The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) is a 6-year and €114 million programme funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that aims to create a prosperous future for 200,000 young women and men in the Middle East, North Africa, Sahel & West Africa and Horn of Africa regions. The Fund will be supporting initiatives in 23 countries that will offer youth, in particular young women, opportunities for work that is demand-driven and productive, offering a stable income and safe working conditions, and that is contributing to their personal development and social protection.
Private sector, civil society and knowledge institutions will be invited to submit proposals geared to scalable solutions for creating more and better jobs and income generating opportunities for youth. Solutions will in particular focus on an integrated approach that addresses the shortcomings on the demand side (jobs) and supply side (skills) and bridging the mismatch between these two in the labour market.
The Learning & Innovation Agenda is a workstream housed within the Technical Assistance (TA), Strategy, and Impact Unit to help CFYE create, share and use knowledge to achieve its strategic goals. Through generating credible evidence and learning, CFYE aims to strengthen the existing evidence base, and set an example of best practices to current and future challenge funds focused on youth employment.
As the Learning and Innovation Senior Associate you will develop and lead the Learning & Innovation (L&I) agenda within the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) Program.
CFYE aims to generate research and insights that leave a lasting impact on the youth employment ecosystem and its stakeholders. The Learning & Innovation Senior Associate at CFYE will primarily be responsible for building an evidence base on how to generate decent, gender-responsive, youth employment via the private-sector in the countries where CFYE works, positioning CFYE as a thought-leader in program and policy influencing, advocacy and investment.
The primary objective of this workstream is to ensure that Technical Assistance provided to our implementing partners is underpinned by lessons, research and results; and that outcomes and impact of the program are captured and communicated on relevant platforms.
This position will be housed within the Technical Assistance (TA), Strategy, and Impact team Unit and will work closely with the Results, Data, & Impact and Marketing & Communications teams.
Through gathering, testing, and sharing evidence of what works and what does not, the Learning & Innovation Manager will therefore steer an agenda for addressing the defined evidence gaps, proactively piloting specific approaches and promoting the case for investing in interventions that are proven to work based on the Fund’s experience.
- Drive the overall development, operationalization, and refinement of CFYE’s Learning & Innovation Agenda, in close collaboration with TA Unit members and key team members of the central and country teams at CFYE.
- Make innovation learning decisions in a structured manner, using design-thinking activities for identifying learning ideas. In particular, these activities should lead to:
a) Development of a learning agenda that is aligned with the Fund’s TA Strategy, arriving at 5 key CFYE learning themes which CFYE could usefully contribute to, by filling a critical evidence gap. These themes will serve as core anchors, guiding future research and programming on youth employment.
b) Translating this learning agenda into a strategic ‘learning framework’, which will enable CFYE to link learning questions to strategic program goals and objectives, and inform decision-making for pursuing tactical learning opportunities.
c) Developing a structure to ensure the learning agenda is effectively, systematically, and efficiently delivered, and CFYE’s work is contributing to a growing evidence base in these thematic areas.
- Lead a team of ‘product owners’ on 5 key CFYE learning themes, advising on the hypothesis development, operationalization, refinement, and dissemination of each learning theme. Distinguish for each learning theme the core partners with whom we will further elaborate a joint learning & innovation trajectory. Each learning trajectory will design its own knowledge dissemination strategy in close collaboration with the communications team.
- In collaboration with the TA Unit, the Results, Data, & Impact Team, and the Comms and Marketing Team, identify opportunities and activities across CFYE where this agenda can be integrated for proactive and reactive learning.
- In line with CFYE’s TA strategy, support the Technical Assistance Unit in identifying areas at the Fund level where TA investment can lead to an enhancement of the outcomes to be achieved by the Fund. This may include but not be limited to learning and innovation partnerships, and enhanced private sector engagement in the Netherlands.
- Coordinate with the country and central teams to identify opportunities for external partnerships, learning and research collaborations, cross-country engagements as well as platforms for dissemination of insights generated from delivery.
- Lead the development of a learning platform where knowledge products can be shared. Examples of knowledge products will include, but are not limited to: ecosystem studies, synthesis papers, toolkits for practitioners, policy briefs, events and webinars, experience/expert workshops, knowledge platforms, and multimedia products.
- Document, publish and present key learnings, innovations, and insights for external audiences.
- Ensure that there is a coherent and comprehensive workplan in place for key learning activities, events, and team travel that is synchronized with the overall TA delivery process.
- Spot emerging opportunities for innovation and knowledge generation in line with CFYE and client priorities.
- Manage the budget for L&I ensuring cost-effectiveness / value for money and adhering to Palladium’s procurement principles at all times.
Serve as a TA Representative for 1-2 countries (Senegal and Sudan). Each member of the TA Unit serves as a Representative for the TA team for each country, in order to:
a) Support Country Teams to ensure all TA delivery documents are aligned (Country Strategy, Country Workplan, Country TA Costed Workplan, Salesforce).
b) Monthly basis - Review TA work plans at IP and Portfolio level. Support teams with logistics of roll-out, where needed;
c) Quarterly basis - Plan TA activities for the next quarter and work with countries to submit financial forecast ahead of the Steering Committee meetings for sign-off.
d) On-going basis - provide advice to country teams on standardized TA packages available, on TA that can / cannot be provided in line with CFYE TA's strategy.
e) On-going basis - Support countries pre- and post- Quarterly Performance Review to identify and action the approved TA;
f) Work with the TA team to continuously improve our TA offer through reflection, evaluation, brainstorming, spotting of opportunities.
g) Provide monthly updates to the TA team on what is going well, and what needs attention in the country of focus; and
h) Attend Teams meetings with country portfolio teams as per agreed frequency.
- Relevant academic qualifications in business administration, development economics, or other relevant field.
- Well experience working in project management and able to clearly demonstrate how their experience and skills match with the role.
- Experience working in a complex multi-country, multi-stakeholder development environment, collating and managing relevant project information, transforming this into attractive tools and other knowledge products, thus creating exciting learning opportunities using a variety of collaboration platforms.
- The candidate must be based in the Netherlands and have full working rights.
- Ability and willingness to make short-term travel to the countries in which CFYE is operating, if and when required.
- Experience as an innovation practitioner and experience in the design and delivery of a learning agenda or program.
- Experience in applying skills, methods, and tools in a structured and systematic way to build innovation capacity in private sector development.
- Background in learning design is highly desirable.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
- Proficiency with MS Office, Sharepoint, and MS Teams, Salesforce, Mural, and Miro. A demonstrated ability to learn quickly on these systems is acceptable in lieu of proficiency.
- A high degree of self-motivation and proven ability to work independently under limited supervision and tight deadlines; and an ability to multitask and work collaboratively in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
- Adaptive by nature and enjoy working in a complex program with a large, international and geographically dispersed team.
- A good understanding of different remote collaboration tools and make remote work fun and focused.
- Strong facilitation skills and confidence in developing and delivering content to different audiences, ranging from young primary actors, local partners, CFYE consortium partners, private sector, government stakeholders and external audiences
- A positive, flexible attitude to work, including the ability to multitask and work in a team environment.
The Learning and Innovation Senior Associate will report to the Team Lead, Technical Assistance, Strategy, & Impact.
Apply on the website by uploading a cover letter showing your suitability for the role, eligibility requirements and core competencies. Your CV should be maximum 3 pages long.
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