Project Director Job Vacancy in Kenya - International Rescue Committee

Position Title: Project Director - Ensuring Quality Access and Learning (EQUAL) for Mothers and Newborns in Conflict 

The IRC’s vision is to lead the humanitarian field by implementing high-impact, cost-effective programs for people affected by crisis and by using our learning and experience to shape policy and practice. The Airbel Impact Lab, IRC’s Research & Innovation team, contributes to this vision by designing, testing, and scaling life-changing solutions in humanitarian contexts. We apply right practices from human-centered design, behavioral insights, incubators and accelerators, strategy and research. Combining these capabilities and approaches with IRC’s extensive field presence and deep sector expertise, we believe it is possible to craft and scale breakthrough programs that can impact millions of people affected by conflict and disasters.

IRC is the lead organization in the Ensuring Quality Access and Learning (EQUAL) for Mothers and Newborns in Conflict-Affected Contexts Consortium funded through FCDO’s ‘Filling the Gaps in Evidence: Building Stronger And More Resilient Health Systems Research Programme Consortia (RPC)’ mechanism. The objective of this project is to produce rigorous, operationally relevant research and evidence to improve maternal and neonatal health in low-income, conflict-affected contexts. This project will produce evidence that is accessible to decision-makers influencing strategic investment, policy and programming to improve MNH, at the national and global level.

The consortium includes the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health, Somali Disaster Resilience Institute, Université Catholique de Bukavu (DRC), and a team of consultants in South Sudan. The IRC is the Prime Contractor and responsible for the delivery of the programme.

The Project Director, EQUAL will provide overall leadership, project management, and external engagement for the entire program, with a focus on achieving results defined in the contract. The PD will ensure adherence with EQUAL’s workplan; provide management oversight to staff and partners; and ensure quality control, financial management, and contractual compliance. The EQUAL Project Director will ensure cohesion among consortium members and champion the goals of locally led research to advance maternal and newborn health.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Provide high level leadership and direction, across the project to guide effective implementation to achieve the desired outputs and outcomes.
  • Lead the overall project by establishing, in collaboration with the Research Director, a strategy with both operational and research-focused key performance indicators, achievements, timelines and work plans in adherence with technical quality standards and donor guidelines.
  • Supervise the development of budgets and spending plans and monitor the financial health of the project, ensuring targets are being met within the team.
  • Supervise and monitor project activities in accordance with the FCDO contract, ensure reporting (monthly, quarterly and annually) against program level results and Key Performance Indicators.
  • Ensure IRC meets FCDO contractual project, legal and financial requirements and represent the IRC and the consortium as primary liaison focal point with FCDO.
  • Provide oversight to the EQUAL project team, and maintain a work environment that promotes teamwork, trust, transparency, mutual respect, and recognition and empowers staff to take ownership, thus enabling an environment for dedication
  • Develop and leads a well-functioning and encouraging consortium that consistently delivers high quality research, experienced technical expertise to FCDO country offices and programs, and research uptake. As part of this, develop and maintain strong lines of communication and collaboration.
  • Lead excellent cooperation with and between consortium partners; partner organizations and government officials ensuring alignment as well as instituting clear processes and protocols for surfacing any issues or challenges in a timely manner.
  • Develop and maintain collaborative and positive relationships with internal and external partners through effective communication and engagement.


  • Master’s degree in public health or related field is preferred.

Work Experience:

  • Minimum 10 years progressive experience in the public health sector.
  • Experience leading complex consortia, including academic institutions, NGOs, and for-profit organizations.
  • Preferred experience working in technical delivery of maternal and newborn health projects.
  • Preferred experience with relationship management with donors and other external partners.
  • Preferred experience managing grant-funded or commercial contract projects in fragile, and conflict affected settings.
  • Experience implementing FCDO commercial contracts strongly preferred, with strong knowledge of commercial contract rules and regulations.
  • Preferred experience leading research projects.

Demonstrated Skills and Proficiencies:

  • Demonstrated experience and ability leading teams and individuals across multiple areas of technical expertise and geographic locations.
  • Ability to give feedback in a constructive way that supports staff improvement; ability to receive feedback and adjust behavior.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate effectively in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Solid organizational skills: ability to lead competing priorities in a fast-paced team environment.
  • Strong analytical problem-solving skill and ability to think and plan at the ‘big picture’ level.
  • Experience in public health, with preference for experience in maternal and newborn health.
  • Strong written communication skills.
  • Understanding and practical experience of project management principles throughout the full project cycle.

Language Skills:

  • Fluent in English; French language proficiency strongly preferred.

Working relationships

Position directly supervises the following staff:

  • EQUAL Research Program Coordinator
  • EQUAL Finance Coordinator (Management in partnership with Airbel Deputy Director of People and Operations)

Working Environment:

  • Standard office working environment
  • Some international travel as needed up to 30%

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

IRC et les employés de IRC doivent adhérer aux valeurs et principes contenus dans le IRC WAY (normes de conduite professionnelle). Ce sont l’Intégrité, le Service, et la Responsabilité. En conformité avec ces valeurs, IRC opère et fait respecter les politiques sur la protection des bénéficiaires contre l’exploitation et les abus, la protection de l’enfant, le harcèlement sur les lieux de travail, l’intégrité financière, et les représailles.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement:

In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for any in-office or hybrid positions. All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).

How to apply