Job Title: Lab Wide Special Advisor
Location: Washington, DC
Program: USAID Global Development Lab / CDI
US Citizen: Yes
Security Ability to Obtain Secret Clearance
Apprio is an innovator of specialized technology and program solutions for the federal health, defense, and homeland security markets. The company provides services in technology transformation, organizational excellence, health IT & solutions, emergency response management, and international development. Apprio delivers the methodologies, discipline and expertise provided by the large integrators, with the cost structure and collaboration offered by smaller firms. Year after year we’ve grown by 50% or more due to our holistic approach in delivering solutions, thought-leadership, and synergistic teams to address our client’s needs.
Apprio is seeking an experienced Special Advisor to support our fully funded contract with USAID. The position is located in the U.S Global Development Lab, Center for Development Innovation (LAB/CDI). One of the flagship programs, Development Innovation VenturesOpens a New Window. (DIV), is an open innovation program designed to find breakthrough innovations, minimize risk and maximize impact through staged financing (inspired by a venture capital model), rigorous testing of impact and cost effectiveness, and scaling of proven innovations through the public and private sectors. DIV accepts proposals from innovators anywhere, in any sector, centered on evidence-based, cost-effective solutions with the ability to reach scale. DIV is widely-recognized as a highly-innovative program in government (for example, having been recognized, for example, by Harvard’s Ash Center as a 2015 Top 25 Innovation in American GovernmentOpens a New Window., and by the President’s Spark InitiativeOpens a New Window.). Its portfolio organizations include everything from Off-Grid ElectricOpens a New Window., a social enterprise providing solar power to rural households in Sub-Saharan Africa, to Innovations for Poverty ActionOpens a New Window., an organization that conducts impact evaluations to identify what works in development.
Assists in the planning and execution of project(s) having an internal focus from initiation through delivery. Organizes cross-functional activities, ensuring completion of the project while adhering to budget, scope and schedule requirements. Serves as an in-house project consultant for evaluating grantee needs and provide grantee support. Plans and directs implementation efforts. Uses professional concepts in accordance with company objectives to solve complex problems in creative and effective ways. Works on complex problems in which analysis of situations or data requires an in-depth evaluation of various factors. Exercises judgment within broadly defined practices and policies in selecting methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results. May determine methods and procedures on new assignments and may provide guidance to other lower level personnel.
- Oversees and manages the operational aspects of ongoing projects and serves as liaison between project management and planning, project team, and line management.
- Reviews status of projects and budgets; manages schedules and prepares status reports. Assesses project issues and develops resolutions to meet productivity, quality, and client-satisfaction goals and objectives.
- Develops mechanisms for monitoring project progress and for intervention and problem solving with project managers, line managers, and clients. Develop solutions to a variety of complex problems.
- Participates in determining objectives of assignment. Plan schedules and arranges own activities in accomplishing objectives.
The candidate will perform work in two key areas: Strategic Sourcing and Selections and second, Portfolio Support and Relationship Management
Strategic Sourcing and Selections
The candidate will actively contribute to the strategic sourcing and applicant selection process of DIV and source and assess applications against key DIV selection criteria. Specifically, incumbent will:
- Generate ideas for potential strategic sourcing partners, such as other impact investors and networks of entrepreneurs, with which CDI can partner to identify high-potential organizations that may benefit from funding from programs such as DIV;
- Contribute content to strategic sourcing communications campaigns and materials, led by the CDI Communications Lead, to ensure a wide variety of potential applicants are made aware of our funding programs and understand our program model, selection criteria, and application process;
Examples of activities to be performed include:
- Reviewing the evidence base underlying the proposed approach: Reviewing the evidence base that the applicant uses to justify the theory of change underlying the proposed approach. This may involve, reviewing and synthesizing academic publications in the field of development economics, behavioral economics, and public health; evaluations conducted by the applicant itself or a third party of its programs; and/or raw data. .
- Assessing the potential sustainability of the proposed business model: Assessing the commercial viability of a product or service proposed by a for-profit applicant (by, for example, reviewing the unit economics and market analyses) and assessing the extent of government partnership and policymaker buy-in for a program or intervention an applicant proposes scaling through the public sector;
- Assessing the management capacity of the applicant: Understanding the profiles and experience of the senior management team of the applicant organization and assessing whether the organization has the right talent in place to implement the proposed program;
- Understanding the data capabilities of the applicant: Assessing the applicant’s ability to collect, analyze, and report on data about its operations, outcomes and impact, cost and cost-effectiveness. This may involve, assessing what tools the applicant may require in order to enhance its data collection capabilities.
Portfolio Support & Relationship Management
The incumbent serves as a lead strategic advisor and relationship manager for a portfolio of organizations. Specifically, incumbent will:
- Provide ongoing strategic advisory services including financial modeling, effective data collection and impact evaluation, organizational development plan, talent recruitment, and scaling high-impact solutions in complex environments. Examples of strategic advisory support the incumbent may provide include:
Assessing the commercial viability of a product or service:
- Communicate regularly and conduct site visits to portfolio organizations to gauge progress and barriers and implement potential solutions;
- Work with CDI Communications Lead to develop strategic communications highlighting the work of the portfolio organizations;
- Main a strong network of partners within USAID, including regional and technical bureaus, and externally, such as other bilateral and multilateral donors, philanthropies, and private sector investors, with which to support portfolio organizations in accessing additional funding and non-financial support; and,
- Contribute to the development of tools such as data collection templates to support a portfolio organization’s monitoring and evaluation efforts, knowledge products, and thought leadership artifacts such as articles for publication and blog posts.
Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s Degree
Certification Preferred: N/A
Required Experience: 7 to 9 years of experience
- Requires proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office with an emphasis on Excel spreadsheet skills, PowerPoint, Internet and e-mail applications.
- Experience in the use of database applications and presentation software desirable
- Candidate must have strong attention to detail and organizational skills.
- Experience in project administration and management procedures preferred
- Requires proficiency in the use of Internet and e-mail applications.
- Designing, implementing, and analyzing impact evaluations, quantitative studies, and/or cost-effectiveness analysis
- Supporting social enterprises and/or businesses
- Implementing programs in developing countries
- Impact investing and/or grant-making
Apprio offers a collegial and supportive environment focused on its greatest assets…its people. With a competitive compensation and benefits program designed to attract, motivate, and develop our people; we pride ourselves on creating a culture of teamwork, client focus, and fun. Our benefits program allows our employees to select the features that make the most sense for their individual and/or dependent(s) needs. Features include medical, prescription drug, dental, vision, disability, retirement savings, and a competitive paid time off program. Apprio is an equal employment opportunity company. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.