Jobs – Innovations Officer at USAID Resilience Innovation Labs (RILab)

Job Title: Innovations Officer

The ResilientAfrica Network, a partnership targeting 20 sub-Saharan African universities led by Makerere University in Uganda, together with Stanford University, Tulane University and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), will provide USAID with;

  • A unifying analytical framework (“Resilience Framework”) providing insight in how programming affects the resilience of populations;
  • A field network of Resilience Innovation Labs (‘RILab’) to create, test, and incubate solutions for development challenges in Africa; and
  • A global platform to enhance generation and dissemination of resilience-related knowledge to promote collaborative learning and resilience building.

The architecture of the ResilientAfrica Network in Africa consists of 4 lead universities in Uganda, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Ghana who will establish Resilience Innovation Labs (RILabs)(which will be the focal points of technology innovation and commercialization of university research attracting local and national resources, sustainably funded, with replication potential across sub- Saharan African cities), as well as other university partners in other sub-Saharan African countries. The RILabs serve as the innovation hubs for the RAN, and all programmatic activities relating to innovations will be coordinated at the RILab.

Multidisciplinary teams of faculty members and students working on resilience innovations will use the RILab as a key working space.

Job Summary: The RILab Innovations Officer will be primarily responsible for directing the innovation activities of these teams following RAN’s preferred approach for identifying, incubating and piloting resilience innovations. He/She will offer technical assistance, mentorship and capacity building support to the teams of innovators. He/She will ensure that the innovations under incubation and acceleration at the RILab progress as expected and meet community expectations in building resilience. The Innovations officer will work with the RILab Director and RAN Director of Innovations to represent the interests of the ResilientAfrica Network and Makerere University in resilience innovation activities in the RILab region.

He/she will represent the ResilientAfrica Network Innovation team and Makerere University in innovation focused events and engagements in the RILab region.

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responsible for project management of all incubated projects, working with relevant Secretariat and RILab staff as well as incubated teams to develop project plans and monitor implementation progress, taking appropriate remedial action as and when necessary.
  • Responsible for overseeing innovation incubation, piloting and scaling activities at the RILab, under the leadership of the RILab Director, and with technical input from the RAN Director of Innovations
  • Will serve as the primary point of contact for multidisciplinary teams of innovators incubated at the RILab, establishing their capacity and operational gaps, and addressing these in the most appropriate manner in line with RAN’s Resilience Innovation Fund framework and human-centered design approach.
  • Actively co-ordinate and undertake community and stakeholder engagement activities in support of innovation development, testing, piloting and scaling activities.
  • Will be part of the RILab Innovation M&E team and will work with the M&E manager to undertake continuous M&E of each incubated innovation in line with the individual innovations M&E plan
  • Compile and submit progress reports for all incubated projects to the RILab Director and
  • Director of Innovation.
  • Working with RAN’s Research officer and Innovator teams, will prepare technical reports on all incubated innovations.
  • Work closely with the Director of Innovation and RILab Director and Program Co- coordinator to support the identification, development, hosting and access of M-KITs and other relevant educational and technical materials for the teams of innovators.
  • Working with the RILab Director and Program Coordinator, will identify technical experts from the University and network of stakeholders (e.g. Private Sector, Public Sector, Development Community and Local Innovation Hubs) who can offer targeted training, skills building and mentorship.
  • Organize regular training, leadership skills development and mentorship sessions as per established needs, aimed at building technical skills, strengthening the innovative capacity of the incubated teams and contributing to the professional and personal development of innovator teams.
  • Seek technical expertise from the entire RAN team, other RILabs, RAN and HESN partners as appropriate, to improve the quality of incubated resilience innovations.

Qualifications, Skills and Experience:

  • The RILabs Innovations Officer should preferably hold a Master’s Degree in Project Management, Development studies, Technology management, Social sciences or any relevant discipline
  • At least four years’ experience required, with at least two years of project management experience
  • Past exposure and experience working with young innovators or in a university environment is an added advantage
  • Significant experience with large multi-dimensional project / programme management experience Good knowledge and proven experience in Innovation project development and implementation Proven track record in delivering projects with cross-functional resources and cross-disciplinary teams
  • Prior experience managing timelines, seeking resources, identifying internal and external stakeholders, building and managing partner relationships, and collaborating with multidisciplinary project teams
  • Good working knowledge of the innovations development pipeline and the technical support needed at each of the critical stages
  • Good knowledge of, and active participation in the local innovation ecosystem
  • Excellent analytical and problem solving skills
  • Past experience in organizing and leading training workshops
  • Prior experience in offering mentorship and technical guidance to innovators
  • Past experience working with diverse, cross-functional teams including teams with academic, innovation community, communities, humanitarian sector and private sector members
  • Highly proactive and demonstrable ability to work with minimum supervision
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills with the ability to prioritize and juggle tasks
  • Excellent public speaker and presenter, with excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Highly creative and proactive approach, with strong interpersonal skills and leadership style to operate confidently
  • Passion for making a difference in African communities through innovative solutions
  • Passion to mentor young innovators and hand-hold them as they explore their innovative ideas
  • Highly adaptable and willing to learn new approaches and skills to further their innovation management expertise
  • Approachable, warm personality and a people-person

How to Apply for the job:

All interested and suitably qualified candidates should send their applications either by registered mail, courier service, e-mail or dispatch together with Curriculum Vitae, copies of both academic and professional certificates and testimonials, names and addresses of three referees, and day time telephone contact to:

EA RILab Director (Re: Innovation Officer Application) Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (EA RILab) ResilientAfrica Network (RAN)

Makerere University School of Public Health

Plot 30A, York Terrace Kololo

P.O. Box 7072

Kampala, Uganda

Tel: +256 414 343 597


Deadline: Monday 13th October 2014.

Loading spinner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

+ 37 = 39

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.