Gender Specialist-Imarisha Initiative

  • Contract
  • Nairobi Kenya
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD

DAI Global


The USAID Africa Trade and Investment (ATI) program is designed to bolster the U.S. Government’s ability to boost trade and investment to, from, and within the African continent. The continent-wide program is USAID’s flagship effort in support of the Prosper Africa initiative and will expand and accelerate two-way trade and investment between African nations and the United States.

Driven by market demand, ATI embraces innovative approaches to achieve its goals. ATI is designed as a small, core set of centrally coordinated technical and institutional support activities, and a large, flexible performance-based subcontracting and grants under contract facility designed to support the needs and opportunities that USAID Missions and the private sector identify.


Gender inequality is pervasive with ramifications for jobs, productivity, GDP growth, and inequality. In Kenya, women are under-represented in the formal sector, and earn 58% less than their male counterparts[1]. While many labor-intensive sectors have a predominately female workforce, such as cut flowers, horticulture, textiles and nut processing (60 to 80% of workers), women are concentrated in the lowest-paying positions due to lack of advanced skills training, mentorship, and advocacy.

Unequal access to career advancement is not the only barrier facing Kenyan women. Lack of education and accessible menstrual health materials has led to absenteeism, decreased productivity, financial burden, and even engaging in transactional sex to access menstrual products.[2] New mothers face additional challenges, such as no dedicated space for breastmilk expression at work, despite national policy to the contrary, which leaves little choice other expressing in a washroom or staying home to breastfeed. With an average birth rate of 3.4 births, working women on average lose over three years of earnings and promotion opportunities.

Women’s participation in leadership is stymied by wide-spread social norms, stereotypes, and attitudes around gender. Without adequate training, advocacy and opportunities, women have little opportunity to advance into well-paying positions.

The USAID Kenya and East Africa (KEA) Mission has developed the ‘Imarisha Initiative’, an activity within its ATI buy-in that seeks to support a cohort of private sector firms in both agro-processing and textile sectors to expand economic opportunities for women. The activity will build partnerships with firms to expand women’s employment and pathways for career advancement as well as expand access to menstrual health and lactation services. The Imarisha Initiative will create more formal sector jobs for women by upskilling and reskilling women employees to take up supervisory roles with higher paid and more technical positions including testing, quality assurance and procurement. The program will provide skills development, mentorship, and pathways to management. It will reduce workplace gender barriers, including lactation, menstrual hygiene and health, and gender-based violence and harassment (GBVH).


The Gender Specialist will work collaboratively with ATI team in designing the scope and supporting the implementation of the Imarisha Initiative, to meet its objective of expanding economic opportunities for women through skills development, mentorship, and pathways to management while reducing workplace gender barriers and leveraging private sector resources.

As pertains to the Imarisha Initiative, the Gender Specialist will be supporting work planning, monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL), contributing to project communications, and supporting collaboration with other, complementary USAID mechanisms to the Imarisha Initiative. Work will be focused to ensure that ATI is effectively implementing high-quality technical work and providing strategic guidance to USAID/KEA buy-in on how to effectively deploy gender equality and women’s economic empowerment (GEWEE) approaches in support of this Imarisha Initiative and overall trade and investment objectives of ATI.


Technical Execution

  • Support in developing the selection criteria for the cohort of private sector firms to be supported under the Imarisha Initiative
  • Undertake an assessment of the current portfolio of private sector firms supported under USAID/KEA ATI buy-in and any (not supported by ATI) that would be a good fit for support under the Imarisha Initiative based on the selection criteria.
  • Undertake a baseline assessment of the identified private sector firms based on the Imarisha Initiative focus areas
  • Develop a skills development and mentorship program based on the gaps identified from the baseline assessment
  • Provide input on the development of training content on Imarisha Initiative and oversee its delivery and/or participate in its delivery where needed including webinars, mentorship, and face to face workshops.
  • Collaborate with USAID/KEA, the ATI Team, and subcontractors/grantees to identify opportunities to integrate gender and social inclusion into tools, strategies, and processes commonly used across ATI programming
  • Contribute to ATI reporting, work planning, communications, and MEL activities relating to the Imarisha Initiative
  • Provide quick turn-around quality assurance by editing, reviewing, and compliance checking of reports and other deliverables submitted by subcontractors under the Imarisha Initiative as need

Communications and Outreach

  • Identify and foster relationships with key stakeholders including USAID Gender Advisors and potential donor and implementing partners as the consultant conducts meetings, interviews, and discussions related to Imarisha activity
  • Work with ATI MEL team, and other sources as necessary, to provide information for case studies, success stories, and summaries that highlight Imarisha Initiative activities for outreach materials and dissemination to USAID/KEA

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL)

  • Participate in MEL coordination meetings with USAID/KEA, as needed
  • Support data collection from private sector firms participating in the Imarisha Initiative and provide quality assurance for MEL
  • Ensure that indicators for Imarisha Initiative are rolled into the project-level indicators, in accordance with the ATI MEL plan
  • Provide summary learning for periodic and requested reporting to USAID/KEA and other stakeholders.


The Gender Specialist will report to the ATI East Africa Regional Director or designee.


  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 8 years of professional work experience related to gender equality and women’s economic empowerment; or a master’s degree and 6 years of related professional work experience
  • Demonstrated experience designing and managing GEWEE strategies to facilitate gender integration in an international development context, including experience working with international development partners or donors
  • Proven project management, communications, writing, and interpersonal skills with excellent judgment, sound problem solving and decision-making skills
  • Ability to work in a fast-moving, fluid team setting with multiple stakeholders
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, and as a part of a complex team
  • Fluency in spoken and written English required,


  • Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) experience
  • Trade and/or Investment experience/knowledge in emerging markets
  • Activity management experience overseeing the work of consultants/partners
  • Experience working with USAID

[1] World Bank. Kenya Gender and Poverty Assessment 2015/6, 2018

[2] Phillips-Howard PA, Otieno G, Burmen B, et al. Menstrual Needs and Associations with Sexual and Reproductive Risks in Rural Kenyan Females: A Cross-Sectional Behavioral Survey Linked with HIV Prevalence. J Womens Health (Larchmt) 2015.

How to apply



Select the position for which you are interested in applying, fill out the required information, and upload your CV by March 22, 2023 at 5 p.m. (EAT). Please indicate what location you are applying for. Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as interviews will be conducted soon. Please note, due to the volume of applications that we receive and the urgency to fill-up positions, only shortlisted applicants will receive notification on the next steps.

Deadline: 22 Mar 2023