Senior Program Coordinator – Strengthening Economic Opportunities for Refugees (SEOR)

POSITION TITLE: Senior Program Coordinator – Strengthening Economic Opportunities for Refugees (SEOR)
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 to hire a Senior Program Coordinator – to provide project management, strategic guidance, technical advice, effective coordination and capacity building for components of the ‘Displaced and Refugee youth Enabling Environment Mechanism (DREEM)’, a five year project based in northern Kenya and funded by the MasterCard Foundation. Specifically, the Senior Program Coordinator would be supporting the Strengthening Economic Opportunities for Refugees (SEOR) pillar for the DREEM Program, which will provide refugee entrepreneurs, especially young women (who will comprise 70% of beneficiaries), with improved access to market-oriented business support services that improve business and employment outcomes in refugee contexts 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

Through the DREEM project, WUSC 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 Program 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 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;
  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 Senior Program Coordinator (SEOR) will work closely and in collaboration with the WUSC team in Kenya, the WUSC Advisory Team based in Canada and the Mastercard Foundation team.


●        Provide leadership and technical advice in implementing all components of the DREEM Program that relate to the SEOR Pillar. Work closely in collaboration with the “Learning through Education and Access to Skills for Employment” Project (the LEAP Project) staff, and the DREEM program staff working on Pillars A and B;

●        Contribute to the design and implementation of the SEOR program in a manner that is complementary with the LEAP Project and that advances the objective of creating  employment opportunities for refugees and displaced youth;

●        Identify, recruit, and collaborate with  experienced market systems consultants to carry out an entrepreneurship scoping study and also conduct a digital economy feasibility study with a focus on refugees and displaced youth in Kakuma and Kalobeyei;

●        Identify and build relationships with potential local job creators in Kakuma and Kalobeyei, including refugee entrepreneurs, refugees led organizations and business development service providers;

●        Identify and engage with a local digital skills partner and build their capacity to develop a network of 5-7 small refugee-owned ICT businesses and/or community-based initiatives to facilitate training for online freelance job opportunities and work from to earn income from gig economy;

●        Collaborate with the DREEM team and with an identified local business development service provider to design and deliver an innovation competition for refugee-led businesses and local job creators, and to design a business incubation model that is scalable and sustainable to support the innovation competition winners;

●        Build the capacity of a local business development service provider to foster business incubation hubs where selected refugee-led business will access business development support services including entrepreneurship training, mentorship, coaching and access to finance;

●        Use the market systems approach to build strong strategic networks with ecosystem actors including the county government, investors, private sectors, TVET institutions, local community, UNHCR, business community and financial service providers;

●        Adopt a gender-responsive approach throughout the project to address gendered barriers, enhance women’s participation, and improve women’s employment outcomes;

●        Responsible for managing the SEOR component to budget and work plan;

●        Supervises the SEOR Grants Officer;

●        Responsible for working with local partners to ensure integration of intersectional and gender analysis across the program;

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

●        Manages external consultants.

Line Manager

Director – DREEM Project

Position Requires Close Collaboration with:


Program Manager –  Scholars Program (SP) Partners

Program Manager – Young Africa Works (YAW)

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

Livelihoods and Economic Opportunities (LEO) Advisor

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

MERL Advisor


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

Experience & Competencies

The ideal applicant will combine technical expertise in one or more of DREEM’s sectors (durable solutions for refugees, vocational and technical training, support to entrepreneurs and businesses, market systems), 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:

●        Experience in the management of business competitions;

●        Experience in collaboration with refugee-owned businesses to enhance the ecosystem of refugee-led businesses;

●        Employment linkages especially on the gig economy for refugees and displaced youth will be an added advantage;

●        Experience in implementing and managing grants/loans to small businesses will be an added advantage;

●        Demonstrated experience in and commitment to working in teams across lines of business;

●        Experience working on projects focused on young refugee women will be an added advantage;

●        Demonstrated experience in working with vulnerable youth, particularly women and youth with disabilities.

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.

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