Senior Mahali Lab Officer – IRC International Rescue committee

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, IRC offers life-saving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in more than 40 countries and in 22 U.S. cities, IRC restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted by conflict or disaster. IRC leads the way from harm to home.
The IRC Jordan program was established in 2007 and is currently operating programs in Jordan and southern Syria. The IRC is providing humanitarian assistance in Jordan in the sectors of health, protection, and economic recovery and development. In 2016, IRC established a research and development unit which designs, tests and scales new products, services and delivery systems for humanitarian response. The IRC’s R&D unit works with field and technical staff to apply new practices like human-centered design, rapid prototyping, and behavioral science to accomplish breakthroughs in some of the most deep-seated problems in humanitarian response. The R&D unit is growing their partnership with the Jordan Country Program, aiming to build innovation capacity there.
In this context, the IRC launched a community-led innovation initiative called ‘Mahali’ to nurture and develop bottom-up solutions to problems facing communities in Jordan. This project engages diverse communities and stakeholders in Jordan – including host communities, refugees, local governments, public and private sector actors and enterprising individuals – to devise and develop solutions that address their own lived realities and problems. It centers around three intensive participatory “design challenges” based in a community innovation lab, with each challenge aiming to mobilize teams around developing solutions to thematic problem areas we identify together. This approach combines the best aspects of both bottom-up and formally-managed innovation processes to identify new solutions that are responsive to the changing needs of the wide range of communities in Jordan today.
Job Overview/Summary:
The IRC is seeking a Senior Mahali Lab Officer to work on this innovation initiative in Amman. This initiative implementing a ‘bottom up’ innovation challenge process – identifying challenges which come directly from disaster affected communities and the organizations working closely with them, and activating these communities to develop new solutions to solve challenges. Reporting to the Innovation Project Coordinator, you will be a focal point, coach, and networker for the teams participating in the design sprints.
You will cultivate and expand a network of resources that support the success of teams – from local activists, entrepreneurs, community organizations, businesses and leaders. You will also ensure that teams are aware of and accessing a broad range of initiatives, events, workshops, and other opportunities that would support the growth of their skills and networks. Through regular check-ins, you will be up to date on the needs of each team and will serve as a critical liaison to link them to both internal resources in Mahali, and external resources. Finally, you will cultivate a dynamic, engaging environment within the innovation lab to increase the likelihood of ‘unexpected collisions’ through events, workshops, speakers, and other strategies.
Major Responsibilities:
Outreach and Partnership Engagement
Develop and support network building with diverse stakeholders that can serve as resources for participating teams
Identify external linkages to other programs, initiatives or events
Recruit partners to participate in IRC activities and generate interest in program events and workshops
Team Support and Advocacy
Implement regular check-ins with the teams and track their needs throughout their participation in the project
Connect teams to internal resources, such as support from the design managers, and external resources that will promote their success
Create exchanges between other complementary initiatives and programs, to promote mutual exchange between Mahali participants and other like-minded projects
Manage feedback mechanisms for teams and ensure that the quality of their experience in the program is being measured and responded to, actively participate in program adaptation and development based on the perspective of program participants
Lab Management
Curate a dynamic innovation space in the Hashmi AlJanoubi center, implementing a regular schedule of events, activities, and workshops that bring diverse perspectives together and build the capacity of teams to generate, develop and share ideas
Ensure that the lab space is functional, stocked with the appropriate materials, and that the layout, resources and design is optimized for supporting creativity and exchange
Staff Management
Manage the work of the Community Liaison Assistant, conduct workplanning with him/her, provide feedback, and identify professional development opportunities
Key Working Relationships
Position Reports to: Innovation Project Coordinator
Position Manages: Community Liaison Assistant
Other Internal and/or external contacts: MEL Manager, Design Managers, Program Assistants

Job Details

Date Posted:2017-12-19
Job Location:Amman, Jordan
Job Role:Community Services
Company Industry:Community/Social Services/and Nonprofit

Preferred Candidate

Career Level:Mid Career

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