We’re on a mission to design a more equitable world. And we want your help.

IDEO.org is nonprofit design consultancy. We’re a tight-knit group of designers, strategists, builders, writers, and connectors fueled by curiosity, optimism, and a passion for social change. Our work tackling some of the world’s toughest design challenges takes us all over the world—from communities across Asia and Africa to neighborhoods in our own backyards.


Position Description

IDEO.org has an opportunity for a Senior Impact Specialist to join our San Francisco studio. In this role you’ll be instrumental in helping us establish our evidence base for the ways in which a design-led approach to problem-solving can achieve impact at scale. You’ll work closely with design teams as we strengthen how we leverage data and measurement in the design process and ensure that we are learning what we need to optimize our services and products out in the world. You’ll also contribute to experimentation and learning as we integrate new frameworks and tools to bolster our ability to tackle complexity and strengthen the theories of change that set our solutions up for success.

Our Senior Director of Impact helps to drive this work from a strategy and learning perspective, but leveraging these tools to design for impact is a role that every team member embraces at IDEO.org. The Senior Impact Specialist will sit within our Design Community, helping to embed and strengthen these practices in design projects across our three studios and contributing to the capacity of their colleagues at each step.

With this role we’re looking to bring in off-the-shelf experience in social and development sector monitoring and evaluation, however our ideal candidate is someone who has as much experience in delivering research that can shape and implement programs as measurement to track and evaluate them. While a background in design is not required, a passion for creative approaches to problem solving and social impact is, and experience in a creative or innovative organization is desirable.

The role will is located in San Francisco - providing day-to-day support to design teams in the SF studio, support to our Nairobi studio in the shape of occasional project sprints, and several collaborative working weeks each year with the Senior Director of Impact in either New York or San Francisco. We envisage 30% travel in the US and internationally for the first year, to enable plenty of opportunities to join design teams and partners in the field and develop expertise in the human-centred design process.

You will:

  • Work side by side with designers to develop meaningful impact frameworks and theories of change, that can help shape design decisions and implementation strategies for solutions
  • Bring tools and evidence from disciplines such as systems practice, behavioral science and social and behavior change communications to help frame our thinking on complex problems
  • Show up at IDEO.org as a true mixed-methods researcher, who is confident in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies and understands the value of hybrid data in program monitoring and evaluation
  • Bring creativity and flexibility to the design of measurement systems, including a curiosity for data science, an appetite for innovation in digital data systems, and the ability to develop tools that are visual, interactive and engaging for participants
  • Co-design measurement and learning models that are relevant and right-sized for the diverse implementing organizations that IDEO.org partners with, drawing on your own experience of implementing measurement on the ground to get to solutions that are equal parts rigorous, practical and human-centred
  • Liaise with partners during the months after a design engagement to ensure that they feel ownership of their impact frameworks and are supported in implementing and troubleshooting measurement plans
  • Maintain a reliable and up-to-date Impact Data Dashboard for the organization, ensuring that we are diligent in gathering data and feedback from our partners and consistent in how we communicate and share information about our impact externally
  • Help to build an accessible library of tools, case examples and inspiration that will enable others to learn about and practice impact-related activities
  • Be excited to explore the intersections of your technical craft with other design disciplines, in particular Business Design and Design Research, and contribute to development of shared tools and resources for furthering rigor across the organization
  • Contribute to storytelling about our impact, perspectives and process, both internally and externally to diverse audiences including colleagues across IDEO.org and IDEO studios, partners and funders


Required skills and experiences:

  • A minimum of 5 years of full-time work experience post-university in a research or measurement related role
  • A Bachelor’s degree, ideally a masters, in one of the social sciences
  • First hand experience developing and implementing field monitoring systems for projects in developing contexts, or where resources, infrastructure or participant access have been limited or challenging
  • Both quantitative and qualitative methodological research training and/or experience. A capacity for quantitative analysis is particularly important and fluency with SPSS, STATA or another analysis software is required
  • Experience in synthesizing evidence and translating theories and frameworks from the social and behavioral sciences for application in program and/or research design
  • Strong communication skills and the ability to convey measurement insights and complex concepts to a diverse audience in simple, human terms
  • A comfort with switching seamlessly between self-directed independent work and highly collaborative teamwork
  • Experience in or passion for working with poor and marginalized communities both domestically and internationally and tackling challenges related to poverty and inequity
  • Excitement to become immersed in the world of design and the appetite to learn how your technical craft can bring value or should evolve to help drive impact at scale
  • Willingness to travel up to 30%

Equal Opportunity Employer:

IDEO.org is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

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