Head of Africa

  • Anywhere
Organization: Open Contracting Partnership
Closing date: 15 Oct 2021
  • Location: Africa; ideally a regional hub (Kenya, Nigeria, or South Africa preferred)
  • Compensation: $90,000 – $121,000
  • Application Deadline: October 15, 2021

Summary

The Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) is hiring a Head of Africa to lead our Africa portfolio to open up and transform public procurement across the continent.

Public procurement has been on the frontline of the pandemic response: old, slow paper-based systems that reinforce existing vested interests have been found wanting across Africa and are in need of radical reform. You will lead the charge.

We are looking for a smart, passionate professional who understands the power and promise of public procurement to solve problems and deliver better goods and service to citizens, especially those most in need and most disadvantaged. You will be an effective advocate who can make the case for open contracting with the highest level of governments, international organizations and global fora. You will be an activator who can foster a community of practitioners across Africa who want to change the status quo of procurement on the continent.

You will have experience working with teams of reformers in government to redesign government processes and systems through open data, better civic and business engagement, monitoring, market research or other strategies. You will be a powerful advocate who can convince senior leaders in government, civil society, companies or funders to make public purchasing more transparent, effective and fair. You will care deeply about building relationships with our growing African communities, documenting and sharing learning.

About the Role

You will work closely with frontline government teams in several African countries to respond, recover and rebuild better together by reforming procurement systems for better contracting outcomes. Over the coming two to three years, we aim to have several African countries that can demonstrate measurable improvements in public services, goods, works or economic inclusion through more open, effective and equitable procurement practices. This could be increasing competition or reducing corruption in public procurement, boosting opportunities for women-, minority-owned and/or local businesses to participate in public procurement — working, for example, to equip public schools with the supplies and infrastructure needed to serve students and their families, get clinics the medicines they need, or expand access to affordable and green infrastructure.

OCP is already working with governments and civil society in Africa to achieve these goals (please see these examples from Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and others). You will lead and accelerate these ongoing projects and identify and support new projects in the region.

You will engage senior decision makers at the country, regional and global levels to change how procurement and procurement systems serve African governments and their citizens, turning procurement from a compliance-driven, complex, paper-based process into an open, results-driven, digital service that delivers value for all.

Finally, you will foster our African community of open contracting practitioners, from working with governments to improve how procurement is done, to empowering civil society organizations that monitor and advocate for better government spending, to supporting journalists who are reporting about procurement failures and innovation, to engaging technology providers and companies who participate in the procurement market.

About the Open Contracting Partnership

The Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) is an independent not-for-profit based in Washington DC but working globally to open up and transform government contracting and procurement. We are a fast-moving, ambitious and impact-driven organization. We work in over forty countries and have supported several countries and cities to achieve measurable results from better contracting. We work along the whole process of government contracting to use the power of open data and open government to deliver better goods and services to citizens, deter corruption, and create a better business environment for all.

Many of the procurement challenges we work on are rooted in historic inequities. We know that addressing them requires solutions that center on diversity, equity, and inclusion and work toward more equitable outcomes for the people we serve. At OCP, we are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in both our workplace and in our work – from the way we work together as a team and support individual growth to the way that we execute our projects. Our Head of Africa will be sensitive to the concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations, and the ability to apply that to their work.

You will join a team of about 25 highly motivated members. We work globally and are based in many different countries. We are a very collaborative team and value working together, supporting, and learning from each other.

We expect that after the Covid-19 crisis ends and it is safe again, the Head of Africa would travel in the region, perhaps up to 30% of their time, in addition to joining relevant global events.

Key Roles & Responsibilities

Support reform teams (50%). Collaborate closely with government and civil society reformers designing and implementing procurement reform projects. This would include leading teams through a structured process to understand problems, define goals, map stakeholders and systems, design reform strategies for high impact changes, carry out rigorous data analysis and build capacity for sustained change. You will provide technical assistance on vendor engagement, market research and outreach, results based contracting, inclusive contracting, data publication and analysis, systems mapping, citizen feedback, etc. This will be a very ‘hands on’ role. We expect that you will represent OCP at a senior level, designing and facilitating workshops, providing training and conducting user research.

Advocate for open contracting (20%). Lead outreach and engagement with senior officials to promote open contracting and the Open Contracting Data Standard. You will be on top of country specific and regional procurement rules, databases, trends and recent developments. You will identify and advise on advocacy opportunities, formulating asks and arguments with our Head of Advocacy to build a compelling and diverse coalition of actors who want to change procurement in African countries and across the continent to make it open and inclusive.

Facilitate community building (20%). Empower our growing African community. The procurement community of government innovators, technology and service providers, civil society and media organizations, funders and others are doing amazing work in making contracting more open, effective and fair. We want to document and share their insights and help them learn from each other. Frontline practitioners also face gaps in skills, knowledge and funding and we want to help fill them. One of your important tasks will be therefore to work with our Senior Community Manager to connect practitioners to each other for learning and create and share content that further empowers our African community.

Fundraising (10%). Build connections with funders and raise funds to support our growing African portfolio. You will directly build and lead relationships with African and global funders, write proposals, lead pitches and lead grant management and reporting for our ongoing Africa specific projects.

Qualifications

  • Significant, sustained change management and reform experience in Africa, including coaching teams of diverse reformers to solve complex problems
  • Strong project management capabilities and effectively running multiple complex projects at the same time
  • Deep understanding of procurement, with a focus on data-driven, inclusive, results-based contracting and how procurement is a hidden lever to better social outcomes
  • Excellent advocacy skills, with demonstrable ability to mobilize networks to build momentum for change
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, with a track record in producing practical outputs geared towards advocacy and public communication
  • Understanding of the African procurement environment and specific countries
  • Sound quantitative skills and ability to use data to drive decision-making
  • Ability to build trust and relationships among diverse groups of stakeholders and serve individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations
  • Ability to work independently and proactively, pursuing new opportunities, delivering on milestones and deadlines
  • Experience in articulating clear advocacy asks and delivering convincing arguments to senior officials to generate buy-in and action
  • Fluency in English required, French or other regional languages are a plus

Applications should include:

  • Brief cover letter detailing relevant experience
  • Updated CV
  • 2 examples of relevant prior work

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the deadline of October 15, 2021.

How to apply:

Please click here to apply: https://open-contracting-partnership.breezy.hr/p/6b54819e5a31-head-of-africa

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