Program Manager



Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Position Overview

Educate!, a fast-growing and award-winning social enterprise, is seeking a Program Manager to support the management of an innovative out-of-school youth product in Kenya. In our first ten years, Educate! became the biggest youth skills provider in East Africa by scaling our proven in-school model to impact hundreds of thousands of youth in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. In 2021, our top priority across the organization is testing a bootcamp model for out-of-school youth. We already have evidence that this type of model can lead to better life outcomes for youth and are looking for the right person to lead the execution of the program model, and eventually scale this model.

About Educate!

Africa has the world’s youngest and fastest-growing population. By 2035, the continent is poised to contribute more people to the global workforce each year than the rest of the world combined.

At Educate! we're obsessed with impact. We leverage iterative learning to build highly scalable youth employment solutions aimed at unlocking the potential of the world’s youngest continent.

Educate! prepares youth in Africa learn, earn and thrive in today’s economy by:

1) introducing an employment-focused school subject into secondary, and

2) delivering livelihood bootcamps for out-of-school youth, with a focus on marginalized rural girls and young women.

To date, more than 250,000 youth have been meaningfully impacted across Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, and along the way, Educate! has become the largest youth employment and skills provider in East Africa.

Educate! is a team of over 250 largely African staff and 300 volunteer youth mentors. We prioritize building an engaging, fulfilling and growth oriented work environment. 50% of our top 30 leaders have been with us for over 5 years, 10+ alumni have started their own organizations and 6 current or former team members were Acumen Fund East Africa fellows.

We have been backed by top foundations such as Imaginable Futures, Big Bang Philanthropy, #startsmall, Generation Unlimited, CIFF and Echidna Giving. Educate! won a 2018 Klaus J. Jacobs Prize and a 2015 WISE Award, and has been highlighted by the World Bank’s S4YE's Impact Portfolio, an Al Jazeera documentary, BBC, The Brookings Institution as one of 14 case studies on scaling education, and the Gates Foundation as a Goalkeepers Accelerator. In 2022, we received a catalytic investment from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott to scale our systems change work.

Educate!'s long-term vision is to design solutions that measurably impact millions of youth across Africa each year. By 2025, we aim to scale our annual reach by 4x and measurably impact over 400,000 new youth.

You are the right fit for this role if you;

  • Are a strong people manager and implementer who is able to translate vision into actions and gets things done as part of a team.
  • Have significant program management experience that enables you to immediately bring considerable strategic value to a project. Experience in managing a project at an early stage is preferred. Experience in leading innovation within an organization is also preferred.
  • Ability to guide others through major changes, encourage teamwork, develop team capabilities, and motivate contributors to meet deadlines.
  • Professional and interpersonal skills with the energy, vision and drive to succeed in a fast-paced, high-performance environment.
  • Can serve as a custodian of the program culture, embodying Educate!'s cultural values, and effectively disseminating them to the frontline teams.
  • You thrive well in a highly collaborative environment and are obsessed with the common good and well-being of the frontline teams

Performance Objectives

Program Management and Quality Assurance (40%)

  • Lead execution of the Skill Up Educate!’s Bootcamp for out-of-school youth as per program design goals with key feedback collected and incorporated to improve product impact.
  • Inform, co-build and execute systems to maintain quality assurance, ensuring that the program is being delivered as designed.
  • Manage to key Bootcamp Performance Indicators set out to improve retention,& trainer engagement while fostering data driven decision making culture to the program team.
  • Anticipate risks and develop proactive courses of action in collaboration with the Director of Program Implementation/supervisor.
  • Collaborate with the field -Ops team to improve timely reporting and documentation of program activities.

Performance Management ( 35%)

  • Develop and maintain a positive, healthy high performance team culture that empowers the team to be responsive and agile with clear recruitment and monitoring strategy.
  • Co-lead initiatives for product strategy understanding, buy-in, and ownership for field teams in cultivating an environment of providing aligned relevant strategy feedback and co-creation
  • Monitor team performance and provide the right support to the team, provide coaching, feedback and mentorship to the team to minimize challenges and build pipeline.
  • Manage to set program goals while building an accountable work culture in reporting, teamwork and co-building for risker aspects with the frontline teams.

