Partnerships Lead

We are currently seeking a Partnerships Lead to join our Nairobi studio. In collaboration with the Managing Director of Partnerships and Strategy, you will be responsible for identifying new opportunities, pursuing the right partners, facilitating great transitions for our teams who work on these engagements, and maintaining long-term relationships. You will support Nairobi-based design teams and ensure that the solutions we create lead to real and lasting impact in the lives of the people we’re designing with.

In this role, you’ll have the opportunity to go deep and build expertise on a broad set of issues, such as health and well-being for adolescent girls, rural livelihoods, and women’s economic empowerment. You’ll gain deep exposure to the design process, ramping up quickly through on-the-ground fieldwork. You’ll also have opportunities to showcase the studio’s work to a wider audience, where you’ll represent this way of working through creative storytelling.

The ideal candidate is a strategic thinker, strong writer and communicator, and detail-oriented. You’re a quick learner and collaborative – ready to roll up your sleeves and join a team that’s helping to bring human-centered design to some of the world’s toughest challenges.


You will:

Collaborate with the Managing Director of Partnerships and Strategy to develop the Nairobi studio’s partnership strategy, including building the pipeline with a balanced portfolio of shorter-term projects and longer-term programs
Build IDEO.org’s external network to surface opportunities and create new value for IDEO.org and partners or potential collaborators
Manage strategic relationships with prospective funders, partners, and influencers
Gain a deep understanding of and empathy for partners’ mission, business, and strategy in order to identify ways IDEO.org’s network can support them
Play a role in selecting the appropriate team members for projects and support project leads and design teams in project work and with partner relationships.
Support the stewardship of projects once they’ve been handed off from the design team and look for opportunities for further engagement
Conduct due diligence on prospective partners and engage them directly to identify opportunities for collaboration.
Serve as the primary researcher, author, and producer of proposals for the Nairobi studio
Work with the global partnership team to outline priorities, scope projects, and shape our approach and work across Sub Saharan Africa
Collaborate with the Managing Director of Impact to continually improve the studio’s M&E frameworks and systems for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data
Represent IDEO.org with past partners to ensure the solutions we created are supported as they scale.
Collaboration And Project Management

Collaborate with program managers and portfolio coordinator to strengthen partnerships, create project management systems, and share learnings across work streams
Inspire teams with your own perspectives and approach to problem solving
Support the Managing Directors, coordinators, and design teams to coordinate multiple streams of work
In collaboration with project leads, develop and manage project work streams, production schedules, budget and deliverables
Contribute to building a thriving creative culture for IDEO.org Nairobi
Perform any other job related responsibility/project as determined by the Managing Director
You Have

Excellent written and oral communication skills. You are a great listener; communicate concisely and evocatively in written text; and can present to a boardroom, a small NGO, as well as the people we aim to serve.
A drive to work more equitably. You are committed to shifting power dynamics in the international development sector. You’re eager to collaborate with senior leadership to build agency and ownership for the community based partners we work alongside, centering equity and power sharing when scoping projects.
A passion and craft for building relationships. You are energized by meeting and connecting with people and creating opportunities for rich collaboration.
Strategic thinking. You love thinking about a business holistically, and are excited to spend time carving out a great partnerships strategy for the Nairobi studio.
Professionalism and integrity. You lead by example, treat all people with respect, and seek and give constructive feedback.
Rigor. You are constantly sharpening strategy and maximizing impact.
Project management skills. You are detail- and deadline-focused and able to manage competing demands and complex projects by producing work, coordinating across a broad set of people, and over-communicating to partners.
A love of design. You have an understanding of the value of Human Centered Design and can articulate how it can bring value to a particular challenge.
Experience and expertise. 5+ years of professional experience
Fluency in English is required. Fluency in French is preferred.
Commitment to Diversity

At IDEO.org, we are committed to the work of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization and in the world. Our purpose of having disproportionate, world-changing impact through design is directly connected to our ability to bring many different perspectives to the table. This applies to our candidates, the people we hire, the clients and customers we serve, and the communities we learn from in our research.

As a human-centered organization, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as adaptation to new insights and best practices.


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About IDEO.org

At IDEO.org, we design products, services, and experiences to improve the lives of people in poor and vulnerable communities. We practice human-centered design, a creative approach to problem solving that starts with people and arrives at new solutions tailored to meet their lives. We've organized our work into four main programs, areas of deep focus that each offer a unique opportunity for design to improve lives at scale. IDEO.org is a non-profit design and innovation organization focused on solving challenges in poverty and spreading human-centered design through the social sector. Human-centered design enables organizations to create and deliver innovative solutions to pressing challenges that are rooted in the needs of people. IDEO.org works directly with organizations on projects using the human-centered design process across a wide range of focus areas related to poverty, including health, financial services, gender equity, water and sanitation.2011