16 Nov 2021

Organizational Strengthening Advisor at Blood Water

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Job Description

About Blood:Water

Blood:Water partners with African grassroots organizations to address the HIV/AIDS and water crises. We believe that communities are the experts and the rightful custodians of their development priorities and processes. We recognize that highly impactful development solutions are already present in local communities and we position them as experts and see our partnership as catalytic to leverage existing resources and expertise for expanded reach and impact.

This belief shaped our model where we identify and come along-side the vision of African-led, community-owned civil society organizations that use integrated models of WASH and HIV programming to get to the root underlying drivers of cycles of vulnerability, poverty and health disparities in their unique context and communities.

Our partnership model is designed for relational depth; acknowledging that organizational growth and health progressions take time. Blood:Water’s grant portfolio is designed for focused support of up to 10 partners annually and for up to 8 years. This small portfolio size is intentional to allow highly collaborative community building that has impact both in communities and the organizations themselves.

To leverage our partners’ impact and expanded reach over time, we provide organizational, financial and programmatic support:

  • Flexible Funding: Allows partners to position flexible and sizable funding in communities that supplement more restricted funds and concurrent bilateral investments in the formal health sector. Flexible means, we do not restrict what solutions our partners implement. Communities select the solutions and tailor them. We care about impact, innovation and community-borne solutions. Our grants range in size from 50,000 USD to 100,000 USD annually.
  • Organizational Strengthening: We believe that strengthened CSOs with improved institutional health provide communities with higher impact interventions and are better positioned to do so with longevity, beyond any single funding relationship. We want to see our partners drive the trajectory of their health and growth across all aspects of their operations. We support this by regularly facilitating a participatory, consensus-driven process identifying organizational strengthening priorities and providing funding for investments in people, policies, processes and practices.
  • Community of Practice: Our partners learn from and with each other, virtually and in-person through learning visits, convenings and peer support.

Currently, Blood:Water supports six grant partners in four countries. We’re a passionate, people-centered and fun team of nine who care about excellence. We’re split between the US and Kenya, with two working in the Africa Partnerships department.

You are joining Blood:Water at an exciting time, where we are growing the Africa team to six and our portfolio from 6 to 10 by 2023. We are also opening our community of practice to the larger HIV and WASH community and plan to grow it to convene, cultivate, and amplify African leadership driving health, development and social change.

About the role

The Organizational Strengthening (OS) Advisor is a newly created role in the Africa Partnerships (AP) team and will be responsible for creating and delivering on the full range of capacity strengthening initiatives within Blood:Water’s OS mandate.

You will develop, manage and implement the OS workflow and its two key components:

  • The Institutional Development Framework (IDF) Process: a partner-driven process beginning with an organizational capacity assessment, where partners develop improvement plans that frame the use of an OS grant paired with each grant cycle (every two years)
  • Creating a diverse range of relevant technical assistance/ capacity building resources and services through The Leader Collective, a Community of Practice that serves the Blood:Water community and houses all Blood:Water facilitated OS.

Success in your role will mean relevant and need-based organizational strengthening of the civil society organizations we work with, fostering long lasting change in WASH and HIV/AIDS in Africa.  You will report to the Africa Partnerships Director and collaborate closely with other AP department members (who are in charge of Grant & Partner Management, Impact & Learning and Strategy & Influence).

Your responsibilities will include the following:

Developing and managing the implementation of all OS efforts for the Blood:Water community (80%)

  • Design the annual OS strategy and work plan that will ensure the successful execution of all OS goals and the OS workflow.
  • Oversee and implement the IDF process for all grantee partners in two-year cycles. This includes facilitating a consensus-driven capacity assessment and prioritization process for each partner and the monitoring and facilitation of the execution of partner-driven organizational strengthening plans.
  • Build a strong and diverse package of learning and community building opportunities as part of The Leader Collective, such as webinars & master classes, networking events, discussion groups, donor roundtables, peer exchanges, self-paced courses, newsletters, technical briefs and case studies. You own the overall calendar, develop content for and manage the execution of all activities.
  • Design and structure the technical composition for partners’ summit and other trainings.
  • Lead the selection and management of relevant and qualified 3rd party contractors to deliver on technical service needs to partners and ensure OS objectives are met. Build capacity in the grantee partners in identifying and engaging consultants where required.
  • Be on top of partners’ demands and needs through analysis of partner quarterly reports, the IDFs and conversations. Find common threads to inform OS offerings. Regularly review our mix of services in line with the partners’ needs and feedback.
  • Manage the department’s OS budget and partner OS funding approvals.
  • Recruit, onboard and manage a team within the OS workflow projected to include 2 full time staff in the next 1-2 years.
  • Manage the migration of The Leader Collective to an online platform with the aim of improved learner engagement and documentation of knowledge.
  • Ensure monitoring and evaluation of all OS work.

