RISA Innovation Pipeline Advisor

GIZ Rwanda
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Vacancy Announcement for RISA Innovation Pipeline Advisor

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federally owned international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations. GIZ has worked in Rwanda for over 30 years. The primary objectives between the Government of Rwanda and the Federal Republic of Germany are poverty reduction and promotion of sustainable development. To achieve these objectives, GIZ Rwanda is active in the sectors of Decentralization and Good Governance, Economic Development and Employment Promotion, Energy, and ICT (Information and Communications Technology).

Rwanda Information Society Authority “RISA” is a government institution established in 2017, governed by the law No 02/2017 of 18/02/2017. RISA has the mission of digitizing the Rwandan society through an increased usage of ICT as a cross-cutting enabler for the development of other sectors "Championing Rwanda's Digital Transformation".

Rwanda Information Society Authority has the mandate of planning and coordinating the implementation of national ICT for Development Agenda. In this perspective, RISA, in partnership with stakeholders and partners work to digitize government services and ensure easy access by the citizens.1

RISA must lead the implementation of ICT policy in Rwanda and streamline research, innovation, and infrastructure investment, including the digitization of government services, to fast-track economic growth. RISA works in collaboration with many government actors to realize these objectives and receives a broad range of requests from these government actors for support.

The project "Digital Solutions for Sustainable Development"(DSSD) advises Rwandan institutions on the implementation of the Smart Rwanda Master Plan and its priority projects. The project aims at promoting the development of digital solutions in collaboration with sector ministries, local and international private companies, research institutions, and civil society. The development of those pioneering solutions will be supported and managed by a dynamic team of experts based in the newly created Centre for Digital Transformation (DigiCenter) - a project unit of DSSD.


The project "Digital Solutions for Sustainable Development"(DSSD) is advising MINICT, RISA, and Rwandan institutions on the digitization of various priority sectors.

As part of the mandate to strengthen the innovation ecosystem and the impact of ICTs in Rwanda to promote economic development and sustainable solution development, the DSSD program works with RISA as a key partner in both promoting the development of digital solutions and building capacity for digital transformation.

The recent exercise to consolidate and re-organize the IT structures across the entire public sector has resulted into the re-organization of the IT support function to ensure that public institutions and other stakeholders have access to quality support as they embark on the journey to implement the government agenda for digital transformation. The immediate need for RISA is to make sure that it has effective resources and capacity to deliver its mandate. 2

In this context, GIZ Rwanda together with RISA is recruiting a RISA Innovation Pipeline Advisor

Location: Kigali

Fixed Term: 1 year

Position: 1 position

A. Responsibilities

The RISA requires a hybrid professional possessing a strong background in design thinking and innovation combined with advanced knowledge in emerging technologies to fill the position of the Coordinator for the Design and Innovation Pipeline initiative jointly implemented by RISA and DIGI Center. The Design and Innovation Pipeline Coordinator will be responsible for organizing and guiding all activities related to design and innovation and advise on the use of emerging technologies across different sectors and value chains in the Government. The coordinator will work under the overall guidance and supervision of the Division Manager Technology Innovation at Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA).

The RISA Innovation Pipeline Advisor will be main responsible for two major aspects below:

1. To provide required technical and administrative support to coordinate and implement activities related to creative thinking and innovation across government institutions and ensuring effective linkages with the Chief Digital Offices in Government Sectors.

2. Initiate a pan-African dialogue and collaboration to streamline design and innovation activities in the public sector.

  • This role requires the Coordinator to ensure that the Design and Innovation Pipeline Initiative being jointly developed by RISA and DSSD fulfills the intended goals which are the following:
  •  To establish a well-structured innovation framework with tangible steps from Challenge Creation (processes of finding, defining and scope-out challenges and pain points), Innovation (period to adjust and adapt different solutions to be matched with specific needs of the challenge owner), and Implementation (piloting the selected solution).
  • To create effective and efficient processes and methods to implement technologies that solve public sector challenges
  • To create processes and conditions to encourage innovation in the public sector through multidisciplinary collaboration and knowledge sharing
  •  To equip public servants with the knowledge and skills that are necessary to take full advantage of innovative and emerging technological solutions
  • To invite public servants to discover various ways to describe needs and challenges and get to learn about cutting-edge technologies and access top-notch solutions
  •  To serve as a lab or safe environment where public institutions are invited to explore, iterate, and test new solutions without taking unnecessary risks
  • To serve a platform where innovator and startup communities are invited “not just as another startup trying to sell stuff” but a design partner willing to work with government to explore how products or solutions can be developed, tested, or implemented.

The RISA Innovation Pipeline Advisor will perform the following tasks:

B. Tasks

  • To coordinate, monitor, and execute the planning and implementation of activities related to design and innovation in the public sector.
  • To drive the digital-first creative thinking and innovation process to align with client needs
  • To research and prepare analysis on emerging technologies and advise on the best possible way these technologies can be adopted and implemented within the public sector
  • To manage key strategic relationships and partnerships with external stakeholders to streamline the design and innovation activities
  • To establish close collaboration and working arrangements with the Chief Digital Offices and innovators from the innovation ecosystem
  •  To organize, facilitate, and implement events, workshops, and conferences relevant to the RISA Innovation Pipeline activities.
  •  To research and review global innovation trends and methodologies to be explored, implemented, and scaled through the Innovation Pipeline, and work closely with RISA innovation department to assess the feasibility of all action points.
  •  Map, build, and establish strategic local, regional, and global partnerships to advance the mission of the RISA Innovation pipeline.
  •  Formulate a yearly strategy for the Innovation pipeline activities, resource mobilization, and budget spending.
  • Draft and finalize concept notes, project briefs, policy papers, proposals, and project documents relevant to the RISA Innovation Pipeline’s mission.
  •  Represent the RISA Innovation pipeline agenda and progress at events, workshops, and conferences.
  • Prepare progress reports and evaluations of the Innovation Pipeline’s activities as needed.
  •  Advise/help build capacity of RISA’s innovation department and other relevant agencies and support transfer of knowledge and skills to key counterparts in the Division.
  •  Provide other support and assistance as required by RISA.

C. Required qualifications, competences, and experience


  • Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Engineering, Information Technology, Information System, or other relevant areas.

Professional experience

  •  At least 5 years’ experience in innovation field either in the public or private sector.
  • Demonstrated experience in the management of development programmes.
  •  Demonstrated experience in workshop facilitation and event planning.
  • Strong understanding of the dynamics of ICT and Innovation demonstrated by experience working in these fields.
  • The candidate must possess Design thinking and project management capacities and experience
  •  In-depth understanding of global and regional innovation trends and methodologies.
  • Substantive overall understanding of development trends and ability to present related issues clearly both to a general and a specialist audience.

Other knowledge, additional competences

Proven ability in creative ideation and concept development, working cross-categories, and driving different teams to accomplish common goals.

  • Be able to be hands-on and have knowledge of programs and applications for the development of experiences in digital channels. You have a solid understanding of UX design principles and prototyping tools, and an equally polished portfolio showcasing your UI/visual design capabilities.
  • Ensures digital designs meet the needs of development and technical teams based on UX design best practices
  • Consistently bring innovative creative solutions and design applications to inspire team's work
  •  Preference for individuals with work experience in Rwanda and/or other developing markets
  • Strong analytical and research skills. Excellent business writing, presentation skills, and verbal communication skills (in English).
  • Strong project management skills.
  • Effective interpersonal and leadership skills. Team player with an ability to develop and foster relationships with diverse stakeholders.
  • Excellent networking skills.
  • Drive, motivation, and ability to consistently achieve results in a fast-paced environment.
  • Proficient in oral and written English; knowledge of French and Kinyarwanda would be an asset.
  •  Proven ability to mentor, coach, and build capacity, across different capacities.

Interested candidates should submit their application (motivation letter, updated CV, certificates, and references) until 20th January 2022, by e-mail to recruitment-rw@giz.de The email attachment (max. size 2 MB) should be a PDF file. Please quote the job title in the subject

GIZ is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified candidates. This includes the provision of reasonable accommodation, if needed, in order to participate in the job application and interview process and to perform essential job functions. Please let us know, if you have any particular requirements should you be invited for assessment/interview or that you wish us to consider, when considering your application. Women and persons with disabilities are particularly encouraged to apply.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for test and interview.


GIZ Office Rwanda

KN 41 St. / Nr.17, Kiyovu

P.O. Box 59, Kigali, Rwanda

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