About Social Finance
We are an ambitious not for profit group organization aiming to achieve lasting social change that enables people to lead fulfilling lives. We collaborate with governments, funders, community organisations and the wider social sector to create breakthrough solutions to challenging social problems in the UK and internationally.
Founded in 2007, our team shares a passion for social impact and includes over 100 employees with a blend of experiences from the public, commercial and voluntary sectors. Our people bring a unique set of skills in digital, data, research, operations, policy, facilitation and financial analysis that is highly valued by our partners in social change. We are based in Vauxhall, London with sister organisations in the US, Israel, India and the Netherlands, as part of the Social Finance Global Network. We are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
What we do
We develop models, products and services that are pragmatic and have the scope to drive systemic change to improve people’s lives. In the UK, we focus on issues such as homelessness, domestic abuse, mental health, learning difficulties, loneliness and vulnerable children on the edge of the care system. We also look to improve equity for marginalised communities in social services. Internationally, we design outcomes-based models for issues such as maternal and neonatal health, education and employment.
Everyone at Social Finance believes that change is possible. Our unique blend of skills and backgrounds enables us to create breakthrough solutions to society’s toughest problems. To help us do it, we have three core values that guide everything we do:
Be ambitious for lasting change and don’t stop until social systems truly meet people’s needs.
Change is hard but by juggling social insight, business flair and practical savvy we make it happen
Unearth the evidence, ask awkward questions and don’t give up until we get the right answer.
Through rigorous thinking and learning from others we generate ideas that make a big social impact.
Be all ears, see all angles – we seek to understand, not to blame.
We embrace diverse backgrounds to build strong teams and create lasting partnerships for change.
If this sounds like you, then we’d love to hear more.
More information about us can be found on our website: www.socialfinance.org.uk
Team-Level Vision & Context
Social Finance’s International team seeks to test a business model of working through country-based senior consultants to engage with development and humanitarian stakeholders – and lead/advise subsequent work with them.
Consistent with our team strategy, this engagement seeks to engage with funders on ways to secure more cost-effective progress towards the SDGs and national development plans by shifting to a more systematic outcomes focus among market actors.
The Opportunity As a consultant you will be Social Finance’s representative in East Africa, developing and leveraging a network of relationships that:
- Span our spectrum of work around outcomes-based innovative finance (scoping/feasibility/ design/launch/performance management),
- Encompass donors/foundations, front-line providers/enterprises, investors and government actors, as well as local intermediaries with whom we might partner.
Through these relationships, the Consultant Director will:
- Market-build: Work with key actors to develop strategies that can catalyse a more effective deployment of donor/government budgets by using an outcomes-based funding and contracting approach.
- Develop our team’s business: Strengthen the visibility and reputation of SF as a partner, in a way that develops and delivers new high-impact business prospects for SF (either via paid projects/partnerships or grants)
Maximise the impact of our project work by:
- Leading partnerships/projects (or parts thereof)
- Bringing to bear country and sector experience to improve our knowledge, our strategic narrative and the quality of our work and insights
Potential scope of role
The activities below reflect the full range of activities that could be undertaken in this role. Given the limited level of commitment envisaged for the position (approximately 1 day per week), however, we expect that different elements will be emphasised at different points, depending on the opportunities that emerge and business needs.
Explore ideas and build the market for Social Finance’s approach:
Identify sectoral opportunities across East Africa, including:
- Sectors where Social Finance brings prior experience (e.g. health, access to basic services, education, employment, migration)
- New themes where there is good potential or which build on prior work (e.g. human-centred conservation, humanitarian, peace building)
- Potential cross-cutting innovations for social impact (e.g. digital/fintech/data analytics tools)
Strengthen our strategic relationships at senior level with influential stakeholders, via ongoing/iterative outreach, building groups/platforms around high-impact concepts, and other approaches
Business Development: Deepen and broaden our partner/client base and identify opportunities for impact and income generation opportunities:
- Identify, develop and leverage networks with potential partners/clients interested in SF’s outcomes-focused way of working, including bi/multilateral donors, government officials, relevant corporates, foundations/philanthropists, social investors, social enterprises/service providers and local intermediaries with whom we might partner
- Build relationships of trust to understand the challenges faced
- Co-create ideas and scope-out/expand potential responses to those challenges, to convert them into tangible projects for Social Finance
Project/program shaping and strategic leadership: as required, provide strategic, director-level guidance and support to project managers/Associate Directors and wider team on relevant projects:
- Lead/review concept development, scope and implementation planning, providing critical assessments of systems-level thinking, analytical approach and feasible deliverables
- Prepare/negotiate/review project budgets
- Guide SF teams on country/political/power dynamics, including to ensure our ways of working are empowering and sensitive
- Lead country-level relationship with partners/clients, as well as identify and bring in stakeholders relevant to the project/program
- As needed, identify expert consultants that can be deployed from/for East Africa
- Advise on issues relating to: development needs; critical cohorts; effective interventions and service providers; and data and measurement/verification frameworks in areas of expertise
Shared Learning: Contribute to building SF’s technical and sectoral expertise in international development:
- Provide technical, contextual and political insight from the region/sectors which assists with decisions on projects/prospects and deployment of internal resources;
- “Check & challenge” of proposals and project materials;
- Identify trends in region/sectors/stakeholders and contribute to developing the team’s strategic narrative and agenda;
- Contribute to team’s collective learning efforts (e.g. through “Brown Bag Lunches”).
Desired personal profile
- Senior consultant, with 12-15 years of experience in the international development field
- Based in Nairobi, Kenya
- Strategic thinker with strong grounding in the realities of the international aid sector
- Extensive networks and a track record of developing strong relationships in the donor, investor and NGO community in East Africa particularly
- With experience and interest in adopting outcomes-focused approaches to fund, design or implement social programmes
- Who has held business development or fundraising responsibilities in previous roles, with a track record of converting opportunities into actual projects
- With demonstrable experience in forging and managing partnerships, particularly in Africa
- Who can demonstrate values consistent with those espoused by Social Finance, particularly those relating to the nurturing of a respectful, inclusive and empowering working environment
Level of Commitment We are looking for someone who can start as soon as possible (subject to references and administrative procedures) and are able to give around 1 day per week for 6-9 months, with option to renew the agreement if goals of engagement are met satisfactorily.
Diversity and Inclusion
We need a diverse organisation to be effective. Our work requires us to bring together people with a broad range of skills and life experiences to ensure our impact across a range of social issues and systems. We are committed to having an inclusive culture and working environment in which everyone feels at home and is supported to achieve their potential. We know there is further to go and are implementing a Diversity and Inclusion strategy with a group of external experts to hold us to account.
We actively encourage applications from under-represented and minoritised groups, including those with lived experience of the social issues we are working to address.