Signature Program Technical Lead

Heifer International




About Heifer International

Heifer International is on a mission to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way by supporting and investing alongside local farmers and their communities. Our programs support entrepreneurs around the world, creating lasting change from the ground up.

It begins with a seed investment of livestock or agriculture, followed by mentorship to help project participants build a business, and ultimately to gain access to supply chains and markets. By supporting and training the world’s farmers, ranchers, and female business owners, we’re investing in a new breed of success.

Job Summary

The Signature Program Technical Lead – Country Office will provide strategic leadership for country office Signature Programs. S/he will be responsible for signature program design, data analysis, market systems analysis, access to finance, value chain analysis and proposal writing, as well as co-designing.

S/he will also be responsible for signature program implementation, donor reporting and field level leadership, while ensuring highest standards in compliance with obligations and results according to signed agreements. S/he therefore enforces quality assurance with programs and is responsible for the quality and performance of work of all relevant Signature Program staff, sub-recipients and sub-contract service providers. In addition, s/he will build capacity/capability for signature programming in the country office.

The major focus of the role is to carefully lead implementation of country led signature programs (in line with project strategy), to achieve program objectives. S/he will maintain focus on leadership, communication and strategy and drive towards sustainability that achieves scale, permanence and impact through long-term partnerships.

The Signature Program Technical Lead – Country Office will report to the Country Director but will work collaboratively with the Signature Program Technical team at the Regional level. The job-holder will travel to the field 40% of the time.

Role Deliverables

  1. Signature Program Co-design

Design and analyse market systems, access to finance, cooperatives & off-takers capacity/capability building, value chain analysis and co-designing relationships for in-country signature programming.

  • In consultation with Country Director and the Regional Signature Program Techncal team, creatively design initiatives that uphold and improve program quality, innovation and learning on signature programs.
  • Provide technical leadership for the preparation, design, submission and approval of project concepts and full-fledged proposals. Act as in-country technical proposal developer, while integrating donor strategies, priorities and technical requirements into Heifer’s approach.
  • Establish and enable strong stakeholder relationships with donors, peer organizations, research and other institutions, towards enhancing program quality.
  • Develop and adopt standardized approaches, practices, tools and measurements in co-design and capacity strengthening.
  • Guide in-country program team, in the development of comprehensive plans and materials, development and implementation of capacity strengthening strategies in the Signature Program area.
  1. Program Management, Leadership and Quality Initiatives (40%)
  • Provide strategic leadership to Country Signature Program team and maintain excellent oversight of all program management aspects.
  • Responsible for overall best standards and practice, partnership principles, processes and tools towards high-quality implementation of signature programs.
  • Develop and implement strategies, standards, tools and best practice in program quality, that effectively engage partners, donors, and governments.
  • Roll out capacity strengthening initiatives in program quality for staff and partners, develop learning and training strategies and agenda, conducting trainings and workshops.
  • Capture data and share lessons learnt and best practice for specific projects to facilitate continuous adaptation and enhance decision making.
  • Monitor and provide feedback on program quality through regular team meetings, field visits and regular communication.
  • Coach and mentor Program Managers and Coordinators in personal development and execution of workplan activities and operations in response to technical direction and recommend changes as appropriate, to achieve program objectives.
  • Identify and manage program risks in each phase of program implementation in a timely manner, to ensure fulfillment of objectives.
  • Responsible for accountability and compliance for donor requirements.
  • Develop and leverage internal resources for program related reports and presentations, as may be required.
  • Overall responsibility for compliance standards within Heifer and donor program and project guidelines and standards, including transparency, policy compliance, accountability, communication with HQ, donors and external constituencies.
  • Ensure effective working relationships and strong communication with all the relevant stakeholders throughout program implementation and successfully manage a matrix program management structure.
  1. Budget Management and Monitoring (20%)
  • Lead program teams in developing annual budgets and workplans consistent with program documents and donor contracts.
  • Provide support to program teams in undertaking the necessary review and updating of the workplans and budgets to respond to any emerging field implementation challenges and program review processes.
  • In liaison with the Finance department, undertake quarterly budget monitoring and variance analysis with all Program Managers, while reviewing and tracking spending to adhere to annual budgets.
  • Accountable for the Country office plan and corrective management actions arising out of budget monitoring reports.
  • Overall responsibility for ensuring program related expenses are in line with work plans and financial management procedures.
  1. Strengthen Core Global Operating System (15%)
  • Responsible for compliance with Heifer International policies and procedures and other accountability standards through trainings, event participation and field visits.
  • Liaise with the Regional Signature Program Technical team and departments at HQ on behalf of country program with regard to Signature Programs.
  • Ensure Signature Program proposals and concept notes are entered into HQ tracking systems, to avoid delay in activation.
  • Responsible for adequate development, implementation, evaluation and systematization of signature programs by country office.
  • Lead review of signature program monitoring and evaluation reports generated from the field offices and propose recommendations based on the report.
  • Accountable for accurate record keeping of Signature Program files and documents.
  1. Any Other Assigned Function (5%)

May perform other job-related duties as assigned.

Person specification

Minimum Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree and a minimum of ten (10) to fifteen (15) years of program management experience.
  • Minimum of five (5) years experience in managing design and co-designing of market systems, value chain development, large and complex programs.
  • Proven experience of building relationships and engaging at senior levels with governments, private sector, local and international institutions.
  • Experience of successfully managing, coaching and professionally developing team members working in different projects.

Preferred Requirements:

  • Master’s degree preferred.
  • At least seven (7) years in technical programming leadership.
  • At least five (5) years in management.

Most Critical Proficiencies:

  • Knowledge of strategic planning, program and project development and implementation processes (including planning, monitoring and evaluation)
  • Excellent strategic and critical thinking skills and good judgement – able to assimilate information and new ideas quickly to determine strategic opportunities and risks.
  • Knowledge and work experience in agriculture and community development in a developing country context (market systems, value chains, access to market, access to finance, etc)
  • Excellent knowledge on monitoring and evaluation of programs and projects
  • Excellent organizational and administrative skills including strong attention to detail
  • Knowledge of grant acquisition and management
  • Basic knowledge of finance controls and systems
  • Knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, database and electronic mail software (Microsoft preferred)
  • Strong English language skills – oral and written

Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work cooperatively, tactfully and diplomatically with a culturally diverse group of people.
  • Ability to produce accurate documents in a well-designed and attractive format with impeccable attention to detail.
  • Constant face-to-face, telephone and electronic communication with colleagues and the general public.
  • May require constant sitting; working at a computer for extended periods of time.
  • Ability and willingness to extensively travel 30% of the time both domestically and internationally.
  • Ability to develop and present training materials.
  • Ability to work with sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.

Essential Character Traits

Drives results, detailed-oriented, self driven, accountable, manages complex environments, excellent and effective communication, resourcefulness, manages conflict, team player.LocationNairobi, KenyaReports ToCountry DirectorClosing Date18th August 2023 – Candidates will be interviewed on a rolling basis. The advert will close once a suitable candidate has been identified.


Interested in this role? Download the appointment brief below for more information and then come back to this page to apply.




Heifer International
Published On: July 28th, 2023 / Categories: AgriJobs, News, SDGs / Tags: /

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