Director of International Development

We are recruiting for a Director of International Development

Are you passionate about the possibilities of transforming development outcomes through the power of innovation and technology? Do you see successful innovation being driven in collaboration with local and international innovators in tackling challenges that are locally defined and outcome driven? Are you motivated to enable innovation that tackles the impact on lives and livelihoods caused by climate change and other critical development challenges? Are you a natural networker who thrives in an entrepreneurial environment where building high value partnerships is key?

About Challenge Works

In 2012, Challenge Works (Previously known as Nesta Challenges) was established in partnership between Nesta and the UK Government to become a global centre of expertise in the design and delivery of challenge prizes. In the decade since, we have worked with international development funders to demonstrate challenge prizes’ potential as a powerful method for stimulating needed innovation for development by mobilising a diversity of innovators and by working closely with effected communities. Theses challenge prizes have stimulated badly needed innovation in areas ranging from boosting the productivity of smallholder farmers with USAID to tackling plastic pollution with the Government of Canada. Unlike the traditional funding approach for innovation in development; our challenge prizes provide funding and support to those that make the most progress in achieving outcomes, they are open to all and final prizes are only given to those that deliver impact with a sustainable model.

Over the last decade Challenge Works has designed and delivered more than 80 challenge prizes and has worked with more than 12,000 innovator teams and invested £84m to support the boldest and bravest ideas to become real.

Challenge Works is hiring a Director of International Development who will lead the development and delivery of our challenge prizes portfolio with international development funders with a major focus on climate resilience.

The successful candidate will bring a strong network of relevant potential partners and be a natural convener and networker able to creatively find opportunities for innovation that delivers meaningful impact and secure funding for challenge prizes that deliver improved outcomes.

The role

This is a senior role within Challenge Works that requires a driven, impact orientated and entrepreneurial approach to international development.

Opportunity Development

• Develop the Prizes for Development strategy which defines our approach in changing the mindsets of development funders to uncover innovation that delivers impact and which is sustainable through challenge prizes.

• Identify and cultivate business development opportunities that turn the strategy into tangible challenge prizes.

Thought Leadership

• Engage with development leaders and with local communities to maintain a clear view on top development priorities, opportunities, and challenges.

• Identify emerging trends and innovation opportunities through the network of technology companies and innovation leaders to identify key opportunities for disruptive innovation in climate resilient development.

Delivering Impact

• Oversee a portfolio of challenge prizes in the development space that cultivate innovators and local stakeholders to develop solutions.

• Manage, cultivate and support programme delivery team members to develop aptitude for co-designing and implementing first-class innovation programmes in development contexts.

Senior Leadership

• Contribute to the direction and management of Challenge Works as a flourishing and groundbreaking social enterprise.

The person

Given the seniority of this role, we are looking for an exceptional candidate with extensive experience in the innovation for development space and a strong understanding of innovation in the context of climate change.

Opportunity Development

• Strong track record of sustaining and developing new funder and client relationships in order to identify and secure multi million dollar funding for new opportunities.

• Natural networker and convener and can manage a multitude of external relationships

Thought Leadership

• With demonstrable relevant experience in development and innovation

• Who is strategic, entrepreneurial, pragmatically optimistic and can test the status-quo and develop plans for successful delivery of challenging, aspiring objectives

• A track record of cultivating and maintaining partnerships and alliances across development organisations

• Who is a polished, skilled communicator and influencer and is adept at speaking to senior stakeholders in development organisations.

• Who brings experience in the mechanics of challenge focused innovation and related funding models

Delivering Impact

• Who has experience in and understands public service and government functional priorities and hardships in lower resource or emerging economies, with experience in Africa and ideally Asia.

• Manage, cultivate and support team members to develop aptitude for co-designing and implementing innovation programmes in development contexts.

• With outstanding management and strategy skills -- able to set direction, inspire teams to collaboratively achieve exceptional objectives, and not afraid to be hands-on to achieve results

• Who has worked or consulted in a range developing and emerging economies and is sensitive to a diverse range of cultural and regional norms, and fosters a positive spirit of collaboration

• Comfortable with periods of travelling amounting to c20% on average

Senior Leadership

• Who is comfortable speaking in public forums and representing Challenge Works on the global stage

• Who commits to new business objectives and pulls out the stops to make sure they are always met

What we offer

Salary: £78k-£96k plus array of benefits, including health cash plans, dental insurance, the ability to buy and sell annual leave, eyecare vouchers and more

Location: This role is based in Central London, Blackfriars, hybrid working arrangement

Term: Permanent

Hours: This is a full-time role but we offer a range of flexible working arrangements and encourage our people to take advantage of them. Many do.

Reports to: Managing Director, Challenge Works

Making an application

To apply for this role, please submit your application before 8:00am on the 15th of August 2022.

Interviews will take place w/c the 22nd of August 2022.

At Nesta, we believe that a diverse workforce leads to an organisation that is more innovative, more creative and gets better results.

We want our workforce to represent the diversity of the people and communities we serve. We also want our workplace to be one where different experiences, expertise and perspectives are valued, and where everyone is encouraged to grow and develop.

This means that when we are recruiting, we actively seek to reach a diverse pool of candidates. It also means that we are happy to consider any reasonable adjustments that potential employees may need to in order to be successful.

We recognise the importance of a good balance between work and home life, so we do everything we can to accommodate flexible working, including working from home, compressed or part-time hours, job shares and other arrangements.

Please just let us know in your application or at any stage throughout the process (and beyond) if these are options you’d like to explore.