Director - Co-funding & Partnerships, Africa at Childrens Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)

Nairobi, Kenya
  • Job Type: Full Time
  • Qualification: BA/BSc/HND
  • Experience
  • Location: Nairobi
  • Job Field: Project Management 

Main purpose of the role

  • The objective of this role is to support Africa's self-determination by institutionalising approaches that will build meaningful partnerships with key African institutions and stakeholders, elevate strategic engagement and communications in-country, and ensure African voices and perspectives are amplified in CIFF Africa decision making. Ultimately, leverage African giving and government funding for CIFF Africa priority investments and initiatives in our focus countries.
  • As a subject-matter expert, you will contribute to the development of cutting edge and evidence-based co-funding and partnership strategies and plans that ensure CIFF’s leadership in sustainably increasing and optimising indigenous Africa funding and partnerships, across priority sectors to achieve transformational and lasting change.
  • The role will be responsible for the design and execution of CIFF’s strategic partnerships and co-funding plan with governments, regional bodies, bilateral and multilateral partners / financing institutions, and other funders in (and for) Africa. The role will also crowd-in domestic co-funding towards CIFF priority areas, increasing the social impact of individual and institutional philanthropic capital as well as elevate Africa’s self-determination to foster inclusive and sustainable development. A centre piece of the plan is also to drive communications with Africa’s audiences over CIFF’s commitment to meaningful partner in the co-design, co-investment, and co-execution of shared priorities and influence Africa’s development agenda at a global level.
  • CIFF aims to play a catalytic role as a funder and influencer to deliver urgent and systemic change at scale. The Director, Co-funding and Partnerships Africa is a key member of the For Africa by Africa Pillar and shall actively support the Director & Head of Co-funding and Partnerships Africa & Head of Kenya Office and other Africa team members in maintaining good working relationships with host government officials, regional bodies, bilateral and multilateral partners / financing institutions, individual and institutional philanthropic partners, and other funders. 
  • The role will lead a team of talented colleagues to develop and deliver high-quality portfolio of investment proposals and active programmes that contribute to the delivery of the For-Africa-by-Africa sector team priorities, aligned to the Foundation Strategy, and meet the corporate objectives of the CIFF Board.

Role’s responsibilities

As a member of the CIFF Africa Senior Management Team (SMT) you will spend much of your time originating strategic and transformative partnerships and co-investment opportunities, leveraging the increase and optimisation of indigenous Africa funding and partnerships, strengthening the enabling environment, and raising Africa’s voices to shape and influence Africa’s development agenda at continental and global level to transformative maximise impact, for Africa’s children.

  • Take full and collective accountability for the development of Africa’s co-funding and partnerships strategic priorities, systemic solutions with an integrated and holistic approach to programme design and delivery - as well as portfolio development and programme management of investments, ensuring they are aligned to the For Africa by Africa Pillar and the CIFF Africa Strategy, and meet the corporate objectives of the CIFF Board.
  • Lead co-funding and partnerships mechanisms including the design and development of ambitious, high-value or complex co-funding models and special purpose vehicles (e.g., impact funds, giving platforms etc) building on global, regional, and national expertise, and ensuring the highest quality product.
  • Build and strengthen strategic co-funding and partnership opportunities with governments, regional bodies, bilateral and multilateral partners / financing institutions, individual and institutional philanthropic partners, and other funders to maximise CIFF’s transformative social impact and align CIFF’s mission and strategies.
  • Raise Africa’s voice and self-determination maximising collaborative creation, contribution, and innovation at the edge of technological possibilities to scale Africa’s development communication and engagement, partnerships and funding, with a localisation and integration agenda at continental and global levels.

CIFF seeks “bold solutions”. Boldness brings with it risk, particularly in areas of political, economic, and social controversy, that could damage CIFF’s reputation, endanger its license to operate and pose a threat to programmes and grantees as a regulated charity, safeguarding CIFF’s reputation helps secure the sustainability of the organisation.

  • This role will take the lead on political, security, reputational and economic matters, and policy to the Africa leadership, the Africa Risk Working group and provide direction to other staff. Support the Global Team through the provision of reports and papers and conducting of research related to political, security, reputational and economic risk matters.

The role will also:

  • Provide up-to-date, professional advice to the Executive Team and CIFF Board on related issues, to support the development of the For Africa by Africa Pillar, the CIFF Africa Strategy, and the Foundation strategies, policies, and initiatives.
  • Take the lead on corporate, cross-cutting initiatives and projects, as required by the Executive Team.
  • Provide compelling, consistent, and united leadership which creates clarity for all staff in the team and builds a sense of shared accountability for its success and that of the organisation.
  • Develop and maintain excellent external relationships within the sector specialism, acting at all times as a corporate ambassador for CIFF, to help build the organisation’s reputation and profile as a professional, visionary, and collaborative philanthropy.
  • Deputise for the Director & Head of Co-funding and Partnerships Africa & Head of Kenya Office, as required.

