Zaina Kisongoa

Zaina Kisongoa

(she/her) (she/her)

Country Representative for Somalia and South Sudan

Zaina Kisongoa is highly skilled and experienced programme manager with more than 15 years of experience leading, managing, granting and reporting donor funded programmes in East and Horn of Africa. Importantly. she holds a Master’s in Development Studies (Children and Youth Development) and a degree in Education. Zaina has designed, implemented, and directed multi-year and multi-country programmes that responds to solutions that prevent, and mitigate conflict, injustices, poverty, gender inequality and civilian harm, particularly in the areas of livelihood, peace, eye-health, protection, education, gender- based violence, youth and women empowerment. These programmes, implemented in humanitarian and development context in Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, and South Sudan, are aligned to SDGs, Africa Vision 2063, government, donors, and organizations’ strategic objectives. The programmes have changed the lives of many children, youth, women, and men. Thus, she has ability to analyse, decide and initiate programmes in different contexts. This experience has further enabled her to support programme partners to achieve greater strategic coherence as well as strengthen their programme and organizational capabilities.

Zaina has in-depth knowledge and proper understanding of donor landscape and grant management, having written and won major funding from such donors as BfTW, Misereor, USAID, DFID, AUSAID, CIDA and Foundations. Zaina is knowledgeable and skilled in monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of grants. Significantly, She has a high-level financial and risk management skill to steer the operational budget as well as provide leadership in budgeting and financial reporting. She is an expert in building networks and public relationships with external stakeholders. She is an experienced Team leader and manager.  

Zaina possess strong leadership and managerial skills, having held Senior management and leadership positions at Country levels in East and Horn of Africa, with organizations such as Christian Blind Mission (CBM), Save the Children, Agakhan Foundation, Plan International and Leonard Cheshire Disability International. She therefore not only reinforced, articulated, promoted values, vision, mission, and goals of organizations but also reinforced policies and procedures of both donors and organizations. In these leadership positions, she has developed and implemented country strategic plans, led in procurement of huge grants, reviewed programmes, developed annual work plans, ensured quality programme and prudent financial management.  Importantly, she has ensured that programmes comply with donor and grant conditions.    

Zaina is currently American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Country Representative for Somalia and South Sudan where she is responsible for the overall management of the programmes, provides strategic leadership, direction and framework for programme implementation, ensures proper monitoring and evaluation of the programmes, fund raising, contributes to advocacy strategies that influence change, reporting, and stewardship of AFSC’s resources in Somalia and South Sudan. She is a team leader and represents AFSC nationally and internationally.

Articles by Zaina Kisongoa