East Africa Regional Manager Vacancy-Job Ref:JKKE/1703/202012

  • Full Time
  • Nairobi

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI)

East Africa Regional Manager Vacancy-Job Ref:JKKE/1703/202012

Nairobi, Kenya Full Time Regional Programs Manager/Supervisor

NRGI Background: For the one billion people living in poverty in resource-rich countries, the oil, gas and mining sectors have failed to deliver on the promise of better quality of life. Instead of fact-based public debate, populist promises dominate many political systems. Corruption and state capture have spread, and democracy is under threat. Those who demand accountability face harassment and violence. The climate crisis looms large and the transition to green energy risks replicating governance misdeeds in the sector. Unless governance improves, half of the world’s poor will live in resource-rich countries by 2030.

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) mission is to secure a future where countries rich in oil, gas and minerals achieve sustainable, inclusive development – one where people receive lasting benefits from extractives, and the negative impacts associated with the sector are minimized. Transparency, intelligent data, and capacity building are key tools to delivering impact. Our international staff of more than 90 country and issue experts, lawyers, economists and governance specialists contribute evidence-based knowledge, advocacy, and technical expertise to make gains for the public good.

Job Purpose: The East Africa Regional Manager role is a unique opportunity to bring about reforms in the governance of natural resources and contribute lasting public benefit. The regional manager builds an impactful and influential NRGI presence by leading the country teams to define strategic reform agendas, which includes identifying the right agents of change, engaging strategically with prominent leaders, and influencing policy and adoption of leading practices. With a focus in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya, the East Africa Regional Manager oversees design and implementation of Country Strategies and ensures successful execution of programs. S/he brings in-depth understanding of the extractives industry and governance to guide and support teams and key stakeholders.

With NRGI’s newly formed 2020-2025 strategy, this position will serve a pivotal role in aligning region and country strategies and programs. Additionally, the East Africa Regional Manager will oversee the running of the Africa Knowledge Hub in Kenya, in partnership with an academic institution. The East Africa Regional Manager will be vital in establishing this new partnership and designing, implementing, and linking effective interventions to maximize the value of the knowledge hub concept.

Major Responsibilities:

Provide thought leadership to the team in how to drive impact in the sub-region. Guide research and analysis to position NRGI as a leader in how good governance of natural resources can result in sustainable, inclusive development.

Keep up to date on regional & global trends, developments, and key international issues in governance and extractives. Keep teams advancing in their technical knowledge and in-depth understanding.

Consult with relevant development partners, influential agencies and experts. Act as NRGI’s key advisor on the issues in the sub-region and keep NRGI at the cutting edge of reform efforts.

Conduct and lead strategic analysis (e.g., stakeholder, political, extractives) for the sub-region to understand ecosystem and priorities for intervention. Participate in or commission research specific to the sub-region that will lead to comprehensive understanding of key issues.

Use research and analytics to hypothesize theories of change for driving sustainable, inclusive development in the region, aiming to ensure that the people in the region receive lasting benefits and experience reduced harms from extractives.

Stay abreast of NRGI’s research, MEL (Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning) findings and research from partner organizations to ensure lessons learned from our engagement and the changing political economy inform our work.

Develop the sub-region and country strategy and programs, including innovative ideas for reaching target groups and influencing systemic change in the sub-region and country.

Participate in the development & updating of the whole-organisation strategic plan, contributing insight and recommendations from the sub-region.

Design and develop strategic programs and interventions for the sub-region, especially when higher level of technical expertise, influence, and/or broader coordination are needed:

Support the Africa co-Director in establishing the Extractives Knowledge Hub and subsequent programs
Design, develop, and deliver trainings and capacity development initiatives
Help develop Country Strategic Plans with the Country Managers/Leaders and teams, ensuring the application of NRGI strategy and maximizing sub-region impact.

Draft and submit the Annual Plan for the sub-region, including:

Developing the portfolio of impactful projects
Advocacy & Communication strategies
Resourcing plan (HR & Financial)
Risk identification and mitigation
MEL framework and data collection plan

Manage the sub-region portfolio of projects, optimizing NRGI and partner capabilities to maximize impact.

Engage with project stakeholders to ensure on-going commitment and alignment. Orchestrate and negotiate resources and capacity to achieve strategic and donor objectives across the portfolio.

Manage and coordinate projects to ensure delivery of results and compliance with technical and financial standards; ensure timely reporting, expense management, and budget / variance tracking. Detect and respond to changes in the environment (opportunities, problems, operational/performance challenges) and proactively adapt programs and projects. Ensure accountability requirements for sub-grants and donor reporting are met.

Ensure that MEL frameworks and data collection tools are developed so that our understanding of how to leverage beneficial change for residents of resource-rich countries can be continuously enhanced.

Review whether desired results were achieved and ensure that appropriate action is taken to glean full value. Foster an agile growth mindset that embraces learning and expertise across NRGI and quickly shares emerging successes:

Identify and document best practice; promote / scale up successful approaches
Assess quality of implementations and program designs
Develop / adapt theories of change
Design and pilot new tools & approaches
Participate in and cooperate with audits

Shape region and country norms and drive the transformation of country practices in natural resource governance through effective influencing, advocacy and communication strategies.

