United Nations Foundation

Senior Manager, Technical Lead, Africa, DIAL

Employment Opportunity - Remote - Full Time

Position Overview 

The Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL) aims to advance a more equitable world through a shared vision of a positive digital future. We connect evidence about digital tools that work for society through research, demonstrations, and advocacy. We partner with others to promote digital systems that hold qualities of inclusion, trust, choice, and human agency, with a particular focus on the themes of effective digital public infrastructure and strong data governance. 

DIAL is a partnership among some of the world’s biggest digital development champions, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Kingdom’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCDO), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and is hosted within the UN Foundation in Washington, D.C.

DIAL seeks a talented, entrepreneurial, result-oriented, and experienced technical specialist

who will lead our technical engagements in Africa. As countries embark on the journey of building maintaining, and scaling their DPI, it is imperative to generate more understanding on Creating ‘Good’ Digital Public Infrastructure. The Technical Specialist will drive research to generate insights and understanding on what entails good DPI, documenting best practice from exemplar models from different countries and sharing these learnings while engaging closely with national and regional stakeholders leading digital transformation efforts. While this role is focused on producing high-quality, actionable research, it will require a dynamic individual that can cultivate strategic working relationships with government officials and other partners that will contribute to and benefit from DIAL’s research products.

The Technical Specialist must be well versed with national and international enterprise architecture frameworks in theory and practice, with a pulse on national and global trends in digital transformation. The person should be familiar with leading research subject matters and viewpoints that can influence policy narratives on digital transformation and drive a whole government approach towards adoption of DPI. The Technical Specialist will also be the face of DIAL in forums where DIAL’s technical viewpoints are to be shared to enhance knowledge sharing. This role offers the successful candidate an exciting position in a rapidly evolving and unpredictable political and economic environment.

This position is located in Africa.

Essential Functions

Technical Leadership (40%)

  • Serve as DIAL’s subject matter expert on DPI and responsible for the strategic technical leadership to ensure technical integrity and quality assurance for all DIAL engagement in priority countries and representing DIAL in relevant external forums
  • Serve as technical liaison for GovStack Africa project teams to identify and execute different programmatic activities and products that advance DIAL’s deliverables alongside the host countries’ goals and priorities through capacity strengthening efforts
  • Provide technical advisory to DIAL and its implementing partners to establish policy and regulatory environments that allow the widespread use of technology and create a trust environment founded on best enterprise architecture principles
  • Providing ad hoc strategic technical guidance and expertise on the design of the overall policy, legal, regulatory and institutional framework that can be incorporated at all stages of the development of DPI
  • Co-design and maintain priority country workplans with the integrated DIAL team and delivery partners
  • Responsible for the success of the country project delivery against workplan in accordance with set milestones in the contracts and communicate accordingly on progress and risks

Research (40%)

  • Develop and execute research and learning agenda aimed at building and strengthening a pipeline of thought leadership products on what constitutes ‘good DPI’
  • Identify prevailing research questions around the drivers of national digital transformation with a particular emphasis on digital public infrastructure, data governance, and consent
  • Document best practices and lessons learned from different countries that could be implemented in the roll-out of Digital Public Infrastructure in a resource-constrained environment. This will include topics such as identity systems, payment systems, data exchange, social registries, enterprise Architecture policies and actors, principles and standards, implementation and governance among others.
  • Produce publications such as publishable case studies, reports, policy briefings and factsheets with clear findings and recommendations, for both internal and external use and share insights and lessons derived from these in relevant forums

Business Development (20%)

  • Build and manage relationships with relevant stakeholders to identify and catalyze strategic opportunities to develop and support initiatives aligning with DIAL's core objectives
  • Responsible for identifying new national business opportunities and working with DIAL business development team in the successful development of concept notes and tactical approach plans.
  • Other duties as assigned

Selection Criteria 

  • Bachelor’s degree required and/or significant equivalent work experience; Master's degree preferred in computer science software engineering or other field related to technology-focused international development
  • 7-10 years’ experience in international development, with a focus on technology-centric development programs
  • Certification in Enterprise Architecture, TOGAF preferred
  • Knowledge and understanding of trends in Digital Public Infrastructure and Digital Public Goods
  • Strong demonstrable experience and expertise in technical architecture and/or enabling environment for digital public infrastructure and data governance
  • Competent researcher: experience in leading action research with a good understanding of practical research methods, and the ability to use a range of research techniques at a high standard
  • Demonstrate clear and compelling written and verbal communication skills with proof of publications and writing samples
  • Prior experience of managing externally commissioned research projects preferred
  • Strong project management skills to manage multiple deliverables simultaneously and deliver in a dynamic environment as well as the ability to implement projects involving a wide range of stakeholders
  • Excellent written, verbal communication and presentation skills in English as demonstrated in a proven record of accomplishment of effectively delivering technical information and data in a clear and effective manner
  • Willingness to work in a results-oriented team environment and ability to adapt to shifting priorities.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team and individually
  • Ascribe to DIAL’s values of Commitment, Collaboration, Empowerment, Courage and Thoughtful Action

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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