Educate! an award-winning non-profit social enterprise is seeking a Product Owner to join our ambitious and cross-functional Technology team. We are looking for a product professional who is excited and passionate about solving consumer-facing problems, developing product roadmaps, and executing those plans to bring value to end-users. The ideal hire will help the product team meet and exceed its goals by translating strategic business initiatives into technology products. The Product Owner will be part of a new and growing Technology team and will provide support to the product, delivery and M&E teams.
In this role you will have a chance to collaborate with a variety of stakeholders to understand requirements for the tech products/solutions, develop product roadmaps and project-manage the entire tech product/solution development cycle.
The ideal hire is passionate about working with data to drive improvements in user experience and excited to work with simpler technology tools such as USSD, SMS, WhatsApp through Telerivet, Echomobile, Textit etc that are easily accessible to youths who don’t have access to smartphones. You’ll join a motivated, passionate, overachieving international team with a vision to design solutions that will impact millions of youth annually across Africa.
You are the right fit for this role if you:
- Are a master coordinator and exceptional project manager
- Are analytical and data-driven
- Possess a broad understanding of the tech product development process
- Have independently driven the design of technology products in a team, with a strong focus on the end-user
- Have strong communication and interpersonal skills
Sound like you or someone you know? Apply at this link. To help bridge the learning gap created by COVID-19, we’ve created a product to remotely deliver key components of our proven in-school model during this time. Read here to learn more about Educate!’s distance learning model.
Educate! prepares youth in Africa with the skills to succeed in today’s economy.
We tackle youth unemployment by partnering with schools and governments to reform what schools teach and how they teach it, so that students in Africa have the skills to attain further education, overcome gender inequities, start businesses, get jobs and drive development in their communities. Our model is delivered through practically-trained teachers and youth mentors. Educate!’s goal is to make this practical, skills-based model part of national education systems.
In 2019, we partnered with the government to pilot in 60+ schools in Kenya, worked in 275+ secondary schools in Rwanda, and 800+ schools in Uganda (25% of the country) reaching over 46,000 students intensively and 470,000 more broadly. Two rigorous external evaluations, including a randomized controlled trial, found that towards the end of secondary school, participants of our program earn nearly DOUBLE the income of their peers. A follow-up RCT found that four years later, our graduates demonstrate large and durable shifts in skills, coupled with significant improvements in education and gender equity-related outcomes. Girls achieve even greater results. Our graduates change their lives and their communities, such as Daniel who leveraged both his medical education and the transferable and business skills gained through Educate! to open a rural health clinic in his community employing two people and conducting about 350 checkups per month.
Educate! supports governments with integrating skills-based curriculum nationally. This includes partnering with Uganda’s government to integrate curriculum and a student business club structure into Uganda’s entrepreneurship course nationally and serving as a technical advisor to both Rwanda and Kenya on national education reforms.
Educate! is a non-profit social enterprise with 200 staff and 300 volunteer youth mentors. We have been backed by top foundations such as MasterCard, Big Bang Philanthropy, Mulago, Echoing Green, Ashoka and Global Innovation Fund. Educate! won a 2018 Klaus J. Jacobs Prize (and was featured in a video), a 2015 WISE Award, and was highlighted by Bill Gates, in the World Bank’s S4YE’s Impact Portfolio, an Al Jazeera documentary, Forbes 30 under 30, and The Brookings Institution as one of 14 case studies in their global scaling education learning initiative. Educate! was also selected by the UN’s Generation Unlimited as 1 of 20 innovative youth solutions.
Educate!’s long-term vision is to design solutions that measurably impact millions of youth across Africa each year.
Requirements gathering: Translating Product strategy into product development specifics
- Gather all information from cross-functional teams to translate strategy into clear product specifics.
- Assist business stakeholders to define and refine their requests
- Collaborate with a variety of stakeholders to define the relevant personas, user journeys, and functional requirements.
- Drive decision-making with internal partners
- Translate requirements into product designs
- Develop and own a product strategy that is clearly articulated, easily understood, and delivers meaningful value to our customers and business over time
- Identify areas for modification in existing programs and subsequently develop these modifications
User-focused/Customer-centered product design
We need our Product Owner to build processes and practices to continuously gather and address usability issues with our technology products.
