DRC Senior Manager

Goma, North-Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo | Full-time

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GiveDirectly is driving a re-evaluation of the assumptions underlying international philanthropy with a provocative model: we deliver donations directly to the extreme poor and let them decide what to do with them. This approach builds on two converging trends: the rapid spread of electronic last-mile payments solutions in the emerging markets, and the large body of experimental evidence showing that direct transfers are as or more cost-effective at reducing poverty than more traditional, top-down approaches. GiveDirectly’s field operations utilize state-of-the-art technology and business processes to deliver transfers securely, efficiently, and transparently. Our unorthodox approach – allowing the poor, and not the donor, to choose where they invest – has prompted debate in the popular press and among policy makers. GiveDirectly has been featured on NPR’s This American Life, and in Foreign AffairsThe Economist, and The New York Times. It was named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Finance by FastCompany, one of the 25 Most Audacious Companies by Inc., and one of GiveWell’s top-rated charities for 7 years running.

Overview:  The Senior Manager is a key managerial role in GiveDirectly’s field operation, with significant responsibility to recruit and manage a large team and deliver millions of dollars to poor households annually. In certain cases, Senior Managers help to drive GiveDirectly’s function as a laboratory for innovation in cash transfer (CT) delivery, by advancing projects aimed at addressing key policy and design questions (do CTs generate impact where market access is limited? how can CTs be delivered in settings with no payments infrastructure?). The role rewards exceptional instincts on team management, a highly autonomous work style, and the ability to apply creative solutions to challenging operational questions. 

Job Description:

Design and set-up. Assist with design and set-up phase of special projects

  • Conducting desk/field-based recon to establish operational feasibility & view on main design features
  • Inputting on design of initial pilot and assisting with set-up (e.g. gov’t permission, initial workplan etc)

Field Management. Deliver $5-10M per year to the extreme poor. 

  • Managing all aspects of ground operations, including hiring, training and managing a team of 30+ field staff at a time
  • Owning quantifiable targets like operational efficiency
  • Building relationships with government and other stakeholders

Other. Provide leadership across a number of other areas.

  • Assisting with implementation of research/academic partnerships on the ground
  • Supporting outreach and communications effort
  • Assisting with synthesis of key results, including recommendations for operational model/broader sector

Desired Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated success in a high-performance work environment
  • Strong interest in advancing the values and mission of GiveDirectly
  • Exceptional communication, organizational, and analytical skills
  • Ability to approach tasks with resourcefulness and to work in a highly self-directed manner
  • Ability to manage day-to-day operations while simultaneously building more robust, efficient systems
  • Experience and high comfort-level working in developing-country or high-risk settings
  • Working proficiency in English and French

 

GD Values

  • Recipients first.

We prioritize recipient preferences over those of donors or ourselves.

We do not impose our preferences, or judgments, on the beneficiaries; instead we respect and empower them to make their own choices, elevating their voices in the global aid debate. This value is core to GiveDirectly’s identity as the first organization exclusively devoted to putting the poor in control of how aid money is spent. It comes at a potential cost, as it means that neither we nor donors get to set priorities (and we may even lose some “efficiency” in providing this option).

  • Team next.

We do what’s best for organizational - not individual - success.

This is a team sport, where we will succeed (or fail) together. The best players are not those with the best individual statistics, but those with biggest impact on our overall performance. We avoid territoriality, self-promotion, and I’m above this attitudes.

  • Be proactively candid.

We say what we believe, and are honest in sharing information.

Having confidence that other people are telling us what they truly believe, without gloss or omission, is critical to effective communication and to our ability to learn and grow from feedback. We owe it to each other - and our donors - to instill this confidence even though giving and receiving information candidly are unusual in both professional and social life, and can be very uncomfortable.

  • Create positive energy  

We strive to be a source - not drain - of energy for our colleagues.

Our work is hard, practically and emotionally, and we cannot overemphasize the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, enjoying the company of our colleagues, and not taking ourselves too seriously.  In doing so, we aspire to generate energy and excitement amongst our colleagues in pursuing our mission. This should not preclude candor, and we aspire to achieve both.

  • Think rigorously; act quickly.

We are intellectually rigorous with a drive towards action - not debate.

We reason from first principles, grounding our decisions in objective claims about the world, rather than hard-to-disprove assertions or hierarchy. We aim to brainstorm inclusively and respectfully, but critically self-vet ideas we put forward, so as to ensure productive and prudent decision making.

Demanding this level of rigor forces us to think harder about decisions and our assumptions than we otherwise might. This is a real cost. It can be taken too far: it is possible to overthink decisions, and we avoid debate for the sake of debate.  We are not here to philosophize or ensure consensus. We decide and act quickly, avoiding getting bogged down in debates.

  • Accept reality. Propose solutions.

We do not dwell on problems. We work actively to create solutions.

There will always be an endless list of things to improve. We focus on the things that can be changed; find the most important of those things, and propose actionable answers. We do not allow “problems” to weigh us down and be a source of negativity.  We are forward looking, which we believe not only leads to better team outcomes, but also creates a more enjoyable, energizing environment for all.

  • Be productively ambitious.

We take the risks to pursue industry-changing success, not incremental progress.

We seek step-change improvements at all levels, and are willing to make big-bets; we do not accept complacency nor do we simply optimize existing processes. In doing so, we allow ourselves to dream big with a belief that perceived constraints are merely opportunities for creativity.

Such ambition not only requires hard work (i.e., this is not a 9-5 job), but also a willingness to accept and learn from temporary setbacks and failures.  In accepting these failures, we’re conscious to not point fingers, nor obsess over “mistakes” made.

  • Know yourself and grow.

We recognize and accept our imperfections with a focus on growth.

We are an organization of exceptional people and trust in each other’s abilities, yet we recognize that none of us is perfect. We strive to maintain an accurate understanding of our individual and institutional strengths and weaknesses, in order to position ourselves to maximize our chances of success.

At the same time, we seek personal growth for ourselves and our teammates. Feedback is given with a spirit of helpfulness; and sought out with a desire to learn.