Country Expansion Strategy

Spark MicroGrants

Spark MicroGrants

Posted on Tuesday, January 23, 2024

About Spark MicroGrants

Spark MicroGrants believes in a world where everyone lives with dignity and determines their own positive future. Spark has worked in 800+ villages in 6 countries and has pioneered a community-driven development model in sub-Saharan Africa. Spark works with NGO and Government partners to scale the model's adoption and impact on rural communities - on their own terms. Our model combines facilitated community meetings with a small, discretionary grant to catalyze local action and institution building. Read more about our Approach, Impact and Values on our website.

Our Work

The foundation of our approach is the Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP), where rural communities are led through regular facilitated meetings to organize, conceptualize and implement local development projects, which are supported by a microgrant to fund them. The FCAP has been designed to improve local livelihoods, enhance social cohesion, and improve citizen engagement.

Our operating model is based on an international team of functional advisers (e.g. finance team, training team, design team) who support country teams. Country teams co-design the FCAP with local partners and government, train partners, and support quality monitoring and oversight. The size and scope of country teams depend on the needs of our partners.

In Rwanda, Spark is partnering with the Government of Rwanda to implement the Advancing Citizen Engagement (ACE) Project, supported by the Japanese Social Development Fund, the World Bank and Comic Relief. The midline results for external evaluations show encouraging positive change on multiple dimensions of economic development and social inclusion.

About the RoleThe Consultant for Country Expansion Strategy will play a pivotal role in identifying and assessing a third country for expansion, aligning with Spark Microgrants' organizational strategy. This role demands a combination of desk research, fieldwork, partner assessment, government interactions, and policy environment assessment to ascertain a conducive policy environment for community-driven development in the chosen country.

Key Responsibilities:

  1. Desk Research:
  • Conduct in-depth research to identify potential countries for expansion in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Analyze socio-economic data, development indices, and trends to evaluate the suitability of target countries.
  1. Field Work:
  • Undertake field visits to shortlisted countries to gain a comprehensive understanding of local contexts and challenges.
  • Engage with local communities, stakeholders, and potential partners to assess their receptivity to Spark Microgrants' approach.
  1. Partner Assessment and Identification:
  • Identify and evaluate potential local partners, NGOs, and community-based organizations that share our mission and values
  • Assess the capacity and capabilities of these partners to collaborate effectively in implementing our community-driven development model.
  1. Government Interactions:
  • Establish and nurture relationships with government officials and relevant ministries in the target country.
  • Advocate for the adoption of citizen-led engagement models in alignment with Spark Microgrants' mission.
  1. Policy Environment Assessment:
  • Analyze the existing policy landscape in the chosen country to understand the regulatory framework and its compatibility with community-driven development.
  • Collaborate with local and international stakeholders to influence policy changes favoring citizen-led initiatives.
  1. Strategy Development:
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy for expansion, outlining key milestones, timelines, and resource requirements.
  • Ensure alignment with Spark Microgrants' organizational strategy and mission.
  1. Reporting and Documentation:
  • Prepare detailed reports and documentation of findings, assessments, and recommendations.
  • Regularly update the leadership team on progress and challenges encountered during the expansion process.

Qualification:

  • Advanced degree in a relevant field (e.g., International Development, Public Policy).
  • Proven experience in conducting country assessments and expansion strategies in the development sector.
  • Strong research, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication and negotiation skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a diverse team.
  • Demonstrated commitment to community-driven development and poverty alleviation.

Other information

Job Location: Remote

Start Date: February 2024

Application Closing Date: Rolling Basis

Follow the link to apply:

SAFEGUARDING

Our safeguarding follows a do no harm principle. All Spark staff are expected to respect and uphold the safeguarding procedures and principles to minimize harm to stakeholders, program participants, and the environment, in compliance with the World Bank Environmental and Social Framework and Rwandan Legislation.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

Spark Microgrants provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals. Employment decisions at Spark are based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. Spark does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity, age, disability, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by the law. Spark will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in undue hardship to daily operations.