Director of Program Strategy, Development and Innovation
Job TypeFull Time
Experience10 years
Job FieldAdministration / Secretarial

Plan International is a rights-based development and humanitarian organization working for better lives for all children. We are independent of government and have no political or religious affiliation. Our purpose is to strive for a just world that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for more than 80 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.

Our global strategy has a specific focus on girls, as they are often the most marginalized and most often left behind. We have committed ourselves to the ambitious target of reaching 100 million girls over 5 years, to ensure they can learn, lead, decide and thrive. This is our contribution to reaching the sustainable development goals, and in particular the goals on gender equality. Our organization is transforming itself to meet this enormous challenge everywhere we work. We need bold, forward-thinking and innovative individuals to lead our country operations, driving change and delivering results that will allow us to reach our target of 100 million girls.

In Kenya, Plan International Kenya (PIK) has approximately 38 years of experience in implementing its programme. Currently PIK mainly operates in nine geographical areas; Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Tharaka-Nithi, Siaya, Kwale, Kilifi, Homa Bay and Kisumu.


Plan International Kenya’s strategic goal in the next five years is to end both teenage pregnancies and sexual and gender based violence. We aim to help create an enabling environment where girls, adolescent girls, and young women are safe, valued, equally cared for, and have equal opportunities. PIK will contribute to the global strategy by aiming to reach directly approximately 3 million (tbc) girls and Young Women over the period of the strategy 2021-2025 and to reach an additional beneficiaries through its interventions.



Plan Kenya’s redefined strategy represents a strategic shift in focus. The Department leads operationalization of the new program strategy and its focus on gender equality and the empowerment of girls and youth as agents of change.


The Director of Strategy, program development and innovation (hereafter referred to as the Director of Strategy) reports to the Country Director who provides overall strategic direction, guidance and oversight. As such, the primary responsibility of the Director of strategy is to lead country strategy program design and development and ensure the development of high quality evidence based and innovative programming that is transformative for girls and young women. The role supports Plan Kenya’s strategic positioning with Plan International National offices, partners and donors and leads on project design to ensure that the country office strategy is realised. The role demands dedication to identifying, designing and driving solutions for girls and young women demonstration of thematic excellence and requires an individual that can work on a complex and fast-paced environment. The Director of Strategy provides strong and coherent leadership in support of Plan Kenya’s strategic priorities and efforts, building effective partnerships with senior government officials, civil society and other relevant actors. S/he Key to this will be effectively delivering on new/enhanced practice areas for Plan International, including but not limited to movement building, re-engineering civil society strengthening, localisation as well as driving innovations and new product development.

Working closely with the Country director, the role plays a leading role in identifying, nurturing and strengthening strategic partnerships with government, local, regional and international CSOs, donors in advancing our purpose and our country strategy.


Strategic Leadership (20%)

  • Provide overall strategic oversight in aligning Plan Kenya’s annual programs to the Global Strategy and Plan Kenya’s five year strategy (2021-2025);
  • Manage Plan Kenya’s engagement and influencing in the strategic repositioning of Plan Kenya as the “to go to” organisation for girls’ rights;
  • Support ownership and commitment to the country strategy through regular and clear communication with all staff, with regular updates on progress;
  • Facilitate the pursuit of thematic and cross-cutting strategic priorities in line with the country strategy;
  • In close collaboration with the Head of Business Development and Director of Implementation and Quality, support change processes and new ways of working to improve country strategy program portfolio design and development;
  • Work to identify strategic opportunities to leverage Plan International position as a champion of girls, to influence and enhance coherence of civil society involvement in driving gender equality and drive the mobilisation of joint coordinated action for girls;
  • Ensure strengthening of linkages between relevant teams at Global hub, pertinent National offices and the Country Office (CO) and strengthen/establish a matrixed coordination function that optimizes on Plan Kenya as a
  • Federation priority country and assures above country learning;
  • Ensure technical advisors engage in larger communities of practice (CoP) both within the Plan federation and in-country and link with relevant and evidence based approaches for delivering for girls and young women;
  • High-level representational role with the government, donors, partners and other stakeholders;
  • Lead the overall development and evolution of the Country development programme within the overarching
  • Country Strategy and their subsequent operationalisation;
  • Contribute to the development, review and submission of annual plans and quarterly reporting whilst ensuring strategic inputs into annual plans;
  • Model our value-based leadership framework underpinned by our feminist leadership principles;
  • Working with others, build evidence of what works and drives nurturing of related new initiatives and partnerships;
  • Build strategic partnerships to guide alliance building, influencing agenda and new business development.
    Program Strategy, Product Development and Innovation (20%)
  • Drive diversification of PIK’s portfolio whilst ensuring alignment with PIK’s five year strategy and optimal integration with PIK’s sponsorship program;
  • Drives and supports the strategic development of high quality initiatives, projects and innovations and ensure a smooth handover to the program implementation team, as need be;
  • Facilitate engagement of other managers and staff regarding the Country Strategy to ensure maximum understanding and operationalisation of the Country Programmes;
  • Lead in identification of key influencing issues in the Country Programme and with the engagement of programme team and technical advisors design and implementation of relevant strategies to ensure evidence based influencing;
  • Ensure program design and budgets assures proper adherence to MERL framework and embeds appropriate learning questions;
  • Ensure effective working relationships with the Global Hub, National offices and Regional Hub technical advisors, including obtaining/procuring technical support to support program development and/or advocacy efforts;
  • Liaison with designated Plan International National Offices to drive new program development, innovations and product development and solicit input for the same both internally and externally;
  • Fosters humanitarian, development nexus in collaboration with the Resilience & Emergency Response Advisor.
  • Identifying Country Office (CO) models and building evidence of what works to inform influencing approach, drive innovation and inform new areas of program development.
  • Engage with technical advisors and relevant partners to ensure high quality evidence based designs that draw on needs assessments, human centred designs, child safeguarding principles and learning from past programming;
  • Working in close collaboration with the Head of Business development, drive accountabilities within the team to foster new program design, innovations and product development.

