West & North Africa Regional Director

IDinsight
Full time
Apply by 30 March 2024

Job description

About the Role:

The West and North Africa Regional Director (WNA RD) role will be supported by the CEO and IDinsight WNA’s Directors and will assume critical responsibility for driving large pieces of IDinsight’s work and strategy in WNA. Further, the WNA RD will be supported by high-quality research teams, an excellent operations team that ensures a well- functioning organisation, and a communications team. A portion of the WNA RD’s time will be safeguarded for research, thought leadership, professional development,

and optional leadership coaching. The WNA RD will also work closely with a Chief of Staff to execute their responsibilities. Finally, the WNA RD will be provided with bi-annual performance reviews (including feedback from peers and direct reports) to help them continuously grow and learn as professionals.


The WNA RD will be provided significant autonomy to leverage IDinsight as a platform to drive social impact (in consonance with our mission and strategy), while also being held accountable to clear goals that they will set for themselves in consultation with the CEO and other leaders at IDinsight WNA.


This position is based in Dakar, Senegal, with an office in Rabat, Morocco and will likely include domestic and international travel to fulfil the above-mentioned responsibilities. While IDinsight recognises the value of liberal “work from home” policies, significant in-office presence is desired.


The WNA RD role will be unique and tailored to each candidate. At a high level, the role will include the following responsibilities:

  • Lead IDinsight WNA towards social impact: The WNA RD’s primary responsibility is to drive and increase IDinsight WNA’s social impact using their experience, expertise, and networks. Toward this goal, the WNA RD will help conceptualise, secure, fundraise, and execute high-impact projects that use data and evidence to drive change. They will set the region’s partnership development priorities and determine what opportunities are pursued and which are not. In addition, the WNA RD is expected to repeatedly set the north star of social impact for the region, including all project teams, and drive all aspects of the organisation towards this goal.
  • Envision and execute IDinsight’s WNA strategy: The WNA RD will work closely with WNA and global leadership teams to refine and update IDinsight WNA’s existing strategy and lead its execution. As the WNA RD leads the regional team through a period of strategic growth, they will be expected to not only apply their established and refined strategy but also apply dynamic, flexible decision-making to opportunistically test new hypotheses, experiment with new partnerships or organisational models, and improve the strategy.
  • Represent IDinsight WNA externally: The WNA RD will represent the organisation within WNA and globally. They will be expected to apply their considerable experience, expertise, and skills to shape evidenceinformed action within one or multiple sectors, regions, or specialisations. This includes writing in leading media and journals, speaking at conferences, harnessing relationships and networks within the impact community to develop trusted advisory positions with senior leaders, and participating in consultative councils within governments, foundations, and/or nonprofits.
  • Lead, mentor and guide a team of talented and mission-driven colleagues: The WNA RD will create the conditions for a rewarding professional experience for colleagues at varying points in their careers. This includes establishing a shared vision and effective organisational priority-setting that fosters broad ownership; recruiting and mentoring both senior and junior colleagues and supporting their career development; and consistently modelling inclusive leadership. The ideal candidate will exemplify IDinsight values, be seen as a trusted advisor, and work well with others across all levels of the organisation.
  • Lead partner-facing research project teams: The WNA RD will also directly lead a small number of projects, particularly at the start of their tenure. Project leadership involves liaising with senior clients regularly, ensuring the highest standards of research quality and ethics, overseeing and mentoring teams, problemsolving, ensuring a safe and empowering atmosphere, and keeping within project budgets while maximising social impact.
  • Contribute to IDinsight’s global activities and influence: The WNA RD will be a member of the global IDinsight leadership team and will be expected to provide intellectual contributions to strategy development and implementation across the larger organisation through various steering committees and a management group. Because global leadership and support functions are designed to facilitate context-centred impact, input from regional leadership is highly influential in IDinsight’s global direction.
  • Support organisational development: The WNA RD oversees the regional operations team, which oversees the recruiting, hiring, and retention of teammates and overall employee experience. As we grow, they will be expected to support IDinsight to remain an impact-first, values-based, and nimble organisation.
  • Exemplify IDinsight’s mission and values: Ensuring a strong alignment between incoming WNA RD and IDinsight’s values will be an important priority. The WNA RD is the face of IDinsight both externally and internally and will be expected to always and unambiguously exemplify our mission and values.