- Lead ideation for the needs identified- creating designs based on requirements and strategy
- Construct systems and processes to gather data on how users actually experience it on a day to day basis
- Own process of integrating customer feedback into products
Market Research and User Testing
- Research and analyze the users, and the roadmap for the product
- Plan, prepare and conduct research on potential solutions
- Collect quantitative product data and metrics through market research
- Testing and evaluating new designs/products
- Research and analyse the way our data can be used and then drive improvements in user experience
- Build and execute an actionable roadmap that empowers developers to realize the product strategy
- Providing vision and direction to the development team and stakeholders to achieve the product vision
- Collaborate closely with Design, Programs, and M&E teams to drive the execution of the product development team
- Plan and prioritize product feature backlog and development for the product
- Lead the planning product release plans and set the expectation for delivery of new functionalities
- Developer management: oversee development of product features either through external consultants or development
- Keep abreast with Agile/Scrum best practices and new trends
- Develop quality assurance procedures
- Bachelor’s degree, and a minimum of 3 years of work experience.
- Possess a broad understanding of the tech product development process; and have created product roadmaps.
- Experienced with using qualitative and quantitative data (especially from A/B tests) to make product decisions.
- Experience working with program delivery and data collection platforms such as USSD, SMS, WhatsApp through Telerivet, Echomobile, Textit, etc
- Fits our Five Cultural Tenets (see What is Educate! About? below); Learn more by looking at Educate!’s culture deck here
- We are open to this position being based in one of our offices in East Africa, in either Nairobi, Kampala or Kigali.
- Benefits & perks include a generous vacation policy, health insurance, and breakfast in the office!
Why You Will Brag About Working At Educate!
- We’ve got the impact.
- Educate! is designed for scale. We quadrupled operations in 2014, going from 54 to more than 200 schools served. We carefully measure our outcomes, and — here’s the best part — we are maintaining quality at four times the size.
- We believe in local leadership — 97% of our on the ground staff is African.
- Our model has gone nationwide in Uganda — Educate!’s model is now incorporated into the national curriculum and exams, impacting thousands more students than we can reach directly.
- Educate is a well-oiled learning machine. We built our model by methodically testing hundreds of assumptions and we are constantly experimenting, evaluating, and improving.
- We’re honored that luminaries and leaders like Oliver Wonekha, the Ugandan Ambassador to the US, and Ann Veneman, a former Secretary of Agriculture and head of Unicef, believe in us enough to have joined our advisory board.
What Is Educate! About?
We’re ambitious. Are you? Educate! is growing fast, so new opportunities are opening up and expanding all the time. We’re inspired by people with drive, and we love to help them reach their full potential. We expect everyone at Educate! to contribute above and beyond their job description, grow their skills, and advance their careers, and we are committed to supporting our staff members on that journey.
- We Put Youth First – The youth we serve come first. Always. In everything. That means we wake up thinking of ways we can serve youth even better and get the highest impact out of every dollar that we spend. It means Educate! doesn’t own a single vehicle, because we’d rather take the bus if it means one more student can participate. It means making every decision like the future depends on it — because if we get our way, it does.
- We Are Always Learning – When you work at Educate!, educating yourself is part of your job too. We encourage every employee to find the best book on management; share the latest article on graphic design; bring in your favorite college mentor; or meet the researcher pushing the edge of the field. We are always thirsty for knowledge and love to share.
- We Only Solve a Problem Once – We are allergic to band-aids so we love the person who brings the new system to solve the problem for good, even problems we haven’t recognized yet.
- We Are Flexible – We thrive on change — we’re driving it. We are growing every day, so we have to adapt quickly to meet new challenges, and our team keeps up.
- We Exceed Expectations – We assume we can achieve the impossible because we already have, year after year. We want our staff to create their own challenges, ask the toughest questions, and dream scary big!
Every person at Educate! — from interns to the executive director — is evaluated by how they live up to these five cultural tenets. They are at the core of how we achieve our mission and why we work as well as we do.
Educate is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who interact in our community. In creating this environment, we encourage people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences to join our diverse team.