Head of Tech

Job Reference:
Number of Positions:
Contract Type:
Fixed Term/Full Time
Contract Details:
Working Hours:
35 Hours per week
Closing Date:
Job Category:
Business Area / Division:
Advisory - Africa
Business Unit:

Job Introduction

Are you excited by the prospect of transforming developing and emerging nations in Africa through the application of technology and innovations across public services, agriculture, health and climate? Do you have experience of consulting or working in the tech field and of leading teams to drive systemic and transformative change in an emerging economy and with governments?

Our main objective in this strategically important role is to rapidly deploy a Tech for Development initiative in Malawi, which has been enabled by a dynamic external partner across existing and new operations in our Government Advisory and Tech & Public Policy divisions. This landmark initiative will be delivered in 30 countries, with activity in Malawi starting immediately.

We are building an advisory team in Malawi focusing on supporting the delivery of government priorities. Within this framework, an exciting opportunity exists to work with relevant ministries and partners to implement a new element to our partnership focusing on using technology for transformation.

Reporting to the Country Head, Malawi, the post holder will drive the Malawi Tech for Development programme, leading a tech team based in Lilongwe, while supporting the implementation of the top priorities within Malawi’s digitisation agenda. The post holder will also work closely with TBI’s Global Director Tech for Development and their team to deliver our global plan.

This is a senior role requiring an exceptional candidate with relevant expertise, deep networks with government and/or industry in Malawi and/or other peer countries.

Key Responsibilities

Key outcomes of the role

  • Establishing effective and trusted relationships with senior governmental counterparts, including consolidating an anchor relationship with one or more counterparts as regular contact;
  • Delivery of the government’s priority actions in the digitization component of the Presidential Delivery Plan;
  • Delivery of our tech for transformation country programme plan: created and staffed with engaged and results oriented people;
  • Tangible results delivered in tech for transformation, such as deployment of solutions ranging from the novel farming and AgTech to green energy digital solutions, digital government services and functional digital ID to high quality transformational policy advice on digitisation;
  • Thought leadership recognised in country/regionally/globally and contribution to our Tech for Development global offer and playbook; and
  • Expenditure in line with budget.

Role summary

  • Strategy and Planning: Design, maintain and continually improve: (i) the country strategy for tech for transformation; and (ii) plans and tools to roll out the strategy from one tech domain to another, within one ministry or across government. Meanwhile, together with the Country Head and Deputy Country Head, ensuring robust in-country mechanisms and communication channels for coordination with other TBI advisors in Malawi, as relevant.
  • Scoping and Program Design: Working with the Country Head and Deputy Country Head, interface with centre of government leaders and the broader Tech for Development Programme to scope and identify programmatic opportunities and new projects for tech transformation in Malawi. Bring your knowledge of technology solutions and government delivery to craft agile, impactful, bold project designs to be carried through to implementation.
  • Government Relations: Establish effective and trusted relationships with senior officials in government, such as Ministers, Presidential advisers, senior officials, heads of agencies, partner organisation representatives (e.g. development finance institutions, implementing partners, private sector). Secure mandates with at least one key counterpart as regular contact, in service of our mission to support political leaders to achieve results that benefit the people of the country and in service of our tech for transformation initiative.
  • Execution and Monitoring: Establish, review and maintain project goals, plans, proof points and KPIs for Tech for Development projects. Serve as the focal point for tech for transformation in country, project and output quality control and design tools to support execution. Report and engage with the Country Head, Malawi and the Global Director, Tech for Development, and his/her team to drive delivery, ideate, troubleshoot and manage the initiative across TBI. Ensure expenditure is utilised in line with budget with robust management accounts and accountability established. Ensure all necessary risk, legal and financial compliance and processes are in place. 
  • People: Recruit, manage and develop a country Tech for Development team to report to post holder aligned to the portfolio of Tech for Development projects. Shape and embody a culture that drives innovation and delivery. Provide quality control of new hires and ongoing development and mentoring. The post holder and his/her team will be expected to play a key role in the broader community at TBI and will be expected to build strong working relationships.
  • External Relations (non-governmental): Map out 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.
  • One TBI: The post holder will formally report into the Country Head, Malawi and form part of the wider team and country programme. They will be matrixed on deliverables and work with the Global Director, Tech for Development based in London and their team. Other key relationships will be with the Deputy Country Head for Malawi, the Executive Directors for External Relations, Government Advisory, Tech & Public Policy, and our Legal, HR and Finance support teams.

Person Specification

We are looking for an experienced leader:

  • With experience in business operations, technology, consulting or advisory functions and demonstrable experience in technology enterprises or programmes
  • With a minimum of 8 years’ experience in management consulting or government advisory
  • With a strong understanding of, and ability to navigate, the Malawi ICT eco-system and Government machinery, its structures and operating environment
  • With proven management skills and the ability to build and inspire teams to achieve exceptional objectives
  • Who is a communicator and influencer, from board level through to technical level and is adept at managing up and beyond hierarchy
  • Who has worked or consulted in developing and emerging economies and is sensitive to a diverse range of cultural and regional norms, and will foster a positive spirit of collaboration between our countries and our tech transformation offer
  • With a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree or equivalent practical experience
  • With exceptional communication skills in English, knowledge of French or Portuguese is a bonus, but not required

About The Institute

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. We exist to equip political leaders and governments to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies. We work hard, every day, to make a difference. When governments work well they are able to create economic and social change in a way that promotes fairness, social justice and opportunity. We work relentlessly to support leader and governments with the challenges they face. Giving them practical solutions and actionable insights, that once implemented, can be transformative for their people  

We do this within two connected divisions: 

 Government Advisory 

Our Advisory Practice works directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It has both non-profit partners and a client base and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia. We are currently in a rapid expansion phase from c. 18 countries at present, to 30 by December 2022.

 Policy Futures 

Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas: 

  • Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics; 
  • Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution; and 
  • Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world. 

As an organisation, the core beliefs we all embrace are: 

  • Open and Progressive: you’ll believe in the value of teamwork 
  • Bold and Pragmatic: you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity 
  • Optimistic Changemaker: you’ll be focused on results 

TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work.  It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you\'re successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.