Global Lead, Government Systems, BRAC UPGI

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Last update: May 23, 2022 Last update: May 23, 2022


Deadline: Jun 17, 2022 Deadline for applications has passed
Location: Bangladesh, Kenya, Netherlands, USA Bangladesh, Kenya, Netherlands, USA
Organization: BRAC International
Sectors: Social Development Social Development
Job type: Contract, 12 months +
English English
Work experience: From 10 years
Date posted: May 22, 2022


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Global Lead, Government Systems, BRAC UPGI

About the Opportunity

The BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI) seeks to hire a Global Lead to build a new unit on Government Systems. This is the first position in a new global unit that will drive BRAC’s learning about how government systems can be best leveraged to optimize the delivery of Graduation style programming. This is a global position working across multiple countries in Africa and Asia.

The delivery of all social services are shaped to a large extent by the architecture of government systems that enable, constrain and structure how social services reach people. Government systems involve many pieces of government infrastructure such as lD systems, social registries (and other government databases), government office infrastructure, civil service and staffing rules, procurement requirements and the use of technology. This includes forward looking possibilities, such as the ability of governments to leverage data (big data, satellite imagery, national databases) in better targeting and social services delivery. Governments are also enabled and constrained in the extent to which they can partner with community based organizations or other private parties in service delivery.

Governments systems also deliver an array of services, often through multiple ministries. Scaling new services or augmenting existing ones depends heavily on how to work with a government’s existing strengths and to work around its limitations or constraints. Government systems are also shaped by politics and how the political system of a given country or region chooses to shape its social service programs.

This new position will help to shape a new unit, building on a broad assessment they will undertake of where Graduation has gained scale and how Government Systems have enabled and constrained scale and quality, compiling evidence from multiple country case studies; identifying where Graduation programs have become large and the Government Systems used to enable such scale. After this initial enquiry and learning phase, the position will support the development of a new unit that will develop insights, guidance and tools that will position and enable Governments to scale high quality Graduation programming within and alongside their other programs.

This position reports directly to UPGI’s Managing Director and will have scope to hire a number of consultants or firms in the first year or two of formation. This new position and unit at BRAC’s UPGI has a global mandate and can be based anywhere, with some preferences for one of BRAC International's hubs in Washington DC, New York, London, the Hague, Nairobi, or Dhaka.

Primary Responsibilities

As a new position in a new unit, this role calls for a high degree of experience and creativity. The role will also come with a substantial budget to hire and engage consultants, firms, or other services in pursuit of the agenda. It is envisioned that in addition to this position, that at least two experienced consultants would be identified to support unit development as well.

This senior role will be tasked with developing UPGI’s understanding of the key barriers and enablers to scale in government systems, and scoping the remit and responsibilities of a new Government Systems unit within UPGI. In particular, building on their extensive experience work with government systems in social sectors, this role will be responsible for:

  • identify key lessons on the enablers and barriers to scale for Graduation programming and establishing base hypotheses about barriers to scale, conditions for scale to happen;
  • develop government system archetypes and assessing how each functions and the scope for different archetypes to scale Graduation style programming;
  • research and catalog existing graduation programs being delivered by government - drawing on secondary data sources, including that developed by the Partnership for Economic Inclusion at the World Bank (where BRAC sits on the Steering Committee);
  • recommend the kinds of capacities and tools UPGI needs to access in order to effectively influence and enable governments to adopt Graduation programmes at scale; and
  • build the new unit’s communications, coordination and collaboration with other units in UPGI and across the BRAC organization.

In a second phase and based on the initial learnings, the position will help to shape the new unit, including taking a lead role in recruiting and onboarding new team members, and leading the team’s efforts to develop key tools, knowledge, expertise or insights on government systems. For example, this might include: expertise in AI systems to help leverage government databases for better targeting; Administrative manuals and MIS that equip government systems with the ability to scale; Recommendations on modes of public/private partnership that strengthen last mile delivery; The use of technology to economize participant engagement; Political analysis on how to to structure programs in ways that support inter-ministerial cooperation.

The role would involve considerable planning ahead, vision, oversight of other staff and engagement with the Managing Director and senior members of the UPGI management team.

Safeguarding Responsibilities

  • Establish a safeguarding culture across all level of the programme by implementing the safeguarding policy. Act as a key source of support, guidance and expertise on safeguarding for establishing a safe working environment.
  • Responsible to ensure team members are appropriately trained, supported and have access to resources regarding issues that are identified and actioned in accordance with the safeguarding policy and procedure.
  • Follow the safeguarding reporting procedure in case any reportable incident takes place, encourage others to do so.


