Director of Programs Job Vacancy in Nairobi, Kenya

Development Aid 

Position Title: Director of Programs

Location: Nairobi, Kenya, with frequent trips to Somalia
Contract duration: 6 months, with the possibility of an extension for 6 Months
Reporting to: Executive Director
Working conditions: No remote work is possible, support for visa procedures is available
Travel: Some regional and international travel may be required
Open to: International Candidates

DRS is looking for a Director of Programs for a non-profit humanitarian aid organization for its Somalia program based in Nairobi/Somalia. The position will lead the program and grants unit with strategic programming and planning leadership, ensuring program quality, promoting strategic growth, and strong external and internal representation and advocacy. S/he must be able to motivate and lead a diverse staff, effectively manage programs, partnerships, and budgets, and develop new program areas for the organization.

S/he will play a central role in contributing to the work of the organization at a challenging and exciting time. S/he is a key member of the country’s senior management team. S/he will be responsible for developing the country’s program and coordinating the implementation of the country’s strategic plan. S/he will enhance the programming and managerial skills of key staff.

The Director of Programs will lead, develop, and manage the program team to achieve the aspirations of the organization's Country Strategy 2023-2028 through Program Development, effective coordination, consolidation, technical support, and guidance by ensuring a cohesive team spirit and motivation to perform. They manage and provide resource mobilization, prioritization, allocation, and work plan coherence to deliver the organization's Country Strategy. S/he will report to the Executive Director and Operations Director.

Main Responsibilities:

Provide Overall Management And Supervision

  • Program quality - Lead process with staff and partners to identify and secure funding for viable humanitarian and development programs.
  • Staff management - Provide proper supervision and management for all direct reports and lead the establishment and functioning of a strong, effective, and coordinated Program team.
  • Program management - Ensure that programs and projects are implemented to achieve the program/project goals, align with policies and procedures, and demonstrate sound resource management.
  • Program strategy - Facilitate the preparation and implementation of the overall Program Strategy in line with the Strategic Plan, national development plans, Vision and programming principles, and current programming priorities.

Strategic Planning

  • Contribute to the implementation of the organization’s Strategic Plan through committed investment in the achievement of the plan objectives, regular review of plans, and discussions with the team
  • Led the country program in strategic program development by undertaking regular multi-sector assessments and designing innovative approaches to respond to the population's needs in Somalia.
  • To ensure alignment with strategic priorities and provide technical leadership and strategic assistance to program staff designing, implementing, and monitoring program activities.
  • Ensure the best practices and standards are applied and facilitate robust learning for evidence-based health and nutrition programming.
  • Support funding acquisition by providing technical/design leadership, leveraging existing learning, identifying and cultivating strategic opportunities, and assisting country programs in developing winning proposals, advocacy, and recourse mobilization.
  • Mentor and build the capacity of Program staff.

Technical Leadership and Assistance

  • Provide technical guidance and solutions to the organization’s country programs designing, implementing, and monitoring-related programming; this shall include, but not be limited to, the following responsibilities:
  • Ensure the overall project implementation of the work plan activities, including M&E activities, reporting meetings (Cluster Meetings, other existing coordination structure, and any other ad-hoc meetings), and sometimes visits project areas and facilities,
  • Constantly monitor all programs that include FSL, Protection, Nutrition, Health, WASH, and humanitarian situations, assess needs in the project areas, and propose to the Program Coordinator appropriate actions/interventions that could be undertaken, including designing new actions for the future program.
  • Give support, advice, and directions to the Field core staff to conduct ongoing monitoring of the project against objectives outlined in the project using methods and tools developed.
  • Consolidate internal reports from field staff based on weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports as required and share them with the donors.
  • Develop a vision for programming and assist country program staff in developing country-program strategies that align with other priorities for impact.
  • Engage in project start-up, monitoring, analysis, course corrections, and evaluations to ensure high-quality, impactful program implementation.
  • Support programs in developing quantitative and qualitative assessments, including baseline surveys, rural participatory evaluations, operations research, and analysis of results, as needed.
  • Share guidance in using relevant agency policies and frameworks in developing country-level programs and project proposals, especially the Integral Human Development framework, for all programs.
  • Liaise with all FSL, Protection, nutrition, health, and WASH programs to Program Impact and Quality Assurance (PIQA) to share Program Coordinator and Project Managers through virtual and in-person meetings to ensure high-impact programming.
  • Support the Executive Director in developing and managing relationships with country donors.
  • Monitor and advise on program and project spending and variance reports per organizational process and procedures.
  • Manage the expenditure and disbursement of resources allocated to the program department.
  • Support Profile and Opportunity Grant Tracking System (OGTS).

