Technical Expert/Specialist: Economic Development & Women’s Economic Empowerment

Social Development Direct
London, UK
Full time Staff

Job Description: Technical Specialist / Technical Expert - Economic Development & Women’s Economic Empowerment

Social Development Direct are seeking candidates with a passion for, and professional background in, economic development, inclusive growth and / or women’s economic empowerment for a mid-level / senior post to join our expanding Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) team. This is a growth area at Social Development Direct and this role offers an exciting opportunity to shape the portfolio strategy and development and lead delivery through undertaking research and consultancy.

Department:                          Technical Team

Location:                                Central London, with international travel

Reports to:                            Technical Director or WEE Portfolio Lead

Appointment term:               Full-time permanent

Closing Date:                        Applications considered on rolling basis until filled, with an initial deadline of October 16th.

Remuneration Package:      Competitive and commensurate with experience

Social Development Direct (SDDirect) is a leading provider of high-quality, innovative and expert social development assistance and research services. We are a technical firm that offers in-depth thematic expertise in women’s economic empowerment, conflict prevention and peace building, governance voice and accountability, girls’ education, health rights and violence against women and girls.

We have an 18-year track record of providing high quality services that include technical advice and support, research, development assistance programme design, delivery and management, monitoring and evaluation. Our clients are leading international development agencies, iNGOs and Foundations. We are a privately owned Small, Medium Enterprise (SME) with a global track record in over 50 countries.

Read more about us and our work in Women’s Economic Empowerment at:

We have an exciting opportunity to recruit a mid-level / senior post (dependent on experience) to support and shape this growing thematic area of our work. Please read on to learn more about the role and kind of applicants we are looking for.

To apply 

Please email your CV with a cover letter, outlining which level post you are applying for, why you are interested in the post, and how you meet the requirements of the person specifications. Applications should be sent to by the closing date.

Applicants must be eligible to work in the UK.

Due to the high volume of applications, we are only able to respond to shortlisted candidates.


 Technical Specialist / Technical Expert Economic Development & Women’s Economic Empowerment reports to Technical Director or Women’s Economic Empowerment Portfolio Lead

Location: London with extensive international travel

This is a mid-level to senior role (please see person specifications below) within a cutting edge and growing international social development organization. You will contribute to mainstreaming gender and social inclusion across economic development sectors, including, trade, markets, investment and jobs, access to finance, business environment and infrastructure and urban development. Building on your track record of research and delivery in these areas, you will provide expertise and technical capacity in the fields of economic development, inclusive growth and women’s economic empowerment to support the delivery of high quality, evidence-based services to clients. including a range of multinational, government and NGO clients working in international development. You will be a strong, collaborative team player and have excellent client and partner relationship skills as well as experience of project management.


A.            Technical Delivery

  1. Provide strong technical skills, and capacity to the SDDirect women’s economic empowerment team and ensure implementation and delivery of economic development and empowerment programmes to a high standard.
  2. Directly work on consultancy, research and evaluation contracts relating to economic development and empowerment, playing a leadership role as required.
  3. Manage and supervise consultancies, undertaken by other SDDirect technical staff and network consultants. This will involve project management responsibilities, client liaison, and support to, and leadership of, consultancy teams;
  4. Ensure compliance with SDDirect and client project management and contractual requirements, including timely reporting, recording of consultant inputs, contract budget monitoring, and use of the SDDirect online project management system.
  5. Support quality assurance processes to ensure the delivery of products and deliverables to clients to a high standard of professionalism.
  6. Provide relationship management support with a range of clients including government departments (e.g. DFID, FCO and other UK Departments), international agencies, non- governmental organisations and consultancy partners 

B.           Technical, Professional and Corporate Development

  1. Contribute to SDDirect’s strategic thinking, intellectual leadership and planning in relation to economic development, inclusive growth and women’s economic empowerment;
  2. Shape the direction of the portfolio and managing business development, including direct project management responsibilities as may be assigned.
  3. Keep up to date with current trends and be responsible for own professional development.
  4. Provide technical support and advice to in-house staff and our network of consultants.

C.           Business Growth

The following tasks to be undertaken with the support of our business development team and other colleagues.

1. Support the growth of SDDirect’s portfolio of work in economic development, inclusive growth and women’s economic empowerment through:

  • Identifying and scoping out new clients and business opportunities.
  • Participating in the review and assessment of potential business development and bidding prospects.
  • Providing technical inputs for expressions of interest, bids and proposals to prospective clients.

2. Contribute to company marketing and promotional activities, including:

  • Networking with a range of external partners and individuals
  • Identifying and supporting relevant opportunities and events to present our work
  • Representing SDDirect and its work at meetings and events

3. Assist in relationship management and collaboration with Senior Associates and consultants as well as the growth of SDDirect’s network capacity;


Experience, skills and attributes for the mid-level post:

  1. Substantial professional experience (at least 7 years) related to economic development, inclusive growth and women’s economic empowerment in developing countries, working with multilateral, bilateral or non-governmental development organisations.
  2. Demonstrable experience of providing research, technical assistance, programme design, delivery or evaluation services.
  3. Experience of advising on mainstreaming gender and social inclusion in broader Economic Development programmes e.g. financial inclusion, M4P, skills and employment, or trade and investment.
  4. A postgraduate university social science degree in a relevant discipline related to international development, with a preference for candidates with some formal training in economics
  5. Strong research and analysis skills, including skills and experience in quantitative analysis as well as mixed methods research.
  6. Excellent written, verbal and presentational skills to communicate complex ideas to a range of audiences.
  7. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  8. Strong organisational skills and ability to meet deadlines.
  9. Demonstrated strategic thinking and rigorous analytical skills.
  10. A demonstrable commitment to human rights, gender equality and social justice.
  11. A strong team player.
  12. Fluency in written and spoken English. 
  13. Ability to travel internationally and to work legally in the UK.


  1. Experience of preparing bids for consultancy and research projects for donor agency clients
  2. Experience in programme planning, managing, monitoring and evaluation, and quality assurance
  3. Specific experience of working with DFID or UK government economic development programmes
  4. Experience working in the field in developing countries
  5. Proven networking skills
  6. Fluency in other languages (French highly desirable, or Arabic)
  7. Familiarity with statistical analysis software (e.g. SPSS, STATA etc.)


In addition to the above requirements, the senior post also requires:

  1. Substantial experience (at least 10 years) to a senior level of responsibility related to economic development, inclusive growth and / or women’s economic empowerment in developing countries, working with multilateral, bilateral or non- governmental development organisations.
  2. Broad knowledge of the policy and programmatic landscape and trends in international development.
  3. Strong network of clients, potential partner organisations and professional individuals.
  4. Experience of preparing bids for multi-year consultancy and research projects for donor agency clients and of working with large consortia
  5. Experience in programme planning, managing, monitoring and evaluation, and quality assurance.
  6. Strong experience in the implementation of significant international development contracts on behalf of a multilateral, bilateral, foundation or NGO
  7. Significant field experience in developing countries.
  8. Line management / people management skills and experience
  9. Commitment to mentoring more junior staff and network consultants


  1. Fluency in other languages (French highly desirable, or Arabic).
  2. Experience of and confidence in public speaking


Closing date: 
29th October 2017