Innovation Strategy Lead

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 8 August 2018

Job Description

Requisition ID: req2506
Job Title: Innovation Strategy Lead
Sector: Strategy
Employment Category: Fixed Term
Employment Type: Full-Time
Location: USA-New York, NY - HQ

Job Description

The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC works with people forced to flee from war, conflict and disaster and the host communities that support them, as well as with those who remain within their homes and communities. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.

As a global humanitarian organization, the IRC has unique capabilities - and is particularly known for rigorous research and evidence-based programs. The IRC’ s strategy over the next 5 years builds on these capabilities, and its mission is to extend IRC’ s thought and operational leadership in the sector.

A key initiative that supports this strategy is the IRC Research & Development (R&D) lab, aimed at investing in the design, development, and scaling of new humanitarian interventions and delivery models. The lab seeks to apply best practices from human-centered design, rapid iteration, multi-disciplinary problem-solving, and an innovation portfolio management function in the humanitarian context. Combining these capabilities in IRC’ s extensive field presence, supported deep sector expertise from our research capability, we believe it is possible to design and scale breakthrough humanitarian programs that could impact millions of people most affected by conflict and disasters.

Job Overview:
How do you drastically reduce the time and cost it takes to get cash to families in a war zone? How do you create employment opportunities for refugees living in fragile economies? How do you vaccinate the 22 million children who live in the most remote, crisis-affected areas on Earth? How do you reduce violence against women and children in a scalable, culturally appropriate way? - These and other high priority areas is where the R&D lab wants to innovate and we want you to help us develop projects to address these critical questions.

The Innovation Strategy Lead will shape the strategic and analytical evaluation of new projects R&D invests in, and will support the ongoing management of projects throughout the design and scaling lifecycle. Applying your experience with quantitative and qualitative analysis, strategy development, project planning, and research methodologies, you will play a critical role in ensuring the quality and viability of R&D project investments.

The Innovation Strategy Lead will be critical in shaping the strategic direction of the IRC’ s R&D lab. This role will be a high-visibility position, and will have the unique opportunity to engage leading humanitarian sector innovators, social entrepreneurs, and private sector leaders, and innovation thought leaders in the world.

Major Responsibilities:

Leading the analytical processes to identify, validate, and launch promising new innovations for R&D to invest in, including:
* Developing strong hypotheses that link data, qualitative assessments, and design insights;
* Partnering with design and technology colleagues to articulate fully realized project plans that will validate hypotheses;
* Executing and synthesizing key pieces of analysis: issue framing, targeted research reviews, cost analyses, solution product/service design, and R&D project planning;
* Leading on the design and development of new programs, including program design and detailed budgeting;
* Facilitating the prioritization and selection of leading concepts through a rigorous evaluation process;
* Building the business case for new Airbel projects and actively fundraising for projects.

Managing and overseeing program launch and implementation for current projects in the portfolio and new projects:
* Overseeing the successful launch of new programs to ensure operational excellence and iterative program deign in line with the R&D approach;
* Working with partners to develop and implement rigorous research strategies to assess program impact and leading on relationship management;
* Overseeing budget and operations for program, including recruitment, procurement, donor management and reporting, and general project management;
* Developing detailed scaling strategies and pushing forward to execution

Driving Airbel’ s growth, strategy and programming, including:

* Contributing to the strategy and implementation of portfolio management, stage gates, and pipeline management;
* Identifying and managing strategic partnerships for Airbel to expand our scope and scale;
* Ensuring to programmatic excellence by supporting various Airbel projects as needed on analysis, research, and field work.

Key Working Relationships:
* Position Reports to: Director of Innovation Strategy
* Position directly supervises: N/A
* Indirect Reporting: N/A

Other Internal and/or external contacts:

* Chief Innovation Officer
* Senior Director, Research, Learning and Evaluation
* Technical Unit Directors and Team Members
* Country and Regional Directors
* R&D and Strategy Project Managers

Job Requirements:

Minimum Requirements
* Bachelor’ s degrees with 5-7 years of experience; masters preferred.
* Experience in working with and managing inter-disciplinary teams and processes
* A track record of designing and launching successful products and/or services (preferably in development/humanitarian contexts)
* Strong cross-functional, generalist skillset to engage with internal and external participants
* Superior problem-solving and synthesis skills, strong presentation skills and ability to communicate with senior leaders
* Strong analytical skills with confidence distilling data into actionable insights
* Facility with quantitative analysis and modelling
* Comfortable facilitating project planning, generating critical insights and delivering effective communication
* Comfortable managing a project team and/or external resources (e.g. consultants)
* Ability to work well in a distributed, multi-cultural fast paced environment

Preferred Requirements
* Experience in a strategy role at either a top tier strategy consulting firm, or in the strategy development function of a global organization
* Fluency in French and/or Arabic
* Previous work in either humanitarian or development contexts
* Familiarity with quantitative and qualitative research methodologies applied in medicine and social science
* Experience/familiarity with NGO setting
* Ability to travel 25% of the time

Working Environment:
* Standard work office environment

About the Organization

From emergency response through post-conflict development work, in a great variety of roles around the world, the International Rescue Committee’s 8,000-plus staff is a force for humanity and hope. If you’re skilled and passionate, we’d like to add your energy to ours.

Careers at the IRC are as wide-ranging and far-reaching as our work. Encouraging staff development through promotion, transfer and rehire, the IRC nurtures long-term career paths and helps employees grow within the organization.

At any given moment, on any given day, all around the world, IRC staff members are restlessly and effectively working for the sake of the most vulnerable among us—to restore and renew hope, dignity and freedom.

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

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