Knowledge & Innovation Hub Director

Action Against Hunger-USA is part of the Action Against Hunger International network, which provides humanitarian relief in over 40 countries worldwide in the sectors of nutrition, health, water/sanitation, and food security. Action Against Hunger-USA, an independent NGO, currently manages operations in 7 countries: Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Action Against Hunger-USA has over $60 million in programs, and approximately 1,600 permanent staff based in New York City, Washington D.C, Nairobi, and country offices. Additional growth is anticipated.

Summary of Position

As a member of the Action Against Hunger Horn and Eastern Africa Regional Team, the inaugural Knowledge and Innovation Hub Director will establish the first generation design of the Knowledge and Innovation Hub. This includes determining the business model and vetting the initial years of operation. The Director is responsible for the business accounting and innovation protections which may include intellectual property negotiations, patents, and other measures of innovation. S/he provides overall leadership, strategic guidance in the Hub, located in Nairobi servicing the African continent. This is a position that requires both strategic executive level acumen, as well as hands-on implementation. This role is a kin to a start-up, where the director must be part sales, part doer, part finance, part evaluator.

Working in collaboration with the Impact and Resource Mobilization Department at the Headquarters, the director will advance Action Against Hunger’s evidence generation and uptake; boost the organization’s positioning and brand awareness through public private partnerships, external representation, and knowledge products generation and utilization; and mobilize resources to support our country office’s ability to implement impactful, lifesaving and long-term actions at-scale to eliminate hunger and undernutrition


The Director as an entrepreneur, and an innovation scout, will build strategic partnerships to facilitate thought leadership, contribute to knowledge and enhance human and institutional capacities of key participants in the humanitarian and the development sector.


S/he will engage with academia, other learning institutions, and private sector with a focus on identifying and deepening partnerships at local and regional levels and enabling global North-South collaborations. Internally, S/he will represent Action Against Hunger in relevant regional forums and facilitate linkages across all levels of the organization.


S/he will develop and operationalize the vision for the Knowledge and Innovation Hub in a way that (a) aligns with the strategic directions of the organization and (b) comprehensively builds on the strengths of Action Against Hunger. The position holder will develop and implement a self-sustaining business model for operating the Hub.

Specific job roles

Strategically advance Action Against Hunger’s evidence generation and uptake by:

  • Fostering increased collaboration and co-creation between Action Against Hunger (research and technical teams, as well as HEARO and country teams) and international, local and regional universities/research institutions, especially in strategic research areas.
  • Expanding potential for collaboration with the private sector in research, with a focus on ethical testing of innovative solutions within our operations.
  • Ensuring that evidence informs, influences and drives project design in favor of vulnerable populations.
  • Developing guidelines and standard operating procedures including implementation quality assurance protocols to facilitate scale up of evidence-based programs.
  • Championing the research & innovation internship and fellowship program from the ground up, creating mutually beneficial linkages with reputable learning institutions to grow the capacity of the next generation of leaders.
  • Support AAH Knowledge and Innovation hub growth by designing and building innovation processes and capabilities
  • Lead/support the acquisition of awards to strengthen country offices to implement impactful, life-saving and long-term actions at-scale
  • Increase the competitiveness of our proposals by ensuring integration of cutting-edge evidence and expert knowledge into the technical design.
  • Building capacity of staff and partners to support the scale-up of high impact innovations (e.g., simplified and signature approaches) by providing tailored strategic planning, knowledge management and capacity building support to countries and regional teams.
  • Interfacing with private and corporate/foundation fundraising teams to deepen new and non-traditional partnership efforts.
  • Source, test, refine and scale relevant innovations that can further Action Against Hunger’s strategic objectives and engagements.
  • Facilitate thought leadership, contribute to knowledge and enhance human and institutional capacities of key participants in humanitarian and in the humanitarian and development sector.
  • Working with teams across the organization to increase the visibility of our evidence and thought leadership through discussion of our impact across diverse media (e.g., journals, publications media, webinars etc.).
  • Acting as a convenor of critical conversations around emergent gaps and/or opportunities with diverse stakeholders (both high-level and practitioner).
  • Represent Action Against Hunger in relevant regional and network initiatives and support country and global level external engagements
  • Enhance our use of knowledge, data and information systems to better serve nutrition and hunger-focused organization by:
  • Ensuring better management and utilization of nutrition-related data for improved analysis and decision-making.
  • Facilitating the development of a searchable database of key content to expedite accessibility of the knowledge base to support programming, marketing, fundraising, advocacy to influence the humanitarian and development industry.
  • Facilitating the development and management of a research repository

Supervisory Responsibilities

Technical Specialists in Horn and Eastern Africa Regional office (Regional Nutrition & Health, Food Security, WASH Capacity Building/Knowledge Management and MEAL Specialists).

Gender Equality commitments & Zero Tolerance to Abuse

  • Foster an environment that reinforces values of women and men, and equal access to information.
  • Provide a work environment where women and men must be evaluated and promoted based on their skills and performance.
  • Promote a safe, secure, and respectful environment for all stakeholders, particularly for children, beneficiaries, and members of staff.
  • Help to prevent any type of abuse including workplace harassment and sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • Respect beneficiaries’ women, men, children (boys and girls) regardless of gender, sex orientation, disability, religion, race, color, ancestry, national origin, age, or marital status.
  • Value and respect all cultures.

Safeguarding Commitment

Action Against Hunger holds strict Safeguarding principles and has zero-tolerance for conducts of sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse in the workplace and other places where the organization’s activities are rendered. Parallel to technical competence, recruitment, selection and hiring decisions will give due emphasize to assessing candidates value congruence and thorough background checks, police clearance reference check processes.


Required Qualifications

Advanced University degree (Master’s or PhD) in a relevant field or related equivalent experience in business, technical and management fields. Start-up or venture capital resource mobilization experience is desirable. Expertise in any of action Against Hunger thematic areas of Nutrition, Health, WASH, Food Security and Livelihoods is an advantage.

Required Skills & Experience

  • Excellent oral and written verbal communication skills including ability to explain organization’s policies & procedures, verbally & in writing and production of timely, comprehensive & well-written documents.
  • A visionary and a strategic mind
  • Success financial products or enterprises, proven entrepreneurial success
  • Highly organized with the ability to multi-task and prioritize
  • Familiarity with research methods in hunger and nutrition
  • Capability to form strategic partnerships
  • Commitment to executing with excellence
  • Experience with/Ability to work effectively across Academia, NGO partners and local Governments Proven experience in training and facilitation
  • Proven ability to successfully manage, coach and mentor others
  • Genuine interest in and commitment to humanitarian principles
  • Flexible approach and willingness to take on additional tasks
  • Ability to remain calm under pressure and can easily adapt to changing circumstances
  • Knowledge of French and Spanish is an added advantage.


Action Against Hunger will offer a competitive package commensurate with the role

How to Apply

Interested? Then apply for this position by clicking on the link below. All applicants must upload a cover letter and an updated resume and both must be in the same language as this vacancy note.


March 16, 2021




Full-time Permanent