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Senior Manager (Strategic Learning and Capacity Development-Temporary)

About Kaizen

The Kaizen Company is an incubator for innovative, scalable solutions that address emerging market challenges and opportunities. Our proven solutions catalyze locally driven, organizational and institutional performance improvements, and shift the development model into one that is bottom-up and ongoing. We leverage existing knowledge along with new technologies and innovative business models to support local reform that is sustained through market forces. Since our inception in 2004, we have supported over 60 education-focused local organizations such as primary schools, government agencies, vocational training entities, universities, and education non-profit organizations worldwide.


The Implementer-Led Design, Evidence, Analysis and Learning (IDEAL) Activity is a five-year Leader with Associates Award (LWA), funded by USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Aid (BHA) and implemented by the consortium of Save the Children (lead agency), the Kaizen Company (Kaizen), Mercy Corps and TANGO International (TANGO). IDEAL’s goal is to strengthen food and nutrition security among BHA-target populations through the promotion of systems-level approaches to improving the design, implementation and overall effectiveness of emergency and resilience food security activities.

IDEAL has three purposes:

Purpose 1: Improved Institutional and staff capacity for integrated activity design and implementation of essential elements of quality programming

Purpose 2: Consistent Application of adaptive management practices in Food Security Programs

Purpose 3: Improved Coordination and Collaboration (between Implementing Partners (IP), BHA, and Other Stakeholders) around common goals

These three purposes work toward IDEAL’s goal of improving the effectiveness of BHA-funded development and emergency food security activities. IDEAL is in its third year of implementation and the focus for Kaizen is specifically on identifying capacity strengthening initiatives and opportunities of IPs in essential elements of quality programming, but especially related to adaptive management practices. Kaizen is leading stakeholder engagement initiatives, peer-to-peer learning events and communities of practice, and other capacity strengthening initiatives to support enhanced collaboration and adaptive management practices among food security activities.

Scope and Objectives

The Kaizen Company is searching for a temporary (approximately 6-7 months) replacement for the Strategic Learning and Capacity Development Advisor to cover her managerial responsibilities and provide oversight and input to the IP-facing adaptive management activities on IDEAL. The Senior Manager will provide strategic leadership and management of direct interventions under IDEAL. The Senior Manager will be responsible for overseeing activities including peer-to-peer learning, knowledge sharing and application, capacity strengthening, and stakeholder engagement. The Senior Manager is a member of IDEAL’s Senior Management Team helping provide strategic leadership and decision making regarding the activity’s priorities, ensuring that it remains responsive to the needs of the IP community.

The Senior Manager will oversee Kaizen’s other staff members on IDEAL, helping to set and monitor both Kaizen’s organizational work plan and individual staff members’ contributions to ensure workstreams are integrated to achieve IDEAL’s overall objectives. Specifically, responsibilities for the Senior Manager will include:

  • Manage the implementation and adaptation of Kaizen’s Year 3 activities;
  • Lead Kaizen’s participation in the IDEAL Work Planning process for Year 4 of the Activity, working closely with other consortium members and responding to the Prime’s guidance;
  • Work collaboratively with Kaizen so that IDEAL benefits from Kaizen’s institutional strengths while ensuring that IDEAL’s accomplishments and lessons learned benefit Kaizen;
  • In close collaboration with Kaizen’s Home Office, oversee narrative and financial reporting to Save the Children for the sub-award, and contribute to IDEAL’s achievement of its targets;
  • Represent Kaizen as needed with donor, implementing partners, academics, and other stakeholders; and,
  • Contribute to the success of the IDEAL consortium through active collaboration with leadership and staff of all participating organizations.
  • Provide leadership on other elements of capacity strengthening, including the scan of current capacity strengthening approaches used by IPs, maintenance of tools repository, facilitating input on capacity gaps and priorities from partners and connecting IPs with resources as needed;
  • Development and implementation of strategies to engage, support and – where demand driven - develop communities of practice and thematic groups in the field of food and nutrition security;
  • Facilitate the design, implementation, and after-action reviews of critical food security events such as Refine and Implement (R&I) workshops, stakeholder consultations and listening sessions, in coordination with other senior team members;
  • Ensure that IDEAL’s activities are responsive to IP priorities through application of stakeholder engagement findings and facilitation of active interaction with resilience and emergency activity implementers, including via field visits (once COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted);

Period of Performance: This position is envisioned to be a short-term, full-time position for up to seven months. The anticipated start date for this position is April 2021.


  • Advanced degree (Master's or PhD) or equivalent relevant years experience
  • At least 10 years of relevant managerial experience is required
  • Demonstrated experience in food security,  adaptive management, collaborating, learning and adapting application (CLA), organizational learning and capacity strengthening and knowledge management,
  • Proven track record of thought leadership and ability to operate independently and proactively to identify new opportunities for creative problem solving
  • Experience working on USAID-funded projects, especially in resilience and/or emergency BHA-funded activities
  • Experience with agile methodologies such as scrum preferred
  • Assessing, Managing, and Measuring Work: Ability to set clear objectives, coordinate resources, people, and processes, and manage feedback loops to adjust approaches as necessary
  • Inclusive Leadership: Ability to work collaboratively with all kinds of people and make those you work with feel valued and part of the team regardless of background or role
  • Political Acumen: Ability to maneuver through complex political situations, demonstrating an understanding of power relations and sensitivity to how people and organizations function
  • Decision Quality: Ability to make quality decisions based on a mixture of analysis, evidence and experience


At The Kaizen Company, we find strength in our diversity. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive working environment in which everyone has an equal opportunity to fulfill their potential. We know that we can only do development differently if we are open to and inclusive of new and unique perspectives. We encourage candidates of all abilities, ages, gender identities and expressions, national origins, races and ethnicities, religious beliefs, and sexual orientations to apply. Further, we urge parents and non-parents, married and unmarried, those from different or non-traditional educational backgrounds, and persons of all other diverse identities or experiences to apply. The Kaizen Company is an equal opportunity employer.

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