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Research and Impact Officer – Sub-Saharan Africa

POSITION: Research and Impact Officer – Sub-Saharan Africa, Capital and Impact Team

JOB LOCATION: Nairobi, Kenya

BACKGROUND

Global Partnerships (GP) is an impact-first investor dedicated to expanding opportunity for people living in poverty. Impact-first investing means investing in a way that seeks the highest possible social impact, while seeking to preserve capital with a modest financial return for investors. This approach is distinct from return-first investing, which seeks the highest possible financial return (often without consideration of social or environmental consequences), and from philanthropy, which seeks the highest social impact without any preservation of capital. GP believes that impact-first investing has an essential role to play in advancing sustainable solutions to poverty for millions of people worldwide.

All of GP’s investing is aimed at empowering people living in poverty to earn a living and improve their lives. GP seeks social impact on four dimensions:

  • Broader Opportunity – We have a holistic understanding of poverty, so we invest across many facets of poverty: livelihoods, education, energy, health, housing, sanitation, and water.
  • Deeper Inclusion – We invest at the edge of the market, emphasizing approaches that include people marginalized by depth of poverty, gender, and/or geography, including women and the rural poor.
  • Serving Millions – We believe that every person matters, and want to expand opportunity for as many people as possible. We therefore focus on sustainable approaches that can, over time, scale to serve millions of people living in poverty.
  • Improving Lives – We only invest where evidence convinces us that people living in poverty value the opportunity being delivered and are empowered by it – economically or otherwise – to improve their lives.

GP creates and manages impact-first investment funds that make loans and early stage investments in social enterprises serving people living in poverty in developing countries throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. Through these funds GP has invested more than $328 million across 21 countries, positively impacting the lives of more than 12 million people. The GP team is comprised of 36 mission driven, dedicated, high-performing colleagues working from offices in Seattle, WA; Santa Barbara, CA; Bogotá, Colombia; and Nairobi, Kenya.

ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The research  and impact function is a small, strategic function  within GP’s Capital and Impact Team (CIT). The purpose of the function is to help the organization aim its investments to achieve clear, compelling levels of social impact and follow through to be sure its investments are delivering the desired outcomes. The Research and Impact Officer will play a critical role in delivering on this mandate within GP’s portfolio in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

The Research and Impact Officer will work out of the SSA regional office in Nairobi and will report to the Director of Investment Research and Impact based in Seattle, WA.  The target start date for this role is January 2020. The Research and Impact Officer will work closely with both the CIT and the Social Investment Team (SIT), which leads business development, loan origination, credit analysis, and capital recovery for GP’s debt funds.  This role will be responsible for the following:

  • Managing GP’s impact-first partner screening and selection in the SSA region:
    • Working with the regional SIT to identify high potential leads within GP’s investment initiatives; conducting early impact data collection, responsible lending screening, and analysis of credit worthiness, credible use, and alignment;
    • Authoring investment briefs, summarizing the investment opportunity, key performance indicators, and the impact case for investment;
    • Managing the regional pipeline (process, communication, and deliverables) to ensure timely, high-quality, impact-first recommendations;
    • Supporting Portfolio Directors in pre-due diligence impact data collection, analysis, and field visit preparation; identifying key impact risks and pending questions, and areas/methods for investigation in field;
    • Participating as needed in screening and due diligence visits and preparing updates to the investment brief;
    • Developing and maintaining highly professional, trust-based relationships with partners, in collaboration with Portfolio Directors and other colleagues.
  • Executing impact monitoring, targeted analysis, and strategic research:
    • Developing analytical frameworks at the product/service, enterprise, initiative, fund, and/or portfolio level;
    • Conducting ongoing and targeted data collection, monitoring, and analysis of partner impact data; working with Excel databases and the iLevel data collection platform;
    • Identifying emerging, material patterns in the data and conducting targeted, action-oriented analysis to strengthen GP’s impact-first investment strategy;
    • Conducting partner and market field assessments and delivering concise, structured, post-trip reports;
    • Conducting initiative, market, and thematic research to support GP’s continuous improvement of our impact-first investment strategy, with an emphasis on sustainable, scalable business models that create impact at the household level;
    • In addition, the Research and Impact Officer should be ready and able to contribute to any other investment strategy, analysis, and research activities as needed.

SELECTION CRITERIA

Core Capabilities

  • Strong analytical and strategic thinking skills, with the ability to cut through complex issues, design analytical frameworks, identify key takeaways, and deliver actionable insights;
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate both within and across teams, and flexibility to work across various projects and functions;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, capable of highly professional engagement with colleagues and partners;
  • Capacity to build trust-based relationships across cultural, language, and socio-economic differences, including within remote global teams;
  • Self-motivated work ethic, with track record of proactive engagement and ability to see tasks through to completion independently;
  • Highly organized and capable of balancing multiple priorities, with immaculate attention to detail and thoughtful knowledge management;
  • Embodies GP’s values as a Dedicated, Strategic, Collaborative, Aspirational Learner, commited to Excellence, and has a passion for GP’s mission to expand opportunity for people living in poverty.

Qualifications

  • 2-5 years of relevant professional experience in business analysis, strategy development, investment or market research, program management, management consulting, finance, or other similar fields;
  • 1-3 years of work experience in Sub-Saharan Africa required, along with desire to continue working in the region for 3+ years; experience working in remote global teams preferred;
  • Experience in global development and/or social enterprise work, such as agricultural technical assistance, financial inclusion, renewable energy initiatives, or microenterprise training is preferred, as is experience with impact investing and/or ESG risk assessment and underwriting;
  • Business language fluency in English required; fluency in French strongly preferred;
  • Proficiency in Excel and PowerPoint required; experience in data visualization preferred;
  • Excellent academic track record; undergraduate degree required; MBA, MPA or other relevant master’s degree preferred;
  • Willingness to travel within the region up to 20% of the time;
  • Ability to work legally in Kenya.

HOW TO APPLY

To apply, please send the following materials in a single PDF document to info@globalpartnerships.org and include the title ‘Application: Research and Impact Officer – SSA’ in the subject line.

  • Brief cover letter
  • Résumé

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. For priority consideration, please apply by October 6, 2019.

Due to the volume of applications received, we will only contact those candidates selected for interviews – no follow-ups, please.

Finalists will be asked to submit references: name, email, and phone number of at least two former supervisors.