Head of Human Capital Development Africa


Number of Positions:
Contract Type:
Fixed Term/Full Time
Contract Details:
Working Hours:
Nairobi, Accra, London
Closing Date:
Job Category:
Business Area / Division:
Advisory - Africa
Business Unit:

Focus of the Role

TBI supports governments across Africa to implement their developmental vision, through the provision of embedded advisors who provide strategy, analysis and delivery support to government leaders. One of the sectors in which governments are increasingly asking for such support is in Human Capital Development (HCD), in particular health and education.

In order to support and strengthen this work, TBI is establishing a central Africa Human Capital Development practice (HCD practice), as one of its sectoral practices.  Working closely with the Tech for Development team, the goal of the practice is to:

  1. Strategy: Set and drive the strategic direction of TBI’s HCD work, with a 5 year planning horizon, through an inclusive and consultative process, while ensuring coherence and impact toward TBI’s and partner government’s long term mission of strengthening human capital. Our Africa HCD strategy is envisioned to include health, education and other relevant areas, but in the first 6-12 months there is expected to be a heavy focus on health, including our Africa Vaccine Programme and our Institutional Capacity Strengthening Programme with the Africa Center for Disease Control and the West Africa Health Organisaiton
  2. Product development: Continually strengthen our offering to governments in HCD, to ensure increased impact, innovation and success. Key areas of focus include pandemic response, health system strengthening, education system strengthening and HCD strategies. Healthtech is run out of our Tech for Development programme, and is not the responsibility of this practice, although coordination will be essential
  3. Funding and business development: Collaborate with the Fundraising and Donor Relations team to ensure suitable long-term funding for TBI and an ability to respond to the growing demand across Africa for embedded delivery support on HCD. This includes the roll out of an HCD fundraising strategy, and may include directing cross-country HCD programmes
  4. Quality of work: Ensure a high standard of work in human capital sectors, through the provision of tools, framework, a network of partners, inductions, trainings, technology support (via our technology for development programme), strategy support and workstream support. This standard includes ensuring a robust anchoring to TBI’s centre of government work and to related sector practices and our Tech for Development programme
  5. Thought leadership: Ensure TBI is a lead player driving HCD Africa stakeholders to increased impact, through a robust policy and thought leadership agenda on HCD, including on Covid. This agenda must bring out the perspectives of the governments TBI supports

The successful candidate will lead the work of the Africa Human Development Capital practice. The role holder will be responsible for growing TBI’s work in this sector, to the highest of standards, in a sustainable way and by anchoring it to our centre of government model. The role holder will be responsible for the successful delivery of all health and education cross-country programmes, including on Covid policy. In doing so the role holder will ensure strong coordination with multiple internal stakeholders, such as the Head of Healthtech, the Fundraising Team, External Relations, the Executive Chairman, the Tech for Development Unit, the Africa Leadership Team, other sector practice leads and various Country Heads. The post holder will ensure smooth flow of information at all times between programme managers and senior leadership at TBI, including the Executive Director for Africa. The post holder with manage our community of practice consisting of HCD advisors, associates, analysts, programme managers, healthtech staff and related internal stakeholders.

Key Responsibilities

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­This role is responsible for the success of TBI’s Africa HCD sector practice and strategy. The specific tasks of this role holder are:

Strategy setting and implementation

  • Through a consultative process, develop TBI’s strategy for improving the impact of its work with governments prioritising HCD, and for scaling this work. The priority will be on the health sector, and extensive coordination with the Head of Healthtech will be essential
  • Set 5 year strategy goals for the practice
  • Drive the implementation of the strategy
  • Ensure strong working relationships both within TBI and external to TBI to ensure the successful roll out of this strategy

Product development

  • Ensure continuous strengthening of our HCD offering, in a way that remains anchored to our government-led model, as well as to the strengthening of relevant pan-African agencies
  • Ensure HCD Africa offering remains relevant and responsive to government needs
  • Explore innovative ways the HCD Africa offering can increase impact toward HCD outcomes in the countries in which TBI works and where there is  demand from governments
  • Ensure a sufficient among of coordination with TBI’s Tech for Development unit and Health-Tech team
  • Ensure strong collaboration with other sector practices, e.g. the centre of government practice and the manufacturing and jobs practice among others
  • Identify strategic external partners that can assist in the delivery of innovative HCD programmes

