Associate Director

Evidence Action
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

Job Description: What We’re Looking For
Evidence Action seeks a highly motivated, creative, entrepreneurial, intellectual, dynamic problem-solver who is a savvy strategist, an active ‘do-er’, and experienced in evidence-driven development to join our Beta incubator as an Associate Director. This role serves on the Beta leadership team and reports directly to the Chief Innovation Officer (a member of the organization’s global leadership team). We anticipate hiring up to 2 Associate Directors in 2018, with one based in our Nairobi, Kenya office (co-located with a significant portion of the Beta team) and one based in our Washington, D.C. office (co-located with the Chief Innovation Officer and a smaller subset of the Beta team). The position is ideal for someone who is passionate about combining evidence with design and management savvy to prototype, pilot, test, and scale impactful, cost-effective programs. This is a formative time for the incubator as we refine its strategy and position it for growth and is therefore an exciting time to join its leadership team.

The ideal candidate:

●       Is excited about engaging in an environment focused on the twin goals of “Evidence” and “Action” to furthering the objective of testing and scaling evidence-based interventions
●       Is hypothesis-driven in an ambiguous environment, creative in developing and testing solutions to technical and management challenges, and adept at identifying and weighing trade-offs relating to time, funding, and other scarce resources
●       Is comfortable and effective at engaging with a wide variety of colleagues and external stakeholders, as diverse as those on the front lines of program execution every day in-country to those knee-deep in data analysis and lines of code related to evaluations we’re conducting with academic partners to the technologists with whom we collaborate to drive technology-enabled cost-effectiveness in the design of our programs
●       Understands the “continuous improvement” ethos and lives and breathes it in all aspects of their work
●       Sees the value in and knows how to bring diverse experts and expertise to bear on complex problem-solving, such as economists, cost modelers, human-centered and behavioral designers, policy experts, and technologists
●       Has outstanding management capabilities, analytical abilities, attention to detail, and ability to connect the 30,000-foot strategic questions to the most minute of operational details in-country
●       Is an adaptable team player who is interested in being part of a fast-paced, growing and diverse organization with a start-up atmosphere

What You’d Do
The Associate Director will build and lead a portfolio of early-stage incubation efforts within the Beta incubator (including potentially some efforts that are already underway), with the support of Beta staff, and lead efforts to develop and/or refine Beta’s strategy and delivery approach on different aspects of the early-stage incubation work. This will involve work along 6 primary dimensions.

●       Strategy and delivery:
○       Refine and further build out Beta’s nascent strategy and delivery model for sourcing, prototyping, and piloting evidence-based interventions with high potential for impactful, cost-effective implementation at scale
○       Develop and lead a portfolio of high-potential interventions to incubate, including carrying forward some existing efforts
●       Partnerships:
○       Lead efforts to identify and cultivate appropriate research and implementation partnerships to maximize cost-effectiveness and scale potential for specific interventions or sub-portfolios of interventions within the Beta portfolio
○       Contribute to efforts, led by the Chief Innovation Officer, to build Beta-wide partnerships around sourcing, prototyping, testing, and scaling evidence-based interventions
●       Thought Leadership, Communications, and External Engagement:
○       Ensure tools, processes, and learnings well-documented and available internally and externally as resources for others within and outside Evidence Action
○       Proactively contribute to  internal and external communication about the Beta incubation approach and specific incubation efforts and oversee similar contributions by direct reports
○       Represent Beta and Evidence Action in relevant networks and convenings on innovation, evidence, and scaling in international development
●       People Leadership:
○       Manage and coach between two and five manager- and associate-level staff to ensure their growth, development, and satisfaction and high-quality contributions to our work
○       Recruit and lead candidate assessment and selection process for new manager- and associate-level staff
●       Fundraising and Donor Engagement:
○       Lead fundraising and donor engagement and management (including relationship management and reporting) for specific interventions or sub-portfolios of interventions within the Beta portfolio
○       Contribute to Beta-wide fundraising strategy development and execution, led by the Chief Innovation Officer.
●       Cross-cutting Management:
○       Develop and manage work plans for specific incubation efforts
○       Manage budgets and financial management for specific incubation efforts
○       Engage with Beta and overall Evidence Action operations, finance, grants, and administration staff to ensure smooth operations of Beta incubation portfolio (e.g., develop program partnership agreements and contracts; adhere to donor reporting requirements)
○       Contribute your “customer” (i.e., program) perspective to broader organizational development efforts to strengthen organizational systems, processes, and policies and to ensure they are responsive to and serving program needs

