International Rescue Committee (IRC) – Innovation Strategy Advisor.

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Requisition ID: req28613

Job Title: Innovation Strategy Advisor

Sector: Research & Development

Employment Category: Fixed Term

Employment Type: Full-Time

Open to Expatriates: No

Job Description

Please be sure to include a cover letter with your application.

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive, rebuild, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, today we operate in 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities. 

The Airbel Impact Lab is IRC’s Research and Innovation team: We design, test and scale life-changing solutions for people affected by conflict and disaster. We created a new, simpler approach to treating acute malnutrition, we’ve developed a WhatsApp-based educational product to reach out-of-school students, and we’ve built a tool to simplify conducting cost-analyses and increase transparency in the sector. 

About you

As the newest addition to our Strategy Practice, you’ll help Airbel teams develop strategies to take projects from idea to scale. This means you’ll lead teams to define a vision, create a strategic roadmap, and develop an operational plan to execute. You’ll play an essential role in aligning stakeholders, in communicating plans and progress, and in driving teams to continually question assumptions and consistently iterate.

Here’s are the three areas where you’ll focus in your first 12 months in this role: 

1.    Develop strategy for a Global Research and Innovation Priority team: Airbel is organized around 3 research and innovation priorities (Malnutrition, Education, and Reproductive / Maternal Health). You’ll work closely with a priority lead to develop the core strategy for the priority. This includes developing a strategic vision, setting fundraising targets, aligning on goals, developing quantitative models and qualitative analysis on new innovations, and ensuring the team relentlessly executes. You’ll see immediate impact from your work: You’ll help the team define what to innovate, where to test it, how to resource its work, and how to advance ideas towards scale. 

2.    Provide strategy support to projects designing, testing and scaling new innovations across Airbel: There are many groundbreaking projects being developed at Airbel. You’ll support teams to effectively frame problems and possible solutions, to size and segment markets, to generate data-backed hypotheses, create project plans to execute, and analyze data from prototypes and pilots. 

3.    Support Airbel strategic initiatives: You’ll work with the Strategy Practice to drive forward department-wide projects, spanning organizational design work, prioritization exercises, strategic roadmap planning, and qualitative / quantitative analyses. You’ll facilitate decision-making with key stakeholders – often who are very senior – by articulating pathways, framing trade-offs, and outlining resource requirements for different options. 

This role is a great fit for someone who likes developing new approaches to complex problems, who can drive teams towards effective and efficient decisions, who loves iterating ideas with colleagues, and finally, someone who can jump between high-level strategy and operational plans, budgets, and the details of execution.

Key Working Relationships:

Position Reports to:  Associate Director, Innovation Strategy
Position directly supervises:

Indirect Reporting: N/A
Other Internal and/or external contacts:

●        Chief Research and Innovation Officer

●        Health Technical Unit Directors and Team Members

●        Technical Unit Directors and Team Members

●        Country and Regional Directors

●        Airbel Impact Lab Strategy Practice

Minimum Requirements  

·         You have a bachelor’s degree or with equivalent professional experience, including 5-6 years of experience in conducting strategic planning, leading on qualitative and quantitative analysis to define strategic pathways, and executing on plans. 

·         You’re great at solving complex-problems, bringing together quantitative modeling and qualitative analysis, and can distill data into actionable insights. 

·         You’re able to engage and align an interdisciplinary team, communicate with senior leaders, and facilitate a group to make effective decisions 

·         You work well in a distributed, multicultural, fast paced environment

Preferred Requirements

·         Experience in a strategy role at either a top tier strategy consulting firm, in the strategy development function of a global organization, or in a strategy role at a startup

·         Fluency in French and/or Arabic

·         Previous work in either humanitarian or development contexts

·         Familiarity with quantitative and qualitative research methodologies applied in medicine and social science

·         Experience/familiarity with NGO setting

·         Ability to travel up to 25% of the time

Working Environment: 

●        Standard office work environment or remote work


The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct.  These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability.  In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.




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