Senior Advisor – Tech Strategy & Policy at Tony Blair Institute for Global Change

Kigali, Rwanda

Focus of the Role

We don’t just talk, we do. Lead the change with us.

At the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, we work with political leaders around the world to drive change. We help governments turn bold ideas into reality so they can deliver for their people. We do it by advising on strategy, policy and delivery, unlocking the power of technology across all three. And by sharing what we learn on the ground, so everyone can benefit. We do it to build more open, inclusive and prosperous countries for people everywhere.

We are a global team of nearly 800 changemakers, operating in more than 30 countries, across five continents. We are political strategists, policy experts, delivery practitioners, technology specialists and more. We speak more than 45 languages. We are working on over 100 projects, tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges. We’re all here at TBI to make a difference.

In a world of ever more complex challenges, we believe diversity of background and perspective is a strength. We pride ourselves on a culture that values and nurtures difference. We are dedicated to unlocking potential, not only for the countries we work in but also for each of our team members. No matter where you’re from or who you are, if you’re passionate about the transformative power of progressive politics, we invite you to build a better future with us.

TBI Rwanda is looking for a Senior Advisor – Tech Strategy and Policy to serve as the senior advisor to the Minister and the ICT sector through the Ministry of ICT and Innovation.

Across responsibilities, the post holder will work closely with TBI’s global teams (including Global Client Solutions, Strategic Partnerships, Policy and Politics), as well as interfacing with other advisors and managers in the Rwanda Tech programme as part of delivering the required mandate.

This is a senior role requiring an exceptional candidate, with demonstrable expertise delivering impactful advisory services in public sector tech transformation programmes. Requiring deep networks with government and/or industry in Rwanda and across Africa, the post holder will possess the right skills, temperament, and drive to deliver in a complex and sensitive government environment, working at the Ministerial level or higher.

We would consider supporting applicants not currently based in or with a right to work in the Rwanda to relocate for this role.

We encourage early application as we reserve the right, if required, to close this role ahead of the date advertised.

Key Responsibilities

  • Strategy: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Support the Minister to identify opportunities for leveraging ICTs, emerging technologies and innovation to drive economic transformation in Rwanda. Conduct diagnostics and readiness assessments of Rwanda’s strengths and weaknesses for adoption of emerging technologies. Conduct strategy development in relation to the implementation of key projects under MINICT’s mandate and resource mobilization. Identify opportunities for adoption of these technologies and the necessary levers to support experimentation and eventual adoption, and support prioritisation and design of projects/pilots to stress-test assumptions.
  • Policy: Working with the Minister, interface with centre of government leaders and the broader TBI Rwanda Tech Programme to scope and identify opportunities for Rwanda’s advancement through better tech policies (for ICT as a sector and ICT as an enabler for other sectors), including supporting the development of policy innovation labs and data-driven policy solutions. Contribute to the building of skills and knowledge within government on tech, and documentation and adoption of new thinking through best practices, case studies, future foresight and partnerships with bilateral and multilateral tech partners. Inform the Government’s tech policy direction and ambitions, among other areas assigned by the Minister.
  • Delivery advice: In collaboration with TBI Rwanda’s Senior Manager, Tech, support the Minister’s office in tracking and delivery management of key flagship projects including leading on advisory for the public service digitization, policy innovation labs, projects on digital literacy, connectivity, bridging of the digital divide, innovation in Rwanda. Support engagements with UN Global Compact, the Edison Alliance, ITU and other international organizations as required. Assist in the planning and execution of key tech events by the government, and supporting the Minister and government to prepare position papers and briefing documents as required.
  • Government Relations: Establish effective and trusted relationships with senior officials in government, such as Ministers, Presidential advisers, senior officials, heads of agencies, core public staff and partner organisation representatives (e.g., development finance institutions, implementing partners, private sector). Maintain strong relationships with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation (including at Ministerial level) through delivery of priority projects.
  • Execution and Monitoring: Establish, review, and maintain project goals, plans, proof points and KPIs for the role, in collaboration with the Senior Manager, Tech and with the Senior Management of MINICT. Work closely with the cluster leads in other identified sector teams on tech as an enabler as and when needed.
  • External Relations (non-governmental): Map out, establish and engage with relevant external stakeholders such as tech solution providers and software companies (local and multinational), tech hubs/incubators, investors, other not for profit organisations, media, suppliers and agencies, as assigned by the Minister
  • One TBI: The post holder will formally report into the Senior Manager – Tech and Digital Transformation, Rwanda and form part of the wider team and country programme. They will be matrixed on deliverables with other managers and advisors within the TBI Rwanda Tech Programme, and work with TBI’s global teams, including Global Client Solutions.

Person Specification

We are looking for an experienced leader:

  • Master’s Degree in Public Policy, Public Administration, Computer Science, Engineering, Information Technology, or other relevant areas, preferably with specialisation/expertise in strategy development, technology, delivery advice, and/or tech economics and ideally within a developmental context or equivalent practical experience
  • Broad and comprehensive experience in management consulting or government advisory on tech
  • Strong understanding of the dynamics of Tech and Innovation demonstrated by experience in conducting studies and/or designing policies and strategies in these areas
  • Substantive overall understanding of digital development trends and ability to present related issues clearly both to a general and a specialist audience
  • Experience working in emerging markets, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa on tech. Prior work with the Government of Rwanda is highly desirable
  • Strong analytical and research skills. Excellent business writing, presentation skills and verbal communication skills (in English)
  • Proven ability to mentor, coach, and build capacity, across different capacities
  • Extensive experience in public affairs or government relations on tech and digital transformation, including as an advisor to senior government officials at the ministerial levels and above
  • An in-depth understanding of the tech policy and regulatory environment in practise
  • The ability to work under pressure, and to coordinate with teams and multi-disciplinary advisors
  • Proven understanding of the policy context, how to influence policy and the discretion and judgment needed to navigate a complex political environment
  • Fluency in English is also a requirement, French and Kinyarwanda an advantage