With country teams, conduct in-depth stakeholder analysis and plan stakeholder & influence management. Build a broad network of relevant, impactful relationships. Keep stakeholder mapping up to date and aligned with strategies and programs.

Identify and cultivate partnerships locally and regionally; build strategic relationships with intellectual leaders in government and across public and private sectors.

In collaboration with Communications Director and Regional Communications Officer, effectively use media and communication platforms/tools to reach targeted audiences. Grow awareness and understanding that translates into impactful engagement. Monitor and evaluate communications and advocacy efforts to ensure they are having the required impact and are implemented to standard.

Personally contribute in implementing Advocacy & Communication strategies:

Speak at conferences & events
Engage with media to communicate important messages
Produce and circulate reports & research papers
Enhance NRGI brand visibility and promote successes

Build strong donor relations that deliver value and generate sustainable funding.

Identify and build productive relationships with potential and actual donors.

Evaluate proposal opportunities and determine what to pursue; along with Country Managers and Officers, participate in proposal development and secure funding.

Instill a culture of donor value:

Ensure understanding of donor objectives, priorities, and aspirations; align communication, designs, and reports
Ensure full understanding of & compliance with donor requirements and consistent, high-quality donor reporting
Create relationships of on-going value by providing insightful information and maintaining relationships during and after implementation

Lead the sub-region and country program staff in a manner that empowers them to add value to NRGI and ensures high standards of performance and collaboration.

Build and lead a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team across sub-region, managing performance and providing an engaging leadership style to ensure motivation. Guide recruiting, hiring, and on-boarding of staff and ensure timely administration of performance and annual reviews.

Develop the capacity of the team by supporting and encouraging personal and professional development; ensure that learning is applied in the workplace to drive continuous improvement.

Identify competency and capacity needs of the sub-region and countries and proactively plan and manage staffing and development with senior leadership.

Contribute to the development of appropriate policies and procedures to govern team safety and security and staff wellbeing.

The responsibilities of this role are subject to modifications as required by the needs of the organization.

Job Requirements:

Experience & Technical Skills Required

Minimum 8-10 years directly relevant work experience in governance and development in Africa, including East Africa (Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania specifically); with evidence of strong outreach, networking and advocacy at senior leadership levels.
Deep understanding of effective and accountable management of oil, gas and mining; profound understanding of the complex ecosystem that results in resource-rich countries failing to achieve sustainable development.
Demonstrable experience in a leadership/management role, building and developing teams and guiding people to success; collaborating and communicating effectively at all levels.
Experience setting strategy in partnership with senior management; ability to think conceptually and strategically with a 3-7 year horizon.
Possess the gravitas, credibility and ability to initiate and develop strategic relationships and influence key stakeholders at a country and regional level.
Experience working in a complex or pioneering environment, including managing and creating opportunities for systemic change.
Experience in fundraising and PR/communicating to media desirable.
Experience managing and allocating resources efficiently; ability to manage annual project portfolio in $400,000-500,000 USD range.
Excellent English language skills, both written and spoken; Swahili proficiency a plus.
Education & Qualifications

Advanced degree in relevant field (political science, economics, law or international affairs, etc.) preferred, or bachelors with equivalent level of experience.
Professional Strengths: impact and results-oriented, initiative-taker, multi-tasker able to work to tight deadlines – and instills these attributes in others.

Working Environment: Starts with remote working arrangement until Nairobi office is established. Travel to Tanzania and Uganda within the first four weeks. Subsequent travels will be on needs-basis to supplement regular virtual meetings with country teams.

Closing date: Applications should be made by way of a cover letter and cv no later than 18:00hrs EAT on Monday 30 March. Please note that applications will be assessed on a rolling basis up to the closing date.

NRGI’s Values: NRGI seeks candidates who align with our values:


Maintaining our independence and credibility. Willing to speak truth to power. Engaging with respect. Practicing what we preach. Upholding the highest standards of excellence in all we do.


Strategic and selective in approach. Mindful of context, adapting to changing realities and seizing new opportunities. Looking critically and openly at what works and what doesn’t, and why. Integrating that learning into our forward-looking work. Accountable to our mission, the actors with whom we work and each other.


Partnering internally and externally to affect change. Capitalizing on NRGI’s comparative advantage. Valuing teamwork, diversity and inclusion. Working with different stakeholders and across different stakeholder groups. Commitment to building the field and inspiring others to act.


Commitment to social justice. Prudently optimistic that we can and will shift entrenched power dynamics. Dedication, creativity and resiliency in the fact of obstacles. Investing in change makers and strengthening NRGI.


Technical competence, intellectual leadership and commitment to quality. Generating and leveraging the evidence base. Interrogating our work. Innovation and initiative to push the boundaries of our field.

NRGI is an Equal Opportunity Employer. NRGI considers all applicants based on merit without regard to race, gender, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

Your privacy is important to us and we are committed to collecting, processing, storing and destroying all information in accordance with the GDPR, UK data protection laws and the NRGI Privacy policy. Please note that only successful candidates will be contacted.