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Team Lead – Research & Innovation

Chemonics seeks a team lead for the Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA) Fund, a multi-country project funded by the U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) focusing on strengthening research and innovation systems in target countries, combining the fund manager requirements of two funds under the RISA umbrella: Strengthening Research Institutions in Africa (SRIA) and African Technology and Innovation Partnerships (ATIP).

  • RISA seeks to strengthen research and innovation systems by developing a portfolio of well-designed, evidence-based sub-projects in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Rwanda, and Tanzania. The RISA programme has three objectives:
  • Research institution and system strengthening (SRIA). To support research organisations to have the capabilities necessary to produce relevant, high quality research and to create an enabling environment for researchers and research organisations.
  • Innovation system strengthening (ATIP). To strengthen the enablers for the scaling of new and emerging technologies with the high potential for poverty reduction and inclusive growth.
  • Strengthening synergies between research and innovation systems (SRIA and ATIP). To identify and support linkages between research and innovation systems that will improve their integration and coordination.
  • The team lead will be a highly skilled programme director with experience leading the delivery of fund management services and an understanding of approaches to strengthen research and innovation ecosystems. S/he will also be responsible for overseeing the management of staff, maintaining a strong working relationship between programme stakeholders and counterparts, and ensuring appropriate performance management to deliver the programme. The Team Lead is the key focal point for FCDO and key programme stakeholders.
  • The position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya and will require some travel to other RISA countries. We are looking for individuals who have a passion for making a difference in the lives of people around the world.

Responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing all aspects of programme strategy, management, and leadership of RISA’s programme delivery including overall management of relationships with other research programmes and key stakeholders, including the Governments of RISA countries and their agencies, donors, implementing partners, and other development organisations.
  • Providing overall leadership and supervision of RISA’s senior management team (SMT), technical and administrative staff, and sub-awardees
  • Overseeing programme work planning, financial management, performance management, monitoring and evaluation, strategic communications, and evidence generation
  • Managing implementation of project activities and liaising with project teams to ensure technical coordination
  • Addressing issues and mitigating risks related to programme implementation in a timely manner and appropriately adjusting programme strategies, as required
  • Overseeing effective delivery of funding competitions, convenings of programme stakeholders and reviewers during project selection, and successful disbursement of funds to awardees
  • Contributing to the design of high-quality and innovative research and innovation concepts, products and request for proposals
  • Overseeing overall strategy and direction of the research and innovation objectives of the programme and ensuring country specific trends, contexts, and strategies are factored into solutions for addressing country needs
  • Supporting the production of high-quality, policy-relevant indicators for the country
  • Facilitating coordination between in-country activities and the overall RISA programme

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  • Bachelor’s degree in a social science, health, international development, technology or a related discipline is required. Master’s degree is preferred.
  • Minimum of ten years of professional experience in the field of research, innovation or development
  • Track record of progressive responsibility, and at least ten years of professional experience managing large (£10m+), complex, donor-funded research and/or innovation projects similar in scale, scope and complexity in developing countries, including at least four years as Team Leader
  • Experience leading large teams and managing programs that achieve results, with a focus on adaptive management
  • Demonstrable experience in working in a politically complex and sensitive environment
  • Strong ability to collaborate and build partnerships with host country governments, UK government agencies, donor agencies, international organizations, and the private sector
  • Experience managing and coaching direct reports
  • Experience leading compliant delivery and oversight of funds management portfolios strongly preferred
  • Thorough knowledge of the research and/or innovation sectors across Africa preferred
  • Experience improving gender equity in research and innovation systems and implementing gender sensitive policies in development programming preferred
  • Experience improving disability inclusion in research and innovation systems and implementing inclusive policies in development programming preferred
  • Demonstrated leadership skills, versatility, and integrity
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experience in Africa required, such as in-country presence in East, South, and/or West Africa
  • Demonstrated leadership, versatility, and integrity
  • Fluency in English is required

Please send an email with your CV and cover letter attached and “Team Lead” in the subject line to no later than November 11, 2021. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis so please apply at your earliest ability. No telephone inquiries, please. Chemonics will contact finalists.

Chemonics is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, age, or other legally protected characteristics.

Military veterans, AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and other national service alumni are encouraged to apply.

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