Senior Manager Learning and Innovation (with a focus on Smallholder Inclusion)

IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative
Utrecht, the Netherlands
Job Type
Full-time or part-time
Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative convenes companies, CSOs, governments and others in public-private partnerships. Together we drive the joint design, co-funding and prototyping of new economically viable approaches to realize green & inclusive growth at scale in commodity sectors and sourcing areas. Our approaches are designed to drive sustainability from niche to norm in mainstream markets, delivering impact on Sustainable Development Goals. We focus on creating positive impact on deforestation, living incomes and living wages, working conditions, toxic loading and gender. IDH is supported by multiple European governments (Dutch, Swiss, Danish, Norwegian) and we work together with over 500 companies, CSOs, financial institutions, producer organizations and governments in 11 sectors and 12 landscapes in over 40 countries worldwide. IDH is a dynamic and demanding organization of about 140 staff members and consultants at the HQ in Utrecht, the Netherlands and several overseas offices and hubs in South America, Asia and Africa.

Learning and innovation
Mainstreaming of sustainable trade requires companies, civil society and government to innovate together, develop new business models and forge new supply chain collaborations. The IDH Learning & Innovation Team supports this transformation drive by organizing strategic research, prototyping innovations, and promoting learning with the program partners. We collect knowledge and best practice, we design innovations, we initiate research into critical challenges, and we develop metrics for performance management and strategic decision-making.

To strengthen its Learning and Innovation team, IDH is recruiting a Senior Manager Learning and Innovation (with a focus on Smallholder Inclusion).

Position overview
As a Senior Manager Learning and Innovation, you are IDH’s thought leader on smallholder inclusion and finance. You shape our innovation agenda on smallholder inclusion and finance by using your network and experience in smallholder finance (including insurance) and your insights in new technology developments (i.e. fintech) that could help in solving key smallholder challenges. You provide the IDH program teams with strategic knowledge, actionable insights and innovations to drive the quality and impact of their programs. Your support leads to investable projects that can be scaled.

You will work closely with our program teams, Innovative Finance team, the Smallholder Innovation Platform  team, external partners and knowledge partners. You are reporting to the Director of Learning and Innovation. The position is based in Utrecht, but there is flexibility to work from a location outside the Netherlands.

Core job functions are:

a.      Shape and drive an Innovation agenda with the Innovative Finance team, IDH programs and partners of the Smallholder Innovation Platform;
b.      Lead research projects to support innovation design;
c.      Sharing of lessons learnt and best practices through blogs, publications, webinars, congresses and other means internally and externally;
d.      Impact lead for smallholder inclusion and drive internal strategy discussions to sharpen and strengthen IDH program strategies, collect evidence on our work on smallholder inclusion, and support the set-up of investable projects that can serve as pipeline for the Innovative Finance team;
e.      Proactive knowledge management of key developments in smallholder inclusion and (technological) solutions in smallholder finance and insurance;
f.      Develop relevant knowledge networks and relationships with sector experts, consultants, academia and thought leaders;
g.      Business development to engage new (knowledge) partners that are keen to work on the Smallholder Inclusion innovation agenda.

Requirements & Competencies
•       M.Sc. level with 10+ years of relevant working experience, as consultant or practitioner in a private sector context;
•       Expertise in smallholder finance and good knowledge of technological solutions for working with smallholders in commodity supply chains;
•       Conceptual and analytical strength, creative and innovation focused;
•       Interpersonal effective relationship-builder, able to inspire and mobilize.
•       Demonstrated networks among relevant businesses and knowledge institutes;
•       Result-oriented, self-propelling and self-organized, eye for detail;
•       Excellent oral and written communications and presentation skills. Fluency in English.

IDH offers an exceptional opportunity to shape thought leadership and drive strategic business development within an international and market relevant sustainability context.  For more information about IDH, please visit

This is a full-time position (40 hours p/w) – with the option to work part-time-, initially for one year, with the intention to extend. We offer a gross monthly salary between 4500-5000 Euro (based on 40 hours p/w, depending on seniority and experience) and solid fringe benefits, including a good pension scheme.
For questions about this position, please contact Iris van der Velden, Director Learning and Innovation, +31 (0)6 14811394. Interested and qualified candidates are invited to send a motivation letter and a 2-page resume in English to Annemarie Woudstra, HR Officer, at, mentioning “Senior Manager Learning and Innovation – Smallholder Inclusion” in the subject line. We encourage applicants to respond as soon as possible, latest June 3, 2018.

Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands
Job Type: Full-time or part-time
Job Contact Information:
Deadline for Applications: 2018-06-03