Gender in Agriculture Partnership

Transforming agriculture to empower women and deliver food, nutrition and income security

BMGF: Associate Program Officer, Gender Equality

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Expiry date: 
Friday, 22 June, 2018

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In low and middle-income countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

Group Summary
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 in three ways:

• 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.
• Building the gender equality field through technical leadership and policy change.
• Driving innovation and learning on gender equality that pushes new thinking, and tests and scales new approaches.

Our first GE strategy, launched in March 2018, is anchored on improving Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) through the following levers and platforms:

• Financial Inclusion: Ensuring women have more access to and use of digital financial services, especially mobile bank accounts and digital payment systems, so that they can make their own decisions about spending, saving, taking financial risks and building their own financial futures.

• Opportunity: Connecting women to new market opportunities to increase their profits and incomes, especially in the agricultural sector. Building evidence of the most effective interventions that help the poorest women participate more fully in the economy.

• Support and Connection: Investing in savings groups and/or women’s collective platforms that can help women support each other and build up their economic power and voice. Creating a new generation of such groups beyond India in African countries, and exploring the use of digital technology as well as approaches to empower broader age segments; including adolescent girls and young women.

The GE strategy also includes our cross-cutting and technical work on:
• Gender data: Improving gender data systems and filling gender data gaps in order to identify the unique challenges facing girls and women and design more effective policies and programs.
• Women’s movements and improved accountability for progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Supporting progress toward the SDGs and women’s ability to collectively organize and advocate for their rights through women’s movements.
• Gender mainstreaming: Building capacity and accountability across program strategy teams in order to make the needs and interests of all genders an integral part of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of any planned action, so that inequality is not perpetuated and everyone can benefit equally.

Position Summary & Responsibilities
The Associate Program Officer (APO) will support the Gender Equality team’s work across these areas, providing high quality research and analysis, supporting the development of strategy documents and leadership team presentations, providing support to shape and manage investments, and supporting internal mainstreaming engagement. While providing cross-cutting support, the APO will generally be focused on two to three work areas at a time, allowing for deeper programmatic engagement.

Core Responsibilities
• Provide ongoing research, background information, and analytical support across programmatic areas; including drafting proposals, writing briefs and conducting literature reviews.
• Capture and visualize data coming in from grants, contracts and partners. Analyze data in Excel and other programs. Use data to interrogate team hypotheses and support better decision making.
• Draft sections of key documents, reports, and presentations for a variety of purposes and audiences; including meetings with senior foundation leadership and internal trainings.
• Interact and communicate clearly and consistently with grantees and partners in the field, as well as, internal mainstreaming partners.
• Provide some project management support in assigned areas.
• Participate in meetings, coordinate programmatic input, and write and review briefs to prepare foundation leadership for key events.
• Support team external engagement by maintaining strategic roadshow materials.

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. The responsibilities of this role require that you should have some demonstrated experience in gender programming coupled with an unquestioned commitment to gender equality. Additionally, we seek:

• Creative problem-solving approach and an aptitude for research, information synthesis, and quantitative analysis.

• Demonstrated initiative to solve unstructured problems with little oversight, creativity, high energy, and a positive attitude.

• Ability to communicate clearly and convey complex ideas in easily understood ways.

• Top-notch organizational and project management skills and an ability to prioritize work based on minimal direction and multiple competing priorities.

• Team orientation and the ability to be flexible and adjust to changing circumstances.

• Strong relationship-management skills and judgement.

• A high level of proficiency in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.

• Bachelor’s or other advanced degree with 5+ years of experience preferred and/or equivalent experience in development, public policy or gender analysis / women’s economic empowerment.

• Devote 10-15% of time to domestic and international travel.

• A sense of humor.

• 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.

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.