Program Officer – Scaling Innovation Practice

London, United Kingdom
Apply by 12 October 2018
Mid-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 26 July 2018

Job Description

Practice Summary:

R4D’s Scaling Innovation Practice advances the effective integration of innovative solutions that address pressing systemic challenges in low-and middle-income countries and strives to improve development outcomes in health, education, and nutrition.

Throughout the years, R4D’s approach to scaling innovation has continued to evolve—from building global knowledge and networking platforms that identify and document innovative programs around the world, to generating new evidence on the scale, scope and results of innovations, to bringing innovators under networks of practitioners that enable collaborative learning and adaptation, and to creating improved linkages between innovators and potential supporters (both donors and governments). This continuous iteration, experimentation and learning has allowed R4D to accumulate important practical experience and insights about the broader field (what’s working and what isn’t in integrating innovations into systems) and the needs and priorities of target audiences.


R4D is seeking a Program Officer (PO) to work on our growing portfolio of projects and initiatives within the Scaling Innovation Practice, including IDIA and other innovation-related partnerships.

Excellent writing and communication skills will be vital in this role as the Program Officer will be expected to use these skills to help advance R4D’s thought leadership and expertise in innovation and how to deliver greater impact in the development interventions of R4D and its partners. To ensure the effective transfer and application of organizational learning, the PO will engage with senior innovation leaders from the donor member agencies of IDIA and across other teams within R4D as part of our matrixed working environment. With a proven ability to quickly analyze the needs of our partners and projects, predict/assess challenges and propose creative solutions, the PO must be comfortable working under their own initiative and producing quality outputs of different kinds within tight deadlines. The PO will be given autonomy to drive different elements within the design and execution of high-profile innovation projects, which will require them to flex and manage the application of their skills across many different areas including relationship management, logistics and event planning, financial reporting and independent desk research.

As R4D expands its UK and European network of partners and supporters, the Program Officer will have the opportunity to demonstrate their own entrepreneurial spirit in identifying opportunities for new business development related to the expansion of the innovation practice portfolio.

This position is based in London, UK and will report to the IDIA Program Director.


Additional responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Work closely with the Program Director to support the effective management of the IDIA, including administrative and logistical activities and planning quarterly member meetings in different global locations
  • Manage and contribute to key innovation initiatives emerging from the IDIA group strategy
  • Coordinate and collaborate with other R4D teams (i.e. health, nutrition, education and adaptive learning) to ensure the integration and alignment of activities under R4D’s evolving strategic partnership on innovation with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT)
  • Produce presentations, concept notes, briefing materials, etc. related to development innovation to keep R4D’s Scaling Innovation Practice informed of key trends and advances within this fluid and fast-moving space
  • Support the efficient and timely management of project budgets and reporting
  • Identify and build relationships and business development opportunities to engage with innovation funders and key stakeholders within the UK and Europe


  • Undergraduate or Postgraduate degree in international development, development studies, social anthropology, development economics or related fields
  • Minimum of 5 years of work experience managing projects / partnerships with development agencies and institutions, ideally relating to innovation
  • Demonstrated knowledge of global and international development issues with proven experience building and/or managing relationships with different actors in this landscape
  • Knowledge and experience of different tools, frameworks and approaches to innovation (e.g. Human Centered Design, Agile/Lean Impact methodologies) and the factors influencing their pathway to scale
  • Excellent writing, editing, presentation and inter-personal skills; confident and flexible communication skills, including the ability to prepare compelling presentations or briefing notes and present concepts in a way that is easily understood
  • Ability to prioritize and manage diverse tasks across multiple projects and work streams meeting competing time/resource demands; High level of personal organization, professionalism and reliability in contributing both independently and as a team member
  • Ability to thrive (rather than survive) in a fast-paced and sometimes ambiguous environment
  • Willingness to travel internationally (approximately 3-4 trips per year) based on project need

About the Organization

Results for Development (R4D) is a leading non-profit global development partner. We collaborate with change agents around the world — government officials, civil society leaders and social innovators — to create strong systems that support healthy, educated people. We help our partners move from knowing their goal to knowing how to reach it. We combine global expertise in health, education and nutrition with analytic rigor, practical support for decision-making and implementation and access to peer problem-solving networks. Together with our partners, we build self-sustaining systems that serve everyone and deliver lasting results. Then we share what we learn so others can achieve results for development, too.

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