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Senior Manager, Policy and Research, Digital Impact Alliance

Position Overview

The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) is a “think, do, replicate” tank that investigates digital transformation best practice at the national, regional and global level. We combine practical research with evidence-based advocacy to identify which digital efforts work, package them as re-usable solutions and encourage their use. DIAL is funded through a collaboration among the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Kingdom’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCDO), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and hosted within the UN Foundation in Washington, D.C.

The Insights and Outreach team shapes DIAL’s research, policy, communities of practice and communications work for the organization. The team gathers insights from digital development practitioners, curates replicable models that can be used to achieve policy objectives consistent with DIAL’s vision and mission, and shapes our brand and communications strategy to achieve digital transformation and responsible data use.

Within the Insights and Outreach team, the DIAL Policy Team works with a cross-DIAL group of colleagues to focus on building global will to support country governments in accelerating the achievement of the SDGs through digital transformation investments and initiatives. DIAL aims to influence the global digital transformation agenda by creating thought leadership resources, disseminating replicable models, supporting the Digital Principles, shaping discourse within key communities, and strategically partnering with major development actors.

The Senior Manager, Policy and Research will contribute to the Policy Team’s thought leadership and advocacy strategy. An immediate-term priority will be a focus on building collaboration around financing and funding national digital transformation. The Senior Manager will lead the development of knowledge products, and research and monitor the digital development and industry landscape to identify opportunities and trends relevant for DIAL and its key audiences and stakeholders. Additionally, the Senior Manager will oversee the portfolio of projects aimed to transform traditional practices and advance good practices within the public procurement processes of digital. This includes managing the testing of and long-term advocacy and strategy for the Procurement Guide.

This position is based with preference for Washington D.C., New York, U.K.

Essential Functions

  • Responsible for collaborating across DIAL to create a policy and advocacy strategy (with accompanying goals) towards building global alignment around approaches to financing national digital transformation. This may evolve to include other policy topics over time
  • Responsible for designing and managing select research projects (focusing – at least at first - on topics related to financing national digital transformation) for the Policy Team, including management of external vendors and/or partners, and establishing the overall direction of the work. This includes management of the projects from conceptualization to completion
  • Responsible for managing resources and efforts to test the Procurement Guide, support capacity building efforts for country procurement institutions, and developing a long-term plan for dissemination and uptake
  • Responsible for generating leads and representing the DIAL and the Policy Team in external outreach and advocacy to current and prospective partner organizations
  • Responsible for integrating secondary research into thoughtful pieces for external publications related to financing digital transformation and procurement, and potentially other policy topics over time. This could be in the form of blog posts, research papers, leadership briefs, webinars, case studies, or use cases
  • Responsible for summarizing key information and trends – with an initial focus on digital development financing and digital procurement. Includes providing advice on developing situations in the ecosystem, including production of materials such as policy briefs, reports, multi-media resources, and presentations, as well as representing DIAL at convenings, webinars, and in-person events. 
  • Responsible for advising on national digital transformation strategies, especially within the areas of financing and procurement.
  • Responsible for utilizing and adhering to UN Foundation’s agreement process and systems appropriately, helping to draft and review agreements, and maintaining an understanding of all agreement terms and applicable flow-downs, consulting with the DIAL Operations team.
  • Accountable for appropriately assessing and mitigating the risks to vulnerable people posed by work in alignment with the Principles for Digital Development
  • Maintain working knowledge of the UNF agreement process (for both contracts and grants), and when to utilize the proper templates accordingly. (As applicable to the role)
  • Draft and review agreements and maintain an understanding of all agreement terms and applicable flow-downs, consulting with UNF’s finance/contracts team as needed. (As applicable to the role)
  • Attend training sessions provided by UNF’s contracts team to maintain and keep up to date with UNF’s current policies and procedures. (As applicable to the role)
  • Maintain strong knowledge of UNF’s Salesforce database to be able to process and track agreements, extract information and prepare reports. (As applicable to the role)
  • Other duties as assigned

Selection Criteria

  • 7-10 years of relevant professional experience in development finance and digital; preferably including working internationally, as well in multi-lateral or technology-oriented organization
  • College degree required. Master’s degree in finance, economics, international development, or another related field preferred
  • Experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods, including data collection, analysis, and presentation
  • Experience with or knowledge of public procurement or procurement, in general, is preferred.
  • Ability to write clearly and concisely
  • Ability to communicate knowledge effectively through various mediums including data visualization and reports, learning activities, and other methods
  • Ability to improve existing practices to encourage more efficiency in one's role and for one's team, as well as identify needed adjustments in one's own area of responsibility and sets priorities accordingly
  • Problem-solving skills, including the ability to draw meaning and trends from data and recommend actions to address issues
  • Strong technical skills in standard software programs (such as MS Office) and web-based applications (such as Google Suite and SharePoint)
  • Highly organized; demonstrates grace under pressure, and delivers results in a fast-paced environment
  • A willingness to travel, domestically and internationally (no more than 10%, the amount is negotiable).
  • Ascribe to DIAL's values of Commitment, Collaboration, Empowerment, Courage, and Thoughtful Action
  • Ability to interact with people from diverse, multi-cultural backgrounds
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle stress
  • Ability to meet regular attendance/tardiness policy

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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