Project Development

  • In charge of strategy implementation, this position will coordinate with technical staff and identify viable, active, and potential donors and partners to expand the funding pool.
  • In coordination with the Executive Director and the Program team, ensure the development of new program opportunities in line with the organization’s Mission Statement and Strategic Plan.
  • Develop advocacy mechanisms and identify networks for coalition building. Provide leadership in new program/proposal development planning.
  • Participate in analyzing growth opportunities to ensure strategic alignment and capacity to implement excellent programs.
  • Advise on aligning teaming modalities, project strategies, and identity guidance on integrated programs, recourse mobilization, and funding opportunities.
  • Provide technical direction and content to project proposals and assist in writing proposals for appropriate support and technical Inputs.
  • Lead or participate in design workshops for large and complex proposals, as appropriate, including defining appropriate monitoring systems, transparent implementation, and indicators.
  • Review integrated and standalone health and nutrition proposals to ensure the application of agency and international standards and best practices.
  • Be familiar with and advise on integrating relevant donor strategies and other potential donors interested and their technical approaches.

Mentoring and Capacity Building

  • Mentor staff from across the region working in programs, including facilitating a community of practice exchanges; advising on staff development plans and other required staff; supporting onboarding; and identifying, organizing, and promoting relevant training.
  • Contribute to knowledge management in the app programs. This may include, but is not limited to, documentation, engaging in communities of practice to share and disseminate lessons learned, and promising and evidence-based practices.
  • Developing learning and training strategies, conducting training and workshops, and mentoring and coaching.

Finance/ Grant Management

  • Directly work with the Grants unit to establish and maintain donor compliance and relations.
  • Work with the program managers and the finance department to track monthly project expenditures against the program budget.
  • Recommend grant and budget revisions in consultation with the Technical/Field Staff.
  • Assist in budget development with the field teams and program coordinators in consultation with finance and operations departments.
  • Coordinate and review all program donor reports and new project proposals in collaboration with the program department, technical coordinators, operations, and finance departments; ensure completeness and timely submission.


  • Encourage constructive and productive communication between the program and operations staff to guarantee timely service.
  • Ensure program compliance with internal control procedures
  • Work with operations to ensure new initiatives are implemented and lessons learned are shared.
  • Facilitate the conceptual, managerial, organizational, and technical capacities of staff to effectively contribute to the achievements of the program objectives and develop within the organization.
  • Directly supervise program staff, including technical and field coordinators and the program department.
  • Oversee the Performance Management System for all program staff is followed and carried out as required.

Communication, Reporting, and Data Collection

  • Liaise with counterparts, UN agencies, and NGOs to coordinate multi-sector integrated programs, standardize sector-specific activities, and obtain up-to-date program planning and implementation information.
  • Ensure the organization’s participation in respective sector-specific coordination forums and help foster exchanges of program information, best practices, and training materials with partners, involved communities, and various line Government ministry officials.
  • Keep the Executive Director informed of all developments and issues through monthly reports, informal updates, and written minutes documented for all external meetings.
  • Ensure regular communication between field program teams and program department staff.
  • In coordination with the Executive Director and the management team, ensure an effective communication mechanism is in place to facilitate access to information by all staff across the board to enhance inclusive participation and empower the work environment.
  • In coordination with the Executive Director, liaise with advisors for technical guidance on implementation and new program design.


  • Master’s degree in development-related field.
  • Post-graduate or degree in Program Management on Humanitarian, Recovery, and Resilience.
  • Proven senior management experience in complex contexts, including humanitarian and development programs.
  • 10 years of experience and at least five years of work experience managing community-based projects in developing countries.
  • Understanding of technical and functional areas and ability to support, coordinate, and manage them.
  • Excellent proven leadership skills in complex situations with diverse teams, and able to design and deliver a successful Country Office Strategic plan.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; facilitation and report writing skills.
  • Demonstrated technical and managerial ability, sound judgment, ability to interact and work effectively, and represent the organization at all levels.
  • Direct experience in building the capacity of national NGOs and working with local partners, including a clear understanding of NGO capacity building.
  • Experience working with and coordinating with donors, including EU, ECHO, foundation donors, UN, DFID, OFDA, etc., and knowledge of specific donor guidelines and priorities.
  • Firm belief and proven ability to foster thriving, inclusive teamwork and gender equality, transparent and participatory management.
  • Extensive and proven ability to understand and manage budgets.
  • Fluency in verbal and written English; Good communication and facilitation skills.
  • Excellent budgeting and management reporting skills and experience.
  • Excellent and proven fundraising, development, and resource management, including donor management and representation.
  • Given the current context in Somalia, the job requires a strong background and extensive experience in recovery, Resilience, and Emergency humanitarian programs as required.

How to apply

Please provide an application including the following:

  1. Updated CV in English;

  2. Your financial expectations in USD gross per month.

    The applications in English should be submitted to under the title DRS 11607 Director of Programs. Due to the high number of applications received, we can reply to shortlisted candidates only. Please note that the above requirements can be modified during the recruitment process according to the client's procedures.