The ResilientAfrica Network, a partnership targeting 20 sub-Saharan African universities led by Makerere University in Uganda, together with Stanford University, Tulane University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), will provide USAID with
1) a unifying analytical framework (“Resilience Framework”) providing insight in how programming affects the resilience of populations;
2) a field network of Resilience Innovation Labs (‘RILab’) to create, test, and incubate solutions for development challenges in Africa; and
3) a global platform to enhance generation and dissemination of resilience-related knowledge to promote collaborative learning and resilience building.
The architecture of the ResilientAfrica Network in Africa consists of 4 lead universities in Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Ghana who will establish Resilience Innovation Labs (RILabs)
(which will be the focal points of technology innovation and commercialization of university research attracting local and national resources, sustainably funded, with replication potential across sub- Saharan African cities),
as well as other university partners in other sub-Saharan African countries.
Job Title: RILab Innovations Officer (1 post)
Reports to: RILab Director
Purpose and context of the job:
The RILabs serve as the innovation hubs for the RAN, and all programmatic activities relating to innovations will be coordinated at the RILab.
Multidisciplinary teams of faculty members and students working on resilience innovations will use the RILab as a key working space.
The Innovations officer will be primarily responsible for directing the innovation activities of these teams following RAN’s preferred approach for identifying, incubating and piloting resilience innovations. He/She will offer technical guidance, mentorship and capacity building support to the teams of innovators. He/She will ensure that the innovations under incubation and acceleration at the RILab progress as expected and meet community expectations in building resilience. The Innovations officer will work with the RILab Director and RAN Director of Innovations to represent the interests of the ResilientAfrica Network and Makerere University in resilience innovation activities in the RILab region.
He/she will represent the ResilientAfrica Network Innovation team and Makerere University in innovation focused events and engagements in the RILab region.
He/she will be stationed in Makerere University and will report directly to the RILab director.
He/She will be available to connect remotely on a regular basis(e.g., bi-weekly or monthly) with the RAN’s Director of Innovations and the Senior Innovations Advisor (Stanford). He/She will also participate in in-person and conference call activities dictated by the RAN work plan.
Accountabilities, responsibilities and main roles:
Will be responsible for project management of all incubated projects, working with relevant Secretariat and RILab staff as well as incubated teams to develop project plans and monitor implementation progress, taking appropriate remedial action as and when necessary.
Will be responsible for managing innovation incubation, piloting and scaling activities at the RILab, under the leadership of the RILab Director, and with technical input from the RAN Director of Innovations
Will be the focal contact person for multidisciplinary teams of innovators incubated at the RILab, establishing their capacity and operational gaps, and addressing these in the most appropriate manner in line with RAN’s Resilience Innovation Fund framework and human-centered design approach.
Will co-ordinate and undertake community and stakeholder engagement activities in support of innovation development, testing, piloting and scaling activities.
Will be part of the RILab Innovation M&E team and will work with the M&E manager to undertake continuous M&E of each incubated innovation in line with the individual innovations M&E plan
Will prepare and submit progress reports for all incubated projects to the RILab Director and
Director of Innovation.
Working with RAN’s Research officer and Innovator teams, will prepare technical reports on all incubated innovations.
Will work closely with the Director of Innovation and RILab Director and Program Co- coordinator to support the identification, development, hosting and access of M-KITs and other relevant educational and technical materials for the teams of innovators.
Working with the RILab Director and Program Coordinator, will identify technical experts from the University and network of stakeholders (e.g. Private Sector, Public Sector, Development Community and Local Innovation Hubs) who can offer targeted training, skills building and mentorship.
Will organize regular training, leadership skills development and mentorship sessions as per established needs, aimed at building technical skills, strengthening the innovative capacity of the incubated teams and contributing to the professional and personal development of innovator teams.
Will seek needed technical expertise from the entire RAN team, other RILabs, RAN and HESN
partners as appropriate, to improve the quality of incubated resilience innovations.
Skills, Knowledge and Experience:
Relevant experience with large multi-dimensional project / programme management experience Good knowledge and proven experience in Innovation project development and implementation Proven track record in delivering projects with cross-functional resources and cross-disciplinary teams
Experience managing timelines, seeking resources, identifying internal and external stakeholders, building and managing partner relationships, and collaborating with multidisciplinary project teams
Good knowledge of the innovations development pipeline and the technical support needed at each of the critical stages
Good knowledge of, and active participation in the local innovation ecosystem
Excellent analytical and problem solving skills
Experience in organizing and leading training workshops
Experience in offering mentorship and technical guidance to innovators
Experience working with diverse, cross-functional teams including teams with academic, innovation community, communities, humanitarian sector and private sector members
Proactive and demonstrable ability to work with minimum supervision
Excellent organizational and time management skills with the ability to prioritize and juggle tasks
Excellent public speaker and presenter, with excellent oral and written communication skills
Education and Qualifications:
Minimum Masters Degree in Project Management, Development studies, Technology management, Social sciences or any relevant discipline
Minimum of 4 years work experience required, with at least two years of project management experience
Experience working with young innovators or in a university environment is an added advantage
A creative and proactive approach, with strong interpersonal skills and leadership style to operate confidently
Passion for making a difference in African communities through innovative solutions
Passion to mentor young innovators and hand-hold them as they explore their innovative ideas Highly adaptable and willing to learn new approaches and skills to further their innovation management expertise
Approachable, warm personality and a people-person
HOW TO APPLY
Interested candidates should submit their applications either by registered mail, courier service, e-mail or dispatch together with Curriculum Vitae, copies of both academic and professional certificates and
testimonials, names and addresses of three referees, and day time telephone contact to:
EA RILab Director (Re: Innovation Officer Application) Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (EA RILab) ResilientAfrica Network (RAN)
Makerere University School of Public Health
Plot 30A, York Terrace Kololo
P.O. Box 7072
Tel: +256 414 343 597
All applications are to be received not later than Monday 13th October 2014. We shall only respond to those candidates who strictly meet the set requirements.