Program Lead, Refugees & Displaced Persons

  • Contract
  • Nairobi
  • Posted 1 month ago

Mastercard Foundation


Mastercard Foundation seeks a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. Through its Young Africa Works strategy and Canadian EleV program, the Foundation works with partners to ensure that millions of young people, especially young women, access quality education, financial services, and dignified work. Mastercard Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. The Foundation is independent with its own Board of Directors and CEO.


We are currently in an exciting period at the Mastercard Foundation as we intensify the implementation of the Young Africa Works strategy, aiming to empower 30 million young people throughout Africa to access dignified and fulfilling employment.

To ensure the Foundation’s accessibility to our partners and program participants, we have established offices in Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and Uganda. These offices provide strong in-country support for the implementation of Young Africa Works. We collaborate with governments, the private sector, educators, and other funders to enhance the quality of education and vocational training, equip young individuals with the necessary skills for the workforce, expand access to financial services for entrepreneurs and small businesses, and facilitate connections between job seekers and meaningful employment opportunities.

Our values serve as our guiding principles, transcending and surpassing all other considerations. We wholeheartedly encourage you to bring your bold ideas, curiosity, and expertise to your work.

If you are an experienced professional in Programs for Refugees and displaced Persons looking to increase your impact, read on! 


Reporting to the Program Head, Refugees & Displaced Persons and Disability Inclusion, the Program Lead will support portfolio development and engage partners for successful program design and implementation. S/he will also support the development of the Foundation’s program strategies, initiatives, and interventions that advance the RDP strategy delivery in Africa’s Francophone region. 

The successful candidate will be based in any of our offices in Africa (Ethiopia, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya, or Uganda).


  • Contribute to the implementation of RDP strategy and design of sector interventions.
  • Seek new ideas and evidence on the strategic framing of RDP strategy implementation.
  • Build and co-create partnerships aligned to RDP strategy, providing guidance and analysis during program design, partnership development, implementation, monitoring, and learning.
  • Manage workshops and meetings through agenda development, logistics, and delivery.
  • Identify and connect to RDP intersections across the Foundation, managing mobilization of focal point team members.
  • Collaborate with team members in various functional areas, including Program, Impact and Measurement, Research, and Communications, to ensure integration of RDP approaches.
  • Support Foundation team members and partners to feature RDP at events, either as participants or speakers.
  • Engage with partners/grantees to review opportunities and challenges and advance interventions through collaboration, learning, exchange, and strategic partnerships.
  • Develop and lead new partnerships, including identifying and working with prospective partners to design proposals and undertaking due diligence on potential partners and projects.
  • Manage, monitor, and coordinate a portfolio of partners, including reviewing financial and narrative reporting from partners.
  • Perform due diligence, monitoring, and managing annual planning workshops and/or program visits.
  • Support communication, progress, and lessons learned from RDP projects to colleagues and partners within and beyond the Foundation.
  • Recommend and participate in evaluation and learning activities to guide the evolution of RDP programmatic work.
  • Capture and document insights and learnings to ensure that we consistently adapt to create sustainable and guided RDP programs and approaches.
  • Provide perspective on emerging issues and trends in refugee and displaced contexts.
  • Manage research projects that build evidence for RDP interventions or partnerships.
  • Build networks with RDP youth and African-based organizations to advance the interventions of RDP.
  • Work collaboratively and provide guidance to RDP focal points at the Foundation.


  • Bachelor’s degree in International Development, Conflict Studies, Social Sciences, or a related field.
  • A minimum of 7+ years of experience working with senior staff in government, the private sector, UN bodies, humanitarian agencies, and young people.
  • Experience working with marginalized youth, particularly refugees, displaced youth, and/or young people with disabilities.
  • Contributing to new initiatives or transforming existing ones into something more impactful in a multicultural environment.
  • Building partnerships, managing multiple projects, and building/managing teams while coaching and mentoring colleagues.
  • Presenting information to internal and external leadership teams/individuals with excellent English and French verbal, written, and presentation skills; fluency in French is mandatory.
  • Strong understanding of global, national, and local contexts that influence and inform opportunities for refugees, displaced youth, and people with disabilities.
  • Exceptional analytical skills, strategic thinking, and ability to contribute as a thought partner in the Foundation’s strategy development.
  • Passionate about youth education and employment in Africa, committed to engaging and empowering young people, particularly women and other marginalized groups.
  • Experience living and working in Africa is required; refugees are encouraged to apply.
  • Flexible, adaptable, and able to execute various job duties and changing priorities.
  • Possess professional maturity, sensitivity to different cultures, and impeccable integrity that exemplify the Foundation’s values.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to Mastercard Foundation’s values and vision.

Deadline for Applications is June 13, 2024.

Mastercard Foundation (the “Foundation”) values and respects your privacy. By submitting an application for this opportunity, you hereby agree to the Foundation’s collection, use and disclosure of your personal information in accordance with its Privacy Policy (available at Please note that the Foundation may share your personal information with third-party agencies that support the Foundation’s recruitment activities, and such third-party agencies may contact you directly regarding this opportunity. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Foundation’s Privacy Officer at the address indicated in its Privacy Policy.

The Mastercard Foundation values the unique skills and experiences each individual brings to the organization and we are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment for everyone.

Completion of satisfactory business references and background checks are essential conditions of employment.

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