Projects Officer -...

Projects Officer - Mobile Innovation Specialist

DEADLINE: August 12, 2012



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infoDev is seeking to hire Mobile Innovation Specialists to oversee the design, implementation, evaluation and possible expansion of the mobile applications track (see Apply by August 12, 2012.

Note: To apply for this position, click here.

Background / General Description

infoDev ( is a program of the World Bank which works at the intersection of innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship to create opportunities for inclusive growth, job creation and poverty reduction. infoDev assists governments and technology-focused small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to grow jobs, improve capacity and skills, increase access to finance and markets, ensure the appropriate enabling policy and regulatory environment for business to flourish, and test out innovative solutions in developing country markets. We do this in partnership with other development programs, with World Bank/IFC colleagues, and with stakeholders from the public, private and civil society sectors in the developing world.

infoDev is staffed by an expert Secretariat housed in the Financial and Private Sector Development (FPD) Vice Presidency of the  World Bank Group. We leverage our work with complementary programs of FPD and other World Bank Group units, using the following strategic priorities: 

  • Facilitate the creation and growth of innovative technology enterprises (particularly SMEs) that in turn, support and lead to the growth of competitive industries;
  • Support the commercialization and adoption of technologies, such as ICTs and climate technologies, by building capacity and skills, providing technical assistance, and enhancing access to finance and markets.
  • Promote sound enabling environments for innovation and technology entrepreneurship to flourish, by disseminating cutting edge research and best practices, connecting communities of practice, building capacity and skills, and convening stakeholders. 

infoDev is a global thought leader in ICTs for development (ICT4D) and in small business incubation for innovative entrepreneurs, start-ups and enterprises. infoDev’s global incubation network spans some 400 incubators in over 100 countries.  It connects more than 20,000 small and medium enterprises and has helped create over 270,000 jobs.  infoDev’s ICT4D work, in particular, its cutting edge research and analytical products have helped regulators and policymakers around the world create sound enabling environments for ICT access and use to flourish.

infoDev’s work is a continually iterative process. We communicate with our stakeholders on an ongoing basis through communities of practice, surveys and interviews, social media, focus groups, and direct feedback during training sessions. Our analytical work helps frame our work in the field. This adaptive format enables infoDev to build strong partnerships, work with a wide range of stakeholders, coordinate joint action among bilateral and multilateral partners, and deliver innovative programs on a national, regional and global scale. It also allows us to design demand-driven programs that are grounded in the realities of the developing countries we serve.

infoDev’s donors support the use of technology and innovation for development. They see a key role for a strong and robust private sector in growth, development, competitiveness, and poverty alleviation. They believe that access to information and ICTs opens opportunities for inclusive development, across all economic sectors and parts of society in developing countries.

infoDev is currently implementing an ambitious work program, which includes several interesting initiatives:

  • The “Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC)”, helps growth oriented Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the Caribbean region use small business incubation as a tool to help technology enabled start-up entrepreneurs and grow competitive industries. The capacity of incubator managers and policymakers to support MSME development is an area of focus, as is the special needs of Caribbean women entrepreneurs. The program will also provide seed funding to promising MSMEs to help them successfully scale their operations, in recognition of the fact that access to finance is an important barriers for these enterprises to succeed.
  • The “Climate Technology Program (CTP)” aims to create a network of Climate Innovation Centers (CICs) to accelerate the development, deployment, and transfer of locally relevant climate technologies. CICs help developing countries innovate technologies and business models that meet local needs and as a result, address climate change mitigation and adaptation issues, as well as meet their “Green Growth” objectives by supporting domestic climate and clean technology sectors for economic development, competitiveness and job creation Services offered by the CICs include financing, technical assistance, market information, policy advice and capacity building. CICs are expected to contribute over 70 innovative climate technology enterprises, generate over 20,000 direct and indirect jobs, and mitigate 1.5-2m tons of C02. A global network of CICs will facilitate and catalyze cross border, south-south, and north-south collaboration, market access and sharing of knowledge and contacts.
  • The “Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy Program” (CSBKE) is a public-private partnership with the Government of Finland and Nokia. This program explores how to improve the productive capacity of enterprises, particularly SMEs, as engines for sustainable and equitable development. It also evaluates how innovation facilitates development, in areas such as value-chains, policy frameworks, and broader innovation eco-systems. It incorporates a number of creative and cutting-edge activities, such as mobile applications laboratories, social networks, access to finance and market mechanisms for technology SMEs and innovative agribusiness value chains. The program has global components, but its main focus is on Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA). 

Under both EPIC and CSBKE, infoDev is promoting mobile innovation and entrepreneurship. Specifically, this includes :

  • Establishing  mobile applications laboratories (mLabs) in the developing world. The first mLabs are situated in Armenia, Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa, the Caribbean and Vietnam.
  • Establishing mobile social networking hubs, based on the Mobile Monday model, to promote collaboration and entrepreneurship within the mobile industry. The first eight hubs are located in Baku, Chisinau, Dar es Salaam, Hanoi, Kampala, Katmandhu, Nairobi and Tbilisi.

