Design & Innovation Lead
The Airbel Impact Lab, the IRC’s research and innovation team, aims to design, test, and scale life-changing, cost-effective solutions with people affected by conflict and disaster. With over 70 million people displaced, the world is facing an unprecedented crisis. To address the evolving and growing nature of this crisis requires not just more aid, but new thinking. There is a lack of proven, cost-effective, scalable services for people affected by crisis. In some cases, there is a lack of evidence on what works. In others, evidence shows existing solutions are effective, but we need to find new ways of delivering them at scale in fragile settings. Airbel works to develop breakthrough solutions by combining creativity and rigor, openness and expertise, and a desire to think afresh with the experience of a large-scale implementing organization.
PlayMatters reimagines childhood for refugees. It will bring play-based learning to 800,000 children across Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania. It will redefine education and cultivate a generation of lifelong builders. PlayMatters is inspired by LEGO Foundation’s call to challenge the status quo, to offer children the quality education they dream of. Children are not gaining the skills they need, teachers are under-supported and parents are overwhelmed. The systems built to serve them are failing them. PlayMatters proudly offers something different. It will be delivered by a coalition with a track record of thinking and delivering differently.
The IRC is seeking to hire a full-time design lead to join and launch projects across our portfolio of education, malnutrition and maternal, newborn and sexual reproductive projects. Our multi-disciplinary teams build, facilitate and contribute on projects that span research and ideation through to prototyping, piloting, evaluation and scaling. Our solutions are co-created in partnership with talent, experts and colleagues who are from the regions where we work.
For the first 6 months the design lead will work closely with PlayMatters teams in Uganda to develop two solutions to integrate play-based learning into schools. The lead will leverage recently completed qualitative research on opportunities and barriers for play-based learning in refugee and host populations in Uganda; in addition to collaboratively working with education experts, behavioral scientists and designers. These prototypes will support caregivers and community leaders in providing children aged 3-12+ with access to play-based learning as well as embed learning through play into the learning and living environments of children aged 3-12+.
The design and innovation lead will be an integral part of our PlatMatters and Airbel teams and will work collaboratively on multi-disciplinary teams at various stages of research and development across the Airbel health and education portfolio.
1. Ensure quality and delivery of solutions: The designer will be responsible for ensuring the team maintains focus on quality of deliverables across the various stages of design including: design research, testing, and product development.
2. Product design: The designer is responsible for guiding the team in the correct direction based on existing evidence, user research, scalability, and market analysis. Project outputs vary widely depending on the project stage and user constraints but may include products such as digital automated user flows, clickable mock-ups, service design storyboards, informational design for implementers, short videos or audio, for example.
3. Final assets: The designer will be responsible for the delivery of final assets by managing and working with team members to ensure final assets are of high quality, print ready, and implementation ready. Sample outputs include insights from the initial user research, product strategy, program feedback, program implementation and final program recommendations.
4. Prototype Creation and Testing: The designer is responsible for connecting the dots between user research, evidence and expert direction from the team, and generating testable prototypes. Examples of prototypes include low-fidelity print outs, clickable mockups, sample messages, high fidelity mock-ups of service experience, user journeys, and illustrations to test for understanding. Prototype testing: The designer will work with the team to test prototypes with key stakeholders (remote and/or in person where possible).
5. Workshop Facilitation and Design: The designer will lead and co-design workshops with key stakeholders (remote and/or in person). They will synthesize insights from interviews and design workshops with the team and will be expected to independently create outputs and visual assets useful that are usable for external and partner communication.
6. Sourcing and Building Teams: The designer will be expected to build and maintain a local network of talented collaborators and partners who can support the development of new products and services. This includes individuals, collectives, implementers and start ups. The designer should also have experience building relationships, onboarding, training and facilitating collaboration among diverse stakeholders with varying degrees of familiarity with design.
7. Piloting: The designer will co-create instruction guides for using and implementing final assets. They will work with the monitoring and evaluation team to draft questions to be answered during the piloting phase. They will work with the team to adapt the final assets and guides after the pilots based on feedback from the research conducted by the M&E/project team.
• Design experience of 6-10 years
• Digital design experience of 2-3 years
• Portfolio demonstrating digital and non-digital design projects
• Preferred experience working in health or education.
• Preferred experience working with pre-literate adults, young children, refugee populations, and vulnerable populations
• Preferred experience creating digital programs or campaigns through WhatsApp or other messaging platforms
Demonstrated Skills and Competencies:
• Visual Design: The designer is able to create high quality visual design from scratch and create simple, credible brand systems. The design consultant will adapt, design and contextualize content with the prototyping team to create final assets that ensure uptake and understanding. This includes creating graphics, illustrations, printed and digital materials, as necessary for each program.
• Interaction Design: The designer is able to create hand-drawn, static and clickable mockups that are clean and appropriate for team, partner and user communication. They are able to use established patterns for web, mobile and tablet apps.
• User Interface Design: The designer can make effective choices of UI elements and create new elements which are designed and styled effectively.
• Qualitative Research: The designer is able to design and implement an effective quality research program in person and remotely that accommodates the other demands and constraints often placed on team members. The designer is able to train others in qualitative research as well as creatively leverage proximate skill sets.
• Experiment Design: The designer must be able to design an effective lean experiment, analyze results and help partners and team members interpret data and make decisions.
• Tools: The designer has excellent judgement on choice of tool / method for the task at hand and is willing to learn new tools.
• Communication: Excellent verbal, written and visual communication skills as well as, an overall ability to be clear and concise in all communications, especially with non-designers.
• Swahili preferred
• Mix of remote and in person work. Applicants must have a home or alternate workspace they can effectively complete their work from during regularly scheduled work hours.
• Potential of some travel, coronavirus permitting.
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.