We’re on a mission to design a more just and equitable world. And we want your help. We partner with nonprofit organizations, foundations, and governments to design programs, products, and services focused on improving health, economic mobility, and wellbeing.

We are currently seeking a Partnerships Lead to join our Nairobi studio. In collaboration with the Director of Partnerships, you will be responsible for identifying new opportunities, pursuing the right partners, facilitating great transitions for our teams who work on these engagements, and maintaining long-term relationships. You will support design teams on the ground and ensure that the solutions we create lead to real and lasting impact in the lives of the people we’re designing with.  

In this role you'll have the opportunity to go deep and build expertise on a broad set of issues, such as health and well-being for adolescent girls, rural livelihoods, and women’s economic empowerment. You’ll gain deep exposure to the design process, ramping up quickly through on-the-ground fieldwork. You’ll also have opportunities to showcase the studio’s work to a wider audience, where you’ll represent this way of working through creative storytelling. 

The ideal candidate is a strategic thinker, strong writer and communicator, and detail-oriented. You’re a quick learner and collaborative - ready to roll up your sleeves and join a team that’s helping to bring human-centered design to some of the world’s toughest challenges. 

You will:


  • Collaborate with Director of Partnerships to develop the Nairobi studio’s partnership strategy, including building the pipeline with a balanced portfolio of projects
  • Build IDEO.org’s external network to surface opportunities and create new value for IDEO.org and partners or potential collaborators
  • Manage strategic relationships with prospective funders and influencers
  • Gain a deep understanding of and empathy for partners’ mission, business, and strategy in order to identify ways IDEO.org's network can support them
  • Support the stewardship of projects once they’ve been handed off from the design team back and look for opportunities for further engagement
  • Bridge partnership development and project launch and communicate critical information about the project/partner to position teams for success
  • Conduct due diligence on prospective partners and engage them directly to identify opportunities for collaboration.
  • Serve as the primary researcher, author, and producer of proposals for the Nairobi studio
  • Collaborate with the Director of Impact to continually improve the studio’s M&E frameworks and systems for collecting, analyzing, and reporting data 
  • Represent IDEO.org with past partners to ensure the solutions we created are supported as they scale.

Collaboration and Project Management

  • Define and manage project knowledge management across work streams
  • Inspire teams with your own perspectives and approach to problem solving
  • Support the Director of Partnerships, Managing Director, and Design teams to coordinate multiple streams of work
  • In collaboration with Project Leads, develop and manage project work streams, production schedules, budget and deliverables
  • Contribute to building a thriving creative culture for IDEO.org Nairobi
  • Perform any other job related responsibility/project as determined by the Business Lead (BL).

You have:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. You are a great listener; communicate concisely and evocatively in written text; and can present to a boardroom, a small NGO, as well as the people we aim to serve.
  • A passion and craft for building relationships. You are energized by meeting and connecting with people and creating opportunities for rich collaboration.
  • Professionalism and integrity. You lead by example, treat all people with respect, and seek and give constructive feedback.
  • Rigor. You are constantly sharpening strategy and maximizing impact.
  • Project management skills. You are detail- and deadline-focused and able to manage competing demands and complex projects by producing work, coordinating across a broad set of people, and over-communicating to partners.
  • A love of design. You have an understanding of the value of HCD and can articulate how it can bring value to a particular challenge.
  • Experience and expertise. 5+ years of professional experience

Commitment to Diversity:

At IDEO.org, we are committed to the work of advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within our organization and in the world. Our purpose of having disproportionate, world-changing impact through design is directly connected to our ability to bring many different perspectives to the table. This applies to our candidates, the people we hire, the clients and customers we serve, and the communities we learn from in our research.

As a human-centered organization, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as adaptation to new insights and best practices.

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