Partnerships Manager AfricaPay band: 8

Department: Education and Society

Contract type: Locally Engaged

Duration: Fixed term contract ending January 2022

Role Purpose

The British Council in Kenya is seeking an experienced professional to be part of an international team managing an established Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) fund – Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR) – for higher education (HE) partnerships.

The purpose of the role is to manage four of the six SPHEIR partnerships within the Sub-Saharan Africa region and to be the principal point of contact for partner institutions and other stakeholders. The post holder, who will be based in Nairobi, will be expected to build effective working relationships with participating institutions, FCDO country offices, government agencies and other interested parties (e.g. regional HE networks, private sector companies, the donor community).

S/he will report directly to the Programme Manager in the UK, and will manage the programme’s relationship with four of its eight grantees, as well as supervising programme and financial monitoring in accordance with grant requirements.

Opportunities / Challenges

The specific role requires a high level of organisation to independently manage multiple demands and deadlines, together with strong relationship building and analytical skills to navigate complex and fast-moving programmes. A high level of attention to detail is needed to manage SPHEIR partnerships effectively in line with the requirements of the programme’s grants. For the IAU project, the role will demand initiative to shape and oversee a new project.
SPHEIR represents an opportunity for the British Council to demonstrate effective fund management capability on a large-scale FCDO fund. Finances need to be managed effectively to meet targets.
The consortium delivering SPHEIR consists of a geographically dispersed team working within different organisational cultures, which needs to be managed carefully to deliver consistently to client standards. The role offers the opportunity to work with a range of external partners and consultants and requires strong communication skills to build relationships remotely, including within the British Council.
The successful candidate will need to have the knowledge, confidence and experience to work at a senior level in academic, government, and international environments. S/he will need to be self-motivated and able to work independently whilst at the same time being an excellent team worker and communicator.
The job will require local, regional and international travel


Undergraduate degree or equivalent work experience
Demonstrated knowledge and experience of more than one aspect of Higher Education in the region, such as, but not limited to, public and private provision, curriculum development, regulatory frameworks, educational financing, quality assurance, research management, university governance, donor and private HE financing, student experience, professional development of staff (teaching and leadership/management); use of ICT in education, personal involvement in teaching, research or capacity building related to higher education.
Proven experience of managing projects, particularly client-funded projects
Demonstrated knowledge and experience of project management, preferably related to higher education and/or grant programmes, ideally those involving a form of partnership
Experience in the field of higher education in Africa through relevant activities including but not limited to, university teaching and/or academic administration, senior experience in a Ministry, agency or authority for higher education
Role Specific Skills

The successful candidate will have the ability to engage with and influence senior stakeholders within the Higher Education sector, government, the private sector and the international donor community to secure and maintain their interest and support
Good presentation skills, including experience of public speaking in academic and non-academic contexts
Excellent written and spoken English
A high level of ICT skills for reporting, data analysis, and presentations (MS Office)

Experience of managing projects in the higher education sector
Knowledge of higher education and development issues
Demonstrated availability of personal networks relevant to SPHEIR
Additional Information: Candidates must have current legal right to live and work in Kenya

Closing Date: 28 March 2021 applications will close 23:59 South Africa time

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Equality Statement

The British Council is committed to a policy of equality and to valuing diversity and is keen to reflect the diversity of the societies in which we work at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies.
The British Council has Disability Confident Employer Status. We offer a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role. Applicants are encouraged to highlight any specific requirements or adjustments needed to enable participation in the recruitment process.

The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.

We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.

Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children


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About British Council

The British Council is a British organisation specialising in international cultural and educational opportunities.