Collaborating across the department for joint goals (20%)

  • Actively participate in larger strategic discussions in the team around our work and help shape and implement emerging strategic growth initiatives.
  • Participate in selection of new partners in line with our criteria and procedures by contributing to shortlisting, vetting, site visits and the decision making.
  • Provide input to grant renewals on the feasibility of the proposed two-year goals and plans as per your understanding of the partner’s capacity.
  • Participate in partner-specific discussions with data and observations based on OS responsiveness, alignment, performance, etc.

Who we are looking for:

  • You share our passion for community-driven development and belief that local leaders and grassroots civil society organizations are uniquely placed to address public health challenges in Africa.
  • You understand the dynamics of growth-oriented grassroot organizations and the realities and capacity needs in people, systems, processes, policies etc in the different stages of development.
  • Strong background and excellent results in Organization Capacity Strengthening
    • At least 8-10 years of relevant experience in the social impact space with at least 3-5 years experience in driving organizational capacity building and providing organizational and programmatic advice is required.
    • Proven track record developing innovative and effective system strengthening approaches targeting people, systems, policies and practices.
    • At least two years experience conducting organizational capacity assessments required.
    • Previous experience working with health service organizations, specifically in HIV/AIDS and/or WASH is preferred but can be replaced with desire, curiosity and ability to learn quickly about this unique field.
    • You apply coaching, collaborative and participatory approaches in all your individual and organizational capacity strengthening efforts.
  • You have previous results in cultivating and sustaining a community of peer learners.
  • You have advanced training and facilitation skills, especially in cross-cultural settings.
  • You have vast experience identifying and engaging the right experts and consultants based on needs.
  • Ability to manage and deploy remote/electronic and online-platforms for learning and building a community of practice.
  • You have good knowledge of monitoring and evaluation and have successfully applied it in your capacity strengthening work to improve your approaches over time.
  • Track record of successful interaction across a diverse range of stakeholders including communities, NGOs, government, academic institutions, and donors.
  • Outstanding communication abilities, particularly technical writing and electronic communications.
  • Ability to travel up 30% of the year
  • Exceptional multi-tasking and prioritization abilities to meet deadlines in a high paced environment

You have the cultural fit to work with the team at Blood:Water if

  • You are adaptable and excited to roll with the punches in a fast-changing environment. You are willing to be flexible and tolerant with the growth pains of a small organization.
  • You are teachable, know when and how to seek help, admit mistakes and are not ego-driven.
  • You have high initiative and self-drive. You confidently bring ideas into the team, ask questions where you need and speak up for yourself.
  • Your life and work is driven by Christian faith and values. At Blood:Water we come together because Christ motivates us to do this work.
  • You are deeply mission-driven and put community-driven development above competing dynamics and interests.

Why work with us

  • You get to practice philanthropy that is authentically partner-driven and that is designed for impact! Work with focus and depth, offering funding that does not dictate results.  You will amplify and elevate the voices of communities as the experts of the work they do and resource models and organizations that will deliver public health impacts in a sustainable way.
  • Join an extremely passionate and values-driven diverse team. People matter to us and we have an informal and very relational team culture!
  • Opportunity to help shape our growth and scale in the Africa Partnerships work and our Africa office, team and culture.
  • Blood:Water is a place where you can live your Christian values and faith not just in your work but also the team. If you have a faith-based personal practice and are interested to bring this into your work and team, you will feel at home here. We integrate spiritual practices in our team meetings, such as devotions and prayer requests. We are agnostic across all denominations and not evangelistic.

Other information

Anticipated start date is January or February 2022. The location for this position is Nairobi. Travel throughout Africa and the US will be up to 30% of the time. Candidates should be ready for rural travel with basic amenities. There will be a six-month probationary period and we will agree on performance and learning objectives. We are looking for candidates who are ready to make a long-term commitment. Initial contract of 2 years will be extended based on performance. This position is ideal for Kenyan nationals and equally open to Africans who have pre-existing work authorization for any employer and residence in Kenya.

Method of Application

  • Read this guide with tips on our selection process: http://bit.ly/CandidatesGuide
  • If you are interested in the role and have questions, do not hesitate to reach out to [email protected]
  • Apply by filling out the application survey under this link: https://bit.ly/BWOSJD
  • You will be asked to upload your CV as part of the application form. Make sure it is tailored towards the role, no longer than 3 pages and in PDF format.
  • The recruitment is carried out in collaboration with edge. All communication regarding this role will come only from email addresses in the domains @edgeperformance.co.ke and @bloodwatermission.com


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