Program Officer - Scaling Innovation (Ethiopia)

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Results for Development Institute
Closing date: 7 May 2021

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.

We have a unique and vibrant culture at R4D. Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of our work environment and help advance our mission. Diversity—of ideas, identities, perspectives and backgrounds—is vital to who we are and what we do. We seek people who embrace these values and will help reinforce them. Our work culture is collaborative, creative and entrepreneurial. We operate based on trust and respect. Teams across the organization frequently collaborate on programmatic work and support each other in continuously building a better R4D.

About the R4D Scaling Innovation Practice

We believe innovation is a catalyst for creating more impactful and equitable health, education and nutrition systems. In partnership with change agents – innovators as well as country-level ecosystem and global innovation actors – we facilitate the scale-up of innovations and the strengthening of innovation ecosystems. To support these two focus areas, we play three key roles:

(1) As a knowledge builder we co-create innovation knowledge products, tools, and frameworks promoting equitable and inclusive innovation practice.

(2) As a connector, we help different actors come together for country-led collaboration and capacity development.

(3) As a supporter, we provide direct innovation support in response to demand from innovators and country-level ecosystem actors. In delivering this work, we are always bringing in innovative tools, approaches and ways of working.

R4D’s Scaling Innovation practice provides leadership through our unique position managing a number of highly respected global innovation initiatives. These include:

· The International Development Innovation Alliance (IDIA) - a unique collaboration platform that brings together the senior leadership from the innovation teams, labs and departments of some of the world's leading development agencies.

· The Global Innovation Exchange(GIE) - a data-driven tech platform on a mission to help scale-up the most promising global development innovations by providing data and tools for various actors in the global development innovation ecosystem. It is the largest database of its kind with more than 18,000 innovations and over $2.5B cumulative in funding opportunities for these innovations showcased on the platform. Leveraging expertise, knowledge and network of GIE, the Innovation practice collaborates with various innovation to bring new opportunities for innovators such as the United Nation’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Forum Call for Innovations and Innovation Exhibit. Additionally, the team is building out approaches to supporting the scale-up of innovations or ecosystem strengthening through country-led processes.

· The Frontier Technologies Hub – leading a consortium of partners that works with the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to explore the use of frontier technology by working with partners all over the world to test and scale tech with the potential for positive social impact.

In partnership with Grand Challenges Canada, we are also currently developing and testing a new locally-facilitated model supporting country governments to enhance the scale up of health innovations through the public sector by helping them identify, select and scale solutions aligned with their national goals and priorities. This will be one of the initiatives that the new Program Officer will help to manage and evolve into one of our flagship offerings as the R4D Scaling Innovation practice.


R4D seeks a Program Officer with excellent program management skills, and a strong understanding of the innovation scaling process and innovation/entrepreneurship ecosystem in their home country.

This position is based in East Africa within the R4D Ethiopia Office or R4D Kenya office, and reports to the Scaling Innovations Lead. Please note that we will only be hiring one employee for this role to be based out of either country.

This posting is intended for Ethiopian nationals. If you would like to apply as a Kenyan national, please click here.

With many of the scaling initiatives within our portfolio at an exciting stage of their development / implementation, we are very keen to find someone who is preferably able to start immediately upon hire and as a result we will be interviewing candidates on a rolling basis as we receive strong applications.

The deadline to apply for this position is May 7th.


As a Program Officer, you will provide technical leadership for and program management of new and ongoing projects. As part of this work, you will manage existing stakeholder relationships and cultivate new partnerships at both the country and global levels that aim to communicate our impact and expand it in a creative way.

We are seeking an entrepreneurial, strategic, and highly organized individual to help us take this work forward. Previous experience managing projects and programs and building relationships with innovation and / or public sector actors is required for this role. Knowledge and experience working with innovation (including supporting innovations to scale) is also essential for this role.

Program management of the Public Sector Scaling Program

  • Work with a range of delivery partners and government actors to identify a roadmap of Public Sector Scaling activities to support government officials through a process of identifying and scaling innovation.
  • Work with both a core team, and a diverse network of implementing partners to co-ordinate the delivery of public sector scaling activities within one or more East African countries.
  • Engage public sector officials and departments, to identify and adapt public sector scaling program in light of their needs and priorities.
  • Develop and manage budgets and program plans.
  • Facilitate and enable highly functional, supportive and adaptive multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Program and project management for other Scaling Innovation initiatives

Build relationships with innovation ecosystem actors and facilitate opportunities for partnerships and learning

  • Identify and build relationships with different innovation supporters and implementers within the local, regional and international innovation ecosystem (including actors from local and national government, private sector, accelerators / incubators, chambers of commerce, academic institutions and donors / international organizations).
  • Co-ordinate partnerships and collaborative working with diverse groups of actors – especially in the context of delivering innovation scaling support within the Public Sector Scaling and other Scaling Innovation Practice programs.
  • Facilitate and support opportunities for knowledge sharing and networking between different actors involved in the public sector scaling process.
  • Support ecosystem-strengthening initiatives and partnerships emerging from our Scaling Innovation portfolio, including conducting research / interviews with key actors to understand their role in the ecosystem, barriers to scaling-up innovations in their respective countries and potential collaboration opportunities.

Thought leadership on country-led facilitation of scaling innovation processes

  • Over time, develop and provide thought leadership expertise on best practice approaches for supporting Public Sector actors to identify, scale and institutionalize innovation.
  • Where relevant, work with subject matter experts and implementing partners to provide technical assistance to government officials on identify, scale and institutionalize innovation.



To be successful in this role, the candidate will have:

  • BA/BS with 6+ years of experience or master’s degree with 4+ years of experience
  • BA (or MA) in global development, public health/administration, business/management, or relevant field.
  • Experience in global development and/or working with the public sector.
  • Knowledge of the innovation and scaling process and innovation ecosystem in their home country.
  • Demonstrated experience working with innovators/entrepreneurs and/or other innovation ecosystem actors.
  • Experience in program/project management, specifically:
  • managing competing priorities and working in a highly adaptable way.
  • working with complexity and handling ambiguity.
  • working with partners across the globe.
  • Impeccable writing, communication and presentation (e.g. in-person/virtual presentations, meeting facilitation, email, etc.)
  • Highly collaborative, adaptable and approachable team member who is enthusiastic about doing what it takes to support the team, mentoring junior staff and working closely with others at R4D.
  • Very strong interpersonal and relationship building skills.
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team, especially with distributed team members and partners across various time zones and cultures.


The ideal candidate for this role will have:

  • Strong innovation networks (either country or regional).
  • Health sector experience and expertise.
  • Experience working with local or country governments in Ethiopia, Kenya or Uganda.
  • Experience with a range of project management methodologies (including both agile and waterfall approaches).
  • Experience delivering innovation / cutting edge products and services – including adopting user centered design and adaptive learning approaches and methodologies.
  • Experience or understanding of systems change / change management.

The deadline to apply for this position is May 7th.

How to apply:

Please click here to apply.


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