Safeguarding Children and Young People (Safeguarding) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI)-5%

  • Understands and puts into practice the responsibilities under Safeguarding and GEI policies and Plan
  • International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), ensuring that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.
  • Leads the orientation of programme staff to ensure that they are properly inducted on and understands their role in upholding Plan International’s safeguarding and GEI policies;
  • Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Safeguarding Children and Young People and Gender Equality and Inclusion are fully embedded in project design, during implementation and as principles applied in day-to-day work of Programme Strategy, development and Innovation department;
  • Ensures that Plan Kenya contributes to Plan International’s global efforts to ensure safeguarding and GEI, including making sure that relevant reporting and data are submitted.
    Capability Building and People Management (20%)
  • Provide overall vision and direction to the development programmes team in coordination, planning, prioritization, coaching and supervision;
  • Support staff to understand and comply   the organizational vision, mission, strategic direction and other organization policies;
  • Promote accountability of team members for the department’s work on gender equality and the empowerment of girls;
  • Ensure development programmes team are operating as high-performance teams and have clear accountability lines (direct and matrix);
  • Socialize and nurture Plan Values and Behaviours;
  • Create an enabling working environment across different department unites to foster excellent teamwork and high performing staff;
  • Create a safe working place safeguarding;
  • Oversee the delivery of effective capacity building support in key areas of programme management, finance management, logistics management and human resources management;
  • 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;
  • Lead the team in line with the Country HR Manual and other guidelines.
  • Conduct performance managment processes of direct and functional reports
  • Model our value- based leadership framework underpinned by out feminist leadership principles
    Working in Partnerships (10%)
  • Plan International Kenya engages in strategic partnerships with government, civil society, private sector, academia, youth association, and non-governmental agencies, at all levels so as to work together to ensure gender justice for girls
  • Provide overall strategic oversight in the identification and engagement of partners in a mutually respectful manner, while ensuring Plan’s International partnership principles and compliance.
  • Establish/strengthen networks and partnerships with likeminded organisations for overall enhancement of the programmes and profiling of the organisation.
  • Lead in engaging key networks, movements and alliances relevant to the girls’ empowerment and gender equality.
  • Provide strategic roadmap for the development and implementation of partnerships management standards and guidelines.
    Advocacy and Influencing (10%)
  • Lead the development of effective and evidence based advocacy strategies that enable girls to Learn, Lead, Decide and Thrive.
  • Create and support adaptation of initiatives that effectively influence duty bearers, key stakeholders and decision makers to promote and ensure rights of girls.
  • Facilitate the development of high quality publications, media messaging and lnternal/external communications that support Plan’s advocacy and influencing work.
    Financial Responsibility (5%)
  • Contribute to the coordination in the budget, preparation, consolidation, analysis and timely submission
  • Actively participate in grants opening/launch and closeout workshops/meetings.
  • Provide support for timely project expenditures that are aligned to the budget (within permissible variance limits) and participate in budget reforecasting and reallocation exercises as required

            Risk Management (5%)

Actively participate in and support programme quality and delivery on programme audit, child protection audit, and gender strategy review exercise and adequate application of management response across all impact areas.
Other Responsibilities (5%)

Within the scope of the role, there will be additional assignments as needed.
Technical expertise, skills and knowledge

Qualifications/ experience essential:

  • A Master’s Degree in Social work, International Relations, Development or similar field.
  • 10 years of relevant experience in INGO Sector or demonstrated equivalent combination.
  • At least 7 years’ experience in managing development programme in the country with in the INGO sector.
  • Proven experiences and ability to coordinate and collaborate with different civil society and Community based organization.
  • Demonstrable working experience in development programme.
  • Knowledge of developmental agendas in complex and protracted development and humanitarian landscape.
  • Experience in context, funding and market analysis.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and authoritatively on area of expertise, and influence others to reach common goals.
  • Demonstrated track record of proposal writing and budget management
  • Experience in leading team, coaching and mentoring, especially managing a large team.
  • Excellent experience in conflict resolution.
    Languages required
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
    Qualifications/ experience desirable:
  • International experience in managing development programme
  • Experiences in managing Humanitarian response
  • Knowledge of key programme areas such as child protection, education, livelihood and economic empowerment.
  • Knowledge of development and humanitarian issues affecting girls, adolescent girls and women is preferred.
  • Ability to influence without power
    Plan International’s Values in Practice

We are open and accountable

We create a climate of trust inside and outside the organisation by being open, honest and transparent. We hold ourselves and others to account for the decisions we make and for our impact on others, while doing what we say we will do.


We strive for lasting impact

We strive to achieve significant and lasting impact on the lives of children and young people, and to secure equality for girls. We challenge ourselves to be bold, courageous, responsive, focused and innovative.


We work well together

We succeed by working effectively with others, inside and outside the organisation, including our sponsors and donors. We actively support our colleagues, helping them to achieve their goals. We come together to create and implement solutions in our teams, across Plan International, with children, girls, young people, communities and our partners.

We are inclusive and empowering

We respect all people, appreciate differences and challenge inequality in our programmes and our workplace. We support children, girls and young people to increase their confidence and to change their own lives. We empower our staff to give their best and develop their potential.


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About Plan International

Plan International was founded over 75 years ago with a mission to promote and protect the rights of children. The organisation was set up by British journalist John Langdon-Davies and refugee worker Eric Muggeridge in 1937, with the original aim to provide food, accommodation and education to children whose lives had been disrupted by the Spanish Civil War.