Regional External Relations and Strategic Communications Director Job Vacancy in Kenya - Plan International

Position Title: Regional External Relations and Strategic Communications Director 

About Plan International

Plan International is an independent child rights and humanitarian organisation committed to children living a life free of poverty, violence, and injustice. We actively unite children, communities and other people who share our mission to make positive lasting changes in children’s and young people’s lives. We support children to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to claim their rights to a fulfilling life, today and in the future. We place a specific focus on girls and women, who are most often left behind. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for more than 85 years and are now active in over 80 countries.

We engage people and partners to:

  • Empower children, young people, and communities to make vital changes that tackle the root causes of discrimination against girls, exclusion and vulnerability.
  • Drive change in practice and policy at local, national, and global levels through our reach, experience and knowledge of the realities children face.
  • Work with children and communities to prepare for and respond to crises and to overcome adversity.
  • Support the safe and successful progression of children from birth to adulthood.
  • and successful progression of children from birth to adulthood.

Having embarked on an ambitious and exciting journey to make the organisation more relevant, bold, engaging and effective in a new global context, Plan International is currently recruiting a Regional External Relations and Strategic Communication Director.

The Role Purpose

This role will exist to strengthen Plan’s impact through more effective strategic partnerships, greater influence and more grant resources. While centred on strengthening external relations at above-country level, this role will also lead the following portfolio in the regional hub management team.

  • Strategic Partnership and civil society engagement.
  • Profiling of Plan among donors; driving identification of potential grant opportunities with new donors, expanding portfolio with existing donors and identifying multi-country funding opportunities.
  • Overseeing the Communications function in the region (technical support on communications can come through the matrix management at the global hub )
  • RHMT lead on the “Locally led, globally connected” strategic agenda, though country specific activity will be led by the DSR.

The position holder provides strategic and technical leadership and oversight to Plan MEESA’s External relations, Media and Communications work in the region. S/he champions the regional priorities in our strategic partnerships and engagement with actors and stakeholders at the regional level. S/he collaborates with the Global Engagement, Partnerships and Communications functions, drive MEESA priorities effectively support our goals. S/he supports capacity development and quality assurance measures for communication staff in MEESA and represents Plan MEESA in Plan’s global relevant networking fora.

Dimensions of the Role

  • A member of the Regional Hub Management Team (RHMT) and leader of the regional network covering our External Relations, strategic partnership and communication and media work in MEESA.
  • Provides leadership and supervision to Plan’s regional team for all External; Relations, communication and civil society strengthening work.
  • Facilitates the development and maintenance of strong internal and external linkages with key regional and sub-regional institutions, strategic partners, peer organisations, the private/corporate sector and media outlets within and beyond the region.
  • Advises on and manages risks related to Plan’s external relations, strategic partnership, communication and media work in the MEESA region.
  • Develops and oversees the execution of the assigned component of the regional office budget.


Strategic planning and delivery

Develop, deliver and monitor a relevant and up-to-date Regional External Relations and Partnership building long term plan for the Region, taking into account the Pan-African Advocacy Strategy, the AU Liaison Office role and global or regional priorities. Plan MEESA’s regional external relations work contributes to the Global Strategy and adds value to country operations, regional and global programmes, advocacy and campaign work, fundraising, and public relations plans and initiatives. Its implementation is monitored and progress against this is documented and shared

  • Support the development of sound country level strategies and plans which efficiently profile the importance of Plan’s programme and influencing priorities
  • Provide high quality support to the attainment of Plan’s global initiatives, campaign goals and results through external stakeholders
  • Provide relevant solutions to the Region’s leadership as currently framed by the Regional Hub Management Team and the Regional Leadership Team, ensuring that External relations and Partnership building needs are anticipated, identified and discussed as part of business to support the achievement of our organisational goals and that we maximise our chance to raise sufficient resources to implement the Plan Strategy in the region.
  • Provide regular strategic External Relations and Partnership building advice and pro-active solutions to support Directors of sub regions and Country Directors as and when required.

Ensuring Network Leadership, Strategic Partnerships and Movement building

  • Establish and maintain regional strategic partnerships and networks with like-minded Civil Society Organizations, peer agencies, private sector companies which have a regional or sub-regional reach and agenda

Indicators of success will include:

  • Plan International is well connected and supportive to movements that promote children’s rights and equality for girls in the MEESA Region.
  • Emerging civil society organizations and youth-led movements and initiatives receive attention to develop and project their agendas, as well as organizational development for their continuous improvement.
  • Joint ventures have been established to realize initiatives and events that influence the (sub-) regional agendas of decision-making bodies to focus on child rights and gender equality.
  • Joint efforts have been undertaken with like-minded organizations to raise funds and other resources for the (regional) influencing agenda. Lead our engagement with the Joining Forces Alliance in this region
  • Fundraise and manage a small portfolio of multi-country grants for civil society strengthening in the MEESA region. (Current grants are from Sweden).

Drive an external relations engagement agenda for programme development

  • Profiling of Plan among donors; driving identification of potential grant opportunities with new donors, expanding portfolio with existing donors and identifying multi-country funding opportunities.
  • Plan Country Offices have more forward information of upcoming funding opportunities for single or multi-country grants.
  • Plan is able to win more grants through consortia applications.
  • Plan International income from priority partners (particularly International Organisations) increases with our closer relationsor formal partnerships.

Enhancing Organisational visibility and profile

  • Promote and actively communicate the quality and reach of Plan’s program and influencing work for children’s rights within and beyond the MEESA region and within a wide African audience.

