Global Technical Advisor: Digital innovation At SNV Netherlands Development Organisation

Company Description

Duty station: preferably the Netherlands (negotiable)

SNV is a not-for-profit international development organisation that applies practical knowledge to make a lasting difference in the lives of people living in poverty. We use our extensive and long-term in-country presence to apply and adapt our expertise in agriculture, energy, and Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) to local contexts. SNV has over 1250 staff in more than 25 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. We are proud to be a not-for-profit organisation that uses project financing to implement our mission. This requires us to work efficiently and to invest in operational excellence.

In its current Strategic Plan (2019–2022), SNV is explicitly aiming for structural change and scale in its programmes in the agriculture, energy, and WASH sectors, as well as bringing knowledge and initiatives from different programmes together at the country level to contribute to systems change. We position ourselves as a learning organisation striving for excellence and invest in making knowledge flow to and from the frontline.

For more information on SNV, visit our website:

Job Description

Digital innovation can be a game-changer in contributing to systems change and sustainable development in terms of service delivery, productivity, profitability, employment, resilience, and more recently COVID-19 specific responses. A digitally enabled sector transformation can help achieve sustainable access to basic services, livelihood improvements for the poor and employment opportunities for youth.

There are also risks and challenges that come with introducing digital solutions. Inequities in access to digital technology and low digital literacy increase gaps and limit opportunities for low-income people and vulnerable groups. The ethical use of big data and advanced data analytics is a major concern. Modelling using low quality input data, can give a false sense of accuracy and lead to sub-optimal decisions. Of the many data management systems that have been set up using donor or government funding, few remain fully functional once the funding ends as there is frequently no strategy for financial, market-based sustainability built into the system at set-up.

To make better use of the benefits of digital innovation and address the potential risks of unequal digitalisation, SNV is now seeking a dynamic and pragmatic professional to provide leadership and technical advice in this field, to support the development, inception and implementation of projects which have a strong digitalisation component. This is a generic position on digitalisation that will support SNV on a broad range of areas including – amongst others – digital finance, supply chain management, transparent decision making, municipal information systems and other data management systems.

Working under the direct supervision of SNV global sector management, the Global Technical Advisor (GTA) Digital Innovation will contribute to the further structuring and defining of SNV’s work in digitalisation within the three sectors. The GTA will work closely with the global sector teams of agriculture, energy and WASH, country offices, as well as the Business Development team.

In the fast-developing and changing digitalisation sector, the GTA Digital Innovation will support the development of SNV’s digitalisation strategy with products, methodologies, and tools. This includes SNV’s positioning in digitalisation, as well as developing and nurturing strategic partnerships in this field.

The GTA Digitalisation will monitor and manage the quality of project development and implementation for SNV projects that include a digitalisation component, including support to project managers and project teams. An important focus area will be to accelerate the pace of adoption and utilization of digitalisation products, methodologies, and tools in existing projects and new funding proposals.

The GTA Digital Innovation will steer the knowledge sharing and learning agenda in digitalisation across SNV and will guide sector teams globally on theories and best practices in digitalisation.


Strategy Development

  • Identifies digital technology and industry challenges in the agriculture, energy, and WASH sectors taking into account the existing trends and experiences.
  • Supports the Global Sector Teams in the development of a digitalisation strategy for development and social impact, complementing existing capacities and guaranteeing SNV’s visibility and recognition with key donors, major private and public tech players, and non-profit organisations.
  • Supports the Global Sector Teams in the integration of digitalisation in SNV’s products, methodologies and tools, inclusive of innovative finance mechanisms. These are expected to address the digital divide, develop digital capacities, support data management, drive greater business model viability, support policies on data stewardship, and steer a knowledge agenda to achieve development and social impact.
  • Coordinates awareness-raising, coaching and training sessions for SNV staff and partners in a demand-oriented and practical manner.
  • Develops standard job profiles and ToRs for relevant digitalisation expertise in existing and new projects.
  • Facilitates/ supports partnerships to access services in for example predictive analytics and modelling, climate forecasting, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing, big data, and artificial intelligence.

Advisory Services, Quality Assurance and Project Cycle Management

  • Guides project managers and staff to improve the quality of implementation of projects including a digitalisation component, ensuring delivery of results within time and budget.
  • Provides backstopping support in the form of technical advice and capacity building involving programme and project staff to integrate digitalisation in SNV’s existing or new products, methodologies and tools.
  • Coaches colleagues, both professionally and operationally, and coaches associated partners and sub-contractors on quality within context of assignments. Ability to stimulate and inspire project teams.

