TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A nonprofit organization operating in 29 countries, we work with enterprising men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. By linking people to information, capital and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities.
Founded over 50 years ago, TechnoServe has been named the #1 nonprofit for fighting poverty by the ImpactMatters charity ratings agency.
The Director, TechnoServe Labs Product Management / Engineering works with the Director of TechnoServe Labs to identify, test and implement technology to scale TechnoServe’s impact in its core focus areas, primarily in coffee, high margin agriculture, and entrepreneurship.
This is a hands-on, operational role, with priority placed on successful implementation of technology to scale impact. The Director will work with technology partners in regions where TechnoServe operates, in Silicon Valley, and throughout the US. Technology partners may include outsourced hardware and software development firms, corporate technology partners, and educational and research institutions who are working with TechnoServe field staff to develop and implement solutions.
Primary Functions & Responsibilities:
The Director of Product Management / Engineering will work with the Director of TechnoServe Labs to select, design and manage implementation of high potential technologies.
Working with cross-functional and outsourced teams, the Director will:
- Review and approve proposed solution designs
- Interview and assist with hiring technical PMs in regional field offices
- Select third-party solution providers; this may include developing RFQ criteria for outsourced solution development.
- Work with TechnoServe teams in field offices to create realistic development timelines
- Manage outsourced development teams
- Coach local TechnoServe teams in field offices on best practices for program management and engineering
- Provide oversight of detailed solution plans, including user story development
- Work with TechnoServe field teams on feature prioritization
- Manage technical status, including participation in daily dev/PM team standups
In the first twelve months focus will be on projects for the cashew sector –
- Tools to leverage use Benin remote sensing data to map production capacity and to target field training efforts
- Implementation of a chatbot knowledge base solution for extension workers
- Rollout of an application for tracking cashew quality
- Coordination of pilots of access to finance solutions
- Benchmarking other product realization labs and creating the TNS model for staffing, programs, and equipment for the Product Realization Training Lab collaboration with Seme-tech City Open Park (SCOP) in Benin, with plans to replicate this model in other regions
- Working to expand the TechnoServe Fellows program with corporate technology partners
Work will likely expand to coffee and entrepreneurship sectors:
- “Digitization” of entrepreneurship programs
- Implementation of a global e-learning platform
- Tools for remote learning via smartphone, e.g. Turn.io, Arist, etc.
- Technologies for improvement of coffee quality
- image capture of incoming coffee cherry at wet mills, for quality classification using machine learning
- applications for managing wet mill process and operations
In all of the programs above, the Director will:
- Create tools for monitoring technology adoption and engagement
- Help identify regional solution providers, and work with Silicon Valley and US-based partners
- Create implementation plans with field staff
- Develop rapid build-test-learn cycles for new technology
- Assist field staff with program implementation
- Document best-practices for future implementation projects
- Perform other duties as required
- 7-10 years of work experience with a Bachelor’s Degree (or minimum 5 years with a Master’s Degree) working in software application development, including at least five years in a management role
- Must have experience with agile development methodologies
- Experience working with geographically distributed teams required
- Desire to work with a non-profit to implement technology solutions to alleviate global poverty
- Non-profit experience preferred
- Work experience in a developing country preferred
Required Languages Fluency in English required; professional proficiency in Spanish, French or Portuguese strongly preferred
Travel (post COVID) up to 25% of the time
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
- Demonstrated ability to work independently, flexibility and responsively
- Superb listening skills, and excellent communication & interpersonal skills
Supervisory Responsibilities – TechnoServe Labs projects, remote project team staff, TechnoServe Fellows
We encourage all qualified individuals who share TechnoServe’s vision of improving the lives of others through proven business solutions to apply.