United Nations Foundation

Senior Manager, Research, Digital Impact Alliance

Employment Opportunity - Washington, DC - Full Time

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, & Development Office (FCDO) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), and hosted within the United Nations Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Within DIAL, the Research team develops actionable research and practical insights that inform approaches to advancing a more inclusive digital society. The team’s work is intentionally designed both to tackle the most pressing questions that policymakers are grappling with today and to examine frontier issues that will shape digital transformation in the years ahead.

This is a full-time opportunity to work at the cutting edge of technology and international development. We seek a candidate who has both demonstrable experience working on technology policy and exceptional research, project management, and written and verbal communication skills. The individual selected for the role will manage discrete research projects, provide research support and guidance to colleagues across DIAL, and collaborate with DIAL’s Communications team to ensure the team’s insights are communicated to a range of global stakeholders. In particular, this individual will play a leading role in working with DIAL colleagues to identify and document lessons and good practices – in the form of case studies, success stories, and guidance – that are emerging from DIAL’s direct engagement with governments and with various digital development communities of practice.

Reporting to DIAL’s Research Director, this role is ideal for a candidate passionate about digital development who wants to help tackle some of the biggest issues facing the sector.

This position is located in Washington, DC, London UK, remote.

Essential Functions

  • Provide technical guidance to research projects across DIAL programmatic work that address the digital transformation and data governance
  • Manage and deliver research projects from initiation to completion, including design of primary research protocols, leading consultative processes, and conducting and summarizing primary research, secondary research, and policy analysis
  • Contribute to DIAL’s thought leadership function by being an active learner and writer and translating insights from across DIAL’s work into policy briefs, reports, multi-media resources, and presentations
  • Collaborate with other programmatic teams at DIAL to produce joint knowledge products
  • Support dissemination strategies for completed projects including identifying target audiences and crafting key messages
  • Engage with key stakeholders to understand and participate in discussions related to emerging trends and topics of interest in the use of technology for development
  • Financial management and management of vendor relationships, as well abiding by expense levels set for tasks and conducting research at appropriate cost levels for projects
  • Accountable for appropriately assessing and mitigating the risks to vulnerable people posed by work in alignment with the Principles for Digital Development
  • Other duties as assigned

Selection Criteria

  • Bachelor’s degree in social sciences, international development, or other relevant related field; Master’s degree preferred
  • Minimum 7-10 years of relevant professional experience, with experience working across public, private, and nonprofit sectors
  • Experience designing, delivering and managing research projects
  • Excellent writing skills and innovative approaches to communicate technically complex materials. 
  • Demonstrated expertise in technology and emerging markets
  • Strategic thinker who enjoys being a thought partner and collaborator on frontier topics related to digital development
  • Detail-oriented and results-driven
  • Comfortable working in a geographically distributed organization
  • Ability to travel internationally in developing countries up to 15% of the time
  • Ability to work well independently and as a member of a team, within a cross-functional team environment and diverse communities

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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