Plan International – Director Of Program Strategy, Development And Innovation.

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Plan International is a rights-based development and humanitarian organization working for better lives for all children. We are independent of government and have no political or religious affiliation. Our purpose is to strive for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for more than 80 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.

Our global strategy has a specific focus on girls, as they are often the most marginalized and most often left behind. Plan International has committed to the ambitious target of reaching 100 million girls to ensure they can learn, lead, decide and thrive. This is our contribution to reaching the sustainable development goals, and in particular the goals on gender equality. Our organization is transforming itself to meet this enormous challenge everywhere we work and as such, Plan International Kenya (PIK) needs bold, forward-thinking and innovative individuals to lead our country operations, driving change and delivering results that will allow us to contribute to the global target of 100 million girls.  

Plan International Kenya Strategy statement

Plan International Kenya’s strategic goal in the next five years is to end teenage pregnancies and all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against girls and young women. We aim to help create an enabling environment where girls, adolescent girls, and young women are safe, valued, equally cared for, and have equal opportunities. PIK will contribute to the global strategy by aiming to reach directly approximately 2.75 million girls and young Women over the period of the strategy. PIK has approximately 38 years of experience in implementing its programme. Currently PIK mainly operates in ten geographical areas; Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Tharaka-Nithi, Siaya, Kwale, Kilifi, Homa Bay and Kisumu and Tana River.

Plan Kenya’s new five-year strategy represents a strategic shift in focus and the Directorate of Program Strategy, Development and Innovation leads in the operationalization of the new program strategy and shaping our strategy and vision for growth. The Director of Strategy, Program development and Innovation (hereafter referred to as the Director of Strategy) is a member of the Country Leadership team and reports to the Country Director who provides overall strategic direction, guidance and oversight. The Director of Strategy supervises a team of Technical Advisors and provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Plan Kenya’s strategic priorities and efforts and plays a leading role in identifying, nurturing and strengthening strategic partnerships with government, local, regional and international CSOs, donors in advancing our purpose and our country strategy. As such, s/he occupies a high-profile role and directs and participates in activities geared towards enabling the organisation to grow strategically. S/he will lead in program design and program development and ensure the development of high-quality evidence based and innovative programming that is transformative for girls and young women. Working collaboratively with others, s/he will also lead the technical team in advocacy and representation work and steward special initiatives to foster and cultivate programme innovation in our work.

The role demands dedication to identifying, designing and driving solutions for girls and young women, demonstration of thematic excellence, ability to work in a complex and fast-paced environment and the ability to build effective partnerships with senior government officials, civil society and other relevant actors. Key to this will be effectively delivering on new/enhanced practice areas for Plan International, including but not limited to movement building, re-engineering civil society strengthening, localisation as well as driving a new culture of innovation and change, including the incubation of new transformative solutions for marginalised children, especially girls and youth. 


Program Strategy (25%) 

• Lead strategic thinking; establishing key issue, objectives strategies and tactics as well as develop multi-year growth strategies and innovation vision for Plan International Kenya while being mindful of trends impacting our sector and the general funding environment; 

• Lead the overall development and evolution of the Country development programme within the overarching Country Strategy and their subsequent operationalisation;   

• Provide overall strategic oversight in aligning Plan Kenya’s annual programs to both the Global Strategy and Plan Kenya’s five-year strategy (2021-2025);

• Support Plan Kenya’s strategic positioning with Plan International National offices, partners and donors and leads on project design to ensure that the country office strategy is realised;

• Ensure strengthening of linkages between relevant teams at Global hub, pertinent National offices and the Country Office (CO) and strengthen/establish a matrixed coordination function that optimizes on Plan Kenya as a Federation priority country and assures above country learning;

• Through regular and clear communication with staff and updates on progress, facilitate engagement of other managers and staff regarding the Country Strategy to ensure maximum understanding, ownership and operationalisation of the Country Programmes;

• Facilitate the pursuit of thematic and cross-cutting strategic priorities and strategic initiatives in line with the country strategy; 

• In close collaboration with the Head of Business Development and Director of Implementation and Quality, support change processes and new ways of working to improve country strategy program portfolio design and development;

• Work to identify strategic opportunities to leverage Plan International’s position as a champion of girls, to influence and enhance coherence of civil society involvement in driving gender equality and drive the mobilisation of joint coordinated action for girls; 

• Ensure technical advisors engage in larger communities of practice (CoP) both within the Plan federation and in-country and link with relevant and evidence-based approaches for delivering for girls and young women; 

• Contribute to the development, review and submission of annual plans and quarterly reporting whilst ensuring strategic inputs into annual plans; 

• Provide strategic roadmap for the development and implementation of partnerships management standards and guidelines and provide overall strategic oversight in the identification and engagement of partners in a mutually respectful manner, while ensuring Plan’s International partnership principles and compliance;

•  Actively participate in and support programme quality and delivery on programme audit, child protection audit, and gender strategy review exercise and adequate application of management response across all impact areas.