Business Development

  • Acts as technical lead on project proposals focusing on digitalisation, and reviews quality of technical proposals including a digitalisation component, ensuring coherence in cross-cutting themes.
  • Applies contextual analysis and systems thinking on digitalisation in the form of a well-elaborated Theory of Change (ToC), identifying key interventions, partnerships and related budgets, in close collaboration with the global Business Development team and sector colleagues involved.

Knowledge and Learning

  • Leads on sector practice development and translates external trends into internal improvement actions and innovations.
  • Leads on the coordination of internal and external knowledge development and innovation in the area of digital innovation, including the drafting and review of publications.
  • Participates in knowledge development and innovation groups in external and internal networks, ensures knowledge products and lessons learned are shared. May be appointed as SNV’s focal point in expertise networks.
  • Supports the development, maintenance and updating of the digitalisation knowledge agenda and supports organisational learning by sharing technical knowledge and best practices across SNV teams at global, country and project level.
  • Ensures that the set of products, methodologies and tools to facilitate digitalisation efforts, is updated and adjusted to meet the required high-quality standards.
  • Develops “new” products, innovative methodologies or tools based on experiences and external developments, together with Global Sector Teams and partners.

Profiling and positioning

  • Develops, expands and maintains effective and efficient (global) strategic partnerships with relevant donors, private and public players, non-profit organisations and other stakeholders through professional networking and profiling.
  • Represents SNV at selected events at the national and international levels.


  • Master’s Degree in Information Technology (IT), Data Management and Analytics, Data Science and Society, Applied Economics (and management) with additional IT-related subjects, or any other relevant field.
  • 8 years of progressively responsible experience in the field of IT for development and social impact, and knowledge management.
  • Experience in the private sector in the digital technology industry, particularly with applications in the development sector, would be an advantage.
  • Experience with bridging the digital divide and/or equity challenges in digitalisation are an advantage.


  • Proven experience in developing programme strategies and positioning in digitalisation, within an international cooperation context. Having an extensive (international) network and up-to-date knowledge about digitalisation for development.
  • Familiarity with facilitating public sector involvement and/or Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) in digitalisation. Familiarity with digital inclusion initiatives and policies. Familiarity with working with tech providers for platforms, incubators, financial services, and e-government.
  • Familiarity with Data Management Systems (DMS) for emerging markets and/or public services in for example management information, aggregation, service delivery and forecasting. Familiarity with predictive analytics and modelling.
  • Experience with business development in designing impactful projects and programmes, writing successful proposals, and managing donor relationships.
  • Experience with knowledge management, learning and innovations in digitalisation for development. Ability to raise awareness, coach and provide training on digitalisation to technical and non-technical project and partner staff.
  • Excellent social and networking skills, ability to engage with governments and the private sector including influencing skills and experience of working effectively in a matrix organisation. Good communication and negotiation skills as well as intercultural sensitivity.
  • Entrepreneurial, result-oriented and driver for change. Ability to be flexible and adaptable.
  • Experience living and/or working in a developing country will be an advantage.
  • Proficiency in both written and spoken English is required. Proficiency in French is highly desirable.

Additional Information

Contract Type: Full time

Contract Duration: 2 years with a strong possibility for extension

Expected Start Date: As soon as possible

Information Duty Station: Preferably Netherlands (negotiable)

Travel to Projects: Approximately 30% (Covid Permitting)

Working at SNV

SNV offers a competitive salary and comprehensive benefits package. We offer a challenging work environment, opportunities to lead and innovate, and a commitment to growing your skills in a fulfilling and international working environment. Our staff benefits from, and contribute to, an internal and global network of experts. For more information, please visit our website:

How to apply?

If you believe that your credentials meet the outlined profile, we invite you to apply by uploading your CV and letter of motivation before 19 August 2021 by clicking on the link: I’m interested.

We will require that you provide us with the full details of three people who are willing to act as a reference. We will not contact these references without your explicit permission.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Should SNV wish to proceed with your application, two interviews with a Selection Committee will take place.

SNV is an equal opportunities employer and female candidates are encouraged to apply.

– We do not appreciate third-party mediation based on this advertisement –

How to apply

Please Apply Online at:

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