Country Signature Program Technical Lead

Job ID 838

Program / Project Management Kenya   Nairobi


Heifer International is an equal-opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with a disability.


Reporting to the Country Director, the Country Signature Program Technical Lead will autonomously provide strategic technical Signature Programs leadership and implementation. S/he will be responsible for Signature Program design for the needed Permanency, Scale, and Impact, taking a solid Co-Design and Partnership with both internal and external stakeholder collaborative inclusion. S/he will be a Market Systems & Value Chain expert. The post holder must have a strong understanding and practical hands-on experience in Access to Finance, Access/Route to Market, Cooperative Movement Capability building, and Co-designing. Business Acumen and management will be an orientation critical for systemic management and effective leadership.

S/he will also be responsible for signature program implementation, donor reporting, and field-level management while ensuring the highest standards in compliance with obligations and results according to signed agreements. S/he, therefore, enforces quality assurance with programs and is responsible for the quality and performance of work of all relevant Signature Program staff, sub-recipients, and sub-contract service providers. In addition, s/he will build capacity/capability for signature programming in the country office collaboratively with the Regional Signature Program Team,

The post holder will carefully lead the Signature Program in the country in alignment with the country’s strategy and programmatic vision for enhancing program objectives. S/he will focus on management, communication, team building, strategy, and drive toward sustainability that achieves scale, permanence, and impact through long-term partnerships.
The Country Signature Program Technical Lead will report to the Country Director with a dotted reporting line to the Signature Program Technical Director – Africa for technical leadership.
The Country Program Managers will report directly to the Country Signature Program Technical Lead.

Essential Character Traits

Drives results, is detailed-oriented, self-driven, accountable, manages complex environments, excellent and effective communication, resourcefulness, manages conflict, team player.


