Senior Program Manager Job Vacancy in Nairobi, Kenya

Position Title: Senior Program Manager

Location Isiolo or Nairobi

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.
In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions
into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future.

Programme / Department

Mercy Corps began working in Kenya in 2008 and has built a robust and diverse portfolio working to enable Kenyans affected by poverty, climate change, resource scarcity and conflict to be healthy, productive and to drive peace and development of their communities. To do this, we deliver integrated programming to strengthen market and governance systems, innovate urban youth employment opportunities, respond to climate-related shocks, address the root causes of conflict, and build the resilience of vulnerable populations - in particular youth, women, adolescents and marginalized communities.

Mercy Corps is seeking a Senior Program Manager for our Resilient Approaches in Natural Rangeland Ecosystems (RANGE) program. RANGE seeks to strengthen the resilience of communities in the Arid- and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) of northern Kenya through natural resource management, livestock market engagement, governance, advocacy and adaptive learning. The program will contribute to sustainable economic and social development in a well-managed landscape. The Senior Program Manager will oversee the implementation of RANGE program activities in the target counties of Isiolo, Marsabit and Samburu.

General Position Summary

The RANGE Senior Program Manager is responsible for overall implementation of the RANGE program, including ensuring quality and impact of the interventions. S/he will ensure that the program is implemented on scope, time and budget. The Senior Program Manager will liaise with a diversity of internal and external stakeholders throughout program implementation in order to ensure that the team is driving transformational change in the target counties. In addition to a strong technical understanding of resilience-building, natural resource management and livestock, the Program Manager will bring an in-depth understanding of market system development (MSD) approaches.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Play a key role in developing the program strategy and direction for Kenya by prioritizing and organizing actions and resources to achieve objectives.
  • Contribute to the program’s learning and influencing agenda, working with relevant team members to integrate and advance learning, adaptation and advocacy within both the program and Mercy Corps more broadly
  • Recognize opportunities for innovative action and create an environment where alternative viewpoints are welcomed.
  • In collaboration with relevant Mercy Corps team members, represent the program in key forums and donor meetings.
  • Identify, build and manage collaborative partnerships with relevant international and local agencies active in relevant technical fields, including donors, other organizations, local authorities and local partners. Attend relevant coordination forums to identify synergies.


  • Provide strategic leadership and oversight for RANGE program activities, in partnership with key program stakeholders, including local and international partner organizations, local civil society organizations, local and national government officials, research institutions and universities, other international agencies on the ground, and key donors.
  • Ensure programme implementation is on time, target and budget, using effective M&E systems to reach desired impacts, and develop mechanisms for targeted research to inform programme design and implementation.


  • Lead in the structuring of team roles and responsibilities for the delivery of cohesive program interventions, oversee their activities and provide continuous technical support, capacity building, and quality assurance.
  • Oversee performance of consortium partners and sub-grantees, and provide team members and implementing partners with information, tools and other resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
  • Regularly coordinate with program staff and support departments to ensure smooth planning, preparation, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of program activities.
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.


  • Oversee the smooth flow of routine program support functions (e.g., finance, administration, logistics) in relation to RANGE and ensure compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.
  • Ensure that any procurement is completed, documented, and delivered to end-user in a timely manner, ensuring that items procured meet the specifications of the end-user while adhering to donor and Mercy Corps procurement guidelines.
  • Oversee database and paper file management for program files in compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures.


  • Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
  • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.


  • Work closely with the program MEL team members to ensure that effective M&E systems and processes are embedded within the program implementation unit and that data is collected, analyzed, and used to inform ongoing adaptation of program strategies and delivery approaches.
  • Assess and analyze impact and adaptively manage the program to meet results.
  • Oversee the scheduling and production of formal and informal reports and work plans on all aspects of programme delivery in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Ensure learning is blended back into program implemenation, creating a cycle of adaptation and program improvement


  • As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.


  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and partners and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
  • Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • Direct supervision of all team members and consultants within the RANGE program.


Reports Directly To: Director of Programs

Works Directly with: Country Director, Operations Director, Finance Director, Program Managers, PAQ team, consortium partners, local implementation partners

Knowledge and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field, such as natural resources/rangelands management, livestock production, agricultural economics, veterinary medicine, etc. Master’s degree qualification is preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience leading interventions in these fields above, including utilzing market system development approaches
  • Experience leading large, complex programs required
  • A minimum of 8 years of experience required, including 5 years in a senior management position
  • Sound understanding of financial, procurement, administration, and logistics management systems, including remote management.
  • Experience coordinating multiple activities, developing synergies and creating opportunities for collaboration.
  • Demonstrated experience in team building and team coordination for achieving program goals.
  • Strong commitment to local capacity building and the ability to engage local stakeholders in project design and implementation.
  • Experience working with host governments at the national and sub-national level, INGOs and national NGOs and familiarity with international humanitarian operations, coordination structures, and the mandates of UN agencies, and other NGOs.
  • Excellent organizational and project management skills; detail-oriented; and possessing an ability to anticipate program and operational needs.
  • Proven ability to work cooperatively with others in a team environment and to a diverse group of national and international staff.
  • Understanding of adaptive management and participatory methodologies for project design, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Demonstrated proficiency with the MS Office software (i.e., Word, Excel, PowerPoint) required.
  • Persuasive written and oral communication in English and Swahili required; competency in a relevant local language beneficial.
  • Experience within the Arid and Semi-Arid lands required

Success Factors

The successful Senior Program Manager will have exceptional management skills, including the ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. In addition to relevant technical expertise, s/he will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams, capacity building of partner institutions and of individual staff, with strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. S/he will be conversant in a diversity of cross-cutting technical themes, including market system development, WASH, governance, climate change, social cohesion and female empowerment, among others. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written / verbal communication a priority in all situations.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position will be based in either Nairobi or Isiolo or Marsabit (Isiolo preferred). Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves professionally and respect local laws, customs, and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Ongoing Learning

This project will be adaptive based on learning and evidence emerging from programme interventions and research.

Additionally, in support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct eLearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

How to apply

Senior Program Manager | Mercy Corps Kenya (