About Evidence Action
Evidence Action is a global
nonprofit organization with an approach distinctive in
international development - we exclusively scale interventions that
are backed by strong evidence and can be delivered with exceptional
cost-effectiveness. Our programs have grown since our founding in
2013 to reach over 280 million people annually. We deliver high
impact for every dollar spent, as recognized by GiveWell, The Life You Can Save,
and Charity Navigator.
We do development differently. We take a
data-driven approach to identifying, scaling, and continuously
improving programs which deliver immense impact, ensuring these
solutions measurably improve the lives of millions.
Our Deworm the World Initiative has
helped governments in Africa and Asia deliver over 1.4 billion
childhood deworming treatments, improving health, education, and
incomes. Dispensers for Safe Water provides
sustained safe water access to over 4 million people in rural
Africa, preventing childhood illness and deaths.
We drive innovation. Our Accelerator builds the next
generation of exceptional programs, taking an approach most similar
to a venture capital model. We are ruthless in exiting programs which do not
meet our criteria; those that advance deliver outsized impact for
millions of people.
We are global. Across eight countries in Africa
and Asia, our 400+ people are united by a tremendous passion for
our mission and impact. We are strong because of our diversity of
experience, geography, and background - with over 90% of our people
in the countries where our impact is focused.
We have big ambitions. Our goal is to double our
impact by 2024, to fulfill our vision of a world where hundreds of
millions of people in the poorest places have better opportunities
and their lives are measurably improved. We believe in bold and
urgent action - because poverty doesn’t wait, and neither should
We need great people. Our success to date is due
to the collective work of our amazing staff. To achieve our
ambitious goals, we are looking for people who share our passion
for evidence, cost-effectiveness, and scale. We seek individuals
who take an entrepreneurial approach, enjoy tackling hard problems,
and have a bias to action and results. If our vision and
approach excite you as much as it does us, we invite you to join
What We’re Looking For
Evidence Action is in the midst of an extremely rapid
growth trajectory. Given strong backing from our donors, we
are on a path to roughly double our global impact and size by 2024,
and then potentially double it again soon
Growth at this pace requires a leader who combines superb
strategic and execution skills to strengthen our core operations -
someone who understands that exceptionally performing people,
finance, IT, and operations functions underpin high-caliber growth
and impact. As such we are recruiting for a new senior
executive position–a Chief Operations Officer (COO). The COO will
lead these core support functions which serve as critical enablers
of massive at-scale delivery.
As an example of our anticipated growth, we recently received
our largest grant to date (up to $64.7M) to approximately double
the size of our Dispensers for Safe Water program. This will entail
expanding our geographic footprint in Uganda and Malawi by opening
6 new offices, installing 24,000 new dispensers to our existing
distribution network, and hiring hundreds of new program and
support staff. We’ll also be exploring potential expansion of this
program to additional countries. This is just one of our programs -
we have five programs with a growth agenda.
Evidence Action is an organization unwavering in our focus on
building highly cost-effective, data-driven, and high-performing
global development programs, delivered at scale. We are
seeking an exceptional and driven leader who brings that same lens
to systems, people, and processes - ensuring agile, efficient, and
cost-effective support for program delivery.
The COO will report into the CEO and oversee our global finance,
operations, IT, legal, and people functions. Our preference is that
the role be based in Washington, DC, but we would consider other
The ideal candidate:
- Has a proven track record of having led effective
organizational systems-building, process, transformation, and
change management in a high-growth or at-scale environment to drive
strategic value and impact.
- Is a highly results and impact-driven professional who views
operational excellence on par with programmatic excellence, and
seeks to consistently raise the bar on designing systems and
processes with the end-user in mind.
- Is deeply passionate about Evidence Action’s ability to
measurably improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people, and
believes in the twin goals of “Evidence” and “Action.” S/he
will drive effective and high-quality execution of organizational
strategy, ensuring that internal operational practices (inclusive
of traditional finance, operations, people, legal, and IT) are
aligned to our organizational values and priorities.
- Brings operations experience in varied contexts - an intuitive
understanding and experience building and supporting cross-cultural
teams and adhering to local laws and regulations, as well as
experience supporting a shared, global culture and
organization-wide practices. This experience can be in a
prior programmatic or operations role.
- Brings the mindset of an “inclusive architect,” to lead and
co-create nimble and cost-effective
operations/people/HR/finance/legal processes and frameworks for our
global organization in close consultation with global, regional,
country, and program leadership.
- Brings experience in rapidly scaling organizations, ideally in
a sub-Saharan African context.
- Brings initiative, “closing power,” and speed of action to get
things done in accordance with our “think big, act
urgently” organizational value. Can, when appropriate,
focus on execution and cascading processes and tools throughout the
- Brings strong problem-solving and analytical approaches so that
decisions are supported by available data and clear
- Has both a strategic and global mindset that is attuned to the
rich diversity of programs and people across the geographies in
which we operate; understands that solutions must be both
sufficiently standardized and yet responsive to the diversity of
- Has high emotional intelligence and is adept at handling
sensitive or nuanced issues as they arise.
- Serves as a thought partner and coach for senior leadership,
providing support, accountability, and encouraging excellence and
collaboration across the organization.
- Identifies strongly with Evidence Action’s mission, vision, and
values including “economize without compromise,” which
encompasses finding creative ways to deliver an ambitious growth
effectively and cost-effectively.
- Bachelor's degree (master’s preferred) with 12+ years’
experience leading a team in a fast-paced international
organization; 5+ years in a senior leadership role preferred.
- Proven ability to manage teams and develop leaders.
- Knowledge of global people and operations practices, preferably
in countries where Evidence Action operates and in a non-profit
- Demonstrated ability to identify system needs and risks,
connect them to broader organizational strategy, and take the
initiative to address them.
- Action-oriented, flexible, and entrepreneurial problem-solver,
with an ability to manage multiple competing deadlines, dynamically
reprioritize as evolving needs and resources require, embrace and
structure ambiguity, and drive tasks to completion in a fast-paced
- Experience creating, implementing, and managing structured but
flexible processes across a diverse, multi-country, distributed
- Exceptional self-management and upward management skills,
including proactive communication about deadlines and progress
- Excellent written and oral communication skills and
demonstrated ability to communicate clearly with diverse
- Availability for and willingness to travel up to 20% time
(predominantly to Africa and Asia).
- Willingness to, as needed, maintain flexible work hours to
engage collaboratively with colleagues in different time
- Ability to work effectively in remote teams, including
leveraging tools like Slack and other virtual platforms for
frequent team communication.
- Experience working in a similar operations management
- Experience implementing end-to-end change management
- Experience living and working in a developing country.
Washington, DC is the preferred location for this position with
other locations possible.
Evidence Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer with a
commitment to diversity. All individuals, regardless of personal
characteristics, are encouraged to apply.