Program Manager – Scholars Program (SP) Partner Pillar


Project Title: Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM)
Position Location: Nairobi, Kenya with occasional in country and global travel
Reports to: Director
Application Deadline: 4 October, 2020
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 provide overall direction and technical advice for the meaningful integration of refugee and displaced students ​within the MasterCard Foundation’s (MCF) Scholars Program. ​Specifically, the Program Manager would be supporting the ​Support MCF Scholars Program (SP) partners pillar ​of the ‘Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM)’, a five year project based in northern Kenya.


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:

  1. Support MCF Scholars Program (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;
  2. 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;
  3. 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.

Job Role

Under the supervision of the Nairobi-based DREEM Director, the Program Manager will work closely in collaboration with the WUSC teams in Kenya and Canada, the DREEM Youth Advisory Group, and the Mastercard Foundation team to ​Support Scholar Program partners​.


  • Provides overall direction and coordinates capacity building support, and technical advice to SP partners on refugee and displaced youth inclusion in higher education;
  • Leads on ​baseline and market systems assessment;
  • Works closely with the DREEM Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Lead to track SP partner engagement and impact;
  • Coordinates and manages the Refugee and Displaced Youth Integration Working Group, bringing strategic and operational direction to the SP program activities;
  • Coordinates the development and dissemination of resources and delivery of training opportunities for SP partners;
  • Builds and maintains relationships with SP partner staff and provides ongoing coaching and technical assistance on refugee and displaced youth inclusion;
  • Identifies and rolls-up promising practices and ways to share learning across the Scholars Program network;
  • Works closely with Policy and Strategic Communications Lead and DREEM Director to identify broader policy and strategic network opportunities;
  • Work collaboratively with DREEM team members to shape the strategic direction for the project and translate strategy into action plans that prioritize continuous learning and adaptive management.

Line Manager

Kenya: Director – DREEM Project

Position Requires Close Collaboration with

Livelihoods and Economic Opportunities (LEO) Advisor
Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) ​ ​Team
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


  • Master’s Degree in international development, education, public policy, social sciences or a related field.

Experience & Competencies

The ideal applicant will ​combine experience and technical expertise in the higher education and/or forced migration sectors with a familiarity of the East African refugee context, a strategic and analytical mindset, excellent listening and interpersonal skills, and an ability to get things done.

Specific competencies:

  • Relevant experience working in international development, education, public policy, social sciences or a related fiel​d. development cooperation/ technical assistance projects​;
  • Relevant experience on projects that promote inclusion for displaced/ refugee youth; tertiary or technical education for displaced/ refugee youth;
  • Experience providing technical support to partner organizations and a commitment to a participatory partnership approach to capacity development;
  • Demonstrated commitment to social inclusion and knowledge of the ​specific constraints and realities of ​challenges faced by refugee and displaced groups;
  • Understanding of the higher education landscape in Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • Diplomatic skills and experience with representation with a wide range of key stakeholders;
  • 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;
  • Experience in project monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and quality management;
  • 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 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​.

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