Current Hiring Practices and Trends in the Development Sector
- BY David Mackenzie
The International Rescue Committee is at a critical juncture. A leading global humanitarian organization since its inception at the request of Albert Einstein in 1933, the IRC is modernizing, with a new strategic mission and vision, and a Strategy Unit that is leading the charge in turning that vision into reality.
The IRC is currently halfway through an ambitious 5-year strategy - IRC2020 - that commits the IRC to focusing even more on evidence-based, cost-efficient, and wide-reaching interventions. As a core member of the Strategy Unit, you will enable this organization of more than 12,000 staff to overcome the largest hurdles it faces in putting IRC2020 into action. Whether it is supporting the development and execution of a strategy for how the IRC seeks to influence policy, or helping the organization to measure and improve its performance, your work will spread far and wide within the organization and ultimately impact the lives of those who interact with the IRC - 18 million people worldwide in places affected by war and disaster.
You will be expected to find solutions. You will persuade and influence, create and innovate, and use structured thinking and evidence to solve problems where there is no pre-defined methodology. Focusing on the highest priority initiatives of the organization and the CEO, you will build relationships across the IRC and deliver high quality results at a pace a leading private sector organization would be proud of.
This is a demanding role - you will be expected to work hard and to learn and grow quickly. Ultimately the measure of your success will be your impact - the lasting benefit you bring to the organization through your contributions.
The IRC is currently executing a wide range of critical projects, from a new approach to Measurement and Evaluation to increasing IRC's commitment to cash aid, that support the organization in executing against the IRC2020 Strategy. This role will assist with the delivery of these critical projects to ensure that the IRC achieves its long-term ambition in two ways:
Conduct "health checks" on projects that are not on track - With the number, complexity, and ambition of IRC's projects, it is inevitable that some of them will sometimes fall short of planned expectations and progress. Through an existing governance structure, some projects will be surfaced as "at risk" or "off-track," and this role will be responsible for conducting health checks of these projects; health checks are a mechanism to identify the challenges facing major projects and to find solutions that will get the project back on track.
Ensure the readiness/integrity of projects before they are implemented - To be successful, every project needs elements such as clear objectives, a high level plan, detailed and realistic interim milestones, etc. This role would be responsible for working with project owners across the IRC to test whether their proposed plans meet rigorous standards before their initiatives are launched. Proper rigor testing early on greatly improves management visibility into projects, increases the likelihood of success, and reduces the resource requirement needed for ongoing monitoring.
These two functions are critical to the IRC's success, and this role is being created due to multiple requests from senior stakeholders for someone to help them perform these responsibilities. This role will gain exposure to a wide range of departments and stakeholders at the IRC, work closely with project owners, and become familiar with the slate of ongoing projects at the organization.
For the health check function:
For the rigor-testing function:
Key Working Relationships:
Position Reports to: Director, Strategy Unit - Advisory
Strategy Unit team members
External: As needed
Working Environment: Standard office work environment