Scaling and System Senior Specialist Job Vacancy in Kenya

International Rescue Committee 

Position Title: Scaling and System Senior Specialist


Founded in 1933 at the behest of Albert Einstein, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has developed unparalleled expertise in responding to emergencies and helping communities rebuild. The IRC is committed to a culture of bold leadership, innovation, creative partnerships, and, most crucially, accountability to those we serve. At work today in over 40 countries and 28 U.S. cities, IRC restores safety, dignity, and hope to millions who are uprooted. The IRC’s vision is to lead the humanitarian sector through implementing high-impact, cost-effective programs for people affected by crisis and by using our learning and experience to shape policy and practice. To achieve that vision, the IRC’s Technical Excellence (TE) provides technical assistance to IRC’s country program staff and share learnings to influence policy and practice. TE is comprised of five technical units: Economic Recovery and Development; Education; Governance; Health; and Violence Prevention and Response.

The Governance Unit supports IRC country programs in crafting and implementing programs that amplify the voices of people whose lives have been impacted by conflict and crisis. Governance programs help them regain control of their future by championing their right to influence the issues affecting their cities, towns, and communities.

To achieve this, we

1. Strengthen the ability of people to have a voice in decisions that affect their communities

2. Enable governments, civil society organizations, community representatives, and the IRC to respond to their voices and provide effective and inclusive services, and

3. Promote constructive communication between leaders and the people they represent so that actions are meaningful and lasting.


All efforts to sustainably scale impactful interventions are fundamentally built on collaborative partnerships with local governments, civil society, and private sector actors. This involves collaborating with key local actors to identify and address key barriers to equitable access to quality services, including those impacted by systemic inequality. As a humanitarian and post-crisis recovery organization, IRC has built its identity around saving lives. With over 20,000 staff in 280 field sites at the front lines of crisis in the most hard-to-reach places is what has given the IRC its reputation as a credible, trusted, risk-taking, and solution-driven organization. Through our mission, we are also committed to helping people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster not just to survive but also to recover and gain control of their future. This is why we cannot do without engaging local systems and depending on the context, we may choose approaches ranging from systems substitution to systems support, systems strengthening, and systems change.

The Scaling and Systems Senior Specialist will play a pivotal role in supporting technical advisers and where required country programs in using governance strategies and approaches to support IRC country programs outcome targets, scaling efforts, and effectively engaging national and local systems.

The Scaling and Systems Senior Specialist will be the custodian of the improved scaling manual/handbook that was first developed under the Ahlan Simsim Early Childhood and Development project, revise and adapt as necessary to support uptake and utilization by country programs. The position will also help to facilitate an adaptive learning and iterative change process. The role will also include co-designing and co-facilitating an initial scaling workshop and subsequent in-person and virtual workshops to continuously adapt and scale proven interventions as well as feeding into a global publication drawing insights from multiple IRC country programs.

Specific responsibilities will include:

Functional Leadership

  • Lead on designing and deploying scaling resources and tools in collaboration with technical sector leads supporting CPs with their outcome targets and scaling ambitions.
  • Develop in close collaboration with IRC Director – Impact at Scale – plausible scaling pathways informed by and aligned with country-level strategies and donor priorities.
  • Be an internal Scaling Champion across the IRC to ensure that country programs' scaling plans and approaches are visible and understood by the organization.
  • Work closely with the Senior Director, Governance Technical Unit, and Vice President, Humanitarian Systems Change to support key internal leadership stakeholders in understanding the importance of in-country policy influencing and advocacy for scaling and systems change.
  • Work closely with the Senior Technical Adviser on Governance and Systems Strengthening to research and understand donor partnership philosophies, strategies, and priorities and align with country scaling strategies/plans.
  • Liaise with colleagues in the Policy and Advocacy team on policy change and advocacy efforts as they relate to scaling.
  • Work in coordination with the Governance and Systems MEAL specialist to develop monitoring and evaluation (M&E) strategies and indicators for scaling and support utilization of data to inform the scaling work and process.

