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Program Manager

Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Employment Type: Full-Time Employee of MCLD-Kenya

Reports to: Executive Coordinator at the MCLD Global Secretariat

Organization Overview: MCLD is a global network of national membership associations committed to Shift the Power so that low-income communities can achieve their own visions and goals. It comprises over 2000 local and community-based organizations and 30+ INGOs and INGO networks.

Position Summary: MCLD is a consortium partner in a USAID-funded project to strengthen non-violent social movements worldwide. Among other responsibilities, MCLD role in the consortium is to create a virtual, living repository of nonviolent action based on the needs and aspirations of social movement activists and to support the adoption of learning practices through a decolonization perspective. The Program Manager will ensure the coordination, timely implementation and reporting compliance on the project. They will work closely with MCLD National Associations and grassroots activists across the entire consortium to ensure that MCLD’s work in general, and the repository in particular, is shaped by social movement activists. They will also work to ensure that the repository maintains the highest standards of security and does not put any activists or movements at risk.

MCLD consistently works to transform the current development and humanitarian systems to ensure that every person has a voice and choice in decisions that affect their lives. This entails challenging the existing power dynamics through relentless advocacy and applying a decolonizing lens to policy and practice. Our National Associations co-create and lead their programs to support decentralization, greater collaboration and community-development in their own countries. The Global Secretariat of MCLD supports the Associations and also works to ensure that the Associations and their membership shape not just MCLD but policy-making and systems thinking in the local, regional and global arenas. In addition to the USAID project, the Program Manager will support National Associations with implementation of their programs and reporting, especially those that involve funding from around the world.

Key Responsibilities:

Project Planning and Strategy

  • Lead the development of program strategies, goals, and objectives in alignment with the organization’s mission, the aspirations of the communities and local organizations and funder requirements.
  • Create adaptive and responsive project plans, timelines, and budgets in consultation with members, associations and consortium partners (as applicable) and ensure adherence to them throughout the project lifecycle.
  • Maintain regular check-ins with all stakeholders to make adaptations to programs and projects in real-time.
  • Collaboration and Active Listening
  • Cultivate and maintain positive relationships with project partners, funders, government agencies, and local communities.
  • Be an attentive listener and ensure that MCLD’s work in the USAID project and other programs reflects the aspirations of its members and the communities they serve.
  • Work with consortium partners in the USAID project and with broader stakeholders to identify opportunities for collaboration and synergies for project implementation.

Coordination and Project Implementation

  • Oversee the execution of project activities for the USAID project, ensuring they are carried out efficiently, effectively, within budget and adhere to the do no harm principle.
  • Monitor project progress, carry out pause and reflect based learning exercises, and make suitable adaptations as needed to achieve project objectives.
  • Ensure and implement multi-directional accountability in the project- not just to the funder and the consortium lead, but to the grassroots activists and National Association members.
  • Coordinate internally across various National Associations and externally with the consortium lead and partners on the project.
  • Coordinate with National Associations on various programs and initiatives they are leading and maintain an active database of initiatives, needs and learnings.
  • Working closely with the Executive Coordinator, the learning and communications team and the consultant building the repository to ensure its timely execution.

Resource Management

  • Manage program budgets, including tracking expenditures, forecasting financial needs, and ensuring cost-effectiveness.
  • Supervise project staff and consultants, providing guidance and support to ensure a productive and motivated team.

Reporting and Compliance

  • Prepare regular progress reports, both internal and external, and submit them to funders and stakeholders in the spirit of collaborative learning and mutual accountability.
  • Ensure compliance with funder guidelines, project agreements, and relevant regulations.

Risk Management

  • Work closely with National Associations, local organizations, and activists to Identify potential risks and develop mitigation strategies to ensure we adhere to the Do No Harm principles and minimize the impact on program success.
  • Stay informed about the political, economic, and social context in various regions where MCLD is active, ensure this information is shared with the Global Secretariat and adjust strategies accordingly.

Capacity Strengthening

  • Support the professional development of National Associations, team members and partners through collaborative learning, mentoring, and knowledge sharing, particularly around program management and reporting.
  • Lead the co-creation of tools that support National Associations in undertaking project management and reporting, based on their own values and stories.


  • At least 6 years of proven and progressively responsible experience in managing development projects.
  • Knowledge of and proven experience of managing projects funded by bilateral agencies and international foundations, particularly USAID.
  • Strong knowledge of international development principles, practices, and trends, particularly those around community-led development and locally-led development.
  • Excellent project management skills, including budgeting and financial management.
  • Proficiency in funder relations, grant management, and reporting.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to work effectively in diverse cultural contexts.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and motivate teams to achieve project goals.
  • Fluency in English and at least one of the following languages: Swahili, French, Spanish, Arabic or Ewe.
  • Expertise in using powerpoint, word, excel and online meeting platforms.
  • Willingness to travel locally, regionally and internationally as needed.

Please note this position requires travel both within Kenya and internationally.

How to Apply:

To apply please email a resume to, along with a cover letter illustrating your interest in and your suitability for the position. Please indicate your language proficiency and experience of program management very clearly in the cover letter. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

In accordance with MCLD’s values, preference will be given to Majority World (typically called Global South) candidates with lived experience. We encourage candidates from historically marginalized communities, including ethnic and religious minorities, women, youth, members of historically marginalized groups and people with disabilities to apply. 

Application Deadline: Ongoing. The position is expected to begin on March 1, 2024.

Photo by Mustafa Omar on Unsplash