We are looking for a person with a range of experiences in lower-income countries and particularly with direct experience managing, delivering or advising social service delivery systems. A strong candidate would have worked within a government ministry or been a close advisor or financer of government programs. Strong candidates would have substantial experience working with some (not necessarily all) of the Government Systems noted: IDs, social registries, data/analytics, procurement, IT, political analysis. Proven experience improving government service delivery and government systems would be desirable. Experience in data analytics, database management, and the use of technology in service delivery would be significantly advantageous.

Specific Skills and Abilities

  • Strong organization and planning
  • Ability to analyze complex systems and describe well in written and visual modes
  • Understanding of government operations, rules, limitations
  • Ability to approach and easily engage government officials, building trust and rapport
  • Ability to thrive in work environments that are diverse, fast moving, entrepreneurial, and located in multiple time zones.

Education and Experience:

  • Minimum 10 years of work experience, with a strong preference for significant portions of this in Africa or Asia.
  • Masters or higher postgraduate degree in a relevant field, such as Public Policy, Business Administration, IT

About the Organization

About BRAC

BRAC is one of the world’s largest development organizations, dedicated to empowering people living in poverty. Working across 12 countries in South Asia and Africa, BRAC touches the lives of more than 120 million people worldwide. BRAC takes a holistic approach to alleviating poverty with programs that include microfinance, education, healthcare, food security programs and more.

About the Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative

The Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (“UPGI”) is a global unit of BRAC that was founded in 2016 to build off of the success of BRAC’s Ultra-Poor Graduation program in Bangladesh. BRAC UPGI aims to position the Graduation approach as a key driver to eradicate extreme poverty worldwide. It does this by:

  • Advocating for uptake of the Graduation approach by policymakers, national governments, multilateral institutions, and non-governmental organizations; and
  • Effective adaptation and implementation of the Graduation approach in countries around the world, supported through technical assistance and capacity strengthening for external stakeholders.

In 2002, BRAC pioneered the Ultra-Poor Graduation (“Graduation”) approach in Bangladesh - a holistic intervention to help people lift themselves from extreme poverty - after recognizing that existing poverty alleviation programs were not reaching the poorest people. Through the provision of livelihood assets, cash transfers, and continued mentoring and training, the Graduation approach addresses participants’ multidimensional needs within the local context and ‘graduates’ people from extreme poverty into sustainable livelihoods.

Graduation is an evidence-based, scalable intervention proven to break the poverty trap for the long term. So far, BRAC’s flagship Graduation program has impacted over 2 million Bangladeshi households—totaling over 9 million people. To help eradicate extreme poverty, BRAC UPGI is working to scale globally by integrating Graduation into existing government programs and help 21 million more people lift themselves from extreme poverty by 2026.

But BRAC UPGI cannot do it alone. This is beyond the means and capacity of a single organization- no matter how ambitious or innovative. Sustainability and scale demands change at the systems level with active government engagement. BRAC UPGI is committed to creating effective solutions that leverage the available resources and existing programming to achieve the long-term benefits demonstrated by Graduation. The organization is partnering with governments, as well as multilateral institutions, NGOs, and civil society, in countries where BRAC UPGI thinks it can have maximum impact and drive greater uptake for Graduation.

This is an outstanding opportunity to support a highly effective, collaborative, and innovative non-profit. BRAC International offers a competitive salary and benefits package. 

How to Apply:

External candidates: Please email your resume, detailed cover letter, and reference contact information to BRAC International.

Internal candidates: Please submit your resume, including all job assignments in detail, and cover letter with BRAC PIN AD# to internal.bi@brac.net

Please mention the name of the position and AD# BI 61/22 in the subject bar.

Only complete applications will be accepted, and short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Application deadline: June 17, 2022.

BRAC is committed to safeguarding children, young people and vulnerable adults, and expects all employees and volunteers to share the same commitment. We believe every stakeholder and every member of the communities we work with has the right to be protected from all forms of harm, abuse, neglect, harassment, and exploitation - regardless of age, race, religion, and gender, status as an individual with a disability or ethnic origin. Therefore, our recruitment process includes extensive reference and background checks, self-disclosure of prior issues regarding sexual or other misconduct and criminal records and our values are a part of our Performance Management System.


BRAC is an equal opportunities employer.