Program Coordinator

Center for International Forestry Research

Nyeri, Kenya

CIFOR-ICRAF’s research teams work on projects covering a wide range of topics, supported by a wide range of funders, and involving a wide range of partners. The projects need to meet standards set by CIFOR-ICRAF policies and by funders (compliance). This requires the application of Project Management processes and the coordination between different units within CIFOR-ICRAF and partners outside CIFOR-ICRAF. The Program Coordinator provides support in this to science team leaders and heads of country/regional programs and Principal Investigators in those teams. Each Program Coordinator will support 2-3 such teams, depending on the size of teams
Duties and responsibilities:
Project Management:

Provide Project Management function for projects and activities:
  • Collaborate closely with research teams/country programs assigned to the incumbent, for planning, implementation and closing of project activities.
  • Coordinate start?ups (inception meetings), implementation, and closing phases of project management cycles for projects.
  • Support finance and team leaders where needed with annual planning and budgeting processes of projects.
  • Liaise with the Quality for Impact (Q4I) team and PIs on Theory of Change – Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Impact Assessment (MELIA) to ensure lessons are fed back to project development.
  • Monitoring of projects, including ensuring regular check-ins with country teams and partners on implementation of activities, contractual and financial requirements (such as co-funding, Budget vs Actuals etc.).
  • Identify and take action to mitigate potential risks within projects and the work area.
Ensure that the projects are compliant with funder requirements as well as CIFOR-ICRAF policies:
  • Review and assess project documents, contracts, and related documentation to understand and communicate funder requirements to project teams.
  • Facilitate review of agreements by other units, including legal and finance units.
  • Ensure projects meet targets by ensuring that teams and individuals document progress and meet the donor’s reporting requirements.
  • Support the preparation of various written outputs, e.g. sections of reports, analysis and draft TORs for partners and consultants in collaboration with the PI.
  • Manage the production and processing of the required funder technical reports, monitor the completion of project deliverables, monitor project resource use, and initiate corrective action where necessary, ensuring the quality and completion of the reports is according to funder requirement and CIFOR-ICRAF standard.
  • Ensure in collaboration with the Financial Services Unit that CIFOR-ICRAF’s budgetary requirements are met, and internal reports are delivered on time.
  • Advise the PIs and funder on issues that may impact the achievement of the project outcomes (including issues of sustainability and post project requirements such as maintenance). Coordinate and negotiate amendments if needed in liaison with PIs and funders.
  • Support PI with other tasks as needed.
Focal point of projects ensuring an efficient exchange of information between CIFOR-ICRAF, the funder and the implementing partners:
  • Engagement with strategic partners and knowledge sharing partners (i.e. for MOU development and implementation), coordinate flow of information between the project steering committee, projecEnsure that implementing partners, consultants and CIFOR-ICRAF country staff are fully briefed on their responsibilities, deliverables, work plans, budgets, partnerships, and project status.
  • Coordinate with other research teams, country and regional programs, Resource Mobilization Unit (RMU), Communication, Outreach and Engagement (COE) team, Financial Services Unit (FSU), Admin/operations and HR where needed to facilitate effective project implementation and address bottlenecks.
  • Keep oversight of entire portfolio of projects in a science team or country program in support of the team leader.
Support CIFOR-ICRAF resource mobilization efforts:
  • Under the coordination of RMU, contribute to fund raising process though networking and providing related data requirements to support scientists and RMU in proposal/concept note development, specifically using the knowledge of other current and past projects.
  • Representation at relevant meetings with visitors/funders, in coordination with RMU/specific scientists/research teams/projects. Participates in and or coordinates field missions, including provision of guidance to external parties (funding or strategic partners, government officials) and drafting mission summaries, etc.
  • Support the head of PMU in identifying areas of improvement and implementing improvements of the project management process at CIFOR-ICRAF.
  • Support policy development, including review and analysis of issues and trends, preparation of evaluations or other research activities and studies.
  • Details of duties, assignments and objectives will be further discussed and laid out in the staff’s annual performance contract.
Education, knowledge and experience:
  • Master’s degree in a relevant discipline.
  • 7 years of relevant professional experience including 2 years’ Global experience.
  • Familiarity with the CGIAR systems, networks and processes is preferred.
  • Experience in working on large projects.
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Excellent written and spoken command of the English language is essential; knowledge of other major international languages will be an advantage.
  • Strong computer skills in all the main Microsoft office programs and database management.