Program Manager – Refugee and Displaced Youth Inclusion Young Africa Works (YAW)


POSITION TITLE: Program Manager – Refugee and Displaced Youth Inclusion Young Africa Works (YAW)
PROJECT TITLE: Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM)
POSITION LOCATION: Nairobi, Kenya with occasional in country and global travel
REPORTS TO: Director
EXPECTED START DATE: 15 November, 2020

In the context of the ‘Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM)’ initiative, funded by the MasterCard Foundation, WUSC is seeking a Program Manager to support the Refugee and Displaced Youth Inclusion Young Africa Works (YAW) pillar by providing  technical advice and capacity building support for YAW partners and programming in Kenya. The  ‘Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM)’, a five year project based in northern Kenya and funded by the MasterCard Foundation


World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a leading Canadian international development organization that works with and through its southern partners to promote sustainable development. Founded in 1957 and currently working in more than 20 countries worldwide with an annual budget of approximately $45 million dollars, WUSC fosters youth-centered solutions for improved education, economic, and empowerment opportunities to overcome inequality and exclusion. We believe youth have the potential to provide for their families, build strong communities, and create positive social change for future generations. Globally, WUSC has a network of higher education institutions, civil society organizations, private sector partners, professionals, students, volunteers, faculty, and community leaders that can be leveraged to support our work.

WUSC’s members are Canada’s most globally engaged post-secondary institutions. WUSC offers a dynamic international work environment with a diverse intercultural workforce. We offer employees exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference for youth around the world.  Employees at WUSC work hard to create lasting change in education, employment and empowerment.

Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM) project

WUSC through the DREEM project will play a unique role as a technical assistance and strategic learning partner to the Mastercard Foundation and Mastercard Foundation partners. The DREEM project will contribute to the Mastercard Foundation’s commitment to meaningfully include refugee and displaced youth in their Scholars project and Young Africa Works project. As the Mastercard Foundation also works to develop a new refugee and displaced youth strategy, the DREEM project will engage with the Foundation to ensure that the project continues to support the overall goals of the Foundation.

The DREEM project will focus on three key pillars:

●        Support Scholars project (SP) partners and staff with the knowledge, capacity and networks to meaningfully recruit and serve refugees and displaced youth in higher education and transition to work and to work towards more inclusive societies;

●        Support Young Africa Works (YAW) country partners and staff in Kenya to gain the knowledge, capacity and networks to meaningfully include and develop programming  that meets the unique training and employment needs, opportunities and aspirations of refugee and displaced youth, especially young women;

●        Strengthening Economic Opportunities for Refugees (SEOR) to complement WUSC’s existing Learning through Education and Access to Employment Pathways (LEAP) project and provide refugee entrepreneurs, especially young women with improved access to market-oriented business support services that improve business and employment outcomes in Kenya.

Under the Support Young Africa Works (YAW) pillar, WUSC will conduct an assessment and mapping of employment and livelihood opportunities for refugees and displaced youth, including refugee-led organizations and businesses in Kenya. The study will inform WUSC’s engagement with YAW programming in Kenya, building on a growing scholarly and grey literature on durable solutions for refugees in Kenya.

Job Role 

Under the supervision of the Nairobi-based DREEM Director, the Program Manager –  Refugee and Displaced Youth Inclusion YAW Kenya will work closely in collaboration with the WUSC team in Kenya, the WUSC Advisory Team based in Canada and the Mastercard Foundation team.


●        Provides overall direction to the technical advice and capacity building and advisory support for YAW partners and programming in Kenya;

●        Program Strategy and Alignment with Young Africa Works to identify strategic opportunities and develop initiatives  to mainstream refugee and displaced youth inclusion across programming;

●        Leads mapping of employment and livelihood opportunities for refugees and displaced youth;

●        Supports the design, development and delivery of resources and training for YAW Kenya staff and partners;

●        Partnership and Stakeholder Engagement, builds and maintains relationships with YAW Kenya staff and partners;

●        Works directly with YAW Kenya staff and partners to provide technical assistance on refugee and displaced youth inclusion;

●        Supports YAW Kenya partner convening;

●        Identifies promising practices and ways to share learning across the network;

●        Works closely with Policy and Strategic Communications Lead and DREEM Director to identify broader policy and strategic network opportunities.

