September 12, 2022 Liana Khanaghyan

Senior Manager – Technical Assistance (TA), Strategy, and Impact Team





Utrecht, Netherlands



Employment Type


Closing Date

23 September 2022


Marlou Rijk

Project Overview: 

The Challenge Fund for Youth Employment (CFYE) is a 6-year and €114 million programme funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that aims to create a prosperous future for 200,000 young women and men in the Middle East, North Africa, Sahel & West Africa and Horn of Africa regions. The Fund will be supporting initiatives in 23 focus countries that will offer youth, in particular young women, opportunities for work that is demand-driven and productive, offering a stable income and safe working conditions, and that is contributing to their personal development and social protection.

Private sector, civil society and knowledge institutions will be invited to submit proposals geared to scalable solutions for creating more and better jobs and income generating opportunities for youth. Solutions will in particular focus on an integrated approach that addresses the shortcomings on the demand side (jobs) and supply side (skills) and bridging the mismatch between these two in the labour market.

Overview of Technical Assistance, Strategy and Impact Team:

There are three teams that are primarily responsible for leading delivery of the Challenge Fund’s investment and support in target countries: (i) Country Teams led by Country Leads, (ii) Fund Management Team, and (iii) Technical Assistance (TA), Strategy and Impact Team. Overall, this team is responsible for:
– Driving the development and refinement of Fund-level strategies, delivery mechanisms, processes and tools pertaining to TA, Social Impact, Leverage and Investment Readiness, and Learning and Innovation.
– Closely collaborate with the Fund Management Team in supporting the Country Teams in setting up and operationalizing country-level as well as implementing partner-level strategies of above domains in line with CFYE’s vision.
– Identifying opportunities for building external linkages and partnerships that enable the advancement of learning and innovation agenda of the Challenge Fund.

Role Overview:

In this role, you will be the Lead and Senior Manager for the Technical Assistance (TA) Strategy and Impact Team, which comprises internal technical experts as well as external specialists brought on as and when necessary. These experts enable country teams to deploy adequate TA in their respective portfolios to support investees in maximizing their impact. In addition, this assistance also drives learning & innovation through the Challenge Fund’s work at an aggregate portfolio as well as individual IP levels.

While driving the delivery of TA across the portfolio of countries and investees, you will also be responsible for building linkages across different stakeholders in the ecosystem. These include but are not limited to Palladium’s regional offices, the Challenge Fund’s consortium partners, the client as well as other relevant organizations in target countries.

You will also be an integral part of the Challenge’s Fund’s Management Team and will be closely involved in key strategic and fund management decisions and activities.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities: 

Key responsibilities in this role include (but are not limited to) the following:

1. Leadership of Technical Assistance (TA), Strategy, and Impact Team (35%)
– You will be responsible for driving the overall development, operationalization, and refinement of the Challenge Fund’s TA strategy in close collaboration with experts in the team as well as other Challenge Fund team members.
– Ensure that there is a coherent and comprehensive workplan in place for key activities, events, team travel etc that is synchronized with the overall fund management and country-level workplans.
– Lead a team of geographically dispersed technical experts at the Fund as well as country Levels. These experts will:
– Support CFYE country teams on technical delivery in line with their country strategies.
– In addition, these experts will also lead the design and roll-out of the technical learning, innovation & impact agenda in line with the Fund’s overall strategy.
– Oversight and ownership of TA budget, with a responsibility to actively track variance over time and presenting rationale for variance in the Challenge Fund’s senior management meetings.
– Coordinate with the country and central teams to identify opportunities for external partnerships, learning and research collaborations, cross-country engagements as well as platforms for dissemination of insights generated from delivery.