A. Technical Signature Programming in Country (40%)

  • Lead Signature Program design for the Country Program.
  • Signature Program Co-Design after agreement with the Country Director, who remains in charge of Relationship Building and Program Funding Partnerships.
  • Ensure the use of a market system approach in the design of the country’s Signature Programme design.
  • Identify opportunities to integrate pathways for access to finance with the Signature Program design.
  • Lead on Value Chain analysis to inform Country Programmatic Strategic position and Signature Program design.
  • Build co-designing relationships for in-country signature programming effectiveness (set up right from the onset.
  • Collect and analyze program data, capture, and share lessons learned and best practices for specific projects to facilitate improvement in decisions.
  • Contribute to developing and implementing strategies, standards, tools, and best practices in Program Quality that effectively engage partners, donors, and government agencies.
B. Ensuring Programmatic Excellence - Quality and effective Management (30%)
  • Provide strategic leadership for Country Signature Programming design, goal setting, goal cascading, and business review processes against outcomes.
  • Excellent management of agreed program outcomes/impact against agreed schedules and budgets, including delivery against agreed Service Level Agreements with various Stakeholders (internal and external)
  • Maintain excellent oversight of all program components and meet expectations for program successes and impact.
  • Ensure application of best standards, best practices, partnership principles, processes, and tools, towards high quality. Implementation of signature programs.
  • Develop and implement strategies, standards, tools, and best practices in program quality that effectively engage partners, donors, and governments.
  • In consultation with Country Director and the Regional Signature Program Technical team, creatively design initiatives that uphold and improve program quality, innovation, and learning on signature programs.
  • Provide technical leadership for preparing, designing, submitting, and approving project concepts and full-fledged proposals.
  • Act as an in-country technical proposal developer while integrating donor strategies, priorities, and technical requirements into Heifer’s approach.Roll out capacity-strengthening initiatives in Program Quality for staff and partners, develop learning and training strategies and agenda, and conduct training and workshops.
  • Analyze program data, capture, and share lessons learned and best practices for specific projects to facilitate improvement in decisions.
  • For effective co-design outcomes, enable strong relationships with donors, peer organizations, research, and other institutions, towards enhancing program quality and impact.
  • Monitor and provide feedback on program quality through regular team meetings, field visits, and regular communication.
  • Ensure that program Managers and Coordinators execute approved work plan activities and operations in response to technical direction and recommend appropriate adjustments to achieve program objectives.
  • Carry out Country Signature Program Internal Audits and effectively manage program risks in each phase of program implementation on time to ensure fulfillment of objectives.
  • Ensure accountability and compliance with donor requirements.
  • Ensure the provision of program-related reports and make presentations as required.
C. Partnerships and Capacity Improvement (10%)
  • Ensure adherence to set compliance standards within Heifer and donor program and project guidelines and standards, including transparency, policy compliance, accountability, and communication with HQ, donors, and external constituencies.
  • Enable new partnerships and nurture existing ones.
  • Effectively maintain strong communication with all the relevant stakeholders throughout program implementation and successfully manage a matrix program management structure when necessary.
  • Develop and adopt standardized approaches, practices, tools, and measurements in partnership and capacity strengthening.
  • Guide in-country program team in developing comprehensive plans and materials, developing and implementing capacity-strengthening strategies in the Signature Program area.
  • Identify and ensure the creation of solid inter-organizational networks and efforts to strengthen the capacities of local partners.
  • Represent Heifer Africa in external professional fora and with donor agencies supporting resource acquisition for capacity building.
D. Budget Management and Monitoring (10%) 
  • Ensure all program teams develop annual budgets and work plans consistent with program documents and donor contracts.
  • Provide support to program teams in undertaking the necessary review and updating of the work plans and budgets to respond to any emerging field implementation challenges and program review processes.
  • In liaison with the Finance department, undertake quarterly budget monitoring and variance analysis with all Program Managers, while reviewing and tracking spending to adhere to annual budgets.
  • Ensure Program Managers and entire Country office plan and undertake corrective management actions arising out of budget monitoring reports.
  • Approve program-related requests for imprest and reconciliation, in line with work plans and financial management procedures.
E. Strengthen Core Global Operating System (5%)
  • Ensure compliance with Heifer International policies and procedures and other accountability standards through training, event participation, and field visits.
  • Liaise with the Regional Signature Program Technical teams on behalf of the country program regarding Signature Programs.
  • Ensure Signature Program proposals and concept notes are entered into HQ tracking systems to avoid activation delays.
  • Ensure adequate development, implementation, evaluation, and systematization of signature programs by the country office.
  • Obtain and review signature program monitoring and evaluation reports from the field offices and make recommendations.
  • Maintain Signature Program files and documents.
Any Other Assigned Function (5%)

May perform other job-related duties as assigned.

Minimum Requirements
  1. Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of ten (10) to fifteen (15) years of signature program management experience.
  2. Minimum of five (5) years’ experience in managing the design and co-designing of large and complex programs using a Market system, value chain development.
  3. Experience working with governments, the private sector, local and international institutions.
Preferred Requirements
  1. Master’s degree preferred.
  2. At least seven (7) years in technical program leadership.
  3. At least five (5) years in management.
Most Critical Proficiencies
  1. Knowledge of strategic planning, program and project development, and implementation processes (including planning, monitoring, and evaluation.
  2. Knowledge and work experience in agriculture and community development in a developing country context (market systems, value chains, access to market, access to finance, etc.).
  3. Excellent knowledge of monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects.
  4. Excellent organizational and administrative skills, including strong attention to detail.
  5. Knowledge of grant acquisition and management.
  6. Basic knowledge of financial controls and systems.
  7. Proficiency in basic statistics sufficient to analyze data.
  8. Knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, database, and electronic mail software (Microsoft preferred).
  9. Strong English language skills – oral and written.
Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands
  1. Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work cooperatively, tactfully, and diplomatically with a culturally diverse group of people.
  2. Ability to produce accurate documents in a well-designed and effective format with clear attention to detail.
  3. Constant face-to-face, telephone, and electronic communication with colleagues and the public.
  4. Ability and willingness to extensively travel 30% of the time both domestically and internationally.
  5. Ability to develop and present training materials.
  6. Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.

Deadline for Application: 3rd February 2023.