Senior Program Officer

IDRC, Nairobi, Kenya

Skill Required:, Monitoring and EvaluationProject/ Programme ManagementResearch and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
7 to 10 Year
Closing Date for Applications: 
11th October, 2020

Job Description

Job Overview

IDRC’s Employment and Growth (EG) program supports research to enhance employment and economic opportunities for vulnerable groups, particularly for women and youth, in the global South. The program houses the Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women (GrOW) initiative that seeks to address the barriers holding back women form advancing economically. Building on the foundational work across sub-Saharan and South Asia, a new phase, GrOW East Africa, aims to spur transformative change to advance gender equality in the world of work. Funded in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the initiative will support in-depth evaluative and action research, forging partnerships with public and private sector actors to identify and scale successful solutions. The goal is to enhance effective and evidence-informed policies, programs, and interventions on unpaid care and gender segregation of work.

Under the guidance of a Director and supported by members of the program team, you will take the lead on:

  • Promoting research quality and scientific merit: strengthening capacities to design and implement cutting edge, policy relevant, and rigorous research through ongoing engagement with research grantees, including site visits; providing intellectual leadership; and contributing to the shaping of theoretical and conceptual frameworks and methodological approaches to guide future research.
  • Supporting policy uptake: developing and implementing a Policy Uptake Strategy in consultation with the relevant Director; supporting on-going scanning of policy windows, fostering policy engagements, brokering partnerships with advocacy groups, and strengthening the capacity of project teams for policy uptake.
  • Facilitating program learning and synthesis: working with research grantees and advisors to promote sound methodologies and strengthen analytical skills; forge linkages with other research programs; encourage and support dissemination of research findings at research and policy fora as well as publications in peer reviewed journals; manage ongoing synthesis of key research findings from projects; and promote dissemination of research to key audiences.
  • Managing the GrOW East Africa program: Managing a portfolio of approximately 7-8 research projects, working closely with Program Officers responsible for other GrOW projects; leading the development of program monitoring system and reporting to partner agencies, and overseeing the program implementation to ensure its overall cohesion and appropriate use of funds.

Candidate Profile


  • PhD and a record of research and publication in a relevant social science discipline such as economics, international development, gender studies are required. A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline and two additional years of qualifying experience will be considered in lieu of a doctorate degree and record of research and publications.


  • At least eight years’ relevant experience is required in the areas of women’s economic empowerment which includes:
  • Managing a research program involving multiple stakeholders;
  • Leading and conducting research projects in developing regions;
  • Assessing and strengthening research capacities through mentoring and supervising;
  • Establishing and building partnerships with research organizations and end users;
  • Consulting with decision-makers and policy actors to identify research needs;
  • Working in developing regions


  • Advanced English language communication skills


  • Knowledge of current debates and research agendas and policy priorities in the areas of women’s economic empowerment, care economy, and gender equality in East Africa
  • Sound understanding of research approaches and methods as well as uptake processes and challenges
  • Knowledge of the research environment and policy-oriented research organizations in the target countries.
  • Knowledge of and experience working in East Africa.


  • Ability to innovate, develop and manage new areas of programming and partnerships
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, including sensitivity towards individual, gender and cultural differences
  • Strong leadership, and ability to build trust and maintain successful relationships with various stakeholders and work in a multidisciplinary and partially virtual team
  • Ability to effectively represent the GrOW program, in East Africa and abroad Sound judgement and decision-making
  • Solid researching, analytical and reporting skills


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