Interim Senior Program Officer, Gender Equality India
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
New Delhi, Delhi
This is an interim backfill role to cover for an employee who will be out on parental leave. The duration of the assignment is targeted for 18 months starting in September 2019. However, the start and end dates may change.

The Global Growth & Opportunity (GGO) division works to catalyze sustainable transformative change in the face of inequities and market failures, to realize the potential of untapped markets, and to see the economic and social benefits of including everyone. We focus on the areas of Agricultural Development; Financial Services for the Poor; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; and Gender Equality. We seek solutions that are sustainable, transformative, and inclusive with an eye toward applying technology innovations as well as data evidence to drive change in the world’s developing countries.

In the countries where we work, women and girls face differential barriers to their health and development because of the ways that poverty and inequality are interconnected.

Fundamentally, we believe that gender equality is a powerful means to lift poor households out of poverty. At the core of every problem the foundation is trying to solve, whether productivity or disease, the under-valued but powerful lives of women and girls are central to the solution. We recognize that our goals will be harder to achieve if half the world’s population is left behind, and unless we systematically address gender inequalities and meet the specific needs of women and girls. The Gender Equality (GE) team works toward that purpose by:

Helping scale women’s economic collectives and group-based approaches that can deepen economic and empowerment outcomes for women and girls.
Filling gender data and evidence gaps including gender bias in data measurement tools; secondary analysis on women’s economic empowerment, and evaluative work in country on ‘what works to improve women’s economic empowerment.
Amplifying the impact of the foundation’s goals by helping program strategy teams apply a systematic gender lens to their work and target specific gender gaps through catalytic investment.
Focal countries include India, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Tanzania but we aim to work deeply in a set of countries while connecting those learnings back into global analysis and learning.

Within India, our strategy focused on working in partnership with government, researchers, and NGOs, to support, test, and measure innovations that deepen social empowerment in the national rural livelihood mission (NRLM). We are also working to test innovations in collective approaches to economic empowerment and livelihoods through the NRLM program and other collective enterprise models (i.e. with partners such as Self-Employed Women's Association [SEWA]). Finally, we are exploring ways that women in groups and group-based platforms can use technology and ICT to deepen their social and economic empowerment.

Position Summary & Responsibilities

The Senior Program Officer (SPO), Gender Equality India is a critical technical role in the foundation’s evolving gender work. This interim role will appeal to a creative and energetic problem-solver able to support new grantees, shape new grants and build strong relationships with stakeholders including government, multilaterals and other donors. This will include working closely with partners on the ground to aid their progress and momentum while ensuring that investments are rolling out with strong technical inputs on design (including managing the first set of baselines for these investments) and with smooth tracking and problem solving.

This is a role for someone who can step in with the existing SPO and join hands to align quickly on the existing work and vision ensuring that partners are stewarded well during the leave period. The work will involve ensuring that the nascent portfolio is well launched and that key milestones are met (baselines, early insights, and course corrections).

Core Responsibilities

As a collaborator and steward, you will also be expected to:
Partner with governments, donors, and other critical partners to analyze and bring insights to bear on how to scale platforms and programs.
Manage a portfolio of complex investments on women’s empowerment / group-based platforms to strengthen gender data, evidence, and measurement to determine how best to use community-based platforms to achieve health, economic, empowerment and other relevant outcomes.
Contribute to a global field of evidence by working closely with grantees and evaluators to transfer implementation and evidence insights, creatively capture and share lessons learned, and generate global goods that benefit the foundation’s and other partners’ Women’s Empowerment Collectives (WECs) / self-help group investments.
Support and help coordinate the implementation of the overall foundation Gender Equality strategy in ways that avoids duplications and ensures alignment with priorities and needs of women and girls in focal countries on the continent.
Partner with other foundation teams working on WECs (e.g. India Country Office, Agricultural Development, Financial Services for the Poor, Global Policy and Advocacy, etc.) to ensure the work we do represents (a) anchored coordination in-country; and (b) co-investments and work through women’s groups.

Areas of focus to include:
Stakeholder relationships: You will cultivate high quality interactions and build and deepen networks among government ministries, donors, researchers, implementers, evaluators on gender equality including with national and sub-national officials, and bilateral, multilateral institutions.

Grant management (65%): You will lead several key Gender Equality investments in India and provide inputs to global investments. You will track and assess progress and ensure key project milestones (such as baselines, baseline analysis, project roll out, etc.) are done with a high degree of quality and with strong technical inputs and problem solving. You will draw out insights and learnings and communicate results within the GE team, foundation, and the larger community.