Qualifications:

  • Extensive experience (15+ years) in global development, primarily in West and North Africa, preferably with a recent focus on the data and evidence space. IDinsight aims to provide cutting-edge, contextually-tailored data and evidence services in every region in which we operate. As such, a deep understanding of the region and the space is critical. The new WNA RD should have:
  • Strong network and reputation in the region and sector, particularly Senegal and Morocco, with a track record of developing high-impact projects and strong funder relationships;
  • Fluency in the role of data and evidence tools – such as impact evaluations, representative surveys, monitoring systems, and/or the application of data science – to create insights and impact;
  • Strong alignment with IDinsight’s approach to generating and using evidence for decision-making;
  • Some experience working in the data and evidence space, but more importantly, a broader understanding of the development sector in the region.
  • Preferred: Proven ability to develop, refine, and communicate a strategic vision
  • Engaging leadership style and enthusiasm for interacting and connecting with a young team. Relationship-building is a critical aspect of management, especially in West and North Africa. The new WNA RD should have the following:
  • A clear, empathetic communication style and excellent listening skills
  • Enthusiasm for mentoring and coaching a young, passionate team
  • A good sense of humour!
  • Preferred: a proven track record of managing a growing, dispersed team
  • Ability to thrive in an entrepreneurial setting and be able to adapt to a dynamic environment, growth, and change. IDinsight WNA is much like a startup that is shifting to maturity and accelerated growth in Senegal and Morocco. As such, the new WNA RD should have the following:
  • The ability to take a flexible, dynamic approach to decision-making, with an interest in setting up and strengthening systems.
  • The ability to drive with the big picture in mind and get into the details of operations and execution as necessary. 
  • Willingness to learn and dive deeply into IDinsight’s business model and explore innovations in the model, e.g. new funding structures, strategies for smoothing the pipeline
  • Ability to identify and mitigate key operational risks
  • Willingness to learn internal systems, including those for communications, finance, and productivity
  • Preferred: Experience working in a startup environment, particularly in the transition to maturity
  • Preferred: Experience starting new partnerships in new geographies
  • Preferred: Proven ability to integrate into a new organisation in a high-level role
  • Experience identifying, cultivating, and securing significant new partnerships and/or funding. IDinsight WNA is in an exciting growth stage and aims to expand its geographically and sectorally portfolio. As such, the new WNA RD should have the following:
  • Deep understanding of funders and other actors in the development space, particularly those with an interest in data and evidence
  • A strong track record of partnership-building in the region and a strong understanding of local political economies
  • A proven ability to secure funding for social impact and/or research projects 
  • Preferred: Record of influential thought leadership around important social and/or technical issues
  • Ability to drive operational and fiscal discipline and transparency. As the regional team grows, it will need to remain committed to operational and financial transparency. As such, the new WNA RD should have experience managing tight operations and budgets, especially with growing teams. 



Additional requirements:

  • Willingness to travel as needed (approximately 10-20% of their time) and to work remotely with colleagues in other locations and time zones;
  • An advanced degree (Master’s or Doctoral), preferably in public policy, economics, public administration, business, or public health.
  • Fluency in English and French is essential, and working proficiency in one or more additional languages used in the region is a plus, with a strong preference for Wolof or Darija. 



We understand that no candidate will excel in all these attributes. Instead, we are looking for leaders with significant strength in certain attributes while meeting a minimum threshold in all attributes.

IDinsight is growing and evolving quickly. We may suggest other suitable roles to candidates who apply based on the overlap between IDinsight’s needs and candidates’ experience and qualifications.

About IDinsight

IDinsight helps leaders combat poverty worldwide by designing, deploying and promoting evidence-generating tools. It tailors the best methodologies to partner needs and constraints to fuse evidence with action. IDinsight serves governments, NGOs, foundations and social businesses across Africa and Asia in all major program areas including health, education, agriculture, livelihoods, finance, energy and governance.

IDinsight's diverse, growing team of over 320 outstanding colleagues operate in nearly two dozen countries around the world.

Learn more about the organization's impact at www.IDinsight.org.

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