Director of Programs

Jacaranda Health

Jacaranda Health

Nairobi, Kenya
Posted on Sunday, October 1, 2023

Location: Based in sub-Saharan Africa (Nairobi or Accra preferred).

Reports to: Co-Executive Director

Preferred start date: February 1, 2023 or earlier

Jacaranda Health is seeking a talented individual for the role of Director of Programs (DoP) to help us build our award-winning global programs, expand our impact in maternal and infant health, and work closely with the organization's executive team.


Jacaranda Health is a Nairobi-based organization dedicated to improving pregnancy outcomes for all mothers and babies. We do this by developing innovations that are high-impact, accessible, financially sustainable and can be implemented at national scale. Our goal is to have these solutions adopted as the national standard of care as we move towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC).


In Kenya, Jacaranda Health's team of 100 works with 20 counties, with solutions deployed across 1200+ hospitals and health centers. We combine a package of affordable, evidence-based solutions with a comprehensive data infrastructure to help governments address significant quality gaps in their health systems:  

  • A digital health platform PROMPTS that, through two-way SMS exchange, empowers women to seek care at the right time and place, and raises their voices within the health system. It combines a sequence of messages aimed at influencing care seeking behaviors and an AI-enabled helpdesk which responds to mothers’ questions and sparks a rapid referral chain if a risk is identified. 

  • A Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) nurse MENTORS program, that builds the capacity of frontline midwives to deliver timely emergency care. The program is based on a peer-to-peer mentorship model that empowers government midwife champions with a suite of digital and in-person tools to continuously develop skills amongst their peers in facilities.

  • A data insights suite that combines data from mothers and providers to drive continuous improvement in MNH care. PROMPTS routinely captures mothers’ feedback on respectful care and clinical quality, and shares the data with hospitals and county management teams.

As Jacaranda grows in Kenya, we are leveraging our platform of solutions and partners to address service gaps exist for certain mothers and newborns (eg. maternal mental health, support for adolescent mothers, small and sick newborns). As always, we will co-design practical approaches with government to enhance solutions meet our standards of equity, efficiency, and sustainability.


We also see exciting opportunities to replicate these solutions in other countries in Sub Saharan Africa. For example, Jacaranda is currently piloting PROMPTS in Eswatini in partnership with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). We are also looking to expand our footprint to an additional 1-2 countries over the next 18 months, either by partnering with Ministries of Health and/or other established organizations on the ground, or setting up our own offices.


Job Summary


To support these efforts Jacaranda Health is seeking a talented individual for the role of Director of Programs (DoP). The DoP will be an experienced strategic leader, who will combine deep technical experience with proven management skills to lead our teams to develop new initiatives, and provide oversight as we expand solutions across multiple geographies. 

The role will include guiding Jacaranda’s geographical expansion, establishing partnerships with Ministries and/or implementing partners, and ensuring strong collaboration and learning between new country operations and Kenya operations. The role will also include provision of strategic guidance to country-specific Heads of Programs, by linking regional priorities and advances to our continued improvement of solutions to meet the needs of mothers and babies.

Key Responsibilities

  • Technical leadership: Provide technical leadership of Jacaranda’s core programs (PROMPTS, MENTORS) and nascent solutions in the R&D pipeline, to ensure we are providing the highest quality, sustainable care to mothers and babies through our partner public hospital networks. Drive operational excellence across Kenya and new country programs, ensuring the quality and efficiency of programs and management processes and ensuring that key performance indicators are met

  • Geographical program expansion: Define the roadmap for new country expansion for the next 24 months, including strategic goals, partnership approach/modalities, learning objectives, etc. Establish efficient and effective collaboration with relevant Kenya program functions (e.g. technology, research, programs) to ensure new country programs have access to the technical skills and institutional knowledge required for their work. Develop tools and processes to facilitate learning and collaboration between Kenya and new country programs

  • Domain program expansion: Identify areas of unmet need within the maternal and newborn health space, where Jacaranda can develop new solutions or partner with other organizations to deploy solutions to address health system gaps.

  • Relationship leadership: Establish and maintain strong relationships with relevant Ministry of Health, donor, and implementing partner stakeholders in priority expansion countries. Represent Jacaranda to relevant new country stakeholders (donors, partners, government) and at relevant conferences and events

  • Business development: Extend relationship management to generate revenue opportunities, through grants or partner-led contract revenue, and act as a thought partner to teams on broader sustainability opportunities, such as linkages with public or private payer networks.  

A successful candidate will

  • Be passionate solutions that drive real and sustainable impact for underserved mothers and babies, seeking care in resource constrained environments.

  • Make decisions and communicate based on comprehensive data and rigorous analysis, but is also comfortable making strategic and directional decisions when information is limited.

  • Be at ease with matrix management, leading initiatives that are cross-functional and cross-departmental.

  • Value personal and professional growth of their direct reports and collaborating teams, and recognizes this is a fundamental component of organizational growth and success.


Successful candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in public health, public policy, health system management or business administration, with a minimum of 5 years experience working in global health and/or digital health programs.

  • Minimum of 5 years of experience managing people and budgets, and working in international organizations in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • A strong professional network and experience in engaging with donors, government authorities, leaders from international organizations.

  • Fluent in written and spoken English. Professional proficiency in French or another African language is a plus.

  • Strong interpersonal, communication (written and verbal), and collaboration skills.

  • Excellent organizational, planning, and project management skills with strong attention to detail.

  • Proficiency in MS Office and G-Suite (Excel, PowerPoint and Google Sheets). Knowledge of, and experience working with, digital health platforms is a plus.

  • High level of professionalism and the ability to work both independently and with remote teams.