Senior Manager, Support Services
GiveDirectly (GD) aims to reshape international giving - and millions of lives - by providing cash grants directly to the world’s poorest. The Brookings Institution estimates that $70B of cash transfers would be required to eliminate the poverty gap; the aid sector currently spends $135B each year, much of it on evidence-free interventions. GiveDirectly wants to change that, establishing cash transfers as a benchmark for foreign aid - as the index fund is a benchmark for the financial industry - and in the process accelerating the end of extreme poverty.
Since 2009, GD has delivered $500M+ in cash directly into the hands of over 1 million families living in poverty. We currently have operations in Kenya, Rwanda, Liberia, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Togo, DRC, Uganda, and the United States. We’ve also supported large-scale, experimental research that indicates strong recipient impact of our programs. As a result GD has been celebrated as one of the most innovative non-profit companies by Fast Company, while the growing cash transfer movement and GD’s leading role within it have been featured in the New York Times Magazine, This American Life, Foreign Affairs, and The Economist.
We’re looking for exceptional talent to grow our management team. Our culture is direct, analytical, non-hierarchical, and fast-paced. We recruit candidates from top organizations across all industries - our team has hailed from consultancies, investment banks, start-ups, non-profits, and government to name a few. We value ability and willingness to learn over years of experience. We offer competitive salary and benefits and performance-based bonuses.
GiveDirectly Malawi has grown steadily since its introduction in 2019. In 2022, we are aiming to build a new cohort of management that can both help us scale on the ground, and grow into the next generation of leadership. Candidates considered for the Senior Manager, Shared Services role will gain management experience in a country office, with potential to grow into a Country Director and/or to deploy across a series of geographies and projects.
The Shared Services Senior Manager ensures that GiveDirectly’s day-to-day processes run smoothly. They will be responsible for improving core internal systems and processes, mitigating key risks, and building organizational culture. They will manage all shared services, including human resources, procurement, office management, and call center processes, and provide support to the Finance function where needed. The Shared Services Manager is a key member of the Malawi management team and will report to the Country Director.
Improve internal operations and design and implement new systems
- Improve current back-office systems such as call center workflow, procurement processes, and inventory management to match the quality of systems used in more established GD offices
- Ensure appropriate recipient experience metrics are being collected, monitored, and reviewed
Increase the organization’s capacity for scale without compromising quality of product
- Train and supervise managers within the Human Resources, Office Management, and Call Center functions, and support the Finance function on an as-needed basis
- Enable rapid scale-up of a high-quality team (i.e. recruitment, on-boarding, deployment, with mechanisms to reward strong work and flag weak performance)
- Assess, on an ongoing basis, resource/capacity gaps across the country office & test solutions (delegation, hiring, technology etc)
Identify and mitigate risk
- Identify vulnerability to fraud and rule-breaking across the operating model (e.g. staff, community members, payment providers etc.); deploy appropriate controls and conduct key analyses and problem-solving, where appropriate, on major fraud investigations
- Identify key areas in need of redundancy (e.g. staffing) and buffering (e.g. work-plans), to reduce the impact of anticipated/unanticipated operational roadblocks
- Ensure that expertise is built within the organization on the national/local regulatory environment
- Work with the CD to cultivate relationships with actors/institutions that are required to ensure long-term sustainability of the org
Build organizational culture
- Define and communicate a set of practices and norms that animate GD’s core values
- Support org-wide interventions that help to promote productivity, well-being, and morale
- Build systems for monitoring and actioning feedback from the team
- 3-5 years of work experience in a problem-solving heavy role (field management, consulting, analytics) at a high performing organization
- Bachelors/Masters in a relevant field
- Strong alignment with GD values (see below)
- Exceptional ability to logic through complex operational questions & run robust analyses to inform management and programming decisions
- Exceptional written & verbal communication skills to be deployed for a range of audiences (donors, field team, etc.)
- Excellent interpersonal skills and a collaborative management style
- Deep interest in becoming a top-notch people and process manager
- Enthusiasm for fast-paced environments, which may lack pre-defined playbook for success and involve significant “learning by doing”
- Recipients first.
We prioritize recipient preferences over those of donors or ourselves.
We do not impose our preferences, or judgments, on the beneficiaries; instead we respect and empower them to make their own choices, elevating their voices in the global aid debate. This value is core to GiveDirectly’s identity as the first organization exclusively devoted to putting the poor in control of how aid money is spent. It comes at a potential cost, as it means that neither we nor donors get to set priorities (and we may even lose some “efficiency” in providing this option).
- Team next.
We do what’s best for organizational - not individual - success.
This is a team sport, where we will succeed (or fail) together. The best players are not those with the best individual statistics, but those with biggest impact on our overall performance. We avoid territoriality, self-promotion, and I’m above this attitudes.
- Be proactively candid.
We say what we believe, and are honest in sharing information.
Having confidence that other people are telling us what they truly believe, without gloss or omission, is critical to effective communication and to our ability to learn and grow from feedback. We owe it to each other - and our donors - to instill this confidence even though giving and receiving information candidly are unusual in both professional and social life, and can be very uncomfortable.
- Create positive energy
We strive to be a source - not drain - of energy for our colleagues.
Our work is hard, practically and emotionally, and we cannot overemphasize the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, enjoying the company of our colleagues, and not taking ourselves too seriously. In doing so, we aspire to generate energy and excitement amongst our colleagues in pursuing our mission. This should not preclude candor, and we aspire to achieve both.
- Think rigorously; act quickly.
We are intellectually rigorous with a drive towards action - not debate.
We reason from first principles, grounding our decisions in objective claims about the world, rather than hard-to-disprove assertions or hierarchy. We aim to brainstorm inclusively and respectfully, but critically self-vet ideas we put forward, so as to ensure productive and prudent decision making.
Demanding this level of rigor forces us to think harder about decisions and our assumptions than we otherwise might. This is a real cost. It can be taken too far: it is possible to overthink decisions, and we avoid debate for the sake of debate. We are not here to philosophize or ensure consensus. We decide and act quickly, avoiding getting bogged down in debates.
- Accept reality. Propose solutions.
We do not dwell on problems. We work actively to create solutions.
There will always be an endless list of things to improve. We focus on the things that can be changed; find the most important of those things, and propose actionable answers. We do not allow “problems” to weigh us down and be a source of negativity. We are forward looking, which we believe not only leads to better team outcomes, but also creates a more enjoyable, energizing environment for all.
- Be productively ambitious.
We take the risks to pursue industry-changing success, not incremental progress.
We seek step-change improvements at all levels, and are willing to make big-bets; we do not accept complacency nor do we simply optimize existing processes. In doing so, we allow ourselves to dream big with a belief that perceived constraints are merely opportunities for creativity.
Such ambition not only requires hard work (i.e., this is not a 9-5 job), but also a willingness to accept and learn from temporary setbacks and failures. In accepting these failures, we’re conscious to not point fingers, nor obsess over “mistakes” made.
- Know yourself and grow.
We recognize and accept our imperfections with a focus on growth.
We are an organization of exceptional people and trust in each other’s abilities, yet we recognize that none of us is perfect. We strive to maintain an accurate understanding of our individual and institutional strengths and weaknesses, in order to position ourselves to maximize our chances of success.
At the same time, we seek personal growth for ourselves and our teammates. Feedback is given with a spirit of helpfulness; and sought out with a desire to learn.