Iraq Response Innovation Lab Manager

Job Overview


Innovation Lab TEAM


Closing date:               – 04 December 2021 (Mid night)

Interview date:            – TBC

Vacancy reference:    – INT8041 Iraq Response Innovation Lab.



Oxfam is a global movement of people who won’t live with the injustice of poverty. Together we save and rebuild lives in disasters. We help people build better lives for themselves. We speak out on the big issues that keep people poor, like inequality, discrimination against women and climate change. And we won’t stop until every person on the planet can live without poverty.

Oxfam GB is a member of the international confederation Oxfam.


The Iraq response Innovation Lab is led by Oxfam in Iraq. The Lab in Iraq is part of a Global initiative of 4 other innovation Labs in 4 other countries. The global initiative is managed by a consortium of organization including Oxfam, World Vision and Save the Children.

The invective of the Iraq Lab is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian and development programming by supporting the development, testing, piloting and scaling of innovations which are addressing locally identified challenges.

The Lab offers 3 interrelated services:

1.Provision of seed funding, through a dedicated funding mechanism the Iraq Innovation Fund to support the development, testing and piloting of innovative projects. Funding is supplemented with technical assistance, incubation of projects and advisory services to innovators, including access to the Innovation Lab facilities to help them design and implement solutions for Iraq.

2.Act as a central hub for innovations in Iraq: Bring diverse actors together to collaborate on identifying humanitarian challenges ripe for innovation, convene and connect innovators and humanitarian actors, set-up regular innovation forums.

3.Pairing challenges with innovations: provide access to a network and database of existing proven solutions; pairing humanitarian actors with tested global or local innovations that meet their challenges


Job Purpose

To consolidate the establishment of the Iraq Response Innovation lab initiative in Iraq by leading and delivering on the Innovation Lab operational, programmatic and fundraising strategy.  This include stakeholder management, identification and support to sector relevant innovations, management and administration of the Innovation Lab Pool fund, coordination and integration with other Oxfam programs and country teams, fundraising, management and implementation of the IRIL program activities and coordination with the Global Response Innovation Lab consortium members.

Who: The Iraq Lab Manager will be a qualified candidate with experience working with start-ups in the humanitarian and development sector and have a strong interest in improving humanitarian field work through innovation. A visionary leader capable of working independently and with demonstrated experience engaging a wide range of stakeholders. Someone who can build reputation and funding alongside overseeing projects, facilitating groups and building diverse, contextually appropriate, impactful innovation programs. The Iraq Lab Manager will ideally have strong links to social innovation spaces, incubator space, social enterprises and start-ups.


Core Details

Location: Erbil
Our package:

Internal Grade:

As per Oxfam Salary Scale

C2 National & International

Contract type: Fixed Term Contract

Hours of work:

 40 hours per week. This is a full-time role; however, Oxfam offers various flexible arrangements which candidates can discuss with the Recruiting Manager at interview stage
This role reports to: Country Director
Staff reporting to this post: Project Manager, Innovation Lab Coordinator, Innovation Program Assistant
Annual budget for the post: N/A
Key relationships/


DBS checks (for roles based in the UK): N/A.
Screening checks: All successful candidates will be screened through Refinitiv World-Check One to comply with counter terrorism and financial sanctions regulations.


key Responsibilities


Lab Management


  • Work with Oxfam Country Director to define and implement innovation strategy, projects and methodologies that envision, develop and incubate innovative ideas. This includes collaborating on new product design, social business ideas and types of response programming, designing and leading research and other ideas which improve humanitarian and early recovery works in Iraq.
  • Provide full project management oversight to ensure excellence in execution of all Iraq Lab plans and programmes. Lead in project planning and coordination to ensure timely and quality implementation of all program activities. This will include identifying and placing skilled personnel who are able to effectively advise and manage Iraq Lab programmes and aligning partner engagements with Lab objectives.
  • Focus on acceleration or scale up of innovative projects that succeed in the lab and documentation and sharing of those which fail.
  • Lead on the delivery, management, and coordination of the IRIL business start-up incubator in different sector
  • Lead and facilitate the promotion of the digital transformations in the humanitarian and development programs of the Oxfam programming.
  • Develop and implement a young people engagement strategy to effectively ensure their participation in all the Innovation Lab activities.
  • Lead and coordinate the development of the communication strategy of the Innovation lab and manage the lab communications materials and platforms.
  • Ensuring all administrative, logistical, and technological needs are met
  • In conjunction with the finance team, develop and monitor the project budget and ensure regular reporting to the donor
  • Work with the technical leads of Oxfam and other consortium member when relevant to provide adequate HR oversight to the project team and partners as relevant
  • Fundraise both for the Iraq Lab and the successful lab projects, including participating in calls for proposals and identifying key partnerships and donors in country.
  • Serve as the main point of contact and ambassador for the Iraq Lab
  • Manage risks for the Iraq Lab, discussing and mitigating these with the Oxfam Country Director.
  • Facilitate entrenchment of a culture of innovation through effective cultivation of ideas, best Practices, pivoting and harnessing of lessons.
  • Lead and facilitate the development of business opportunity feedback study for innovative approaches in Iraq such as green energy, green jobs, and other friendly environmental solutions.
  • Support on the monitoring and evaluation framework & systems and processes along with the partners.


Partnership Management

  • Develop partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders involving technology, commerce, innovation, humanitarian and government in Iraq
  • Lead in ensuring effective management of resources. This will include providing leadership to effective management of sub grantee agreements or contracts with partners.
  • Ensure effective partnership to bring in staff capacity and support from a range of public and private organizations to promote new types of thinking and implementation of quality programs with support from people who have the appropriate skill set.
  • Lead and facilitate innovation events.
  • Support the process of developing strong, strategic partnerships, coalitions and networks; Provide leadership in coordinating and managing those specific partnerships to ensure that their outputs are aligned with the objectives of the Iraq Lab.


Learning & Reporting


  • Maintain accurate documentation of best practices, results, learning and impact of programs.
  • Document strategic thinking, dashboard reports, status of innovation implementation and matters of partnership, leadership or management concern of the Iraq Lab.
  • Regularly share the lessons learned as the lab progresses, to become a resource for others in and out of the RIL network


Qualifications & Preferred Skills

  • Advanced university degree in innovation, international development and management, business administration, social policy, entrepreneurships, information technology, communications or related fields is desirable.
  • 3-5 years’ experience in Humanitarian or Development sector, working on innovation, start-up incubation etc.  with at least 2 in management positions.
  • A team player and self-starter with good networking skills and project management skills
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Capable of working independently and with demonstrated experience engaging a wide range of stakeholders.
  • Excellent commination and writing skill, able to synthetize information from various sources and produce high quality reports/papers.
  • Excellent project management skills.
  • Experience in building and managing partnerships. Strong leadership skills; experience in leading consortiums
  • Ability to solve complex problems and to exercise independent judgment.
  • Ability to influence and liaise effectively with key stakeholders and representation in high profile environments.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English, Arabic would be an advantage.
  • Ability to represent the lab to a variety of stakeholders in a range of forums
  • Able to travel in all regions of Iraq and on a short notice
  • High organizational skills and ability to priorities workload and meet deadlines. Ability to work under pressure
  • Able to work on a cross-cultural environment and with people from all backgrounds, and is aware and supportive of inclusiveness principles
  • Good knowledge of Microsoft office tools ( PPT, Excel, word, etc.)
  • Strong interested in Innovations

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