Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Recruitment for a Senior Program Officer, Digital Capabilities 2022 – Apply Now

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Recruitment for a Senior Program Officer, Digital Capabilities 2022 – The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is recruiting candidates suitable to fill the position of a Senior Program Officer. Interested candidates should kindly follow the descriptions listed below to apply.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – 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 developing 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.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Senior Program Officer, Digital Capabilities

Job Requisition ID: B017263
Location: Abuja
Employment Type: Full time
Reports to: Director, Nigeria Country Office (with dotted line to Chief of Staff, Global Growth and Opportunities Office of the President)

Job Descriptions

  • The Global Growth & Opportunity (GGO) division, led by President Rodger Voorhies, works to catalyze sustainable and transformative socioeconomic change. In the face of inequities and market failures, GGO seeks to realize the potential of untapped markets, and ensure that economic and social benefits reach everyone.
  • We focus on the areas of Agricultural Development; Financial Services for the Poor; Global Education; and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene. We seek solutions that are sustainable, transformative, and inclusive with an eye toward applying technology innovations as well as data evidence to inspire change in the world’s developing countries.
  • The GGO’s Office of the President (OoP) supports the division’s president in leading this work, including managing division- and foundation-wide strategic learning initiatives. In 2022, the GGO OoP will be investing in a new learning initiative to test and develop innovative approaches to drive pro-poor digital development in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
  • We will focus on solutions with cross-foundation value and will build digital tools, infrastructure, and capacity with the potential to support use cases in multiple sectors (e.g., Agriculture, Financial Services, Health).
  • The digital initiative in the GGO OoP has two primary pillars: Developing digital advisory solutions for low-literacy and low-digital skill communities and enhancing public sector capability for designing and implementing digital reforms in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • This role will be based in the foundation’s Nigeria office in Abuja and is a Limited Term Employment for a period of 2 years.
  • We work with government of Nigeria and other partners to improve health outcomes, boost agricultural productivity, expand access to digital financial services, and empower women and other marginalized populations with greater economic opportunities.
  • We do all our work in Nigeria in collaboration with the government and other partners, all of whom we strive to engage with in a spirit of trust, candid communication, and transparency.
  • Our collective efforts also depend on the support and resources of the private sector, communities, and individuals.
  • We are seeking a Senior Program Officer (SPO) to join the new digital initiative and help build it from the ground up. Specifically, the SPO, working within the digital initiative team in the GGO OoP, will be responsible for developing a model to strengthen public sector capability for digital reforms in Nigeria and contributing to the GGO OoP’s digital learning initiative overall.
  • The public sector capability work will seek to improve government capability to plan and implement digital reform by testing a ‘digital lab’ in partnership with the government and other partners in Nigeria. The lab’s core mission would be to enable reforms that benefit the most vulnerable segments of a population, applying a gender-equity lens across all aspects, including in women leadership, sourcing digital talent, and in the design and implementation of digital reforms and services. It would achieve this through innovation challenges, facilitating peer learning among governments, and investing in field building to strengthen digital capability.
  • The SPO will draw on findings from exemplars such as iSPIRT in India and GovTech in Singapore and will partner with key collaborators in both the public and private sector to drive implementation of the lab’s activities, to document findings, and refine or adjust/change the design as needed.
  • Furthermore, the SPO will use their expertise and network to contribute to GGO’s digital strategy overall and help lead the foundation’s internal forums and advisory mechanisms on digital. The programmatic and strategic work will require collaboration with diverse partners both within the foundation (including teams in- and outside GGO) and external to the foundation (including with national government partners, private sector and NGOs, and development organizations).

Key Roles

  • Work in close collaboration with internal and external partners, especially government partners, the secretariat, and local technology champion(s), to design catalytic grants to launch and support the digital lab
  • Lead portfolio of grants and investments, including applying and evaluating milestone-based performance objectives and helping to make go/no-go decisions about specific projects and solutions
  • Use opportunities to disseminate knowledge and products developed by grantees and partners in order to extend their impact
  • Build trusted relationships with government partners and other collaborators, manage relationships with grantees, and design models for partnerships and efficient, effective processes for leading partnership activities
  • Consult with grantees and other partners in public and private sectors to enhance impact of grants and to ensure continuous learning. This may include: site visits, providing operational guidance, working with companies, and convening meetings of key partners.
  • Identify synergies and facilitate linkages across the foundation’s Africa regional offices and specifically the Nigeria Country Office and Seattle teams to ensure internal coordination on digital efforts
  • Thought leadership and partnership with other staff working on the digital learning initiative, including assisting in developing digital tools serving use cases across the foundation and shaping the strategy for the evolution of the learning initiative based on findings.
  • Analyze and synthesize lessons and results to improve the overall operating model for the foundation’s investments in digital, including collaborative development of strategic directions and priorities
  • Monitor and provide analysis on relevant technology trends, innovations, and policy issues and contribute to foundation knowledge capture, evaluation, learning, and dissemination
  • Represent the foundation externally and be recognized as a leader with vision through participation in public events and meetings related to area of expertise and position responsibilities as well as through written work in relevant journals and publications
  • Assist in the preparation and presentation of reviews and information/reports to Directors, Presidents, Co-Chairs, and other foundation leadership.

Minimum Qualification

  • Candidates must possess a Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Engineering, Economics, Business, Government, Social Science or any closely related field or Bachelor’s degree with substantial relevant work experience
  • Ideally, 10+ years of relevant work experience in technology or digital roles in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, ideally a mix of private sector and government experience
  • Track record of using agile, iterative approaches to innovation and familiarity with human centered design a plus
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a highly matrixes and diverse work environment, with strong collaboration, consultative and diplomacy skills.
  • Knowledge of the digital ecosystem and relevant network among technology companies, including “big tech” and LMIC ecosystems, and prior experience working with government agencies in sub-Saharan Africa (with experience in Nigeria strongly preferred).


  • Sub-Saharan Africa-specific technology and digital expertise, preferably with experience in Nigeria
  • Deep knowledge of public sector technology implementation. Understanding of digital public goods (DPGs), digital public infrastructure (DPI), and digital reform agendas especially in Health.
  • Successful track record of leading or running multiple projects simultaneously and the ability to influence and collaborate across groups/teams at all levels of an organization
  • Ability to organize/prioritize work and meet deadlines within a fast-paced environment with multiple and competing demands.
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently and diplomatically with multiple partners, including government, philanthropy, and grantees to create a common vision and create effective but implementable solutions
  • Strong teammate with demonstrated ability to lead and influence others in a constructive manner, to build and sustain collaborative trusted relationships, and to orchestrate effective decisions across a broad range of issues and partners
  • Ability to handle a wide range of inputs, including from technologists, development practitioners, technical experts, analysts, policymakers, civil society organizations, investors, and philanthropists


  • Commitment to the foundation’s core values, mission, and programs with an approach that is consistent with the foundation’s guiding principles and holding self to the highest ethical standards
  • Ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally up to 25%
  • Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.

How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply

Application Deadline

29th April, 2022.

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