Strategic Partnership Lead (Africa)

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Strategic Partnership Lead (Africa)

  • Post Date:October 7, 2021
  • Apply Before: October 18, 2021
  • Views 303
0 Applications
  • Career Level Other
    Qualification Degree
    Experience 3-5 Years
  • Industry Non Governmental
Job Description

Responsible to: Senior Strategic Partner Lead
Responsible for: Coordination and management of VSO’s partnerships with priority donors and their key implementing partners in order to grow VSO’s secured programme funding
Locations: Nairobi

Job Purpose:

To secure programme funding by building strong relationships with priority donors and their key implementing partners in the UK, Africa and priority VSO countries


Relationship Coordination and Management

Manage VSO’s relationship development and proactive positioning with priority bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors in Africa, including UN agencies.

  • Develop and deliver a focused engagement action plan to strengthen VSO’s positioning and relationships with UN agencies within Africa and (where appropriate) globally.
  • Manage VSO’s engagement in Africa building strong relationships with UN agencies and other priority donors including FCDO. Proactively
    • Ensure that UN agencies in Africa and globally understand how VSO can help deliver their priorities
    • Support the organization to influence UN agencies on issues of mutual interest
  • Work directly and proactively with Practice Area technical leads, Country teams, Programme Design, Knowledge for Impact, and others to ensure proactive and widespread engagement with UN agencies in Africa and globally
  • Grow VSO’s new programme funding from UN agencies by identifying and creating opportunities, building winning partnerships with implementing partners, developing and submitting outstanding proposals and negotiating successful new VSO programmes.
  • Proactively build VSO’s understanding of UN agencies and key implementing partners in order to inform programmatic direction and content and ensure decision making is based on sound market knowledge and business intelligence.
  • Support relationship development and opportunity response for other priority donors (particularly FCDO) and their key implementing partners in Africa as may be required in the pipeline.

Strategic Partnership Team

  • Proactively coordinate with VSO’s other Strategic Partnership Leads, Country Representatives and the Business Intelligence Unit, acting as part of a single, unified global team and sharing knowledge and learning to effectively respond to new business opportunities across our geographic and programmatic portfolio.
  • Coordinate, manage and deploy VSO’s and the Strategic Partnership Team’s resources to secure new programme funding, ensuring effective, high quality and timely response to agreed priority opportunities.
  • Contribute to and help drive VSO’s Project Magenta proposal development process and stage gate decisions to continuously improve VSO’s ability to prioritise, develop and win outstanding, professional new opportunity proposals.
  • Engage with the Business Intelligence Unit, ensuring provision of ongoing, high quality research and funding intelligence for new business pursuit activities across the organisation

Safeguarding, Security and Risk Management

Commit to VSO’s vision and values, including safeguarding and taking a zero-tolerance approach to abuse and harm. Ensure plans are developed and being implemented with the programme’s Duty of Care Lead team and stakeholders (staff, volunteer, primary actors, etc.) are aware and comply.

Skills, Knowledge and Experience

Essential criteria (must have to be able to carry out the role successfully)


  • Significant business pursuit experience and expertise developing strong relationships with senior staff, decision makers and influencers at major institutional donors and their key implementing partners.
  • Proven track record of securing large scale programme funding and follow-on programme wins with major institutional donors including the UN and FCDO over the past three to five years.
  • Experience leading high performing business pursuit initiatives working with technical experts, geographic/country representatives, and external partners to win major programme bids.
  • Strong network of existing relationships and contacts working in international development programmes/funding for major institutional donors including the UN and FCDO and implementing partners.
  • Excellent interpersonal and coaching skills that will enable them to drive and build capabilities of VSO’s business pursuit and global leadership teams
  • Strong political and cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • Knowledge and understanding of the role of volunteerism in development
  • Knowledge and understanding of social inclusion, accountability, and resilience along with technical expertise in one or more of VSO’s practice areas (education, health, livelihoods) and initiatives.


  • Excellent leadership skills, including the ability to inspire teams and partners
  • Excellent personal relationship skills with substantial experience in networking and influencing a diverse range of stakeholders
  • Fluency in written and spoken English (additional language abilities welcome)

Desirable Criteria: (skills that could be an advantage in the role)

  • Graduate degree in relevant course of study (e.g., business/public administration, international development, public health, education)
  • Knowledge of and previous experience in leading successful business pursuit teams and sales performance.
  • Previous volunteering experience (desirable)

VSO has zero tolerance of abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people. We expect all our employees/volunteers to ensure we are protecting children, young people and vulnerable adults from harm and abide by our safeguarding policy

Application Closing Date: 17 Oct 2021