Financial Management (15%)

  • Draft and manage approved Skill Up Bootcamp Implementation budget as per organizational standards.
  • Take charge of monthly and quarterly program budgeting and operationalization with full team accountability and process follow through.
  • Uphold financial integrity standards ensuring program activities are run within budget making suggestions of budget savings, efficient Implementation within the cost model.

Partnership Engagement (10%)

  • Lead & grow partner engagement strategy leading off lessons to iterate forward strategy development and actions to leverage local actors in building product community ownership and support
  • Build field team capacity to establish scalable brands and partnerships relevant for smooth program delivery.
  • Benchmark working practices for partner engagement to leverage system and local actors for sustainable structures that benefit programs efficiently.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree, with a minimum of 3 years relevant professional experience (4-5 years preferred).
  • Excellent program manager with people management skills. Managed a dynamic team
  • Comfortable managing a budget and using Excel; demonstrated project management experience; program management experience is required
  • Comfortable working and being in the field frequently.
  • Fluent in English and Kiswahili, with strong writing skills in both
  • Kenyan nationals only
  • A good fit with our Five Cultural Tenets (see “What is Educate! About?” Below; learn more by looking at Educate!’s culture deck here.

What Is Educate! About?

We’re ambitious. Are you? Educate! is growing fast, so new opportunities are opening up and expanding all the time. We’re inspired by people with drive, and we love to help them reach their full potential. We expect everyone at Educate! to contribute above and beyond their job description, grow their skills, and advance their careers, and we are committed to supporting our staff members on that journey of their careers, and we are committed to supporting our staff members on that journey.

  1. We put Youth First, Impact-Obsessed - We never forget that Educate! exists to impact youth. We are purpose-driven. We obsess over impact daily and if it doesn’t lead to impact, we want nothing to do with it. We prioritize interacting with and listening to youth. We design and manage the organization to ensure every dollar creates transformative experiences that youth value.
  2. We Exceed Expectations - We take pride in going above and beyond to achieve the best results. When we know what needs to be done, we do it. We don’t wait to be asked and we don’t stop at what is asked of us. We look for solutions as much as we identify problems.
  3. We Are Always Learning - We are committed to seeking and applying new knowledge and ideas. We stay open-minded. We know there is always another way and we are excited to learn about it. We continuously look for resources of all kinds from multiple disciplines. We try new things, experiment, grow, and improve. We invest in learning for ourselves and our teams.
  4. We are One Team, Many Views - We say what we think while treating each other well. We believe that all people have the same inherent value and that diverse ideas and open dialogue fuel excellence. We constantly strive to create an environment where everyone can and does express themselves freely. We support and respect each other as people and colleagues. We act as one team: We prioritize the organization's mission and goals over team or individual goals.
  5. We have the Startup Mindset - We will always keep innovating to grow our impact. We aspire to be game-changing. We never think “we have arrived” or “we’re done.” We question the status quo in our industry. We move fast and embrace change to move towards our long-term vision. We’re not afraid of failure. We interrogate anything that slows us down.

Every person at Educate! — from interns to the executive director — is evaluated by how they live up to these five cultural tenets. They are at the core of how we achieve our mission and why we work as well as we do.

Educate is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who interact in our community. In creating this environment, we encourage people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences to join our diverse team.

Child Safeguarding: Educate! is committed to child-safe/youth-safe recruitment, selection and screening. Our recruitment and selection procedures reflect our commitment to the safety and protection of children in our programs. The successful candidate will be required to provide a satisfactory Certificate of Good Conduct as a condition of employment. We reserve the right to decline to offer employment to an individual or terminate an employment contract with an employee that may pose a risk to children and youth.