Job opportunity

Head of Program Portfolio for the CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform (Closing date: 26 June 2022)

Neema Photo: Peter Lowe/CIMMYT

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) seeks to recruit a Head of Program Portfolio to support the CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform to achieve its planned outcomes.  

This position will support the management and governance bodies of the CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform to meet their objectives, and it will oversee program budgeting and financial management as well as supervise operations. This position reports to the Platform Director and works closely with the GENDER Impact Platform Office, the leaders of the modules on Evidence, Methods and Alliances, research teams and partners.  The position will also support the new initiative ‘Harnessing Gender and Social Equality for Resilience in Agrifood Systems’ (‘HER +’),  as part of the CGIAR gender portfolio of work, working closely with the HER+ team. The incumbent will supervise a  Program Officer, and work with the Hosting Center team at ILRI on contracting, finance and administration.

The CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform is hosted by ILRI, which works to improve food and nutritional security and reduce poverty in developing countries through research for efficient, safe and sustainable use of livestock.

CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by 15 Research Centers in close collaboration with hundreds of partners across the globe.

Key Responsibilities

Management and Governance

The Head of Program Portfolio will support and engage with the governance and management bodies of the CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform and HER +, providing an effective enabling environment for them to be able to lead, guide and advise the program. Duties include

  • Overseeing the development, management and implementation of work plans to ensure that intended outcomes are reached
  • Reporting to CGIAR management and governance bodies on matters relating to management, monitoring, evaluation and learning, and budget oversight
  • Providing agenda and background documents in advance of any upper-level management meetings; providing inputs to ILRI Board meetings on request
  • Providing timely and accurate reports from management and governance meetings, with targeted follow-up actions
  • Ensuring Terms of References and other documents relating to governance are kept up to date

Planning and Reporting

The Head of Program Portfolio is responsible for all Platform work related to planning and reporting on results, which involves extensive coordination of contributions from module leaders and gender researchers. The Head of Program Portfolio will also support HER+ work planning and reporting as required. Duties include

  • Taking responsibility for understanding and meeting CGIAR’s requirements on annual plans of work and results and annual reporting; and manage the development of the annual plans of work and annual report for the CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform and HER +
  • Managing planning and reporting commitments to Platform donors
  • Ensuring that funds are allocated to activities in accordance with approved plans
  • Maintaining accurate and up-to-date program-level data, including use of CGIAR planning and results monitoring systems as required
  • Actively participating in CGIAR-wide initiatives on planning and reporting

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

The Head of Program Portfolio will ensure the CGIAR GENDER Impact Platform and HER+ have robust and harmonized monitoring, evaluation and learning systems and structures. Duties include

  • Ensuring that effective systems are in place for tracking and reporting on planned results, including case study development for important outcomes
  • Actively participating in CGIAR-wide monitoring, evaluation and learning efforts
  • Coordinating internally and externally commissioned evaluations and reviews
  • Overseeing the development of a learning strategy for the Platform, and foster a learning culture within the Platform
  • Facilitating cross-Platform exchange and learning
  • Managing the collection of outcome and impact stories on gender, across CGIAR

Budgeting and Financial Planning

The Head of Program Portfolio is responsible for budgeting and financial planning for the Platform, working closely with the Program Officer and ILRI’s administration and finance team. Duties include

  • Overseeing program-level budgeting, including development of annual budgets for approval
  • Working together with finance colleagues to develop a system for financial monitoring and adaptive management
  • Monitoring and supervise budgets managed by the Platform office
  • Working with ILRI finance colleagues and the Program Officer to ensure appropriate and timely financial planning and reporting, in conjunction with ILRI
  • Contributing to proposal development, budgeting and financial reporting for funders contributions to the Platform


The Head of Program Portfolio will directly supervise at least one staff and have oversight regarding day-to-day operations, logistics and administration, including

  • Developing and monitoring partner agreements
  • Hiring specialists and consultants as required
  • Managing risks for the Platform
  • Overseeing travel, meeting arrangements and other logistics


  • A Master’s degree in business adminstration or in agricultural, environmental, social sciences, or other relevant field
  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant professional management experience
  • Fluency in written and spoken English
  • Exposure to Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • Technical skills and experience
    • Excellent understanding of budgeting and financial reporting processes
    • Excellent computer skills, including experience with relevant program management software systems
    • Good proficiency in the use of MS Windows-based software packages, including word processing, spreadsheets, and presentation programs
    • Demonstrated experience with monitoring, evaluation and learning in complex, multi-faceted programs
    • Extensive experience in successfully coordinating large, multi-partner projects
  • Professional skills
    • Demonstrated experience working in an international, multi-cultural environment
    • Ability to multi-task in a fast-paced environment
    • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
    • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to work with researchers across the globe
    • Demonstrated capacity for negotiation, communication, facilitation and delivery of complex tasks in challenging international environments
    • Detail-focused, while also seeing the big picture, with analytical skills relevant to research, acquisition and analysis of appropriate data for effective problem solving and/or decision-making
    • Excellent communication, presentation, and reporting skills in English (written and oral)
  • Gender research understanding:
    • Experience with CGIAR
    • Ability to understand and communicate research on gender
    • Good understanding of the branches of science encompassed within CGIAR, agricultural research for development, and the pathways to impact
  • Personal traits:
    • Performance-orientated working style and reliable delivery
    • Capacity to foster effective, trusting, collaborative relationships both in the office team and with external stakeholders
    • Strong judgment and integrity, while pragmatic in coming to agreements
    • Fast learner with an appetite to tackle issues personally without delegating
    • Good communicator and negotiation skills, i.e., able to communicate complex concepts in simple language and motivate change across dispersed decision-making structures

Post location: The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Terms of Appointment

This position is at job level HG 20 and it is open to both national and international applicants. The position is a three (3) year contract, renewable subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding. ILRI offers a competitive salary and benefits package which includes medical and other insurances.


To apply, please click on this link.