Partnerships Manager

Aga Khan Foundation

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is a private, international non-denominational and not-for-profit organization established in 1967 in Switzerland. The Foundation seeks to develop and promote creative solutions to long-standing global challenges including poverty, hunger, illiteracy, and disease. Through its local partner, the Public Foundation Kyrgyzstan Mountain Societies Development Support Programme, AKF implements a range of integrated interventions in rural development, education, and health, which are implemented in collaboration with and between community-based groups and local authorities. AKF is active in five oblasts in the Kyrgyz Republic, covering a total population of more than 520,000.

Position Title: Partnerships Manager

Reports To: Head of Partnerships

The Mission of Partnerships is to strengthen and promote the Aga Khan Development Network through:

  1. Building strategic partnerships to addressAKDN development priorities;
  2. Securing resources from institutional donors (national governments, bi-laterals, multi-laterals, foundations, corporates);
  3. Ensuring and strengthening our reputation through first-class grant management;
  4. Influencing the development sector and communicating practical lessons and results.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Grants Management and Compliance (40%)

  • Donor reporting: oversee and coordinate the technical review of donor reports (quarterly, annually, etc.) and technical papers to ensure the highest quality possible in conformity to organizational and donor requirements.
  • Donor relationship management: interface with donors and communicate on a regular basis about the implementation of ongoing grants to ensure strong, enduring relationships. Address queries or challenges diplomatically and in a timely and effective way. Ensure strong relationship cultivation throughout the grants cycle, anticipating, and planning for future funding and project extensions.
  • Donor deliverables coordination, quality assurance, and compliance: oversight, coordination, review and quality assurance of donor deliverables is upheld (e.g. work plans, monitoring and evaluation plans, staffing plans, budgets, close-out plans, donor troubleshooting). Ensure adherence with donor requirements, rules, and regulations, and that deliverables are produced on time and to a high standard. Ensure proper coordination of components, such as financial reports, across different departments, or partners as necessary.
  • Contractual amendments and adaptations: coordinate contractual amendments, changes, and project adaptations, engaging with donors in a pro-active and diplomatic way, and flagging potential changes (e.g. budget revisions, extensions, risks) in advance to ‘troubleshoot’ and ensure smooth project implementation.
  • Routine grant monitoring and administration: facilitate grant monitoring efforts including new grant kick-off meetings, dissemination of key information to staff on an ongoing basis, routine coordination meetings, donor steering committees, donor project visits, and donor monitoring missions. Ensure project teams are apprised of donor compliance measures, deadlines, and expectations. Undertake coordination and administrative tasks related to grants and support the maintenance and updating of grant management tools and tracking systems such as AIMS.

Mobilizing Resources (35%)

  • Pipeline development, management, and tracking: develop and track a diversified pipeline of funding opportunities, manage them from early opportunities, through to signing of agreements, to project initiation. Coordinate across donor units, Global Programmes Team (GPT), and AKDN agencies (e.g. University of Central Asia and Accelerate Prosperity) to pursue opportunities, ensure streamlined donor communications and efficient follow up. Maintain management systems, such as the Award Information Management System (AIMS).
  • Community-led design: through regular field visits and interactions with AKF (Kgz) programme staff and beneficiaries, identify pressing funding needs/programmatic intervention opportunities and update resource mobilization priorities accordingly.
  • Concept and proposal development: coordinate, facilitate, and lead the development, review, and quality assurance of expressions of interest, concept notes and full proposals for funding opportunities. Liaise and coordinate with internal stakeholders (e.g. GPT, finance, MERL, donor unit teams, AKDN agencies) as well as with donors, partners, and consortia to facilitate project design, align proposal and donor requirements, gather required legal and administrative documentation, facilitate consultations and workshops, and draft sections of proposals as needed.
  • Contracting and negotiation: coordinate and lead processes of contracting and negotiation, engaging relevant stakeholders, and ensuring contracts ‘get over the line’ in a timely and efficient way. Lead and coordinate processes of donor contracting and internal sub-granting/contracting and cooperative agreements with partners across different internal AKDN agencies, donors, and consortia partners.

