Director, Programs (Africa)
Location: Nairobi, Kenya
Who We Are
Co-Impact is a global philanthropic collaborative that supports locally rooted coalitions in the Global South to transform underlying systems and achieve impact at scale, with a core focus on advancing gender equality and feminist principles. We bring together funders from around the world to invest in initiatives that are working to improve education, health, and economic opportunity for millions of women, men, and children, by dismantling underlying conditions that perpetuate social inequities so that systems serve everyone better. Building on our experience to date, as well as that of civil society, government, and philanthropic partners, we are now developing a second fund focused on advancing gender-equitable systems change at scale and women’s leadership globally. For more information, please visit www.co-impact.org and take a look at our Handbook.
Co-Impact currently operates as a fiscally sponsored project of New Venture Fund (NVF). Over the next year, Co-Impact will be expanding to build a second fund focused on gender equality and women’s leadership and changing our operating structure so that we spin out from NVF and build an independent institution.
Co-Impact is currently based in London, New York, and Zurich, and is seeking to establish a presence in Nairobi as well as in India (city TBD).
Where You Fit
Reporting to the Vice President, Programs, you will serve as a senior program leader responsible for sourcing, vetting and finalizing grant recommendations in several African countries; supporting program partners (grantees) to develop effective strategies for gender equality, women’s leadership and systems change at scale; strengthening organizational capabilities to achieve lasting results; and contributing to improved learning and practice among partners, at Co-Impact, in global development, and in philanthropy.
You bring a deep commitment to inclusive systems change and impact at scale, with particular attention to gender equality with an intersectional lens. You demonstrate strategic acumen, an abiding curiosity and desire to learn, excellent interpersonal and communication (written and verbal) skills, strong analytical ability, and a high level of personal initiative and the ability to work well in a distributed, diverse, deep-thinking, and fast-paced environment. You are motivated by looking for root causes, seeking justice and solving social problems at the systems level. You bring 12+ years of relevant experience in gender and global development, including at least 5 years in grantmaking and/or supporting program partners. You have substantial experience living/working in and understanding the political economies of countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Core responsibilities include but are not limited to the following:
- Contribute to ongoing reflection and improvements to Co-Impact’s strategy and programs, theory and practice of systems change, gender equality, and organizational strengthening, as well as our support model towards achieving shared goals
- Play a lead role in Co-Impact’s strategic positioning, relationships, and partnerships; represent Co-Impact in the region
- Develop and foster creativity, rigor, strategic flexibility, and support orientation across grantmaking plan and process
- Engage in identifying, assessing, and recommending high-impact grants
- Monitor and manage grants, supporting program partners to develop and execute effective programs and greater inclusion, foster evaluation and adaptive learning towards achieving better outcomes
- Review and synthesize program partner reports, prepare memos that succinctly track progress/setbacks, key lessons, and make evidence informed recommendations for action
- Support program partners to achieve greater strategic coherence and strengthen organizational capabilities
- Listen to and learn from program partners and peers
- Manage, mentor, support and develop team members, build strong relationships, and serve as trusted colleague to colleagues and peer funders; assist in recruiting new talent as needed
- Facilitate cross-learning among Co-Impact’s program partners and philanthropic peers
- Maintain efficient practices for managing large workloads and meeting deadlines
- May be asked to lead a small office team in your region
- Perform other responsibilities and duties as requested by the VP, Programs
Qualifications and Experience
- At least 12 years of professional experience and extensive knowledge of advancing gender equality (with an intersectional lens) and at least one of our areas of sectoral focus (education, health, and economic opportunity)
- Significant experience being an outcomes-focused and program partner (grantee)-centered grantmaker having supported civil society efforts in the Global South.
- Substantial experience of living and working in and understanding the political economies of countries in Africa
- At least 5 years of experience managing a team and mentoring staff to deliver strong results within a positive work culture
- A university degree or equivalent in a relevant area
- Right to work in Kenya (as we are unable to sponsor a visa)
- Strategic Agility: Ability to spot high-potential opportunities and facilitate the design of strategic approaches backed by evidence informed analysis.
- Organizational Effectiveness: Evidence of delivering results through developing strategic coherence, thoughtful business strategy, strong leadership, and sound understanding of operations.
- Decision Making: Ability to listen well, integrating gender analysis, see perspectives from different sides, making good judgements based on values and principles balancing data, experience, and risk.
- Working with People: Experience motivating, contributing to, and managing collaborative teams to work productively, effectively, and inclusively
- Managing Action with Purpose and Values: Ability to motivate colleagues and get things done in accordance with core purpose and values
- Results Orientation: Strong project management skills, deadline management, sense of responsibility and accountability, the ability to manage multiple responsibilities and work effectively remotely and independently.
- Interpersonal Savvy: Great at making and fostering relationships inside and outside the organization, keen intercultural appreciation, inclusive style, comfortable around senior leaders, can represent Co-Impact well.
- Dealing with Ambiguity: Ability to shift gears comfortably; decide and act without having the total picture; can comfortably evaluate and handle risk and uncertainty.
- Learning Orientation: Intellectually curious; seek and work with evidence, demonstrated openness to new ideas and a diversity of perspectives; unafraid to admit and learn from failure.
- Strong Moral Compass: Impeccable personal ethics and integrity, kind and caring.
- Communications: excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to effectively manage and influence a variety of relationships in a multicultural environment
- Global Flexibility: Given global nature of organization working across time zones, a willingness to be flexible with working hours and international travel (COVID permitting). Demonstrated ability to collaborate equally effectively with colleagues in 'remote' and diverse teams.
- Collaborative Focus: Demonstrating an infectious enthusiasm for collaboration and partnership. Recognizing the value in fostering an environment which promotes shared communications, efforts and results.
- Writing Ability: Ability to write and communicate ideas with clarity.
- Language Proficiency: Fluency in English, as well as at least Swahili, French or one other major language spoken in your region.
- Perspective: Sense of humor and ability not to take oneself too seriously
This position is full time. Competitive annual salary and benefits, including allowance for paid time off.
We encourage you to apply early. We will start reviewing applications on February 1, 2021, and the position will be closed once we have established a robust shortlist. Please apply online here by submitting a brief resume/CV, a cover letter, and two samples of your writing. In your cover letter, please confirm that you are authorized to live and work in Kenya.
Because we are a small team, we regret that we can only respond to applicants selected for an interview. We also regret that we are unable to make informational calls prior to the interviews. Thank you for your understanding!
New Venture Fund Careers
Co-Impact is a project of the New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. The New Venture Fund is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. The New Venture Fund's work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.
Co-Impact team members hired in the U.S. are employed directly by NVF. Team members hired elsewhere are employed through a Professional Employment Organization (PEO) engaged by NVF. Hiring arrangements are subject to change, as Co-Impact spins out to become a separate entity in 2021. Co-Impact will work with relevant experts and the team member to ensure the transition has minimal impact on the initially agreed employment terms.