Operations Manager - Transforming Lives through Nutrition at Helen Keller International (HKI)

Helen Keller International (HKI), established in 1915, is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to saving the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Headquartered in New York City, HKI currently conducts programs in 21 countries in Africa and Asia, as well as in the United States.

HKI implements integrated package of cost-effective interventions that are proven to improve maternal and child nutrition. HKI supports policies and programs on food fortification, vitamin A supplementation, infant and young child feeding, nutrition-sensitive agriculture, community-based management of acute malnutrition and prevention and treatment of neglected tropical diseases. At the core of HKI’s programs is advocacy and social behavior change communication to various stakeholders. HKI also undertakes cutting-edge research to influence policy decisions and inform program quality.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Operations Manager, Transforming Lives through Nutrition

Location: Abuja (FCT)
Employment Type: Full Time

Job Summary

  • We are seeking an Operations Manager to coordinate administrative, procurement and award management processes for a diverse and impactful multi-country program portfolio being implemented in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia: Transforming Lives through Nutrition.
  • This comprehensive program delivers five life-saving health services: supplementing women with essential vitamins during pregnancy, supporting optimal breastfeeding, improving diets for infants and young children, screening children for acute malnutrition and getting treatment to them as early as possible, and delivering Vitamin A.
  • This is a local hire position: salary and benefits will align with local terms and conditions in Kenya or Nigeria. All candidates must be work authorized in the country where they are applying.

Functional Relationships

  • Helen Keller has a matrixed reporting structure. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork are essential to make this structure thrive.
  • Reporting to the Associate Director Operations and Finance, the Operations Manager will collaborate with technical experts and managers across program and operations in global management and in country program offices to achieve efficient and effective program delivery.
  • The Transforming Lives portfolio is managed by a central Program Management Team (PMT) with support from technical experts from across the organization. The PMT and the Operations Manager provide guidance to and coordinate the activities of country office teams. This position will liaise with country project teams and their operations colleagues to facilitate the integration of all facets of the program work with the common goal of ensuring that project objectives are met.

Key Responsibilities
Administration & Procurement:

  • Act as central point of contact for country office operations colleagues to guide the efficient and compliant procurement of program commodities and equipment and manage supply chain logistics.
  • Coordinate and track processes conducted by country office teams; troubleshoot matters arising; support teams by conducting research and providing information to support compliance with Helen Keller policies and procedures.
  • Facilitate import customs clearance and warehousing solutions when required.
  • Flag potential problems and bottlenecks to senior staff, as needed.
  • Manage procurement of services on behalf of the central program team.
  • Coordinate international travel and necessary documentation for the central team.
  • Liaise with People & Culture on recruitment processes, staff learning and development activities, and other Human Resources actions, as needed.
  • Coordination
  • Award Management and Donor Relations
  • Guide country office colleagues to prepare and manage sub-awards and review for quality and timeliness. Provide training, as needed.
  • Coordinate scheduling and track work assignments to support the PMT to prepare and submit high quality donor reports and track donations in a timely manner.
  • Maintain award and program management systems. Contribute to the ongoing improvement of those systems. Document workflows, develop job aids, and train colleagues, as needed.
  • Establish clear agendas and protocols for donor visits to project sites. Liaise with country offices to coordinate logistics.
  • Organize and manage logistics of global Transforming Lives gatherings and events. Liaise with counterparts on other program teams, as needed.
  • Continually refine and document coordination processes among implementing country offices, the central team, and relevant global units regarding portfolio administration. Document workflows, develop job aids, and train colleagues, as needed.
  • Model collaboration for your matrixed team: effectively consult and inform colleagues to maximize efficiency and knowledge sharing; and integrate guidance and direction from subject matter experts in your team and elsewhere in the global organization to maximize performance.
  • Ensure accountability to clients, partners, colleagues and donors by providing ongoing feedback in a context of mutual respect.

Required Qualifications and Competencies
Demonstrated experience and ability to:

  • Prepare subawards that comply with donor and organizational requirements.
  • Arrange complex travel and meeting logistics.
  • Procure goods and services in accordance with donor and organizational requirements.
  • Continually improve processes and systems to achieve greater efficiency and collaboration.
  • Train colleagues on processes and systems and support them with clear documentation and job aids.
  • Well-established and practiced organizational and planning skills.
  • Collaborative, flexible and solution-oriented.
  • An ability to maintain balance when under stress.
  • Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class or gender, with a high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards.
  • Personal commitment to Helen Keller’s mission and the values embodied by our namesake and co-founder: courage, integrity, rigor, and compassion.
  • Very good oral and written English language skills sufficient to prepare routine business correspondence and status reports.
  • Ability to communicate in French a strong plus.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including an ability to communicate effectively across cultures.
  • Highly computer literate including knowledge of Microsoft office suite or equivalent and advanced Excel skills.
  • Collaborate across departments and program partners to integrate all aspects of operations with the work of program teams to meet program outcomes and fulfill objectives established in awards.
  • Coordinate and supervise administrative, and operational staff. Experience working with remote teams across multiple project sites a strong plus.

Ability and willingness to:

  • Flex schedule to accommodate availability of colleagues in other time zones;
  • Travel occasionally to project country offices and/or to program workshops..


  • Master’s Degree in Business Administration, Financial Management, Logistics, or a relevant field; plus
  • Minimum of 6 - 8 years of directly relevant experience or equivalent combination or education and experience.


How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should send a cover letter and resume to: [email protected] using the job title as the subject of the mail.

Note: All staff must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to travel internationally

Application Deadline 23rd July, 2024.