Program Development and Innovation (20%) 

•   Drive diversification of PIK’s portfolio whilst ensuring alignment with PIK’s five-year strategy and optimal integration with PIK’s sponsorship program; 
•   Play an integral role in the business development life cycle and works closely with the technical writers and other team members to develop and deliver high quality and winning proposals;
•   Develop and lead project design and innovation in line organisational vision and strategy;
•   Drives and supports the strategic development of high-quality initiatives, projects and innovations and ensure a smooth handover to the program implementation team;
•   Ensure program design and budgets assures proper adherence to MERL framework and embeds appropriate learning questions; 
•   Ensure effective working relationships with the Global Hub, National offices and Regional Hub technical advisors, including obtaining/procuring technical support to support program development and/or advocacy efforts; 
•   Liaison with designated Plan International National Offices to drive new program development, innovations and product development and solicit input for the same both internally and externally; 
•   Fosters humanitarian, development nexus in collaboration with the Resilience & Emergency Response Advisor.
•   Identifying Country Office (CO) models and building evidence of what works to inform influencing approach, drive innovation and inform new areas of program development.
•  Working in close collaboration with the Head of Business development, drive accountabilities within the team to foster new program design, innovations and product development. 


Business development (30%)

•   In close consultation with the Country Director and with inputs from the Business Development team, develop and advance relationships with key donors and stakeholders;
•   Provide strategic recommendations and inputs in the development of growth strategies, including actively driving these strategies;
•   Gather intelligence regarding funding opportunities and advance PIan International’s interests in Kenya, relative to ending teenage pregnancies ad all forms of sexual and gender-based violence by participating in relevant donor working groups as necessary;
•   Engage with technical advisors and relevant partners to ensure high quality evidence-based designs that draw on needs’ assessments, human centred designs, child safeguarding principles and learning from past programming; 
•   Serve as the technical lead for the design of major proposal bids and funding opportunities;
•   In close collaboration with the Technical Advisors, provide technical consultation on project design, implementation and analysis;

Advocacy, Influencing and Representation (10%)

•   High-level representational role with the government, donors, partners and other stakeholders; 
•   Manage Plan Kenya’s engagement and influencing in the strategic repositioning of Plan Kenya as the “to go to” organisation for girls’ rights; 
•   Lead in identification of key influencing issues in the Country Programme and with the engagement of programme team and technical advisors design and   implementation of relevant strategies to ensure evidence-based influencing;
•   Cultivate, develop and strengthen relationships with policy makers who are critical to influencing SRHR and S-GBV policies; 
•   Participate in and lead (or otherwise delegate and provide oversight) coalitions and working groups relevant to PIK’s work;
•   Create and support adaptation of initiatives that effectively influence duty bearers, key stakeholders and decision makers to promote and ensure rights of girls; 
•   Facilitate the development of high-quality publications, media messaging and all internal/external communications that support Plan’s advocacy and influencing work.  

Capability Building and People Management (10%)

•    Provide overall vision and direction to the directorate team members in coordination, planning, prioritization, coaching and supervision;
•    Ensure development programmes team are operating as high-performance teams and have clear accountability lines (direct and matrix);
•    Establish, communicate and monitor standards of performance and behaviours of the team through development of Individual Accountability Plans (IAP), and key performance indicators (KPI’s) that are agreed annually, and monitored and updated regularly;
•    Create an enabling working environment across different department unites to foster excellent teamwork and high performing staff;
•    Support staff to understand and comply   the organizational vision, mission, strategic direction and other organization policies;
•    Model our value-based leadership framework underpinned by our feminist leadership principles.


Safeguarding Children and Young People (Safeguarding) and Gender Equality and Inclusion, GEI-(5%)

•  Understands and puts into practice the responsibilities under Safeguarding and GEI policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), ensuring that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.
•  Leads the orientation of programme staff to ensure that they are properly inducted on and understands their role in upholding Plan International’s safeguarding and GEI policies;
•   Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded in project design, during implementation and as principles applied in day-to-day work of Programme Strategy, development and Innovation department; 
•   Ensures that Plan Kenya contributes to Plan International’s global efforts to ensure safeguarding and GEI, including making sure that relevant reporting and data are submitted.  