Line Manager

Kenya:  DREEM Director

Position Requires Close Collaboration with:



Livelihoods and Economic Opportunities (LEO) Advisor

Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Manager

Gender Equality & Social Inclusion (GESI) Advisor

Learning through Education and Access to Skills for Employment Project (LEAP) Team

Senior Management Team (Operations Manager, Finance Manager, Education Project Manager)


Senior Manager, Durable Solutions for Refugees

Inclusive Economies Advisor

Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Advisor


●        Msc Local Economic Development, Development Economics, MBA or a related field

Experience & Competencies

The ideal applicant will combine technical expertise in one or more of DREEM’s sectors (higher education, durable solutions for refugees, vocational and technical training, support to entrepreneurs and businesses), a familiarity with the East African refugee context, a strategic and analytical mindset, excellent listening and interpersonal skills, and an ability to get things done.

Specific competencies:

●        7 years experience working in development cooperation, technical assistance projects; education and youth employment in Kenya;

●        Deep knowledge of key issues and emerging trends and barriers in education and youth employment in Kenya;

●        Demonstrated commitment to social inclusion and knowledge of the specific constraints and realities of challenges faced by refugee and displaced groups;

●        Relevant experience on projects that promote livelihoods and economic inclusion for displaced/ refugee youth; entrepreneur support within a refugee setting, tertiary or technical education for displaced/ refugee youth;

●        An intimate working knowledge of the processes and inner workings of the legislative and political processes; the ability to analyze the impact of legislation on the DREEM project and develop strategies to the project objectives forward;

●    Experience providing technical support to development  organizations and a commitment to a participatory partnership approach to capacity development;

●        Demonstrated success in developing toolkits and training materials for mid to senior level staff in private sector, government and civil society organizations;

●      Demonstrated capacity to generate and facilitate a “learning environment” among colleagues, partners and beneficiary communities;

●        Passionate about youth leadership, education and employment;

●      Some understanding of market-based approaches to youth employment and livelihoods. Previous training and experience in market systems development would be ideal;

●        Some experience with eLearning is highly desirable;

●        Understanding of the local skills for employment sector and enterprise development experience would be an asset;

●        Experience working on a Mastercard Foundation project will be an added advantage;

●        Complete fluency in English is essential, ability to write articulately and cogently, and to edit at a similarly high level;

●        Adherence to gender equality and social inclusion principles; proven knowledge of and commitment to the concept of gender equality and intersectionality within programming;

●        Curious, enthusiastic and willing to innovate and adapt;

●        Commitment to WUSC’s mission of building a better world for all young people, particularly displaced and refugee youth;

Other requirements

●        The role will require regular travel (up to 20%) to field sites in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kalobeyei Settlement, and nearby communities in northern Turkana, as well as occasional international travel for conferences, workshops and meetings;

●        Ability to work a flexible schedule


WUSC’s activities seek to balance inequities and create sustainable development around the globe; the work ethic of our staff, volunteers, representatives and partners shall correspond to the values and mission of the organization. WUSC promotes responsibility, respect, honesty, and professional excellence, and we will not tolerate harassment, coercion, sexual exploitation or abuse of any form. Successful applicants will be required to undertake an enhanced criminal record check where appropriate.

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. WUSC is an equal opportunity employer.  We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. If you wish to apply for this exciting role, please submit your resume with a covering letter here

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

WUSC does not charge a fee at any stage of the recruitment process.

Applicants must have the relevant immigration status to work in Kenya.

Know someone who would be perfect for this opportunity? Please share!