Africa’s Voices Foundation (AVF) is a fast-growing organisation that uses interactive media and digital communications to curate and spark engaging discussions that convene citizens’ voices as evidence and elevate them to the level of decision-making. We equip development, humanitarian and governance organizations with unique capabilities to listen intelligently to the citizens they serve. Spun out of cutting-edge research at the University of Cambridge in 2014, we have an established presence in East Africa and beyond with a vibrant growing core team in Nairobi. Our clients include UNICEF, Somalia Stability Fund (SSF), GPSDD, UNDP (Ethiopia and Kenya), the European Union, Oxfam, and the MasterCard Foundation.
Job Title: Senior Service Designer and Project Co-Lead
Africa’s Voices Foundation (AVF), in partnership with Lark Systems and the team behind Katikati, seeks an exceptional service design specialist, highly experienced in client-focused service design in the B2B technology space, well-grounded in the Ghanaian communications and SME context, and with a passion for delivering transformative change for Africa’s Youth, to co-lead a 12 month project in Ghana slated to be the first phase of a larger continental vision for putting youth voice at the centre of Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa works.
In 2019, Africa’s Voices designed, built and evaluated a prototype of ‘ChatterSMS’, a reconfigurable capability for simultaneously engaging in many 1-1 conversations that rapidly establishes empathy and builds evidence-based insights to program decision-makers. Mastercard Foundation’s vision is to have youth be the front and center of continent-wide transformations. ChatterSMS will be the mechanism that enables this transformation by equipping the Foundation with an in-house capability to do so. Going forward, ChatterSMS will be built by the Katikati team.
Katikati is a joint social venture between Africa’s Voices Foundation (AVF), a UK registered charity and non-profit based in Kenya, and a UK-based technology company, Lark Systems, that has developed a 1-to-1 conversation SMS platform allowing organisations to deploy human-led conversations with constituents, members and communities to strengthen engagement and accountability channels, build stronger and more trusted relationships and effect social change.
KATIKATI’S PROPOSED VISION FOR MASTERCARD FOUNDATION
Listen Intelligently and Act Impactfully: A scalable conversation platform providing timely and nuanced insights from youth voice equips Foundation teams and partners with powerful new capability for a step-change in program effectiveness and impact.
Country-Wide Insights: By enabling communications between, and near-time sharing of actionable information across, stakeholders (youth, partners, Foundation), all the while attending to data integrity and privacy, ChatterSMS will help knit projects together into country-wide solutions and better strategic outcomes.
A Continental Platform: Leveraging Young Africa Works (YAW) across the continent, ChatterSMS will take advantage of the network effect to achieve rapid scale. The platform will act as an exemplar beyond YAW and position the Foundation as a thought leader on meaningfully engaging youth in Africa’s transformational agendas.
THE GHANA DEEP DIVE PROJECT (2021-2022)
The Katikati team and the Foundation need to learn together with partners and youth how to use this new capability of mass-individual communication, and the potential it offers to achieve transformational impact for Young Africa Works. To achieve this, Mastercard Foundation have agreed a first phase of work (2021-22): a Deep Dive in Ghana to build the core design capacities for scale.
Objective 1 – Systematising youth engagement: To transform the ChatterSMS prototype into a socio-technical solution that enables a large-scale conversation with youth that we can be sure is plural and inclusive of youth voice.
Objective 2 – Delivering programmatic transformation: To devise workflows for embedding ChatterSMS in the programming of a Foundation partner or programme that enables uptake of insights from youth engagement into decision-making
Objective 3 – Technically and Operationally preparing for scale – To prepare ChatterSMS for continental scale in terms of technology, operational work models, and organisational strategy.
This Ghana Deep Dive project will be delivered by a distributed team under the project leadership of Africa’s Voices Business Operations. The project will be steered by the Katikati / Lark Systems Senior Team (Sharath Srinivasan, Luke Church, Dan Rubel). There will be two Project Co-Leads: the Senior Service Designer and the Senior Software Engineer.
The ambition is that a successful first phase Deep Dive in Ghana will lay foundations for expanded roll-out in Ghana and then beyond.
Senior Service Designer, Project Co-Lead (Ghana)
As the Senior Service Designer, you will:
- Lead on innovative client-facing technology service design research in Ghana, including with Mastercard Foundation and selected partners, to identify priority opportunities for Katikati’s novel capabilities to deliver transformative value in strengthening relationships with youth and amplifying their voice and agency in Young Africa Works programming.
- Coordinate and collaborate with the Senior Software Engineer Project Co-Lead to ensure successful implementation of the service design research into the technology platform
- Lead on devising operational workflows for embedding ChatterSMS in the work of the Foundation and Foundation partners that enables uptake of insights from youth engagement into decision-making.
- Lead on the development of operational models for Katikati’s deployment across multiple partners and projects, learning closely from the pilot.
- Lead on designing, delivering and analysing stakeholder evaluations of Katikati pilots, including with youth, the Foundation and Foundation partners.
- Contribute substantially to developing an organizational strategy for deploying Katikati, that considers how the Foundation, Foundation partners and Katikati might best relate and interact around the platform.
- Contribute substantially to the longer-term wider partnership strategy for achieving the continent wide vision for ChatterSMS and Katikati
- Build deep partnerships with Mastercard Foundation to explore the wider potential for Katikati to empower their work.
- Reflect on learnings with the wider Katikati team, especially with your Software Engineering counterpart, to help guide the future of Katikati
As the Project Co-Lead, you will:
- Lead on client liaison with Mastercard Foundation and its partners
- Manage third-party relationships in Ghana, including with sub-contracted media and communications providers and/or youth organisations.
- Manage all operational aspects of the project, including finances and administration (supported by the Business Operations team at AVF)
- Be responsible for all project reporting requirements for AVF to Mastercard Foundation
- Source and manage any procurement (SMS aggregator providers, media, partner youth organisations) required by the project
- Be responsible for the project workplan and coordination of delivery
- Maintain active and regular communications with the wider project team at Katikati/Lark Systems
- Coordinate and deliver external relations and communications (to public, to donor, to partners)
- Provide critical reflection and evaluation of the progress on the project
Experience and Qualifications
- Experience leading service design and project implementation in areas such as customer/civic/youth engagement, employment and training, organisational communication, feedback/monitoring/evaluation.
- Experience with human-centric design methodologies (e.g. User Centered Design, Participatory Design, Service Design)
- Ability to be strategic, creative and proactive in project design and collaborating with technical teams including understanding new terminology and concepts easily
- Experience of successfully negotiating important design decisions
- Experience in engaging whole organisation teams with the design process
Project leadership and general skills
- Proven success in leading design/test/deploy projects serving organisations, ideally with information/communication technology components
- Proven success in bringing adaptive, responsive and strategic leadership to client projects
- Excellent communication in a distributed team
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Familiarity with organisation/project communications platforms such as Slack and cloud based data/document production and storage tools such as Google Drive in team environments.
- Substantial experience working in service design roles in Ghana, with relevant comparable organizations (social enterprise, SME, fintech, youth employment and training, development).
- Substantial knowledge and understanding of the Ghanaian information, communications, media and technology environments