Associate Director, Product Owner, GovStack, Digital Impact Alliance

London, United Kingdom
Full Time
Employment Opportunity

Position Overview

The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) is an independent global alliance funded through a collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and hosted within the United Nations Foundation in Washington, D.C. DIAL was established in 2015 as a “think, do, replicate” tank. We combine practical research with evidence-based advocacy to advance digital inclusion to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). DIAL identifies barriers to the routine use of digital solutions and data by development actors (countries, NGOs, multilateral institutions); tests ways to remove them; and package solutions for these actors to use in service delivery efforts.

The GovStack Initiative aims to build a common understanding and technical practice on fundamental reusable and interoperable digital components, which we collectively refer to as Building Blocks. Our effort is expert-driven and community-based, and includes the participation of multiple stakeholders to bring together expertise for strengthening a government’s cross-agency architecture view. Our focus is to enable countries to kickstart their digital transformation journey by adopting, deploying, and scaling digital government services. Through the digital “building blocks” approach, governments can easily create or modify their digital platforms, services, and applications by also simplifying cost, time, and resource requirements.

This initiative is an extension of the earlier effort established by the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on development of a normative logical framework called the SDG Digital Investment Framework. The framework is an empirical abstraction that demonstrates the common approach used by countries that are recognized as leading examples in transforming government services through digitalization, by considering the core, shared, and reusable elements within a platform-based architecture. ITU, Estonia, GIZ, and the Digital Impact Alliance began this collaboration in 2020 with the goal of accelerating national digital transformation and the digitalization of government services for achievement of Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 

We seek an experienced Product Owner to work on behalf of the partners to engage with select national governments to manage the business requirements gathering and documentation process using the Framework’s ontology and taxonomy, adding to and updating them as necessary.

Under the supervision and direction of the Governance Committee, the chosen candidate will lead and facilitate the Product Committee, which will comprise members of national governments and broader ecosystem; work closely with the Technical Committee, which is responsible for translating requirement into technical specifications and reference implementations. The Framework and all supporting material will be available as a digital public good for (re)use by the global community.

This role is based in UK or remote, must be available to work during business hours in the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), +/- a few hours.

Essential Functions

  • Product Strategy, RoadMap, Backlog & Stakeholder Management
  • Develop and maintain product backlog expressed in epics, stories, Jira Board
  • Long term planning, including product releases and retrospective planning
  • Work in close partnership with stakeholders & technical experts across geographical locations
  • Hold effective meetings and communicate proactively up and down the chain
  • Build and sustain relationships, collaborate with, and coordinate between customers, key stakeholders, engineers, and designers to drive product plans and strategy to completion
  • Actively participates in the Technical and Governance Committees; contribute ideas and perspectives that advance the Product Committee and strategy
  • Work alongside technical leadership to develop appropriate planning, prioritization, and release management processes
  • Other duties as reasonably assigned

Selection Criteria

  • 10+ years product management and/or work as software architect experience
  • You can write user stories and acceptance criteria. You know how to work with a range of specialists in multidisciplinary teams.
  • Experience building large software systems and a steadfast desire to build and maintain solutions in the large enterprise space, such as national governments
  • Experience in eGov/Digital Governance highly preferred
  • Demonstrated understanding of user-centered design, technology and data perspectives.
  • Has knowledge of the wider digital economy initiatives
  • Strong systems-thinking mentality
  • Excellent verbal skills and clear, effective writing
  • Proven track record of delivering results for large, cross-functional initiatives while managing multiple competing priorities
  • Ability to present complex technical information in a clear and concise manner to a variety of audiences
  • Experience with JIRA and Confluence, including integration of JIRA and Confluence for statistical reporting
  • Ability to multitask in a complex, evolving environment with multiple stakeholders using an iterative method and flexible approach to enable rapid delivery
  • Experience working with Agile/scrum methodology 
  • Deep experience with open source software projects
  • Technical fluency; comfort understanding and discussing technology concepts, schedule tradeoffs and new opportunities with technical team members
  • Master’s degree or higher in computer science, computer engineering, business administration or math, or equivalent academic or professional experience.   
  • TOGAF certification highly preferred
  • Expectation of up to 30% international travel.
  • Available to work during Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), +/- a few hours

Benefits & Compensation 

For full-time, benefit eligible employees, UNF offers an excellent range of benefits, including:

  • a choice between two health plans through UnitedHealthcare (PPO or HDHP with HSA)
  • dental insurance
  • vision insurance
  • flexible spending accounts
  • 403b retirement savings plan with a generous matching contribution
  • group term and supplemental life insurance
  • short-term disability
  • long-term disability
  • health club discounts
  • commuter subsidy
  • back-up care
  • employee assistance program

Additionally, all benefit eligible employees have 12 paid holidays, 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, 3 personal days, and 8 weeks of family leave care.

The United Nations Foundation is proud to be an equal opportunity and affirmative-action employer. The United Nations Foundation provides equal employment opportunity to all employees and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.

This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.


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