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The Program Design Officer (PDO) contributes to African Wildlife Foundation’s (AWF) Kenya Country Program by cultivating relationships that are key to programming overseas development assistance (ODA), advising governments on conservation and development policies and programs, making the case for increased financing to biodiversity conservation nationally and leading the development of AWF proposals to finance our work in country. The PDO will be a member of a global team that manages public donor relationships, prepares complex proposals in response to identified opportunities, tracks and ensures quality in project reporting to donors, and tracks and informs AWF leadership of developments in donor strategies and priorities. The PDO will also carry partnership relations and policy functions that are a priority to the Kenya country strategy.
The PDO position will be embedded within the Kenya country program, and as such will be an integral part of our focal country presence. The PDO will be responsible for identifying, defining and developing funding proposals in coordination with country, field, program and finance teams in order to raise public funds for existing and planned program activities in Kenya. This includes prospecting, researching, process management, writing and submitting grant applications to public donors. The position may also provide similar support to other countries in Africa as needed. The PDO will also be responsible for representing AWF to public sector partners, and supporting management of relationships with government agencies, civil Society organizations (CSOs) and other important stakeholders. In this respect the PDO will support identifying and promoting policies that support biodiversity conservation and sustainable development including engaging with CSOs to articulate and promote effective policies and engagement with platforms at all levels in strengthening capacities on effective policies and policy processes.
Working closely with the Director Program Design (DPD), the AWF Country Directors/Coordinators, the Africa Policy lead, and donor Account Managers the PDO will work to win support for AWF’s strategy, cultivate existing and new donor and partner relationships, and elevate the conservation agenda in development cooperation and policy dialogues in Kenya.
Proposal Development and Writing (~40%)
As a part of the Program Design (PD) team, conducts the full range of activities required to prepare, submit, and manage grant proposals to secure public funding for Kenya (mainly but may also support other countries in Africa in similar ways). Working under the leadership of DPD and Account Managers on the PD team, the PDO takes primary responsibility as “proposal lead” in searching for and responding to public donor funding opportunities:
- analyse and review funding opportunities and call for proposals and their fit for AWF’s present projects, programs and strategies;
- manage project proposal development processes;
- solicit technical inputs from AWF’s country and landscape teams and technical experts as well as from other AWF department, co-applicants and implementing partners;
- ensure that supporting documents from Government and co-applicants are timely secured;
- write professional and compelling log frames, concepts, proposals, budgets, etc.;
- work with PD/finance to present professional cost applications to secure public funding and ensure synergy in donor budgeting, contract development with partners and consortia, management and reporting.
- ensure that new proposals incorporate AWF’s rights-based standards and are aligned to donor requirements.
Donor and Partner Cultivation and Management & Policy support (~50%)
In collaboration with the DPD and AWF’s Kenya Country Director, the PDO leads AWF’s cultivation of opportunities for program development with bi- and multi-lateral development partners and donors in Kenya and support the country director and team with other key relationships with important stakeholders such as Governmental, civil society, or private sector partners as well as supporting AWF’s policy engagement in Kenya. These functions include, but are not limited to:
Support AWF Kenya Country Program’s fundraising targets and grow AWF’s relationships with bi- and multi-lateral donors in Kenya.
- Support AWF Kenya Country Program team to establish and maintain relationships with key donors and Government institutions as well as key stakeholders in Kenya.
- Support policy and strategy engagement in Kenya in coordination with the Country Director and Policy/Government Relations teams based on Kenyan and African priorities and strategies.
- Track and analyse donor and governmental priorities and strategies in relation to AWF conservation, policy and fundraising objectives in Kenya and develop strategic interventions on how to secure funding.
- Track agendas of Kenya’s government and its development partners, to brief the Country Director and team, donor account managers, and International Policy & Government Relations (Global Leadership) team and provide technical advice on programming priorities in Kenya.
- Support the articulation and development of policies and strategies as needed with the aim of securing new funding opportunities for Kenya.
- Support development of funding plans and strategies for Kenya’s country, landscapes, and thematic programmes and emerging issues.
- Support Country and Landscape teams in effective donor servicing through soliciting and preparing for and participating in donor field visits to AWF landscapes and projects in Kenya.
- Provide specific grant management support upon request with: management and donor relations of existing grants; review project reports; donor compliance support to management of grants, grant panning and financial tracking of ongoing grants.
- Working with the Country Director, Africa policy lead and other key thematic and landscape leads, support development of clear, innovative, consistent and coherent messaging for policy work in Kenya.
- Provide inputs to policies affecting biodiversity conservation and sustainable economic development in Kenya, including monitoring of financial flows and investments to that end.
- Provide inputs and coordination on policy related to CSOs in Kenya.
- Promote increased financing to biodiversity conservation in Kenya.
- Support the engagement of Kenyan leaders at all levels to champion conservation as a core pillar of sustainable economic growth in Kenya.
Similar support functions to other African countries may also be provided as needed.
Other key roles (~10%)
- Liaise with account managers and PD team members to support proposal development and cultivation activities as needed across AWF’s fundraising portfolio.
- Coordinate with and assist the Philanthropy and Foundations & Corporations teams fundraising efforts for Kenya (and possibly other African countries), highlight local funding needs and priorities to these teams, function as a resource person, and ensure fundraising synergies are created.
- Support the rest of the PD as well as Grants, and Program teams to implement actions in their portfolios, adhere to donor conditions and submit reports in a timely way.
- Represent AWF in relevant meetings, conferences and at donor and partner events in Kenya.
- Collaborate with AWF communications and marketing teams to support visibility of AWF’s projects in Kenya.
- Support filing, tracking and reporting on PD grant and donor metrics and pipeline on monthly and quarterly basis.
- Support preparation of supporting materials for meetings, trips, presentations, and other events/occasions.
- Assists with other tasks, as assigned.
- Reputable Master’s degree (or equivalent combination of education and experience) in relevant field: including conservation, natural resource management, rural/international development, economics, political science or similar.
- Minimum of 5 years’ experience in fundraising, proposal design, and donor engagement and relationship management, preferably in the field of conservation or environmental management.
- Highly skilled to conceptualize project design and write project documents (including budgets, log frames, and work plans) and reports.
- Existing relationships with donors in Kenya and up-to-date understanding of bilateral and multilateral donor agencies’ priorities in Kenya. Similar existing relationships for East Africa is an additional advantage.
- Strong interpersonal skills including the ability to work as a team member and to negotiate and manage donor relationships.
- Have a logical perspective on things and ability to reduce mechanisms, processes, proposals, ideas, or formulas to their basic parts and understand and explain how they interrelate in a project or contribute to fulfilment of higher agendas such the Sustainable Development Goals, national development plans, and AWF’s mission, strategies and plans.
- Excellent writing skills are necessary, including the ability to shift writing style and purpose to be appealing and persuasive to the designated target audience.
- Fluency in speaking and writing English is essential, and French a significant advantage.
- Must possess strong editing skills and pay attention to detail.
- Comprehensive knowledge of contemporary conservation and development issues in Africa including good understanding of sustainable development, adaptive project management, MEAL, and knowledge management concepts and application.
- Demonstrate commitment to and a good understanding of AWF’s Rights Based Conservation approaches, values and principles.
- High degree of responsibility and accountability for tasks, projects, assignments, and commitments including meeting strict deadlines.
- Ability to communicate effectively with a wide group of colleagues and partners, including proactive sharing of information and reporting.
- Proven ability to work independently, and effectively and collaboratively in cross-functional teams.