Educate! is looking for a highly strategic human centered designer to lead Educate!’s iterative, innovative, and data-driven program design across all of our countries of operation. As Director of Design & Experimentation, you’ll be at the center of a global team that is designing new solutions and strengthening our existing programs to give youth in Africa the skills to succeed in today’s economy. You’ll support and guide our teams across Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda to implement human-centered and lean startup design approaches, creating solutions capable of achieving our vision of measurably impacting one million youth annually across Africa each year.
You could be the perfect fit for this role if you:
- Have experience designing products, programs, or learning experiences
- Are hungry to learn about and improve on everything you design
- Empower others with the process to design solutions that create lasting impact
- Thrive in a challenging, fast-paced, and high-growth environment
Educate! is a non-profit social enterprise that prepares youth in Africa with the skills to succeed in today’s economy. We’ve massively scaled up our program in the past several years, growing more than 4x since 2014. In 2018, we’re working in 175 secondary schools in Rwanda, 60 pilot schools in Kenya, and over 700 schools in Uganda reaching over 42,000 students intensively and 530,000 more broadly. And our Vision for 2024 is even bigger -- to measurably impact one million youth annually across Africa.
Our model has proven to have massive impact -- after the program, students earned DOUBLE the income of a control group and had a 44% increase in business creation. Our graduates change their lives and their communities, such as Lillian Aero who employs over 100 AIDS-affected women.
Educate!’s team includes almost 200 staff and almost 300 volunteer youth mentors. We have been backed by top foundations such as MasterCard, Big Bang Philanthropy, Mulago, Echoing Green, Ashoka and Global Innovation Fund. Educate! won the 2015 WISE Awards, and was featured by Bill Gates, an Al Jazeera documentary, Forbes 30 under 30, Clinton Global Initiative and The Brookings Institution as one of 14 case studies in their global scaling education learning initiative.
Develop dynamic product and program strategies to create sustainable impact on youth
- Define program theories of change, user experience story boards and support all program solution lines to create sustainable impact on youth
- Develop innovative youth development learning experiences and program strategies tailored to both social enterprise and government integration
- Facilitate strategic conversations with Directors and country teams to co-create program models, create expansion timelines, make multi-year funding proposals, and participate in high-level strategy meetings with government partners for national program strategies
- Lead design of program materials, such as curriculum, promotional materials, and workshops
Build systems for experimentation to validate new ideas
- Lead country teams to brainstorm and assess program/product design solutions
- Build and oversee development of prototypes & pre-tests
- Create systems and procedures for experimentation to validate new program/product ideas and innovations to optimize the user experience
- Conduct reflection and learning workshops based on both internal and external reports and best practices
Develop global design standards and knowledge management systems to bring consistent best practices to design teams across multiple countries
- Identify behavioral change process for our program beneficiaries/users (e.g. teachers and students)
- Research best practices, existing evidence, and internal reporting for evidence-based decision-making
- Establish design systems and standards for hiring, orientation, professional development, and promotion across the countries
- Ensure documentation and routine sharing of knowledge and experiences across countries of operations
Align and empower design teams across multiple countries
- Promote application of global design standards and strategy-aligned decision-making within country teams
- Facilitate trainings and workshops to include data in decision-making at annual and strategic planning sessions
- Empower and grow strong country design teams to adopt and apply design standards using blended learning approaches
- Provide feedback and coach teams on the design of program materials
- Experience in program/product development (product, UX, education design, R&D)
- Understanding and application of human-centered or iterative design approaches
- Engaging and interactive communicator with passion for coaching others
- Strategic thinker
- Collaborative, data-oriented approach to problem solving
- Experience designing and implementing behavioral change preferred
- Fits our Five Cultural Tenets (see What is Educate! About? below); Learn more by looking at Educate!’s culture deck here
- Location is East Africa with frequent travel across the region
We’re inspired by people with drive, and we love to help them reach their full potential. We expect everyone at Educate! to contribute above and beyond their job description, grow their skills, and advance their careers, and we are committed to supporting our staff members on that journey.
- We Put Youth First - The youth we serve come first. Always. In everything. That means we wake up thinking of ways we can serve youth even better and get the highest impact out of every dollar that we spend. It means Educate! doesn’t own a single vehicle, because we’d rather take the bus if it means one more student can participate. It means making every decision like the future depends on it — because if we get our way, it does.
- We Are Always Learning - When you work at Educate!, educating yourself is part of your job too. We encourage every employee to find the best book on management; share the latest article on graphic design; bring in your favorite college mentor; or meet the researcher pushing the edge of the field. We are always thirsty for knowledge and love to share.
- We Only Solve a Problem Once - We are allergic to band-aids so we love the person who brings the new system to solve the problem for good, even problems we haven’t recognized yet.
- We Are Flexible - We thrive on change — we’re driving it. We are growing every day, so we have to adapt quickly to meet new challenges, and our team keeps up.
- We Exceed Expectations - We assume we can achieve the impossible because we already have, year after year. We want our staff to create your own challenges, ask the toughest questions, and dream scary big!
Every person at Educate! — from interns to the executive director — is evaluated by how they live up to these five cultural tenets. They are at the core of how we achieve our mission and why we work as well as we do.
Educate is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who interact in our community. In creating this environment, we encourage people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences to join our diverse team.