Funding and business development

  • Maintain, improve and rollout TBI’s HCD fundraising strategy, together with TBI’s Fundraising and Business Development team
  • Maintain excellent working relationships with critical funders of TBI’s HCD portfolio
  • Evolve such relationships in such a way that they result in suitable and longer-term funding for TBI’s HCD work
  • Ensure high standard of cross-country programme managers and high standard of award management by programme managers in HCD practice. Direct and line manage such programme managers, while empowering them to remain closely anchored to other parts of TBI Africa to ensure the government-led nature of their programmes
  • Allow and facilitate programme and policy managers in HCD to have direct and rapid communication with senior leadership, in particular the Executive Director and Regional Directors for Africa, in areas such as high-level political intervention and problem solving with senior counterparts, ensuring coordination and alignment with country teams, and obtaining rapid approvals and quick responses for changes in project outlook or strategy
  • Explore new suitable funders that may be able to fund this work
  • Explore demand for TBI’s HCD work in countries in which there isn’t such work at present
  • Maintain an excellent working relationship with the Fundraising and Business Development team, collaborating with them on a fundraising strategy for TBI’s Africa HCD work
  • Build relationships with senior stakeholders in the wider ecosystem (institutional and country level) to build TBI’s credibility and spot and develop opportunities, including for wider partnership working
  • Develop and strengthen TBI’s brand within HCD Africa, particularly around HCD delivery support to governments, and adjacent services such as health tech​​

Quality of work

  • Develop and maintain a collection of relevant HCD tools, frameworks, literature, best practice, latest innovations
  • Conduct induction sessions for new joiners
  • Conduct staff trainings on HCD
  • Maintain TBI’s HCD partner network, such that we can tap into partners on a needs basis to respond to governments’ and other needs
  • Establish and manage TBI’s cloud based knowledge system for all matters HCD in Africa and beyond
  • Work with the HR team to maintain a pool of HCD candidates and support recruitment of HCD advisors, associates and analysts when requested
  • Serve as a strategy sounding board and HCD expert advisor to TBI leadership, TBI country projects and HCD programmes on HCD
  • Ensure a strong working relationship with country heads managing in-country HCD advisors, associates and analysts. Such staff will be the line responsibility of the country heads, but will have a dotted line to the HCD practice (either to this role or to a programme manager of a programme within the HCD practice)​​

Thought leadership:

  • Manage the Africa COVID policy team and ensure high quality work, to the standards of TBI’s leadership and governments
  • Develop and roll out an HCD Africa thought leadership agenda (separate to the work of the Covid policy team), to ensure a regular stream of highly visible public engagements on HCD in Africa
  • Ensure high degree of coordination between the Covid policy team and the Director of External Affairs and Policy (Africa), among others

Person Specification

This role requires someone with excellent strategy, management and communication skills, with applied experience in human capital sectors, preferably health or education. This is a leadership role in a fast-paced team working out of different geographies and in a complex policy area, with many diverse stakeholders, both internal and external to TBI.

The successful candidate will need to demonstrate the following skills, knowledge and experience:

  • 10 years’ of experience in public administration, management consulting, government advisory or similar organisations
  • Experience implementing a complex strategy particularly in the Education and Healthcare sectors would be advantageous
  • Experience successfully developing and leading a programme of work and managing a high-performance team
  • Strong technical expertise either health or education sector in a low-income and lower middle-income country context
  • Political savviness
  • Ability to engage a wider range of resources around a given problem to develop appropriate solutions and to spot opportunities for collaboration
  • A track record of successfully engaging with a diverse range of stakeholders, including at a high level (e.g. Head of State) and development partners
  • A strong understanding of the unique attributes of TBI’s advisory model
  • Proven ability to structure and solve complex policy problems
  • A clear and confident communicator, both written and spoken
  • Self-starter, motivated and proactive with solutions
  • Working experience in Africa or in at least two lower middle-income countries
  • The candidate should have the right to live and work in either London, Accra or Nairobi

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.