Head of Finance and Operations - Nairobi

The Rift Valley Institute (RVI) seeks an experienced and dedicated Head of Finance and Operations. This is a full-time position, based in Nairobi, involving travel between Nairobi and RVI’s offices in the region and in the UK. The Head of Finance and Operations manages a Finance and Administration team. Essential qualifications are membership of a recognized UK accountancy body, working experience of the NGO sector, and management experience. The application deadline for this post is 21 February 2018.

The Rift Valley Institute (www.riftvalley.net) is a non-profit organization that has operated in eastern and central Africa since 2001. The Institute works at the interface between research, policy, education and activism, bringing local realities to bear on interventions by governments and international agencies. There are RVI offices in London, Nairobi, Juba, and Hargeysa. The Institute is registered as a charity in the UK and as a limited company in Kenya. RVI programmes include action-oriented research, field-based training and open-access publishing.



Title of post
Head of Finance and Operations

Nairobi, with travel to RVI offices in Juba, Hargeysa and London.

Salary level
Competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Employment type
Five days a week

Permanent contract

Start date
March 2018 (negotiable)

Essential qualifications and skills

  • Membership of one of the major UK accountancy bodies.
  • Minimum of five years’ relevant experience.
  • Fluent spoken and written English.
  • Working knowledge of QuickBooks, other financial accounting systems, and Excel.
  • Experience of working in the international NGO Sector.
  • Experience of developing and managing organisational budgets.
  • Team player with excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Willingness to travel.

Desirable experience and skills

  • Operational and project management experience.
  • Experience of field operations in one or more East African country.
  • Experience of establishing financial systems.
  • Human resources management.

28 days annual paid leave, travel insurance, pension plan, medical insurance, training allowance.

How to apply
Please apply online by filling out the application form below. The deadline for applications is 21 February 2018. Only applicants invited for interview will be contacted. For further information see www.riftvalley.net or write to recruitment@riftvalley.net.


The Head of Finance and Operations is overall responsible for the efficient and effective financial management of the Institute. The Head of Finance and Operations will work with colleagues to develop and standardise the Institute’s financial and operations management tools and procedures, and ensure their implementation throughout the organisation. The Head of Finance and Operations line manages the Finance Manager and, indirectly, the Finance Officer in Nairobi, and monitors and supports all programme staff on financial management. The Head of Finance and Operations reports to the RVI Executive Director. This is a senior position within the Institute. The Head of Finance and Operations is a member of the senior management team and participates in decisions that supports the development of the Institute.

Financial oversight

  • Overall responsibility for the Institute’s financial operations.
  • Maintenance and regular updating of RVI financial management documents, including monthly project and institutional accounts, cash-flow forecasts, balance sheets, income and expenditure forecasts.
  • Assist in drafting, review and approval of all project funding proposals with particular attention to cashflow and overhead recovery implications.
  • Ensure effective and timely financial reporting to funders.
  • Co-ordinate the production and management of the Institute’s annual budgets.
  • Support the Institute’s fundraising efforts, and maintain an overview of the funding pipeline.
  • Liaison and negotiation with external agencies as appropriate, including banks, insurance brokers, payroll providers, and others as may be required.
  • Co-ordination of all audits, including the annual institutional audit, and production of the Annual Report and Accounts for submission to the RVI’s Board of Trustees, the Charities Commission, and Companies House.
  • Ensure maintenance of the Institute’s registration and compliance with financial regulations and other legal requirements (including taxation and registration) in Eastern and Central Africa, the UK, the EU, and the United States.
  • Advise the Board on their responsibilities as defined by the Charities Commission and the Companies Act.
  • Actively contribute to the senior management team of the Institute, taking joint responsibility for the conduct of the Institute’s affairs, and attending all Board Meetings and other governance meetings as required.
  • Create, test, revise and update financial policies, manuals, templates, and guidelines and information sheets.

Programme support

  • Support programme staff in all aspects of financial management and reporting of programmes, visiting country offices on a regular basis.
  • Ensure staff, local partners and consultants are trained in RVI’s financial management and reporting procedures and are standardised across the Institute.
  • Develop procedures for and undertake financial due diligence assessments of partner organisations

Human resources

  • Recruit and line-manage RVI financial and administrative staff and consultants.
  • Develop and review procedures and policies relating to staff recruitment, induction, appraisals, management and succession of staff.
  • Prepare and approve contracts and job descriptions for staff, consultants and service providers, in collaboration with programme managers.
  • Regularly review the Institute’s staff salary structure and remuneration policies.
  • Ensure compliance with employment regulations and other legal requirements in various jurisdictions in Eastern and Central Africa, in the UK, and the United States, and liaising with local legal and accountancy advisors.
  • Ensure staff and consultants travel and leave plans are coordinated and recorded so there is minimal disruption to the Institute’s workflows.


  • Negotiate and maintain the Institute’s insurance cover including liability Insurance, and indemnity and travel and medical insurance for staff and consultants.
  • Review and approve all service contracts, including office leases.
  • Ensure RVI offices have the necessary equipment and IT support in place for staff and consultants.


  • Maintain good working relations with funders and, as required, support and develop new funding opportunities.
  • Represent RVI, as reqired, in discussions with funders, international organisations, government officials, and persons of influence.

Risk management

  • Ensure the Institute has policies and practices in place that mitigate financial and environmental risks to the Institute, including security protocols, insurance policies, and fraud and anti-bribery regulations.
  • Ensure the RVI offices are safe and healthy environments conducive to productive work.


Application form