Qualifications/ experience essential:

•    Advanced degree in public health, public administration, social work, International Relations, Development or related field.
•    15 years of relevant experience in INGO Sector or demonstrated equivalent combination;
•    Leadership and managerial experience required; strategic planning, team management, mentoring, partnering and conflict resolution;
•    Ability and flexibility to multitask and manage several different projects while respecting deadlines;
•    Demonstrated ability working in a complex multicultural team environment and partnering with peers to develop and implement against organisational goals;
•    Strong analytical skills, with demonstrated ability to develop unique partnership models that create value for Plan International Kenya and our partners; 
•    Ability to represent the organisation to internal and external stakeholders in a variety of settings, effectively communicating complex concepts and ideas in an engaging and simple manner;
•    Proven record in programme development and ability to lead creative development and execution;
•    Good networker with proving skills in mapping partners and managing relationships and engaging with donors; 
•    Knowledge of developmental agendas in complex and protracted development and humanitarian landscape.
•    Experience in context, funding and market analysis. 
•    Ability to communicate effectively and authoritatively on area of expertise, and influence others to reach common goals.  
•    Experience in leading team, coaching and mentoring, especially managing a large team.
•    Excellent experience in conflict resolution. 

Languages required

•    Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.

Qualifications/ experience desirable:

•    International experience in managing development programme
•    Experiences in managing Humanitarian response
•    Knowledge of key programme areas such as child protection, education, livelihood and economic empowerment.   
•    Knowledge of development and humanitarian issues affecting girls, adolescent girls and women is preferred.
•    Ability to influence without power



• In-depth knowledge of gender and inclusion and global/local development issues, with particular knowledge in girls’ rights and child rights, feminist movements, the key actors and institutions, and the power dynamics involved.
• Mastery of key gender inequalities, gaps, barriers and opportunities at the national, regional and global level and gender and inclusion in programs, and especially for children and girls.
• In-depth understanding of the policies, processes, institutions and organizations that shape the development and humanitarian context and standards within Kenya. 
• Understanding of the implications of working with a rights based approach to development and is able to analyze the situation of children’s and particularly girls’ rights in his/her working context
• In-depth knowledge on different types of partnerships and civil society strengthening and capacity building. Understanding issues, principles and strategies and their root causes and working with Plan’s principles and a range of strategies and approaches to improve outcomes


• Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions; 
• Strong skills and proven experience in new program and product development, project design and proposal writing for foundations, institutional donors and non-traditional funders, including private sector;
•  Proven experience as a team player and leader in an international organisation;
•  Future oriented and things strategically; 
•  Ability to lead programme managers and staff to design and implement evidence based solutions for gender transformative programmes, and to provide monitoring and quality assurance support to the programme areas. 
• Ability to apply a range of gender and inclusion analysis tools and conduct high-quality and nuanced gender and inclusion analysis from a child rights perspective.
• Ability to influence power holders about the need for and benefits of addressing gender equality and inclusion, including being able to offer a range of evidence based solutions. 
• Mastery of the ability to analyze the social and political structures, dynamics and power relations that enable/exclude girls and boys from enjoying the fulfilment of their rights and equality.
•  Excellent relationship building skills – networking, influencing and stakeholder management skills
•  Ability to identify, analyze and monitor diverse, relevant external actors to work with and understand the purpose and implications of working with them.
•  Experience in developing strong, equal and robust partnership contracts or experience in strengthening civil society
•  Experience in capacity building
•  Hands on experience and skill in result based MERL system



•    Role model our values and behaviors both internally and externally. 
•    Engages sensitively with community members on issues of gender equality and inclusion, demonstrating an understanding of the local culture and context.
•    Promotes equality, including gender equality, inclusion and girls’ empowerment in Plan’s work and in its work with partners
•    Apply participatory influencing methodologies both internally and externally 
•    The ability to build collaborative working relationships
•    Ability to influence 
•    Uses creativity to challenge the norm and promote innovation and thinks and acts for the wider organization – linking partnership opportunities with the context of the wider organizational strategy
•    Communicates effectively at a high level and with a range of appropriate styles for different audiences
•    Builds capability through knowledge sharing, networking, mentoring, coaching and advocates the importance of knowledge management





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