Senior Manager, Humanitarian

New York, United States Full-time

About GiveDirectly:

GiveDirectly (GD) aims to reshape international giving - and millions of lives - by providing cash grants directly to the world’s poorest. The Brookings Institution estimates that $70B of cash transfers would be required to eliminate the poverty gap; the aid sector currently spends $135B each year, much of it on evidence-free interventions. GiveDirectly wants to change that, establishing cash transfers as a benchmark for foreign aid - as the index fund is a benchmark for the financial industry - and in the process accelerating the end of extreme poverty.

 

GD has raised over $200M since launching in 2011, delivered cash to more than 125,000 families, and launched offices in 7 countries. We’ve also supported large-scale, experimental research that indicates strong recipient impact of our programs. As a result GD has been celebrated as one of the most innovative non-profit companies by Fast Company, while the growing cash transfer movement and GD’s leading role within it have been featured in the New York Times Magazine, This American Life, Foreign Affairs, and The Economist.

 

We’re looking for exceptional talent to grow our field team. Our culture is blunt, analytical, non-hierarchical, and fast-paced. We recruit candidates from top organizations across all industries - our team has hailed from consultancies, investment banks, start-ups, non-profits, and government to name a few. We value ability and willingness to learn over years of experience. We offer competitive salary and benefits and performance-based bonuses.

 

 

Role Overview:

 

GiveDirectly’s field organization is growing fast: we recently doubled our country office footprint and are experimenting with a range of research and design questions from “How do you deliver cash in a country that has 1 bank for a district of 400,000 people?” to “What’s the impact of providing a universal basic income to 10,000+ individuals?”

 

In 2019, we’ve defined a core “big bet” around expansion into the humanitarian response domain, both domestic and international. Our value proposition will focus on speed, flexibility, innovation and rigor. We’re looking for candidates who will be based in New York but able to deploy on short notice to an emergency. The ideal candidate will complete a  minimum two year tour of duty, with potential to grow into a Director role and/or to work across a series of geographies and projects.

 

As part of GD’s launch team, you will hone your operational expertise with responsibilities that include: building new capabilities for targeting beneficiaries, deploying payments, and rapidly setting up in emergency settings; hiring and managing teams of field officers; and hitting quality and efficiency targets in a novel operational context. In addition to building readiness and providing boots on the ground, you will support the partnerships team to showcase our operational methodology and source funding from a range of donors.  

 

Responsibilities:

 

 

  • Build a new set of operational capabilities:

 

    • Articulate  “what good looks like” in humanitarian context (i.e. setting operational and efficiency metrics)
    • Assess trade-offs of different design decisions (e.g. targeting, payments, customer service) and define suitable model
    • Build operational protocols that will enable rapid legal set-up, hiring, and community entry
    • Leverage best-in-class tech to drive rigor and efficiency in ops (e.g. satellite imagery to identify damaged areas)

 

 

  • Drive exceptional execution on the ground:

 

    • Hire, onboard, and manage teams
    • Own a rich project management plan to ensure successful end to end execution
    • Dynamically identify operational vulnerabilities (e.g. fraud, brand risk etc)  and create solutions to de-risk

 

 

  • Work with partnerships team to source funding for at-scale implementation:

 

    • Create content to drive donor conversations
    • Conduct operational diligence and feasibility assessments for inbound proposals
    • Provide inputs for reporting on operational performance to partners

 

Desired Experience

  • 2-5 years of work experience in a problem-solving heavy role (field management, consulting, analytics) at a high performing organization
  • Strong alignment with GD values (see below)
  • Exceptional ability to logic through complex operational questions & run robust analyses to inform management and programming decisions
  • Deep interest in becoming a top-notch people and process manager
  • Enthusiasm for fast-paced environments, which may lack pre-defined playbook for success and involve significant “learning by doing”
  • Prior humanitarian/emergency experience is a plus



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