Monday, May 14th, 2012...3:20 pm

DAI, is seeking a Prize Competitions Specialist to work on the USAID Grand Challenges for Development Implementation Services, DC

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DAI is seeking a Prize Competitions Specialist to work on the USAID Grand Challenges for Development Implementation Services project, a Washington, D.C.-based project that DAI was awarded and began to implement in October 2011 for one year with 2 additional option years. The project provides implementation and technical support to USAID’s Grand Challenges for Development initiative in the Office of Science and Technology. USAID launched the Grand Challenges effort in early 2011 with two goals: entice a broad range of people to generate innovation and progress against critical problems through tools such as prizes and competitions, and intensify the role of science and technology in helping people in developing countries. This “call for ideas” is pushing USAID’s global development community to identify the barriers and recruit a community of innovators with solutions to help overcome those barriers. Since kickoff, USAID has launched two Grand Challenges “Saving Lives at Birth,” and “All Children Reading” and several rounds of grant competitions to source solutions to solve these critical problems. USAID would like to complement these large grant competitions by testing out prizes within the Agency as part of a Grand Challenge and also as a stand-alone demonstration of how to source solutions that is not necessarily linked to a Grand Challenge. The aim is to move the Agency to go beyond using traditional grant mechanisms and include prizes as a mechanism for sourcing scalable solutions to critical development problems.

The Prize Competitions Specialist will be fully integrated into the DAI Grand Challenge team to provide overall support to the Grand Challenge effort and to provide  implementation and advisory services around a comprehensive suite of prize competitions to USAID, to include: 1) prize competition strategy and design services that result in the identification of scalable international development solutions (including consultation with USAID/Washington and USAID mission-based teams); 2) strategies to build communities of non-traditional development actors that can catalyze global action around Grand Challenge problems 3) identify and work with a prize platform provider.

The Prize Competitions specialist shall provide support for a variety of activities under this objective that may include some or all of the below for a series of international development competitions over the remaining 2+ years of the contract (this time frame is based on USAID exercising project extension options). Each engagement on prize competition design will require a custom set of the activities – some will require comprehensive support, while others will require only design or platform services.

Services will include, but will not necessarily be limited to:

  • Strategic concept development;
  • Identify the right prize competition type or model for the stated goal;
  • Recommend the appropriate target solver community profile given the type of competition.
  • Market research, interviews, and stakeholder engagement to understand how best to structure the incentive given 1) needs and goals of prize competition “sponsor” ; 2) existing activity in the space, 3) number and kind of potential participants, 4) primary motivations of contestants;
  • Assist in crafting the problem statement and/or “call to action”;
  • Recommend length of competition, type and size of incentive purse, eligibility, submission rules, and other relevant design factors;
  • Knowledge of prize competition rules, regulations, and intellectual property rights;
  • Assist in establishing judging criteria and/or prize competition rules and composition of judging panel;
  • Support the appropriate set of tracking and measurement metrics for the prize competition.
  • Serve as principle liaison to the partner IT firm to ensure the IT platform
  • Design and conduct USAID internal prize workshops to build understanding and buy-in
  • Liaise with broader prize community within the USG (White House, NASA, GSA etc.) and beyond the USG.  ( XPrize, InnoCentive etc.)
  • Work with the DAI GCD team to develop and implement strategies for the Grand Challenges that promote sourcing open innovation, crowd sourcing and community building.

DAI is recruiting a full-time candidate to be based in Washington D.C. (working part time at DAI, USAID and personal residence) for the life of the contract

Required qualifications:

  • At least five years of experience in designing and managing crowd-sourcing, on-line community engagement, open innovation, or prize competitions for a variety of organizations and clients.
  • Experience with prize competition designs, platforms, and industry leaders.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to integrate into a team

Additional desirable qualifications sought:

  • Previous experience in open government and organizational innovation
  • Experience managing online communities of practice.
  • Experience in international development and working with USAID.

Interested applicants can send their CV to DAI Principal Recruiter Ann Kinsley at Apply by May 21, 2012.

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