Technical Support

  • Support Governance TAs in the delivery of a strategy that drives scale through systems-strengthening/change interventions in countries that have scaling ambitions around the treatment of malnutrition for example.
  • Directly provide technical support to CPs, multi-country, and/or multi-region with strategic ‘big bet’ business development opportunities where ‘impact at scale’ is a significant component.
  • Support work in coordination with the governance unit on political economy analysis (PEA), stakeholder analysis, and other context analysis tools as relevant for each country context.
  • Use data and information from context analysis (PEA and stakeholder analysis) to inform and support co-design workshops with country programs.
  • Develop training resources to increase the understanding of TE staff of scaling strategies and pathways.


  • Lead on learning as it relates to scaling and systems internally and externally.
  • Draw on lessons from ongoing IRC strategic projects such as Ahlan SimSim, Gavi, and Playmatters amongst others, and systematically apply them in new business development opportunities including providing backstop support to various technical teams working on and with sector-related service delivery systems.
  • Coordinate closely with the IRC global partnerships team to ensure learning from scaling and partnerships work is embedded and influencing IRC partnership and scale ambitions.
  • Lead on learning agenda and learning goals for Scaling and Systems in collaboration with the Governance Researcher and Best Use of Resources team (Airbel) including learning about the process and challenges of scaling and working with the government, sharing learning and experience across the organization to promote learning across contexts (including facilitating learning spaces and forums).
  • Represent the governance technical unit in meetings and conferences to ensure that learning is shared externally.
  • Document learning from scaling and inform the adaptation of the scaling handbook.

Key Working Relationships:

  • Position Reports to Senior Director, Governance Technical Unit
  • Position indirectly reports to: N/A
  • Position indirectly supervises: N/A but may potentially supervise occasional consultants and/or interns.

Other Internal and/or external contacts:

  • Internal**:** Director, Impact at Scale; Deputy Director, Governance; STA, Governance and Systems Strengthening; other technical unit staff (Education, Health, Violence Prevention and Response, Economic Recovery and Development), Airbel and GEDI unit; Deputy Director of Programs, Governance coordinators.
  • External**:** Government officials; Civil Society leaders; Implementing partner organizations; Community representatives


  • At least 8 years of experience working in partnership with Government, CSOs, or other local organizations at an international NGO or similar organization.
  • Knowledge and experience working in a developing and conflict-affected country context.
  • Experience facilitating or co-facilitating workshops and meetings; comfortable managing group dynamics, leading workshops, and activities, and keeping agenda on track and directed at end goals.
  • Experience in developing and deploying context-relevant scaling strategies and pathways in multiple contexts.
  • Experience in managing or co-managing multi-stakeholder initiatives, capacity to understand and adapt to different institutional cultures, and relational ease with both high-level government representatives and technical staff.
  • Knowledge and practical application of scaling literature and systems change processes is preferred.
  • Strong interpersonal communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong planning, organizing, and team-building skills.

Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:

  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills; proven ability to prioritize and deliver projects on time and independently.
  • Demonstrated ability to navigate a dynamic, cross-functional, global team structure in a large multi-national organization.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with internal and external stakeholders at all levels.
  • Strong analytic problem-solving skills.
  • Highly proficient in Microsoft Office suite.
  • Ability to manage and work through change proactively and positively.

Education: Bachelor’s Degree in public administration, development economics, conflict management, public policy, political science, international development, or another relevant field. Master’s Degree preferred.

Language Skills: Excellent spoken and written English. Proficiency in an additional IRC language (Arabic, French and Spanish,) is desired.

Working Environment: Standard office working environment. This role may have some international travel up to 40% of the time.


Posted pay ranges apply to US-based candidates. Ranges are based on various factors including the labor market, job type, internal equity, and budget. Exact offers are calibrated by work location, individual candidate experience and skills relative to the defined job requirements.

US Benefits:

We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days (depending on role and tenure), medical insurance starting at $145 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare, childcare, and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with up to 4.5% immediately vested matching contribution, plus a 3-7% base IRC contribution (3 year vesting), disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.

How to apply