Digital Earth Africa aims to improve the lives of people across the African continent by translating Earth observations into insights that will support sustainable development.
Our platform and services enable African governments, industry and decision makers to track changes across the continent in unprecedented detail. This provides valuable insights for better decision making across many areas, including flooding, drought, soil and coastal erosion, agriculture, forest cover, land use and land cover change, water availability and quality, and changes to human settlements.
We are built on partnerships with African governance and in-country expertise to create sustained capability development in Africa. Digital Earth Africa is working with the African and international community to ensure that Earth observation data is analysis ready, rapidly available and readily accessible to meet the needs of our users. More information about the organization can be found at https://www.digitalearthafrica.org
Digital Earth Africa has partnered with South African National Space Agency to establish a Program Management Office situated in South Africa, Gauteng, Pretoria. The following opportunity exists within the Program Management Office to be filled by an individual with the relevant skills, drive, competencies, qualifications.
Appointments to the DE Africa Program Management Office will be on a short to medium term contractual basis subject to renewal based on performance and budget availability.
36 Months Fixed-term Performance-Based Contract
Reporting to the Governing Board, and working closely with the Chair(s) of the Board, and the SANSA Earth Observation Managing Director, the DE Africa Managing Director will be responsible for;
- Overall leadership of Digital Earth (DE) Africa including the Program Management Office (PMO), and delivering approved work plans, according to the priorities and strategies set by the Governing Board;
- Promoting and supporting DE Africa’s published Principles, whilst delivering on its Mission;
- Developing strategy, and implementing Board-approved strategies;
- Ensuring organisational performance, including that work packages meet their objectives and deliver the expected outcomes;
- Working closely with DE Africa’s Governing Board and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), to ensure effective engagement and communications between the Board, the TAC and the PMO;
- Managing key stakeholder relationships at the executive level, in particular with implementing partners;
- Accountability for the funds spent by the PMO and delivering the Approved Work Plan within the specified budget;
- Ensuring compliance and transparency, including independent audits that are available to external stakeholders and the Board;
- Managing organisational risk. including maintaining an operational risk register;
- Leading the PMO and PMO staff performing the Services; and
- Proactively engaging with the Governing Board, TAC, Implementing Partners, relevant stakeholders supporting DE Africa such as research institutions, funders, donors and individuals involved in aligned programs of work, to facilitate the delivery of DE Africa.
The ideal candidate will have:
- Demonstrated capacity in leading and motivating culturally diverse staff and fostering high performance teams;
- Experience with a wide range of stakeholders (including but not limited to national governments, international organizations, non-profit organizations and the private sector) as well as the public in general;
- A minimum of 15 years of national and international experience including organizational management at a senior, executive level. This includes sound financial and human resources management, demonstrated capacity to lead a distributed, mission-driven organization as well as the capacity for formulating and successfully executing organizational strategies and plans;
- Serve as a persuasive and engaging proponent of the need for Digital Earth Africa in building a sustainable future for the continent;
- Extensive experience working with a range of stakeholders across Africa and deep knowledge and experience on development issues in Africa;
- Must have broad understanding of the use of Earth observations (EO) to achieve national development priorities and sustainable development according to regional and global frameworks. Furthermore, this position requires the Director to be well versed in how EO can be positioned within broader data ecosystems (e.g. statistical data, open data, big data, citizen generated data) to deliver impact;
- Maturity of judgment, initiative, originality of ideas, and ability to engage and integrate institutions in an international, multi-cultural environment;
- Demonstrated ability to build, maintain, and leverage partnerships across multiple sectors for the advancement of organization goals and priorities;
- Demonstrated ability to lead people, to communicate effectively with a wide range of technical and non-technical audiences, and to foster a culture of inclusion within the organization;
- This position requires humility and understanding so that Digital Earth Africa can deliver based on identified needs and priorities in a timely, responsive and agile manner;
- Excellent knowledge of English; knowledge of French and/or Arabic would be beneficial;
- Masters degree or equivalent in natural, social, or applied sciences; and
- A Doctorate or equivalent would be an added advantage.
Key areas of responsibility will include but not limited to:
KPA 1: Strategy, policy and planning
- Informs the Governing Board and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) about important factors affecting the mission of DE Africa and recommends appropriate strategies and plans, in accordance with DE Africa governing principles;
- Develops and executes multi-year and annual operations plans, aligned with the strategies and policies approved by the DE Africa governance, identifies resource requirements to achieve the plans, and annual performance metrics for the plan execution;
- Ensures DE Africa is responsive to the needs of the stakeholder community, aligned to similar initiatives and policies, supports the development of strategic partnerships, and generates revenue streams (fundraises) to ensure the financial viability and sustainability of DE Africa
KPA 2: Management and administration
- Oversees a distributed team to ensure effective program delivery across all program components, including data services and products, capacity development, user engagement, application development and communications and outreach;
- Works with the Board and the TAC to identify core issues for the Governing Board and TAC agendas and facilitates effective discussions and clear outcomes enabling it to fulfill its governance functions, as appropriate;
- Develops and executes annual operating budget and oversees the use of DE Africa Trust Fund resources, ensuring financial responsibility in compliance with stakeholder expectations and relevant rules, laws and regulations;
- Ensure current and future optimal operation of DE Africa through building and securing funding partnerships with industry;
- Manages human resources of the Secretariat, including the development of a staffing plan, recruitment of qualified candidates, evaluation of staff performance, and creates an inclusive work environment that encourages trust, creative thinking, collaboration, innovation, transparency and recognition;
- Directs and oversees other day-to-day activities of DE Africa staff.
- Finding and managing opportunities for collaborations and partnerships in projects;
- Working with international bodies to support DE Africa’s growth, through bilateral and multi-lateral agreements and manage agreements.
KPA 3: Stakeholder engagement
- Advocates for the value of Earth observations and DE Africa to a wide range of external stakeholders;
- Develops and maintains strategic relationships with stakeholders and partner organizations cultivating and pursuing opportunities for co-designing projects, involving downstream users and private sector;
- Maintains a solid understanding of priorities, interests and capacities of the user community and engages with DE Africa’s Stakeholder Community to stimulate their involvement in DE Africa’s priority activities.
KPA 4: Compliance
- Assures compliance of DE Africa activities with applicable legal, regulatory and ethical rules and frameworks;
- Ensures and upholds the reputation of DE Africa as transparent, compliant, ethical and trustworthy.
KPA 5: Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion,
- Commits to and models gender, cultural (and other) inclusivity within the PMO and DE Africa.
Please NOTE that the appointment will be on a level commensurate with qualifications, experience and skills.
Background verification, including criminal record, credit checks, security clearances, qualification and citizenship checks as well as competency assessment and psychometric testing, may form part of the selection process.
DE Africa reserves the right to not make an appointment.
DE Africa subscribes to the principles of Employment Equity and welcomes applications from all persons with disabilities . Preference will be given to candidates in accordance with this.
Closing date: 24 November 2021
Should you meet the above requirements, please register your detailed CV and cover letter at https://jb.skillsmapafrica.com
Communication will only be conducted with short-listed candidates. If applicants have not heard from us within 4 weeks of the closing date, they must assume that their applications were unsuccessful.