Coordination, and learning (15%): Within India, you will serve as a point of contact on gender equality for internal foundation stakeholders as well as grantees. You will also support the Deputy Director of Gender Equality / PAC on high level leadership visits and/or other critical advocacy / voice initiatives requiring in-country inputs and engagement. You will focus on getting evidence off the shelf by making it widely accessible, and applicable to local contexts, helping key stakeholders adapt and adopt findings while exploring local barriers to scale-up of successful programs.

As a member of the Gender Equality team and the Global Growth and Opportunity division, you will also contribute to the overall team’s success and support; including attending and contributing to regular team and divisional activities. In addition, the SPO plays a meaningful role “acting as a bridge” between our India Country Office and other areas of work related to gender happening across the country.

development (10%): The role may also involve the identification of new investments later in the tenure of the assignment (e.g. last six months). You will identify and evaluate potential partners and grantees to co-develop and evolve ideas and initiatives, develop calls / RFPs and review letters of inquiry and grant proposals, while providing clear, concise and insightful written analyses and recommendations for funding. This may include drafting and editing proposal summaries and progress reports for existing grants for review by foundation leadership. Additionally, this may also require the management of internal processes to ensure that the portfolio of work on gender data progresses with appropriate documentation, grant budgeting and reporting.

Reports to: Country Lead, India Country Office

Leadership & Culture

We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership in an inclusive environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things.

Core Knowledge & Skills:
We are looking for people who enjoy the opportunity of working on complex problems and collectively creating solutions that have the potential for transformative change in the lives of people around the world. You must be prepared to work across a diverse set of disciplines, bridging a wide range of expertise all the while being a team player, with a demonstrated ability to work with flexibility, efficiency and diplomacy in an exciting, challenging environment. You must be an experienced grant-manager and partnership builder with expertise in women’s collectives; ideally with a deep understanding of evaluation and research.

The responsibilities of this interim role require that you have an unquestioned commitment to gender equality and experience in gender equality programming; experience gained within India essential. Specific experience in women’s/girl’s groups and group-based platforms and economic empowerment desired. Additionally, you should have:

Eight plus years of experience designing, implementing, monitoring, and/or evaluating women’s empowerment and/or community-based platforms.
Relationship building is key for this role – demonstrated ability to build and work with in-country implementors, researchers, and governments and to strengthen and build relationships is key.
Ability to multi-task and set priorities in an efficient and self-managed, self-motivated manner.
Technical expertise in gender analysis, specifically, in the use of data, measurement and evaluation including qualitative and quantitative research methods, research and evaluation design.
Expertise in government service delivery approaches to women’s economic empowerment and reproductive empowerment are assets.
Experience in translating an investment strategy into grant-making, portfolio design, and delivering on grant or other investment approaches whether from philanthropy or international funding environment.
Excellent written, facilitation, and oral communications skills effective with a broad and diverse audience.
Confirmed ability to successfully deliver a portfolio or work and execute a work plan to achieve established goals.
Ability and comfort working in a highly matrixed environment.
Ability to travel up to 35% both domestically and internationally.
Master’s degree or higher in related field (e.g., gender studies, social and behavioral sciences and research).
Commitment to the foundation’s core values, mission and programs with an approach that is consistent with the foundation’s guiding principles while holding oneself to the highest ethical standards.

For foundation employees:
The employee transfer policy applies to internal backfill positions. An employee may apply for an open position after at least 12 months in their current position. If you meet this requirement and wish to pursue a backfill opportunity, you are required to have a conversation with your manager to confirm their support before you apply. In rare cases, the requirement of a minimum of 12 months in a position may be waived if a transfer is critical to the foundation’s goals and is approved by the current manager and their HR Consultant (HR Business Partner or Generalist). All backfill positions are posted as LTE roles. With current manager support, if selected for the role, FTEs will retain their FTE status during the backfill assignment. Managers will have the option of backfilling for the individual moving to the interim position for a similar duration via the same hiring channels and options as this position. However, current managers may be unwilling or unable to hold headcount for the duration of an interim assignment and may deny the employee’s request. In such cases, the employee may apply for the open LTE position, but if selected, would effectively be resigning as an FTE and would be hired as an LTE for the duration of the interim assignment. As an LTE, employment with the foundation is expected to end at the end of the assignment, and the employee would not be eligible for severance.

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve the mission of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to:

  • Race
  • Color
  • Age
  • Religion
  • Pregnancy
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Disability
  • Gender Identity
  • Gender Expression
  • National Origin
  • Genetic Information
  • Veteran Status
  • Marital Status
  • Prior Protected Activity