Indicators will include:

  • Regional, and international media report positively and regularly about Plan’s work in MEESA
  • Representatives and correspondents of regional and global media houses are contacted and visited on a regular basis in order to establish good relationships and launch joint initiatives to produce content for their and our use.
  • Close collaboration and a shared agenda is in place between the communications and programme teams to ensure quality reporting and information sharing about our work.
  • Plan MEESA’s website is regularly updated with high quality articles and social media is being used effectively and innovatively to engage and connect public audiences with our strategy & campaign goals.
  • There is a fruitful collaboration and mutual support between MEESA and communication staff from National Organisations (NOs), Global Hub (GH), the Pan-African Office and other Regional Offices (ROs)
  • During red level emergencies, communications support is being provided to Country Offices and coordinated with the global level.
  • Plan’s Global Identity and communication guidelines are consistently applied and respected
  • Internal communication within the region successfully keeps the staff aware of developments, opportunities and changing requirements of the organisation
  • Our internal communication keeps the rest of the organisation well informed of the situation, successes and opportunities in the MEESA Region.

Increasing Plan’s Influence among external stakeholders and Regional or Sub-Regional institutions and authorities

  • Build and maintain relations to regional or sub-regional institutions and authorities, and regional representatives of global institutions so that Plan can Shape debates, agendas and decisions to promote a focus on children’s rights and gender equality and providing spaces for youth participation.

Indicators will include:

  • Plan will participate in selected key events around the region, prioritized the Pan-African Advocacy Strategy, with speaking slots where possible.

Capacity building and People Management

  • Provide overall vision and direction to the External Relations and Strategic Communications team through effective coordination, planning, prioritization, coaching and supervision.
  • Support staff to understand and comply with the organizational vision, mission, strategic direction and organization policies.
  • Socialize and nurture Plan Values and Behaviours.
  • Create an enabling working environment to foster excellent teamwork and high performing staff.
  • 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.
  • Support team members to gain the necessary skills through learning and development.

Policies and standards

  • Ensure that Plan International’s global policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded in accordance with the principles and requirements of the policy including relevant Implementation Standards and Guidelines as applicable to their area of responsibility. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring staff and associates are aware of and understand their responsibilities under these policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), their relevance to their area of work, and that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.

Technical expertise, skills and knowledge

Strategic Leadership Competencies

  • Drive progress in the area of responsibility by setting and communicating an ambitious but realistic strategy, aligned with Plan International's short and longer-term priorities and appropriately resourced.
  • Use own behaviour to role model the culture change we need, upholding our values and accelerating progress towards gender equality inside Plan International, with our partners and in wider society.
  • Ensure effective delivery by leading through others, working closely with our support functions, keeping abreast of what is going on in the own business unit or function and responding quickly if problems arise.
  • Make timely decisions, even in uncertainty and when information is imperfect. Manage opportunities and risks and adjust actions as situations unfold and we learn more.
  • Grow the professional and leadership capabilities we will need in future by developing the skills and potential of our workforce and coach teams to act in turn as developers of other people.
  • Communicate clearly and persuasively with large and diverse groups of people, giving them the understanding and motivation to succeed and involving all staff in reflection, innovation and improvement.
  • Build strategic relationships with key leaders, experts and stakeholders across the Plan International federation and externally in the region, navigating political and power interests and negotiating positive outcomes.

Essential Knowledge and Experience

  • In-depth knowledge of current issues and trends, in both the development and humanitarian sectors in the region of MEESA and beyond.
  • Masters level required in one of the following fields: communication and Public Relations, international development and political sciences
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of regional stakeholders and actors, such as national Governments, inter-governmental institutions, civil society and UN agencies, media and journalists
  • Minimum of 5 years demonstrated experience of working as a manager with supervisory capacity and budget responsibility
  • Proven experience to develop and implement strategic partnerships leading to business development and communication and media strategies
  • Excellent understanding of child rights and gender equality as pre-conditions and ingredients for sustainable development.


  • Exceptional conceptual and strategic thinking skills
  • Business development skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships with colleagues at long distances
  • Excellence in written and spoken English
  • Excellent problem solving and analytical skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including presentation and public speaking in front of high-level audiences
  • Ability to prioritize and multitask


  • Working knowledge of Portuguese or Arabic desirable.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the very heart of everything that Plan International stands for.

We want Plan International to reflect the diversity of the communities we work with, offering equal opportunities to everyone regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Plan International is based on a culture of inclusivity and we strive to create a workplace environment that ensures every team, in every office, in every country, is rich in diverse people, thoughts, and ideas.

We foster an organisational culture that embraces our commitment to racial justice, gender equality, girls’ rights and inclusion.

Plan International believes that in a world where children face so many threats of harm, it is our duty to ensure that we, as an organisation, do everything we can to keep children safe. This means that we have particular responsibilities to children that we come into contact with and we must not contribute in any way to harming or placing children at risk.

A range of pre-employment checks will be undertaken in conformity with Plan International's Safeguarding Children and Young People policy. Plan International also participates in the Inter Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. In line with this scheme we will request information from applicants previous employers about any findings of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment during employment, or incidents under investigation when the applicant left employment. By submitting an application, the job applicant confirms their understanding of these recruitment procedures.

How to apply

Follow the link below to submit your application.

Plan International does not require applicants to pay any fee at whatever stage of the recruitment and selection process. We therefore advise the general public to exercise due diligence when applying for employment