Manager: Community of Practice

Sep 3, 2020

Position type: Full time
Hiring Manager: Director, HCDExchange
Location: Anywhere in East Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, or South Asia (local hire; candidates must be nationals of a country in these regions)
Salary: Commensurate with experience
Date posted: September 3, 2020
Date applications due: November 20, 2020 ( 5PM East African Time)
Desired start date: As soon as possible


The HCDExchange is a community of implementers, funders, designers, evaluators and youth committed to advancing learning and practice related to the integration of human-centred design (HCD) and adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) in low-resource settings, with a particular focus on countries in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia. The HCDExchange aims through our learning community, to accelerate the field of HCD+ASRH and thereby elevate young people’s agency and transform sexual and reproductive health outcomes for youth and adolescents.

In 2018, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation funded a convening in Tanzania bringing together people and organizations working at the intersection of HCD in ASRH. This gathering showcased best practices, generated interest, and resulted in the launch of working groups to advance this field. More importantly, those involved started to see themselves as a community with a shared agenda.

In 2020, this same set of funders is supporting the next phase of this work — the HCDExchange — a community built on a collaborative model and dedicated to (1) establishing a supportive infrastructure, and (2) facilitating commitment amongst key actors. We envision: a democratized (inclusive of diverse participants), localized (contextually relevant), and mutualized (jointly owned) HCD+ASRH field. During this phase, we are accelerating the development of a robust, efficient, and transparent HCD+ASRH field by increasing access to learning and networks and generating evidence about good practices, models, and effectiveness.

Learn more about the HCDExchange »

Overview of role

The Community Manager is a strategic, mission-critical role. Working as part of the HCDExchange Secretariat, the Community Manager will build and animate the HCDExchange Community of Practice, nurturing a dynamic and curious group culture, and ensuring that member have opportunities to document best practices, share insights and knowledge, improve skills, and work together to create public goods and fill evidence gaps that accelerate the HCD+ASRH field.

This person will understand the community deeply, have a vibrant and upbeat connector personality, be an excellent writer and presenter, have tons of initiative, and be highly tech-savvy. S/he will also embody and model the community’s values / participation guidelines and the principles of the HCDExchange. As the main point of contact for potential, new, and existing members, the Community Manager will welcome new members, provide support and guidance, nurture collaboration, and activate and deepen connections across different interest groups (youth, designers, program implementers, funders, Governments, etc.).

The Community Manager will work under the direction and supervision of the HCDExchange Director, and collaborate with the broader HCDExchange team including staff, consultants, Youth Leadership Hub, and Advisory Committee members.

Roles & responsibilities

1 / Build and serve the HCDExchange community of practice

Implement and evolve the community strategy — Operationalize and advance the community strategy and support documenting. This will include:

  • Acting as a community feedback conduit, advocating for adapting the strategy to evolve in alignment with members’ needs
  • Contribute to developing community monitoring and evaluation metrics, create and manage tracking systems, and document learning around milestones and inflection points
  • Identifying risk areas (i.e. COVID-19 virtual event/meeting fatigue among community members) and ideating solutions in collaboration with the leadership team
  • Communicate community needs and interests to the Youth Leadership Hub and Advisory Committee, so that they can adapt their work plans accordingly
  • Coordinate and support community and Working Group members as they implement different parts of the HCDExchange Learning Agenda

Animate the community, serve members, and engage champions — Act as the community’s lead facilitator, inspiring and connecting prospective, new, and existing members around shared values and objectives, and helping them contribute and derive value from their participation. Responsibilities include:

  • Develop and/or implement action pathways, messaging, and facilitation guides for key member groups, outlining their journey from first point of contact onwards and establishing the processes, tooling/ templates, and messaging to engage and serve them
  • Identify and celebrate champions, encouraging them to take leadership roles within the community (volunteer facilitator, topic lead, Working Group lead, etc.)
  • Create links between the community and HCDExchange digital and social media, in collaboration with the Digital Communication Specialist
  • Represent the HCDExchange in other communities
  • Bring good practices and engagement ideas from other communities
  • Doing everything to serve members and ensure that they feel a sense of belonging, community, and collaboration — including
    • Orienting new members
    • Surfacing ideas for resources, groups, and events
    • Initiating conversations and sustaining a steady cadence of discussions
    • Highlighting hot topics and member concerns
    • Facilitating bonding discussions where members can get to know each other as individuals

Model values and set the tone — Set the tone of what the community looks and feels like by creating a culture, modeling values, and being mindful with language and semantics. This includes maintaining and evolving the HCDExchange Community Participation Guidelines — and developing processes to address problematic behaviors.

2 / Platform management, community technical infrastructure, and event production

Oversee platform management & technical infrastructure — Based on key user profiles (youth, designers, evaluators, governments, ASRH program implementers, etc.), configure and optimize the HCDExchange’s community forum features and information architecture. Coordinate with the Digital Communications Specialist, Francophone / West Africa Regional Coordinator, and Senior HCD Advisor to test and refine the user experience between the platform, website, newsletter, and other digital channels. Troubleshoot any technical issues with members, identifying and coordinating with IT/support services, as needed.

Build and maintain robust community data information systems with the help from the Program Analyst. This includes maintaining systems and data in MailChimp, Airtable, and Discourse.

Produce and promote events — Lead or support regular community calls and events with a focus on facilitating connections, collaboration, and learning. Support event moderators, panelists, speakers, guests, and participants through a number of digital and in-person formats (see list below). Collaborate with the Digital Communications Consultant to promote HCDExchange events.

  • Monthly community calls
  • Webinars (using Zoom features such as breakout rooms, Q&A, simultaneous translation, etc.)
  • Instagram Live/Facebook Live/Youtube Live broadcasts
  • Masterclasses
  • Podcasts
  • Town halls (bringing together youth and high-level stakeholders, like funders and government)

Qualification, skills, and experience


Bachelor’s degree required, Masters degree a plus.

Required skills and experience

  • Community of practice management and facilitation experience, including a solid understanding of online etiquette, good practices for managing members and promoting healthy digital interactions, and processes to address community participation guideline violations
  • Experience supporting and facilitating a diverse range of people (adolescent activists, Executive Directors, government officials, funders, media, and others — including different ages, sexual orientations, and cultures)
  • The ability to design systems and processes
  • Strong technology skills: the candidate must have the ability to learn and use new software and apps (especially Airtable and Discourse) — getting to expert level quickly and possessing the ability to help others as they learn to interact and collaborate via digital media / new platforms
  • Familiarity with public health, international development, or adolescent and sexual and reproductive health — and especially nuances around rights, gender, safeguarding, and ethics
  • Ability to thrive as part of an international online team working different time zones
  • Change management (introducing new technologies, processes, or practices)

Skills and experience that provide an added advantage

  • Community organizing, movement- / coalition- / network-building, and advocacy experience
  • Understanding of human centered design, including critiques and variations (service design, equity-centered community design, liberatory design, etc.)
  • History and connections with youth organizations and activists in the Global South
  • Coaching, mentoring, and pedagogical approaches to adult learning and professional development


Preference is for a bilingual candidate (English and French). English is the working language for this assignment. Excellent oral and written communications and presentation skills in English are required. Working knowledge of French is an added advantage.

Application process

To apply, please visit and submit your CV and a short cover letter outlining why you’re an excellent candidate for this role.

Note that this is a “local hire” — candidates must be nationals of a country located in Sub-Saharan Africa or South Asia.

The application deadline is 5pm on November 20, 2020 (EAT time). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.