United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Head of Innovation – Start Network | News24Media

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Head of Innovation – Start Network

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The Head of Innovation with The Start Network will have extensive experience in catalysing, managing and implementing change. We are looking for an entrepreneurial, creative, and innovative leader to head the Start Network’s innovation work, called Start Labs. We want someone passionate about the potential of innovation for change, ready to work alongside some of the leading humanitarian sector innovators, social entrepreneurs, and thought leaders in the world

About Us

The Start Network is a consortium of international non-governmental organisations working toward a common purpose: To connect people facing humanitarian crises with the best possible solutions. The Network works in 3 principal areas: Start Fund (financing for emergency response); Start Engage (strengthening civil society capacity); and Start Labs (experimentation, prototyping, rollout and learning).

Our head office is in Central London, and is currently being hosted by Save the Children UK on behalf of all member agencies.

Job Purpose

As a key member of our Start Leadership Team, this role will assume overall responsibility for the successful delivery of the Start Labs programme holding accountabilities to stakeholders within the CDAC Network, DFID, as well as work with the DEPP Innovation Advisory Group. The flagship Start Labs programme (or Disasters & Emergencies Preparedness Programme Innovation) will be delivered through a series of country-level innovation labs ensuring contextualised solutions in emergency settings.

The DEPP Innovation Programme will bring together the governments and civil society, UN bodies and academia, capitalising on existing partnerships and networks

Key accountabilities

  • Work with the DEPP Innovation Programme team and DEPP Portfolio Manager to ensure the successful delivery, budget management, reporting, and conclusion of the DEPP Innovation programme by December 2018
  • Successful delivery of the competitive process to select lead agency of each lab consortia tendering process, applying equality of opportunity; humanitarian principles, and required donor tendering/procurement conditions
  • Oversee the delivery of our ambitious Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) framework
  • Oversee a research group’s work to support specific innovations in each lab and across the networked structure
  • Oversee the existing Labs project work to completion, including scaling innovations across the network if successful and building lessons learned that can be applied to DEPP labs or any other projects within the network
  • Develop and/or broker partnerships and network with national and international innovators to provide a space to nurture and test new and innovative ideas, develop thought leaders and strengthen capacities.
  • Identify and work with external partners at global and regional level to bring successful innovation practices into the network, and to support pilot projects during incubation stage
  • Responsibility for the career development and line management of the Senior Project Manager for New Business Models, the DEPP Community Engagement Innovation Advisor, DEPP Innovation Programme Coordinator
  • Develop, participate in and promote approaches to management and teamwork that provide alternatives to existing hierarchical structures that inhibit innovation within the humanitarian sector.
  • Work with the Start Communications Team and the CDAC Network DEPP Advocacy Advisor to ensure visibility, awareness and learning is widely disseminated through key messages, social media and web platforms
  • Work with the DEPP Community Engagement Innovation Advisor on successful community engagement with national and local crisis affected populations to ensure proposals constitute genuine community-defined innovations
  • Attend and participate in conferences/ seminars to raise the profile of the Start Network and promote the unified messages of the DEPP Innovation Programme
  • Promote the vision of the Start Network to Members, donors, other INGOs, UN agencies, Red Cross, Private Sector and Academics in HQ, country and regional offices
  • Communicate across various different platforms to engage a wide group of Stakeholders and act as thought leader for innovation

Person Profile


  • Minimum of 5-10 years of experience in design, innovation and/or research and development and in national and international contexts
  • Minimum of 5-10 years of experience leading and developing a team of senior and/or technical professionals, enabling them to perform in a highly creative and collaborative work environment
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in setting up and managing operational projects, especially in hard-to-reach areas or rapidly changing environments, such as disaster-prone countries
  • Successful experience creating and implementing strategy, as well as engaging a variety of stakeholders to deliver against this strategy
  • A track record of successful products/services and/or process design, testing and launch, feedback loops, preferably with or within the private sector
  • Experience in partnership development and/or networks, with a track record of brokering and/or cultivating successful relationships


  • Experience in start-up companies/organisations is an asset. Entrepreneurial ‘failures’ are considered as valuable experience
  • Experience of business development and resource mobilisation
  • Experience of working in: Kenya, Ethiopia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Jordan and Myanmar
  • Language skills in any of the following – French, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi, Mandarin

Contract duration: 2 year Fixed Term Contract

If you’re after an opportunity to join a team of next-generation thinkers, and be part of a dynamic, rapidly evolving organisation working on multiple fronts and in ground breaking areas, we’ll give you every opportunity to succeed.

Join us and be part of leading the change!

Closing date: 16 May 2016

Please note that applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. And interviews may commence prior to the advert closing date. Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications early.

Source: ReliefWeb Jobs

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