Evidence Action aims to be a world leader in scaling evidence-based and cost-effective programs to reduce the burden of poverty for hundreds of millions of people in the poorest places. Our two flagship at-scale programs, Deworm the World and Dispensers for Safe Water, reached over 200 million people this year. Three of our programs - Deworm the World, No Lean Season, and Dispensers for Safe Water - have been named “Top” or “Standout” charities by GiveWell in 2018, with Deworm the World being named a Top Charity for the sixth year in a row.
In addition to running these scaled programs, Evidence Action also leverages its unique Beta incubator to explore what interventions with initial evidence of impact might be suitable for massive scale up to become our next flagship programs. Similar to beta testing for software, we pressure-test interventions to ensure that they deliver cost-effective impact at scale without unintended consequences. To effectively scale interventions that pass our pressure-testing, Beta seeks to understand the mechanisms at work behind compelling results, runs fit-for-purpose experiments to find appropriate models for scaling, and builds service delivery and financing models suitable for the contexts where there is demand. Beta is incubating a diverse array of interventions, from a variety of sectors and at various stages of the incubation process, including two initiatives in the later stages of incubation: No Lean Season (a seasonal migration program that was named a GiveWell Top Charity in 2017) and Winning Start (a youth volunteer-led education program leveraging the evidence-based “teaching at the right level” methodology).
Evidence Action has a presence across 10 countries, with major offices in Nairobi, Kenya; Delhi, India; and Washington, D.C.
What We’re Looking For
Evidence Action seeks a highly organized, detail-oriented, operational problem-solver who is passionate about building and strengthening financial and operational systems that enable evidence-based programs to be tested and scaled. We will hire this individual at the Senior Manager or Associate Director level. The level at which we’ll consider a candidate will be based on our assessment of the candidate’s overall qualifications and experience. This role serves on the Beta leadership team and reports directly to the Chief Innovation Officer (a member of the organization’s global leadership team). The Associate Director / Senior Manager, Finance and Operations will serve as the key leader on the Beta team for finance and operations support to the diverse portfolio of initiatives in the Beta incubator.
The ideal candidate:
What You’d Do
The Associate Director/Senior Manager, Finance and Operations will serve as the overall finance and operational management lead for the Beta portfolio, supported by one direct report. This role involves overseeing or directly executing on a number of finance and operations activities on behalf of the Beta portfolio that are mission-critical to our work. In addition, given that Evidence Action is a young, dynamic organization, the role also involves serving as the Beta “voice” to the organization’s overall operations, finance, and administration team to ensure evolving organizational policies, processes, and systems meet the operational needs of Beta, which are sometimes unique, given the diverse Beta portfolio and its early-stage nature.
Specifically, this role will entail leadership across 5 dimensions:
1) Financial management and cost analysis: Stewardship of resources and the cost-effectiveness of our work are core values at Evidence Action. You will transform financial and program data into analysis with key insights to support the leadership’s strategic decisions. You will review monthly P&L statements through a programmatic lens. Your attention to detail will support successful management of finances that enables us to improve program design and invest in the most promising ideas.
2) Partnership management and contracts: We leverage partnerships with academics, implementing organizations, governments, and a variety of others to design, deliver on, and evaluate our work in many countries. We need to structure our relationships with these partners effectively and creatively to govern our substantive collaboration and fiscal responsibilities.
3) Grants and fundraising management: Our ability to tell our donor partners the story of our work through concise narrative, high-quality data, and clear financials underpins our ability to create impact. You will oversee grants management for the Beta portfolio, which is growing quickly and supported by a diverse set of donors.
4) Portfolio management: A balanced portfolio with projects at all stages of development enables Beta to invest in the most promising projects while exiting projects with less promise of impact at scale. You will support us to invest our resources in a manner that allows us to identify new opportunities for growing our portfolio in strategic areas while mitigating the risks across our portfolio of projects.
5) Overall Liaison to Evidence Action’s Operations, Finance, and Administration Function: Serve as primary Beta liaison to the organization’s operations, finance, and administration function to ensure the function understands Beta’s programmatic needs and perspectives; to provide Beta input on organizational policies, processes, and systems; and to ensure that Beta understands operations, finance, and administration organization-wide needs and requirements.
Because the Associate Director / Senior Manager, Finance and Operations role is primarily in support of Beta programmatic activities in developing countries, they will be expected to travel to program locations (primarily in Africa and Asia) for up to 10% of their time. Such travel will enhance their understanding of programmatic needs and to more effectively thread the needle with organizational policies, processes, and systems related to operations, finance, and administration.
Since Beta is, in essence, a “start-up within a start-up,” we expect a high degree of self-motivation in shaping the role and a sense of responsibility for contributing to other workstreams when needed, even if not outlined explicitly in this role description.
What Qualifications, Experience, Skills, and Attributes We’re Seeking in Candidates
Evidence Action places strong value on relevant personal qualities: entrepreneurialism, responsibility, tenacity, independence, energy, and work ethic. We seek a highly committed and adaptable individual with a track record of delivering quality results in quickly changing circumstances. They should be able to work independently and effectively in a high-pressure, unstructured environment and handle multiple tasks simultaneously whilst mentoring a team to perform consistently. The ideal candidate will also possess cultural sensitivity skills and demonstrate high emotional intelligence, as they will be working closely with partners.
Evidence Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer with a commitment to diversity. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply.