The International Foundation for Electoral Systems – Deputy Country Director (Nairobi).

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The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is currently recruiting a Deputy Country Director (DCD) for a two-year, FCDO-funded project entitled the Kenya Elections Support Programme (KESP). The program is expected to build upon electoral reforms previously supported by FCDO/DFID in Kenya to contribute to a credible, peaceful and inclusive 2022 general election in Kenya. The program will support:

  • Meaningful electoral reforms early in the electoral cycle and effective coordination between relevant institutions; 
  • Improvement on standards achieved in the 2017 election, and incorporation of lessons learned for more effective planning, management, strategic communication and stakeholder engagement to build public trust; 
  • An enabling environment that leads to more women, youth and persons with disabilities (PWDs) turning out to vote and elected to representative posts; and, 
  • Strengthened domestic election observation and monitoring.


The DCD under the management of the Country Director (CD) will support all aspects of program implementation and management of IFES-Kenya. The DCD will play a key role in managing partnerships with relevant Kenyan government agencies, and other electoral stakeholders and donor agencies. The DCD will also assist the CD with in-country oversight of project financial and program management, including reporting and timely execution of project activities within the allocated budget. 


  • Assist the CD in ensuring timely execution of project activities within the allocated budget, and strategic development and implementation. 
  • Oversee specific project activities as directed by the CD and provide technical input as needed. 
  • Serve as the IFES representative to Heads of Missions, Embassy staff and donors on a variety of issues when the CD is not available. 
  • Supervise in-country local support staff and consultants providing feedback on performance.  
  • Oversee program management, administration, finances, budgeting, and reporting  
  • Oversee any necessary procurement in accordance with IFES policies and FCDO rules and regulations. 
  • Ensure that donor-specified reporting requirements are met. 
  • Prepare papers, reports, briefings on election related topics, programmatic work.   
  • Develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, donors and partners. 
  • Manage the project’s monitoring and evaluation plan and oversee data collection and reporting. 
  • Other duties as assigned by the Country Director.

POSITION SCOPE: Manage and perform highly technical work requiring ingenuity and capacity to evaluate and respond to new and changing issues.  Support Country Director in the technical implementation of IFES programming for assigned projects. Oversee varied activities and processes to support effective project management and implementation.  Collaborate with Country Director in monitoring all aspects of project operations, reporting and compliance. 

DECISION MAKING/PROBLEM SOLVING: Identify risk factors with potential to disrupt achievement of program/project goals.  Analyze issues, problems or opportunities and propose appropriate courses of action, based on knowledge of professional principles and best practices.  Participate in the development and implementation of strategies to track and mitigate risk and its potential impact. 

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: Oversee project budgeting, financial management and reporting.   Oversee and approve local and international procurement in accordance with IFES policies and USAID, non-US rules and regulations. Authority to regularly make purchases and incur expenses, subject to established controls and procedures. 

RELATIONSHIPS: Maintain collaborative working relationship with senior-level stakeholders within and outside IFES to ensure timely and successful achievement of project goals and objectives.  Represent IFES with external contacts at professional and government levels in the absence of the Country Director. 

SUPERVISION EXERCISED: Oversee in-country project staff and participate in project monitoring and evaluation. 


  • Experience with financial tracking, forecasting and Microsoft Excel-based spreadsheets. 
  • Demonstrated leadership, national staff management, project administration and financial management skills. 
  • Thorough knowledge of FCDO financial regulations and contract compliance requirements.  Detailed oriented and organized. 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage staffremain highly organized while handling multiple tasks under tight deadlines. 
  • Ability to complete tasks independently and proven capacity to work well with minimal supervision. 
  • Diplomatic and flexible team player with demonstrated leadership skills in politically challenging environment. 
  • Ability to develop and manage effective local relationships by applying cultural awareness. 
  • Strong communicator, both verbally and in writing, in both English and other language(s). 
  • Ability to work with IFES support divisions and program staff to identify and resolve issues. 
  • Collaborative, team-oriented individual who values operating in a collaborative and cooperative environment. 
  • Experience in managing relationships with international donor community. 
  • Willingness to adhere to all principles of confidentiality. 
  • Ability to show initiative, good judgment, and resourcefulness.


  • University degree in international politics, international development, public policy, or related field with a minimum of 10 years of experience international development, preferably in the area of democracy and governance 
  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree strongly preferred.  
  • Minimum of 5 years of management experience, preferably administering donor-funded programs in East Africa.  
  • Familiarity with political, economic and social context within assigned region. 
  • Proven track record with democracy and governance programming.  
  • Demonstrated experience working with senior government officials, local governments, NGOs, and the international donor community. 
  • Knowledge of election administration and operations and experience working with elections management bodies. 
  • Technical knowledge and experience in area(s) of project focus. 
  • Experience working with civil society organizations specifically as relates to strengthening their technical capacity in aspects of electoral processes. 
  • Familiarity with the international donor community and experience as an action-oriented interlocutor with democracy-development actors at all levels. 
  • Experience managing FCDO-funded projects preferred, with demonstrated knowledge of FCDO regulations. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of report writing and management of budgets. 
  • Ability and skills to promote and inspire effective collaboration between individuals, organizations and networks. 
  • Strong interpersonal, presentation, and communications skills to meet the diverse technical and managerial requirements of the program and to effectively coordinate with a wide range of stakeholders. 
  • Strong analytical reasoning skills. 
  • Strong diplomacy skills and cultural sensitivity.

LANGUAGE SKILLS: Fluency in written and spoken English required.  Proficiency in at least one other language in use within assigned project location is strongly preferred. 

TRAVELTravel may be required up to 15% of time. 

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS/WORK ENVIRONMENT: Standard office work environment.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.


IFES is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. 

All qualified applicants/employees will receive consideration for employment/promotions and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, race, color, religion, national origin, veteran status, or any other legally protected characteristic.  IFES takes affirmative action with respect to the employment and promotion of women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and covered veterans. IFES will also take affirmative action on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.




The International Foundation for Electoral Systems

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