Strategy & planning

  • As a specialist in development finance and international development sectors, contribute to the development and review of the Medium-Term Sector Plan & Priorities, to ensure CIFF is making maximum impact in those areas with the resources available.
  • Lead the development and implementation of the team’s annual Executable Plan, to ensure the effective in-year prioritisation of resources and activities.

Programme development, delivery & performance

  • Oversee both the development of successful investment proposals and the implementation of high impact programmes by a team of Managers and Analysts, ensuring the quality, timeliness and strategic alignment of their work to Foundation priorities and objectives.
  • Allocate and monitor achievement of individual targets for pipeline, new investments and grant draw-down for all relevant team members, to ensure the team meets its objectives for programme development and delivery.
  • Conduct regular reviews of investment proposals under development and programmes in delivery, to monitor compliance with agreed due diligence and risk management protocols, ensuring the interests and reputation of the Foundation are appropriately and proportionately protected. Intervene to take corrective action where necessary.
  • Ensure all investment proposals and programmes are underpinned by appropriate monitoring and evaluation processes and procedures, in accordance with the frameworks and guidance of the Evidence, Measurement & Evaluation (EME) team; this enables the development of rigorous evidence and analysis that supports CIFF’s advocacy, scaling-up and mainstreaming agendas.
  • Provide casework advice, specialist guidance and mentoring support to colleagues (within and beyond the team) to deepen the skills, capability and professionalism of the organisation.
  • Ensure that appropriate procedures and frameworks are in place to support the effective leveraging and scaling-up of successful programmes and initiatives.
  • Review the processes and procedures in place across the team, to identify and implement improved ways of working that increase operational effectiveness and efficiency.
  • Lead the collection and analysis of team performance data and management information, in accordance with CIFF corporate frameworks and requirements, to enable timely and effective decision-making and planning.
  • Personally manage an end-to-end caseload of live programmes with a value of c. US$50-100million and an active pipeline of potential investments of c. US$50million, in accordance with the sector priorities and plan.

Sector knowledge and profile-building

  • Proactively maintain extensive external networks with experts and opinion-formers within the area of personal subject-matter (and/or geographical) specialism, to ensure the Sector team’s work is shaped by the most up-to-date insights and research.
  • Undertake or commission sector-relevant research and analysis to inform the effective development, delivery and evaluation of programmes and initiatives.
  • Working with the External Affairs team, contribute to the development and promotion of high-quality thought leadership, PR and marketing materials to raise awareness about CIFF’s work within the sector, ensuring alignment with the Foundation’s communications and advocacy strategies.

Stakeholder and partner management

  • In accordance with agreed account management principles and plans, identify, cultivate and proactively manage relationships with nominated key partners/stakeholders, to support the achievement of Foundation and sector team objectives in a coordinated manner.
  • Advise and support more junior colleagues in identifying, negotiating with and managing appropriate programme partners (as required), to enable CIFF to maximise its philanthropic impact through effective collaboration.

Leadership of the team

  • Offer inspiring and motivational leadership that role models CIFF’s values and leadership behaviours and empowers and enables staff to deliver excellence.
  • Adopt a coaching approach with colleagues which instills a culture of openness and trust, embraces diverse thinking, and encourages continuous improvement and learning.
  • Provide ongoing support to all direct reports, ensuring high performance is enabled through objective setting, clear accountabilities, and regular review.


  • Recognised as a subject-matter expert in an area relevant to For Africa by Africa’s Sector’s strategy focus (as evidenced via publications and/or previous programme delivery), within relevant specialism in private and public financing and partnerships in development with a track record of working successfully in one of CIFF’s priority geographies
  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the international development finance sector and a track record leading programme design of large-scale co-funding initiatives and strategic partnerships.
  • Successful networking and co-investing with the private sector and the public sector governments, regional bodies, bilateral and multilateral partners / financing institutions, major donors or foundations and other maximise transformative social impact.
  • Detailed understanding of using cost-benefit and ROI methodologies and metrics to inform strategy and business planning
  • Excellent people leadership skills and proven ability to motivate, develop and hold to account a small- to medium-sized teams of professionals
  • Effectively champions and promotes causes – credible and professional, they always present the foundation’s programmes in a compelling way to engage the audience
  • Proven success in building and maintaining strategic relationships and working in partnership; has highly developed influencing and negotiation skills, and effectively collaborates to deliver maximum impact
  • Capacity to work in a range of cultural and socio-economic contexts, adapting style and approach appropriately and in a culturally sensitive manner to maximise effectiveness
  • Able to think critically and analytically to draw sound conclusions on the basis of complex data
  • Experience of identifying and delivering business process improvements
  • High-level of financial literacy
  • Experience working in Africa or with African governments, regional bodies or development finance institutions

Method of Application

Interested and qualified? Go to Childrens Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) on to apply