Associate Field Manager-Nimba County

Nimba County, Liberia Full-time

 

Role: Associate Field Manager (AFM)

Location:  Nimba County, Liberia with occasional visits to head office in Monrovia

Language Requirement: Fluent in Gio and Mano

Applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. GiveDirectly reserves the right to recruit candidate before the specified end date.

Background: GiveDirectly (GD) 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 4 years running.

Overview: The Associate Field Manager (AFM) will play a central role in ensuring that GiveDirectly delivers a gold-standard product to donors and recipients. The Associate Field Manager will manage the Field Officers (FOs). The Associate Field Manager will own day-to-day management of their team, including: daily work planning and team management, tracking team and individual performance; achieving targets; coaching Field Officers; and identifying opportunities for risk mitigation and process improvement. The Associate Field Manager will serve as the key “eyes and ears” resource on the ground for the Program Manager (PM) and will be responsible for regularly synthesizing updates on team performance as well as field successes and challenges. The role will reward exceptional personnel management, organizational skills, high-quality judgment on operational challenges, and a strong commitment towards driving both team and individual productivity and quality.                                            

Responsibilities:

Field management (20%)

  • Meet with field teams every morning to align plans for the day and solve field challenges
  • Coordinate team approach for village surveys each day to maximize efficiency and productivity. Ensure teams get to the field on time
  • Track FO productivity & quality of service, including reviewing operational reports each week; discuss team and individual performance weekly with FOs and PM; be primarily responsible for course correction if metrics are slipping
  • Keep senior management informed of key risks to work plan (e.g. village-specific challenges, political instability, rumors about GiveDirectly, recipient refusals, terrain challenges during rainy seasons, etc.)
  • Meet weekly with other members of field management (Program Manager, other AFMs) in order to discuss challenges in the field and propose solutions
  • Meet with Program Manager at least once per month to discuss any adjustments to work plans

Data collection and process improvement (20%)

  • Collect surveys on average 1-2 days a week in order to help teams achieve targets and to help identify areas for improvement
  • Vet new versions of surveys, including impact on field staff productivity, and recommend survey improvements as necessary (e.g. potential process gaps)
  • Raise ideas for continuous improvement of the enrollment process/recipient experience; execute process improvements and ideas raised by the Program Manager/Country Director

Quality control (15%)

  • Monitor and ensure quality control when the field staff conduct surveys
  • Periodically check and review FO data collection in the field and coach staff to correct any issues observed
  • Spend 1-2 days resolving difficult cases in the field that require special attention (hard-to-find recipients, cases of potential fraud)

Field Officer management and development (15%)

  • Coach FOs on challenges that come up in the field. Provide additional case-specific input as requested by FOs (e.g. ambiguity around potential impostor)
  • Exercise judgment and escalate recurring issues or questions to the Program Manager.
  • Coach FOs who are underperforming and provide disciplinary measures when necessary
  • Encourage teamwork and improve morale through mentorship, affirmations, and various management initiatives
  • Spend 1-2 days per week shadowing staff in order to identify areas for improvement and professional development, particularly during staff training
  • Conduct monthly performance check-ins with direct reports and annual performance reviews

Administration (20%)

  • Ensure all allowance requests and spent allowance requests are submitted correctly and promptly
  • Ensure timesheets are accurately submitted in a timely fashion
  • Process leave requests so as not to conflict with work planning and operations
  • Resolve miscellaneous equipment requests
  • Participate in a weekly field-management forum to solve problems and collaborate on work planning

 Other (10%)

  • Arrange interview logistics and conduct interviews for new FOs (after initial screen from HR Manager). Recommend potential hires to Program Manager for final approval
  • Provide initial training to newly hired FOs and on-going professional development to staff.
  • Participate in meetings with district, sector and cell officials as necessary. Represent GiveDirectly in the field and manage daily communication with local leaders
  • Assist Program Manager with hosting journalists, donors, and other external parties
  • Assist Program Manager with communicating and executing new projects/pilots/technologies (e.g. software changes and upgrades, recipient targeting projects, content collection for website and mobile app, etc.)
  • Assist with response to “crisis” events (e.g. refusal spikes, government shut-down, coordinated fraud, etc.)
  • Promote effective team culture by encouraging recognition of positive achievements, planning team events periodically, and other team-building initiatives

Qualifications

  • The ideal candidate for the GiveDirectly Field Officer job opportunity must hold a Degree in a relevant field
  • One to two years' experience in the field working with vulnerable communities
  • Computer and mobile device data entry knowledge and experience with good typing skills
  • Possess the ability to conduct and support recipient surveys and associated processes
  • Fluency in English and at least one of Gio or Mano. Fluency in both local languages will be an added advantage.
  • Exceptional leadership ability with demonstrated success in motivating and developing junior staff
  • Exceptional ability to solve complex operational challenges in the field
  • Alignment with GiveDirectly core values and commitment to advancing GD’s mission
  • Positive attitude, strong work ethic, and team-player mentality
  • Strong interest in being the engine of the day-to-day field work
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a highly independent and self-directed manner, while effectively communicating about gaps and risks
  • Strong relationship building skills and the ability to represent the organization effectively to external parties
  • Analytical and technical skills, including intermediate proficiency with Microsoft Excel

Benefits and terms:

  • Health insurance
  • Up to 5% annual bonus and raise in line with inflation rate in the country
  • Work Monday through Friday with additional compensation for work on Saturday if needed
  • Field-based: must be willing to work in any of GiveDirectly’s locations
  • Allowances provided as needed for travel, airtime, or other reasons.
  • Strong alignment with GD values (below)

GD Values

  1. 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).

  1. 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.

  1. Be proactively candid.

Wsay 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.