The objective of the mobile applications labs is to increase the competitiveness of innovative mobile enterprises, especially in the content and applications area, and to ensure that locally relevant applications are created . Mobile applications have proved extremely beneficial to developing countries, both as a delivery mechanism for services such as health, banking and education, as well as a jobs and income generator for innovative new startups.  The mLabs will train and incubate a new generation of mobile applications developers, provide a space for  collaboration and networking, as well as provide facilities for technical testing. The mobile social networks hubs are intended to promote collaboration and business match-ups within the mobile industry, through events, contests, boot camps and other social gatherings.

As part of its mobile innovation agenda, infoDev also develops cutting edge knowledge tools to support development practitioners, entrepreneurs and donors understand the impact mobile technology has on sustainable development. Most recently, infoDev published Maximizing Mobile, the 2012 ICT4D Report. Products currently under preparation include a study of mobile use at the base-of-the-pyramid and “the Mobile App Economy” for developing countries.

Duties and Accountabilities

infoDev is seeking to hire  Mobile Innovation Specialists to oversee the design, implementation, evaluation and possible expansion of the mobile applications track (see  Specifically, they will be tasked to:

  • For each mLab and mHub, ensure the appointment of a sound management team, and guide the team to establish local and international partnerships to ensure financial and operational self-sustainability;
  • Monitor and supervise the implementation of the grant agreements established with each mLab and mHub, track the progress on fulfilling the “scorecard” of achievements necessary to trigger new grant payments, and take any remedial action, as required;
  • Support the effort to identify a pipeline of potential mobile entrepreneurs and successful applications that could be served by the Labs and Hubs, and whose innovations could be replicated in new markets;
  • Assist the labs to establish a training program, using relevant tools, that could widen the local talent pool of developers for mobile applications, as well as working on local adaptation, translation and conversion of existing applications. Develop training materials and deliver courses, as appropriate;
  • Develop and implement a strategy to establish communities of practice among all mobile stakeholders, in coordination with infoDev’s larger networks;
  • Support online and face to face tools to build these networks and communities of practice, as well as support information and experience sharing as well as collaboration between different labs and hubs;
  • Support infoDev’s knowledge and research agenda around mobile innovation, including identifying the issues which are cutting edge and of greatest relevance to infoDev’s stakeholders, creating linkages to other knowledge partners, programs and efforts in the same field ;
  • Contribute to the design and help to run initiatives such as business plan competitions, (e.g. infoDev’s TOP50 competition and Mobile Microwork Challenge), that will create opportunities for developers to pilot new ideas and innovations and gain international attention and support;
  • Develop and execute a monitoring and evaluation framework that will ensure that the performance, outcomes and impacts of the mobile innovation activities are measured and properly evaluated on a regular basis;
  • Seek out and develop new partnerships with donors and other partners interested to support and grow infoDev’s mobile innovation agenda
  • Ensure that all mobile innovation tasks are well coordinated and aligned with, and support infoDev’s overall mandate to grow technology entrepreneurs and SMEs and to support innovation;and
  • Carry out other tasks that might be assigned by the Program Manager and Program Coordinators.

Selection Criteria

  • Masters degree in engineering, business, economics, or a related discipline and at least 5-10 years of relevant experience;
  • Knowledge of the mobile communications sector and its role in development and specific experience in fostering mobile applications for development. Commercial experience in working with a mobile applications developer, an equipment manufacturer or an operator would be an advantage;
  • Experience, preferably in the private sector, of developing innovative m-applications in developing countries would be preferred;


  • Operational Project Management - Demonstrates broad knowledge of project management tools & methodologies; identifies key risks and mitigation measures; interprets background analysis and proposed solutions. 
  • One FPD - FPD Knowledge & Experience - Demonstrates broad knowledge of the core issues in FPD’s strategies and policies, and promotes FPD agenda and expertise in the Country Office and in the financial and/or private sector stakeholders. 
  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation - Demonstrates broad knowledge of the strategies and practices of entrepreneurship and innovation; Sound knowledge of relevant private and public sector role players in IT&E, and of development partners. 
  • Leadership (IFC) - Builds Self-Awareness and Takes Initiative 
  • Client Orientation - Takes personal responsibility and accountability for timely response to client queries, requests or needs, working to remove obstacles that may impede execution or overall success. 
  • Drive for Results - Able to take personal ownership and accountability to meet deadlines and achieve agreed-upon results and has the personal organization to do so.
  • Teamwork (Collaboration) and Inclusion - Collaborates with other team members and contributes productively to the team’s work and output, demonstrating respect for different points of view. 
  • Knowledge, Learning and Communication - Actively seeks knowledge needed to complete assignments and shares knowledge with others, communicating and presenting information in a clear and organized manner. 
  • Business Judgment and Analytical Decision Making - Analyzes facts and data to support sound, logical decisions regarding own and others’ work.

The World Bank Group is committed to achieving diversity in terms of gender, nationality, culture and educational background.  Individuals with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply.  All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Note: To apply for this position, click here.

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