Deputy Manager Technology, CKW Project

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This job is FLA Exempt.


Date: July 2013 to July 2014 (12 month initial term)

Grameen Foundation is seeking a passionate, innovative and driven Deputy Manager for Technology to run the Grameen Foundation CKW Project in Cote d’Ivoire. Key to success in this role will be a strong IT background with application development, platform management and new product development knowledge, high knowledge of open-source software and systems integration best practices, project management skills, and the ability to manage multiple activities simultaneously while operating in an entrepreneurial, start-up atmosphere.

Job summary: 

The Deputy Manager Technology (DMT) will direct all technology and product development activities related to the CKW Project named ‘CocoaLink Plus’ (CL+) in Cote d’Ivoire, recruited by Grameen Foundation.  The DMT will lead the implementation, customization and maintenance of the CKW technology platform in CL+; document the proper configuration of CKW handsets and associated applications; address all technology requirements arising from application development that may involve partner components; develop prototypes; test application functionality; work closely with a range of partners and team members to ensure the proper performance of applications; develop concepts and collaborate with colleagues and partners to develop new services; and represent GF both globally and locally in socially-oriented technology community. This is a role for a savvy technology professional keen to contribute to building social enterprises leveraging ICT to improve the lives of the poor.

Reporting and relationships:  The position will report jointly to the Project Manager for ‘CocoaLink Plus’ Cote D’Ivoire and to the Grameen Foundation Uganda Technology Manager. The DMT may directly supervise staff and contractors.

Availability:  The DMT is expected to work a standard work week of 40 hours plus additional hours as necessary to get the job done.  The position will be based in Uganda as home base and as needed in Cote D’Ivoire.  This position will need to be flexible to work in local conditions, and be available to work across different time zones.  This position will require frequent travel (60-75% in the initial few months) to Cote D’Ivoire and to other countries as needed.

Essential Job Functions

  • Guide development and maintenance of the CKW technology platforms to be implemented in Cote d’Ivoire
    • Design and implement the best platform choices to deliver required functionality including user-facing applications, reporting, fleet management, customer relationship management and other functions
    • Guide handset selection and approval based on GF/consumer requirements and in line with budget realities
    • Manage staff and contractors involved in the delivery and maintenance of technology functionality
    • Liaise with Orange CdI and any other mobile operators, content providers, technology vendors and others to ensure proper configuration and management of the platform, as well as highest standards of availability and uptime
  • Address technology requirements arising from partnerships
  • Approve and commit resources to all technology requirements necessitated by the CKW management team to meet the CL+ project commitments
  • Guide delivery of required functionality for each partnership entered into by CKW management to improve the lives of smallholder farmers utilizing the CKW platform in Cote d’Ivoire
  • Thoroughly test application functionality before signing off for user testing
  • Monitor and ensure adequate performance of applications and services
  • Conduct scoping studies and work with commercial colleagues to define new business or production opportunities
  • Develop technical plans, conduct investigations and review to present viable proposals to the CL+ project leadership
  • Manage resources to further develop concepts, develop prototype products, collaborate with partners and suppliers to test the products, and make final recommendations with detailed implementation plans and budgets
  • Implement approved services
  • Report on technology issues to CKW management using a monthly scorecard indicating platform progress and performance
  • Participate in at least two partnership coverage teams supporting the partnership overall
  • Support team and organizational goals diligently, including effective communication of progress and issues, and timely and productive escalation of issues to management
  • Develop team members effectively
  • Participate in the global community of socially-relevant technology practitioners (ICT4D) to raise awareness of CL+ and identify new potential partners or service ideas
  • Issue at least two blog posts per quarter concerning Grameen Foundation CKW technology and related efforts; provide similar inputs to success cases to be written for the reporting to Fintrac and other stakeholders
  • Provide new product/service development leadership to CL+ Project
  • Support and lead the overall CKW component of the CL+ Project
  • Support and evangelize socially-relevant mobile technology

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Deep commitment to eradication of poverty and alignment with Grameen Foundation’s mission and the CocoaLink Plus Project mission and goals
  • Understanding of and commitment to development in Africa and agriculture in general
  • Strong IT background with application development, platform management and new product development knowledge
  • High knowledge of open-source software and systems integration best practices
  • Ability to manage multiple sub-projects and initiatives simultaneously
  • Extreme attention to detail and knowledge of content and data management techniques
  • Outstanding project management skills with proven track record of achievement under a range of challenging situations (ideally in multiple countries)
  • Ability to act as a representative of Grameen Foundation and CKW in public forums
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office and mobile phones
  • Belief in the potential to leverage information and communication technology (ICTs) for the benefit of small holder farmers –with practical experience.
  •  Fluent in oral and written English, ideally fluent in oral and written French

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering, Software Product Design, or related field.  Master’s Degree preferred.
  • At least 7 years of relevant professional experience including technology responsibilities
  • Experience of working away from home country is preferred

Physical and Environmental Conditions:
This position does not require unusual demands for physical effort.  This position may occasionally require physical effort to lift and transport boxes weighing no more than 50 pounds.
Work environment involves everyday risks or discomforts that require normal safety precautions typical of places such as offices, meeting or training rooms, residences, or commercial vehicles; e.g., use of safe work place practices with office equipment, and/or avoidance of trips and falls, and observance of fire regulations and traffic signals.

Additional Comment:
The above job description is not intended as, nor should it be construed as, exhaustive of all responsibilities, skills, efforts, or working conditions associated with this job. This is a fast-paced, highly innovative Project in a country rebuilding from prolonged civil strife.
Reasonable accommodations may be made in appropriate circumstances to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of this job.

Interested candidates should send their resume and brief cover letter explaining why you are interested in this position and what you will bring to the position.  Resumes will be accepted through July 31st, 2013 and should be sent via email to jobs [at] applab [dot] org. Please put “DMT” in the subject line.  No calls please

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Grameen Foundation is approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt organization, and all donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. Grameen Foundation's Federal Identification Number (EIN) is 73-1502797.

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