Knowledge and Innovation Hub Director

Action Against Hunger-USA is part of the Action Against Hunger International network, which extends humanitarian and development support to poor families and communities in over 50 countries worldwide in the sectors of nutrition, health, water/sanitation, and food security. Action Against Hunger-USA, an independent NGO, currently manages operations in 8 countries: Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Action Against Hunger-USA has over $100 million in programs, and approximately 1,600 permanent staff based in New York City, Washington D.C, Nairobi, and country offices. Additional growth is anticipated

Summary of Position

As a member of the Action Against Hunger Horn and Eastern Africa Regional Team, the Hub Director will lead the process of reviewing and accelerating the effectiveness of knowledge and innovation Hub that was established in 2021 and lead the process. The Director is responsible for the business accounting and innovation protections, which may include intellectual property negotiations, patents, and other measures of innovation. S/he will provide overall leadership, strategic guidance in the Hub located in Nairobi servicing the African continent. This is a position that requires both strategic executive level acumen, as well as hands-on implementation.

Working in collaboration with the Impact and Resource Mobilization Department at the Headquarters, the Director will advance Action Against Hunger’s evidence generation and uptake; boost the organization’s positioning and brand awareness through public and private partnerships, external representation, and knowledge products generation and utilization; and mobilize resources to support our country office’s ability to implement impactful, lifesaving and long-term actions at-scale to eliminate hunger and under nutrition.


The Director as an entrepreneur, and an innovation scout, will build strategic partnerships to facilitate thought leadership, contribute to knowledge and enhance human and institutional capacities of key participants in the humanitarian and the development sector.


S/he will engage with academia, other learning institutions, and private sector with a focus on identifying and deepening partnerships at local and regional levels and enabling global North-South collaborations. Internally, S/he will represent Action Against Hunger in relevant regional forums and facilitate linkages across all levels of the organization.


S/he will crystalize and operationalize the vision for the Knowledge and Innovation Hub in a way that (a) aligns with the strategic directions of the organization and (b) comprehensively builds on the strengths of Action Against Hunger. The position holder will develop and implement a self-sustaining business model for operating the Hub.

Specific job roles

  1. Strategically advance Action Against Hunger’s evidence generation and uptake by:
    • Fostering increased collaboration and co-creation between Action Against Hunger (research and technical teams, as well as HEARO and country teams) and international, local and regional universities/research institutions, especially in strategic research areas.
    • Expanding potential for collaboration with the private sector in research, with a focus on ethical testing of innovative solutions within our operations.
    • Ensuring that evidence informs influences and drives project design in favor of vulnerable populations.
    • Developing guidelines and standard operating procedures including implementation of quality assurance protocols to facilitate scale up of evidence-based programs.
    • Championing the research & innovation internship and fellowship program from the ground up, creating mutually beneficial linkages with reputable learning institutions to grow the capacity of the next generation of leaders.
    • Support AAH Knowledge and Innovation hub growth by designing and building innovative processes
  2. Lead/Support the acquisition of awards to strengthen country offices to implement impactful, life- saving and long-term actions at-scale.
    • Increase the competitiveness of our proposals by ensuring integration of cutting-edge evidence and expert knowledge into the technical design.
    • Building capacity of staff and partners to support the scale-up of high impact innovations (e.g., simplified and signature approaches) by providing tailored strategic planning, knowledge management and capacity building support to countries and regional teams.
    • Interfacing with private and corporate/foundation fundraising teams to deepen new and non-traditional partnership efforts.
    • Source, test, refine and scale relevant innovations that can further Action Against Hunger’s
    • Strategic objectives and engagements.
  3. Facilitate thought leadership, contribute to knowledge and enhance human and institutional Capacities key participants in the humanitarian and the development sector.
    • Working with teams across the organization to increase the visibility of our evidence and thought leadership through discussion of our impact across diverse media (e.g., journals, publications media, webinars etc.).
    • Acting as a convener of critical conversations around emergent gaps and/or opportunities with diverse stakeholders (both high-level and practitioner).
    • Represent Action Against Hunger in relevant regional and network initiatives and support country and global level external engagements
  4. Enhance our use of knowledge, data and information systems to better serve nutrition and hunger- focused organizations by:
    • Ensuring better management and utilization of nutrition-related data for improved analysis and decision-making.
    • Facilitating the development of a searchable database of key content to expedite accessibility of the knowledge base to support programming, marketing, fundraising, advocacy to influence the humanitarian and development industry
    • Facilitating the development and management of a research repository
    • Provide leadership to strengthen integration of action research in program designs

Supervisory Responsibilities

Technical Specialists in Horn and Eastern Africa Regional office (Regional Nutrition & Health, Food Security, WASH Capacity Building/Knowledge Management and MEAL Specialists).

Gender Equality commitments & Zero Tolerance to Abuse

  • Foster an environment that reinforces values of women and men, and equal access to information.
  • Provide a work environment where women and men must be evaluated and promoted based on their skills and performance.
  • Promote a safe, secure, and respectful environment for all stakeholders, particularly for children, beneficiaries, and members of staff.
  • Help to prevent any type of abuse including workplace harassment and sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • Respect beneficiaries’ women, men, children (boys and girls) regardless of gender, sex orientation, disability, religion, race, color, ancestry, national origin, age, or marital status.
  • Value and respect all cultures.

Fiscal Responsibility

The director holds accountability for both an operational budget in forming the hub, as well as growth targets essential for the funding of the hub.

Physical demands

To travel to the field, the employee must attest to a level of physical fitness capable of enduring physically difficult, highly stressful situations, which may include the necessity to walk long distances, to eat a limited diet and/or to reside in potentially uncomfortable housing or tents. The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Working Conditions, Travel and Environment

The duties of the job require regular job attendance at least five days per week. Must be available to work outside normal office hours or on the weekends as required.

Must be able to travel as required for standard domestic and international business purposes. While performing the duties of this job in the field, the employee may be exposed to precarious settings under high security risks and/or very basic living conditions and outside weather conditions, as well as infectious diseases

Required Qualifications

Advanced University degree (Master’s or PhD) in a relevant field or related equivalent experience in business, technical and management fields. Start-up or venture capital resource mobilization experience is desirable. Expertise in any of action Against Hunger thematic areas of Nutrition, Health, WASH, Food Security and Livelihoods is an advantage.

Required Skills & Experience

  • Excellent oral and written verbal communication skills including ability to explain organization’s policies & procedures, verbally & in writing and production of timely, comprehensive & well-written documents.
  • A visionary and a strategic mind
  • Success financial products or enterprises, proven entrepreneurial success
  • Highly organized with the ability to multi-task and prioritize
  • Familiarity with research methods in hunger and nutrition
  • Capability to form strategic partnerships
  • Commitment to executing with excellence
  • Experience with/Ability to work effectively across Academia, NGO partners and local Governments Proven experience in training and facilitation
  • Proven ability to successfully manage, coach and mentor others
  • Genuine interest in and commitment to humanitarian principles
  • Flexible approach and willingness to take on additional tasks
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure and can easily adapt to changing circumstances
  • Knowledge of French and Spanish is an added advantage

Action Against Hunger-USA provides all staff with an attractive salary & benefits package. We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees & qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, or status as a veteran. Action Against Hunger-USA complies with all applicable laws governing nondiscrimination in employment.

How to apply

Interested? Then apply for this position by clicking on the apply button. All applicants must upload a cover letter and an updated resume and both must be in the same language as this vacancy note. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.Application close date is August 28,2023.

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