Energy Systems and Innovation Leader, Zimbabwe or Malawi

About the Role

The Energy Strategy & Development Leadership (Energy Systems and Innovation Leader) provides innovative and impactful thought leadership to guide Practical Action’s energy work across the Southern Africa region. The role leads, develops, shapes and supports initiatives and activities (which are ultimately implemented through programme delivery, consulting, and communications departments).

The Energy Strategy & Development Leadership (Energy Systems and Innovation Leader) will lead a team of professionals in energy and advocacy, who will coordinate specific thematic pillars of the energy programme, collaborate with energy specialists in the consulting team, and closely work with coordinators in Agriculture, Gender and Knowledge Management. The core purpose of this role is to understand the systemic barriers to access to energy in Southern Africa and identify opportunities for overcoming them; to articulate Practical Action’s energy strategy and change ambitions; to build strategic partnerships with others (governments, donors, NGOs and private sector); to originate, design and develop innovative energy programmes to achieve these ambitions; and to provide technical input and oversight for their delivery. As a member of the Practical Action in Southern Africa’s Senior Management Team, s/he will collaborate closely with senior colleagues to ensure integration of approaches.

The Energy Strategy & Development Leadership (Energy Systems and Innovation Leader) will provide leadership and management across all five core areas of our energy strategy:  to achieve change and impact, to strengthen organizational profile, lead and manage people, generate funds and manage relationships, and deliver performance.  Accountabilities are indicated below with approximate level of effort against each.

SCOPE

Title Energy Systems and Innovation Leader
Reporting to Regional Director
Direct reports Energy Access experts (as required to develop and provide technical support to programmes),
Groups Member of Senior Management Team; member of Practical Action’s Global  Energy Thematic Hub
Relationships Strategic partners relevant to change ambition, ministries of energy, donors, relevant organisations. Business Development Leader,  other teams in the regional office, Practical Action Consulting (UK and Region), Head of Energy (UK), thematic leads in other countries, UK colleagues (International Programmes Support Team, Fundraising, Communications and Marketing, Policy and Practice, Gender Adviser, Systems Thinking Adviser)
Financial scope Direct management of allocated annual budget
Location Zimbabwe or Malawi
Nature or contract 2- year fixed term contract, renewable by mutual agreement
Annual Gross salary $44,000 to $66,000 all-inclusive, depending on experience
Travel Expected, approximately 1-3 weeks per quarter local and regional travel plus 4-5  weeks per year international travel

 

ACCOUNTABILITIES

Achieving Strategic Ambitions – 20%

  • Understand Practical Action’s potential and scope for contributing to change in the energy sector, using a systems thinking approach to analyse and integrate cultural, political and economic factors, formulate change ambitions based on this analysis and develop strategic plans for achieving these ambitions in Southern Africa.
  • Ensure that Practical Action Southern Africa’s energy strategy, change ambitions and programmes align with the wider organizations’ thinking, systems approach and framework for change.

Generating Funding and managing relationships – 35%

  • Develop, nurture and manage strategic relationships and partnerships with donors, governments, potential programme partners and other stakeholders to advance the energy change ambitions.
  • Work with UK and other RCO teams, through the Global Energy Change Ambition Hub, to build a strong understanding of changes and trends in the energy access sector and to identify and develop new energy work-streams and funding propositions based on these.
  • Originate, design and develop (with the support of the Business Development Manager) energy project pipeline and high quality, winning proposals to secure funding for innovative programmes through which energy change ambitions can be achieved.
  • Provide technical input and oversight to implementation of energy programmes to ensure the quality of our energy work.
  • Provide technical support to delivery of technical assistance projects by the consultancy team as requested.