Since Beta is, in essence, a “start-up within a start-up” and given that this is a role on the Beta leadership team, we expect a high degree of self-motivation in shaping the role and a sense of responsibility for contributing to other areas of Beta leadership when needed, even if not outlined explicitly here.

What Qualifications, Experience, Skills, and Attributes We’re Seeking in Candidates
Evidence Action places strong value on relevant personal qualities: entrepreneurialism, responsibility, tenacity, independence, energy, and work ethic. We seek a highly committed and adaptable individual with a track record of delivering quality results in quickly changing circumstances. They should be able to work independently and effectively in a high-pressure, unstructured environment and handle multiple tasks simultaneously whilst mentoring a team to perform consistently. The ideal candidate will also possess cultural sensitivity skills and demonstrate high emotional intelligence, as they will be working closely with partners.

●       Master’s degree (in international development, business, public policy, economics, or related field)
●       At least 8 years of relevant professional experience of progressively increasing responsibility, including leadership and management experience in international development, business, and/or government, experience managing a portfolio of programs/initiatives, and at least 2 years living and working in a developing country
●       Good understanding of rigorous evidence, impact evaluations, and data collection and analytics and demonstrated ability to leverage evidence and data for intervention design, prototyping, and piloting
●       Strong track record and experience testing and scaling new solutions within and across contexts
●       In-depth familiarity with and well-networked within the evidence-based international development community, including staying abreast of development in the community and having strong relationships with organizations and individuals involved in, e.g., evidence generation, evidence synthesis, evidence dissemination, development of tools to enable more evidence-driven work, policy/advocacy and technical assistance around the use of evidence in policy making and program design
●       Exceptional critical and strategic thinking and delivery capabilities, including ability to anticipate future consequences and trends and contribute to Beta and Evidence Action priority-setting and strategy
●       Action-oriented, flexible approach and entrepreneurial problem-solver, with an ability to manage multiple competing deadlines, dynamically reprioritize as evolving program needs and resources require, embrace and structure ambiguity, and drive workstreams to completion in a fast-paced environment
●       Exceptional people leadership skills and upward management skills; ability to work effectively in a “matrixed” environment
●       Ability to build strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders around the globe, including senior policymakers and leading researchers
●       Excellent written and oral communication skills and demonstrated ability to communicate clearly with diverse audiences; writing experience and skills should cover fundraising proposals, policy briefs, and other program documents
●       High level of proficiency in Microsoft Office, particularly Excel, PowerPoint, and Word and equivalent Google Apps Suite
●       Availability for and willingness to travel up to 40% time (predominantly to Africa and Asia on longer 2-3-week trips, with some shorter trips within the US and to Europe required primarily for fundraising) – travel required is generally predictable and able to be planned in advance. Individual should see the value of and feel intrinsically motivated to travel because of opportunity for team-building and proximity to the work on the ground that it enables.
●       Willingness to maintain flexible work hours to engage with colleagues (including peers and direct reports) in different time zones
●       Demonstrated ability to work effectively in, and lead, remote teams, including leveraging tools like Slack for frequent team communication and creative approaches to coaching in remote relationships
●       A sense of humor

●       Track record of managing high-touch donor relationships and proactively cultivating new donor relationships
●       Experience in human-centered design methods to strengthen program design (preferably in an international development setting)
●       Experience leveraging and overseeing the use of mobile technology to improve service delivery (preferably in an international development setting)
●       Experience working in a startup organization or company

Evidence Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer with a commitment to diversity. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply.