Innovation Manager at Plan International

Plan International was founded over 75 years ago with a mission to promote and protect the rights of children. The organisation was set up by British journalist John Langdon-Davies and refugee worker Eric Muggeridge in 1937, with the original aim to provide food, accommodation and education to children whose lives had been disrupted by the Spanish Civil War.

The Opportunity

We are seeking an Innovation Manager to work in the Innovation Team in our Global Hub. This role requires an experienced innovation practitioner with a unique blend of creative and technical skills to help us maximise the impact of our innovation capability across the organisation.

You will be responsible for creating an enabling environment for innovation across the organisation. This will involve the design and implementation of a knowledge management system so previous experience in this area would be beneficial. Furthermore, you will create and implement a communications plan for innovation that will build internal understanding and uptake of innovation principles, methods and tools, as well as creating external awareness of the Innovation team’s capability and opportunities for impactful partnerships.

You will also be leading innovation projects, which includes planning and resource management, coaching of teams across multiple locations, facilitation of live and virtual workshops, managing multiple internal and external stakeholders, and ensuring quality assurance, legal compliance and project scaleup.

Reports to Edward Duffus, Head of Innovation

LocationGH, Bogota, Sao Paolo or Nariobi

Travel required: Up to 50%

Dimensions Of The Role

The Innovation Manager will be responsible for creating an enabling environment for innovation across the organisation. In particular, the post holder will:

  • Lead innovation projects, including planning and resource management, methodological guidance, coaching of project teams across multiple geographies, facilitation of workshops (both live and virtual) with cross-functional teams and partner organisations, contracting and management of consultants, project MERL, safeguarding, quality assurance, legal compliance and data protection, and project scaleup.
  • Design and implement a knowledge management system for innovation at Plan International, including innovation project MERL
  • Create and implement a communications plan for innovation at Plan International that will:obuild internal understanding and uptake of the innovation principles, methods and toolsocreate external awareness of Plan’s innovation capability and develop opportunities for impactful partnerships
  • Create a skilled network of innovators within Plan International that feel inspired and collaborate to identify problems and solutions
  • Facilitate workshops with cross-functional teams and partner organisations throughout the innovation life cycle, from problem identification through to ideationand rapid prototyping


  • The Innovation Manager willbe accountable for:1.The delivery of innovation projects that create a measurable impact in support of the global strategy.
  • Innovation knowledge management that provides for the innovation needs across the organisation and maximizes the value of learning from projects in the innovation portfolio
  • Internal and external communications of the innovation capability at Plan International
  • Ensuring that Plan International’s global policies for Child Protection (CPP) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI), and Data Protection are fully embedded in accordance with the principles and requirements of the policy including relevant Implementation Standards and Guidelines as applicable to their area of responsibility. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring staff and associates are aware of and understand their responsibilities under these policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), their relevance to their area of work, and that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.

Key Relationships

The role will include close coordination with the following internal teams:

  • Programming, Campaigns, and Influencing teams
  • Global Fundraising Hub
  • DRM team
  • Digital team
  • All support functions including HR, procurement, finance, and legalThe role will include close coordination and relationship building with:
  • Other INGOs and intergovernmental organisations
  • Design, innovation and technology consultancies
  • Public sector
  • Private sector
  • AcademiaThe role will report to the Global Head of Innovation, Edward Duffus.

Technical Expertise,skills And Knowledge


  • Educated to at least Degree level in a subject relevant for innovation for social impact
  • Demonstrated the ability to lead the delivery of new offerings that create significant business value, preferably with social impact
  • Expertise in design thinking workshop facilitation, preferably in a developing world context
  • In-depth knowledge of human-centered design and practical experience utilising the techniques in a business context, preferably for social impact
  • Experience with creating and implementing communication plans for internal and external audiences
  • Experience with developing effective knowledge management systems and processes
  • Strong communication skills to articulate innovation approaches and concepts internally and externally
  • Technology-aware and curious about technology trends, without necessarily having deep technological expertise
  • Fluent in English and Spanish/French/Portuguese as appropriate to the location of the role Desirable
  • Experience working in fragile and low-resource contexts
  • Fundraising in international development
  • MERL for innovation expertise and leadership
  • Experience with building innovation capacity in an organisation, including but not limited to direct skills building and culture change
  • Experience with managing a large community of practice, preferably in innovation or some related discipline
  • Knowledge of and relationships with innovation practitioners across private sector, academia and preferably the development sector
  • Teaching or coaching skills
  • Participatory methods, particularly involving children

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