Delivering Performance as One Practical Action – 15%

  • Work with the M&E team (in Southern Africa and UK) to develop Southern Africa’s energy learning agenda and ensure that Practical Action’s Southern Africa’s energy work draws on learning and innovation from work in our other regions, and that learning from our energy activities in Southern Africa is shared effectively with the wider internally and externally.
  • Work closely with programme delivery and consulting teams to ensure that project/programme/technical assistance activities are designed and executed to deliver change ambition evidence, learning and influencing targets.
  • Work closely with programme delivery and consulting teams to ensure that programme design and proposals reflect delivery requirements and that the transition from design to delivery is well managed.
  • Work with the Gender coordinator to ensure firm integration of a transformative gender approach in all our work.
  • Report on progress towards Southern Africa’s energy access change ambitions and our contribution / impact towards the Practical Action’s global energy change ambition.
  • Ensure quality internal and external reporting.
  • Ensure quality content on the projects and awards management system and SharePoint.

Strengthening Organizational Profile – 20%

  • Represent Practical Action and promote its vision and change ambitions, particularly in relation to energy access, at relevant events and discussions with stakeholders.
  • Participate in and contribute to national and global advocacy partnerships on energy policy and practice.
  • Actively contribute to the development of our brand and positioning by building relationships and partnerships (as above) and ensuring that our energy work and its impacts are widely recognized, both internally and externally, and contribute to compelling storytelling that demonstrates impact in line with the energy access change ambitions.

Leadership, Management and People – 10%

  • As a key member of the Senior Management Team contribute to organizational direction and strategy and ensure flows of information between management and relevant staff members.
  • Promote an organizational culture of achieving change at scale, beyond our direct work, by influencing and sharing learning.
  • Manage, support and lead energy team members to achieve change ambitions, and foster a culture of collaboration, communication and common ambition as One Practical Action – especially with programme delivery, Practical Action Consulting, business development, People and Culture, and Finance teams.
  • Build team capacities related to energy, gender, systems thinking, and the Framework for Change (with support from the Systems Advisor).
  • Conduct quarterly People Management conversations with direct reports.

 Person Profile

To be successful in the role, the candidate should be able to demonstrate:

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Experience & Knowledge          

  • At least 5 years relevant working experience in the energy access field in Southern Africa and/or other developing countries, with knowledge and understanding of decentralized energy technologies (minigrids, off-grid systems and cooking), their application in developing countries, and related policy issues.
  • Ability to understand the energy development priorities of the Southern Africa region and the energy policy environment in Southern African countries
  • Ability to engage externally and open doors to strategic partnerships and funding.
  • Understanding of the needs of businesses working to bring energy access to poor and remote communities and the ability to engage constructively with these businesses.
  • Ability to analyze systems and formulate strategies.
  • Ability to design new and innovative energy and cross sectoral programs and projects.
  • Ability to effectively represent the regional office, the organization and Practical Action’s work.
  • Excellent report writing, oral presentation, analytical and communication skills.
  • Excellent ability to work with virtual cross-functional teams.
  • Ability to work independently, manage multiple tasks and set priorities.
  • Fluency in English.
  • Commitment to development principles and Practical Action’s vision, mission, values and energy ambition.
  • A sound understanding of and commitment to gender equality.

Qualifications:      

First degree in Energy Technology, Engineering, or other field related to the role and a Master’s degree in Energy or related field (or alternative qualifications demonstrating appropriate level of expertise for the role).

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We welcome applications from within and outside the Southern Africa region and candidates must have the right to work in Zimbabwe and/or Malawi.

APPLICATION

Email a 3 page CV along with names of at least three professional references to The People and Culture Leader for Southern Africa at: Human.Capital@practicalaction.org.zw

Include a supporting statement of not more than two pages outlining your experience and why you think you qualify.

We treat all applications for employment on their merits and do not take into consideration any factors that are not relevant to the job such as gender, race, religion, ethnic or national origin, caste, tribe, belief, age, marital status, pregnancy, caring responsibilities, sexual orientation, or disability.

Practical Action is committed to safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults and as such candidates will be subject to pre-employment checks.

 

Closing date:  1700hrs of 26th February, 2020