2. Support Delivery of Technical Assistance in CFYE Countries (35%)
– Establish and lead a structured mechanism to provide on-going support to the country teams in setting up and refining their country-specific strategies and action plans, which should be in line with the Challenge Fund’s overall vision and strategy. 
-Ensure Country Teams are adequately supported on Technical Assistance delivery, TA plans and overall TA design and implementation processes;
– Develop and operationalize protocols for quality assuring TA related activities that will be delivered by the Challenge Fund at a country-level as well as targeted towards individual investees or implementing partners. This would require active coordination with the wider Delivery Team.
– Support development of the Challenge Fund’s TA offering in line with the TA strategy. Collaborate with the country teams to develop mechanisms and modalities for delivering these offerings. A non-exhaustive list of these offerings currently include Job Quality & Decency, Youth Empowerment and Economic Resilience (YEER), Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI), Digital strategy and Sales and Marketing etc.
– Actively coordinate with the country teams to identify opportunities for external partnerships, learning and research collaborations, cross-country engagements as well as platforms for dissemination of insights generated from delivery.

3. Lead Technical Assistance Delivery at Fund Level (30%)
– Collaborate closely with the Challenge Fund’s Leadership Team to setup and track portfolio performance KPIs and actively identify opportunities where the Challenge Fund’s TA could help mitigate risks, address performance issues and enhance outcomes.
– In line with the Challenge Fund’s TA strategy, identify areas at the Fund and portfolio level where TA investment can lead to an enhancement of the outcomes to be achieved by the Fund. This may include but not limited to learning and innovation partnerships, enhanced private sector engagement in the Netherlands, setup of new delivery and support mechanisms that can be integrated within the Challenge Fund etc.
– Collaborate closely with the with the wider team (countries and central Fund teams) in devising and updating learning, innovation, and impact agenda. Identify opportunities and activities across the Challenge Fund where this agenda can be integrated for proactive and reactive learning.
– In line with learning innovation and impact agenda, set-up and manage implementation of learning trajectories with CFYE IPs and / or external partners.  
– Identify opportunities for and manage selected external partnership geared towards expanding the scope and scale of the Fund.

Level of Effort and Reporting:

As Senior Manager and Lead for TA, Strategy and Impact team, you will report to the Challenge Fund’s Deputy Team Leader. However, the scope of responsibilities given above would require active coordination with the 2 other delivery teams, namely Fund Management Team and Country Teams. You will also be expected to collaborative proactively with other workstreams notably the Data and Impact, Financial Management & Operations, and Communications and Marketing teams to ensure efficient and continuously improving CFYE delivery.

The expected level of effort for this role is 32 or 36 hours per week. The expected start date is 1 November or as soon as possible.

Minimum Requirements:

– Relevant academic qualifications in business administration, development economics or other relevant field.
– Project management experience, preferably in operating as part of technical assistance facilities, or grants management.
– Technical experience and strong affinity with business/private sector development and youth employment.
– Experience with social impact themes such as gender and youth inclusion and decent work are desirable but not required.
– Ability and willingness for make short term travel to the countries CFYE is operating, if and when feasible and required.

Core Competencies: 

– A positive, flexible attitude to work including the ability to multi-task and work in a team environment. 
– Good organisational and planning skills. 
– Sound problem solving and decision making skills. 
– Strong business acumen, and understanding of business support
– Strong Project Management skills and experience leading a team
– Strong affinity with youth empowerment, gender and social inclusion, and decent work.
– Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English
– Good organisational and planning skills. 
– Sound problem-solving and decision-making skills. 

Closing Date: 31 October 2022 at 23:59. We will be interviewing suited candidates on a rolling basis.

About Palladium

Palladium is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of Positive Impact – the intentional creation of enduring social and economic value.

We work with foundations, investors, governments, corporations, communities and civil society to formulate strategies and implement solutions that generate lasting social, environmental and financial benefits. For the past 50 years, we have been making Positive Impact possible. With a team of more than 2,500 employees operating in 90 plus countries and a global network of more than 35,000 technical experts, Palladium has improved – and is committed to continuing to improve – economies, societies and most importantly, people’s lives.

Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.

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