depth of engagement can out-perform breadth of engagement when it comes to creating real impact.
- You think of yourself as a hard worker, a self-starter, and as someone who is unafraid to take on new opportunities and responsibilities.
- You have strong attention to detail and believe in reviewing your work and asking for feedback whenever it may strengthen your efforts.
- You believe in collaboration and growing together as much as you believe in individualized go-getting.
Why work with us?
- We have a knack for making the impossible happen and feel immense pride at the evident changes in the community of Muhuru Bay that have taken place over the last 10+ years.
- We often act much larger than we seem – our networks link us to work all over the world and we regularly engage with some of the most powerful actors in the development landscape.
- Our team is ready to invest a significant amount of time into establishing you as a respected leader within the organization, including a series of introductions and partnership meetings in Muhuru Bay and beyond early in the onboarding process.
- We are on a rapid-growth trajectory and your efforts will be tangible, visible, and consistently expanding.
Ideal start date for this role is September 2020. For the first two months of onboarding, you will be based on the WISER campus in Muhuru Bay. WISER will provide housing during this time period.
Following this onboarding period, the CM can be based outside of Muhuru Bay if desired. 10% of time is dedicated to travel for fundraising and partnerships and 40% of time must be dedicated to working on the WISER campus in Muhuru Bay.
To accomplish this, this position will require travel to Muhuru Bay for approximately 7-12 days each month and these days may occasionally take place over a weekend.
Interested to apply?
Take a look at the applicant guide: http://bit.ly/CandidatesGuide
Prepare your application incl. updated CV and video question and submit it on http://bit.ly/JoinWISER
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org with your burning questions before applying!
The recruitment for this role is carried out in collaboration with edge.
All official communication regards the process will come from email addresses in the domains wisergirls.org or edgeperformance.co.ke