Strategic Relationship Management (20%)

  • Donor landscaping and analysis: research, source relevant information, and perform systematic analysis of market trends on new donors, peer organisations, and funding opportunities to identify potential funding and partnering matches for AKF and AKDN priorities. Conduct due diligence on new partners and donors in coordination with finance and programme teams.
  • Stakeholder engagement and positioning: continusuously scan for and engage with new and existing donors and partners to identify solicited and unsolicited funding opportunities. Guide teams to make informed, effective decisions on which opportunities to pursue. Develop positioning materials (e.g. presentations, capability statements, briefs, talking points), engage with communications teams, to enable effective stakeholder engagement. Build new and manage existing relationships to leverage a stronger donor support base for AKDN in the Kyrgyz Republic.
  • Build strategic partnerships: work with donor units, AKDN agencies, and the Global Programmes Team to identify, build, and support strategic partnerships on aligned global and regional initiatives, innovations and themes with likeminded donors and partners.

Strategic Leadership (5%)

  • Actively participate as a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT) and play a coordinating role when required.
  • Where relevant, support the CEO AKF (Kgz) in monitoring progress against AKF (Kgz)’s strategic plan.

Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

  • Minimum Master’s degree or equivalent in international development, management or other relevant fields.
  • 3-5 years’ relevant work experience in an international setting.
  • Demonstration of knowledge of program design; grant acquisition and management, including financial literacy; compliance; and cross-functional coordination.
  • Strong experience preparing project proposals for both competitive and unsolicited funding opportunities.
  • Demonstrated high-level interpersonal and cross-cultural skills including the ability to influence, network, and build collaborative relationships internally and externally with sensitivity to cultural, ethnic, social and political issues and a commitment to inclusivity.
  • Conflict management and ability to pragmatically solve problems; plan a course of action using analytical, conceptual, strategic and forward-thinking abilities to achieve an effective resolution.
  • Highly developed analytical and critical thinking skills and the ability to research, assimilate and process information on a wide range of issues.
  • Skilled at developing proposals based on evidence and research and informing monitoring and evaluation components such as logframes.
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet hard deadlines with a strong attention to detail and follow-through; efficient planner.
  • Experience managing multiple tasks with competing priorities at the same time.
  • Self-motivated, pro-active, organized, adaptable, reliable and creative.
  • Promote and apply teamwork.
  • Excellent communication skills, including facilitation, listening, presenting, and speaking.
  • Exceptional English language skills are a necessity, both verbal and written, including editing.
  • Ability to travel within the country and potentially internationally.
  • Computer proficiency in general office software (i.e. Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook).

Preferred Qualifications and Experience

  • Russian and/or Kyrgyz language skills
  • Experience working in Central Asia
  • Experience working withing the Aga Khan Development Network, especially the Aga Khan Foundation
  • Experience with Human Centered Design (HCD) informed programming

“The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is committed to safeguarding, which means it promotes respectful relations with and between all staff, associates, beneficiaries and wider communities with whom it works, and takes all reasonable measures to prevent harm, including all forms of sexual exploitation, abuse, harassment (PSEAH), bullying, discrimination, harassment and abuse of power that may arise from contact with its staff, programmes or operations.

AKF also adheres to child safeguarding principles, as set out by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s), employment history and any potential history of misconduct. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a full background check.

All employees of AKF are required to adhere to the organizational safeguarding standards and principles and at all times to act with dignity, respect and to contribute to a safe environment free from any type of harassment, abuse or discrimination.”

How to apply

Interested candidates should submit their CV/resume, cover letter, as well as optional writing sample by May 6, 2024. Applications are accepted through www.the.akdn/careers/2159687

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited for interviews.


Deadline: 6-May-24