Suvita is a startup nonprofit working to increase uptake of routine childhood immunisations in India. We are impact-focused and currently deliver two evidence-based programmes
to boost attendance at vaccination appointments:
- Identifying natural community influencers and supporting them to act as immunisation ambassadors.
- Sending SMS reminders directly to new parents and caregivers, to help them remember when their child is due for a vaccination.
As we move from pilot to replication and scale-up phase, we want to ensure that we are leveraging technology optimally to expand our reach and effectiveness, and are poised for accelerating Suvita’s impact.
About the role
We’re seeking a Head of Technology who will lead on the design and implementation of Suvita’s tech systems. You will be ‘the tech person’ in our team, responsible for:
- Identifying priority opportunities and bottlenecks to innovate, streamline and accelerate the impact of our programmes.
- Designing and building optimal solutions to particular problems in close collaboration with other team members and possibly end-users (whose tech access and confidence might be quite different from your own).
- Identifying and liaising with external tech providers and tech-focused funders as needed.
- Ensuring the organisation meets data security and broader regulatory standards and norms around transparency and privacy.
Below are some examples of projects that you might undertake:
- A programme manager needs a dashboard to help with monitoring of our immunisation ambassadors programme. We conduct surveys to identify and recruit ambassadors using SurveyCTO, which collects raw survey data and metadata, and need a dashboard which automatically processes this and displays key indicators somewhere accessible for our team. Ideally, we also want to develop A/B testing capabilities which use this same data stream. Identify the best tool that interacts well with SurveyCTO (and work out how you will use it to facilitate A/B testing), then design and build the dashboard.
- We want to build a new back-end database of our SMS reminders programme enrolees, hosted on a cloud-based server. It will need to interact seamlessly with any other bits of software necessary to send messages (currently a third party scheduling provider, Telerivet, and a third party telecoms company, Textlocal - these could change in future under your management if you identify a better setup we should be using). It also needs to interact seamlessly with our own upstream data flow from the enrolment process (as a sub-project, currently a bunch of our data processing steps for mass enrolment are carried out manually for each round of enrolment - can you build a web app to automate them?). Identify the best tools for different parts of the problem and design and deliver the solution. We aim to use our resources (such as our time and money) as efficiently as possible within the team, so you may choose to build the whole system yourself or you may design it but then enlist an independent contractor to do (bits of) the building. It needs to conform to best practices around the security and efficiency of ETL data systems.
- We are thinking of adding auto-voice-calls and/or WhatsApp messages to our system of communicating with our users. Look into how this could be done (we expect there are probably off-the-shelf solutions here so we won’t need to reinvent the wheel) and contribute to strategic discussions about whether to go ahead.
- Come up with a frictionless way for new individual users to self-enrol for our SMS reminders programme. We will need them to share a name and date of birth with us in a reliable format, without it having any financial costs to them. Different users may have variable levels of confidence with reading and writing. Can you automate the whole process?
- We want to improve our two-way communication with our immunisation ambassadors, ideally in a scalable way, whilst ensuring that there is no financial cost to them. Work out exactly what we are trying to achieve, think about different options for how we could do this and propose your top suggestions to the team, then implement the agreed solution.
- Work with the Co-Founders to identify, define and prioritise Suvita’s strategic tech objectives into the medium- and long-term. Are we missing out on any opportunities to use tech to maximise our impact? Can you come up with possible solutions and costs for these that we could take to potential funders? For example, can you identify any automation opportunities to make our programmes more scalable? Is there a way we could better harness our data systems to facilitate continuous improvement? Should you be working with our Head of Operations to implement an overall Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system?
This role requires someone who is highly competent and self-directed, and has excellent problem-solving and communication skills. You will be the most knowledgeable person in the organisation working on these specialised areas, and need to be comfortable wearing lots of hats - characterising problems as well as designing, building and improving their solutions (AKA systems implementation). You will also need to work closely with our Head of Operations and (future) Head of Programmes to ensure that our tech systems align with programmatic and operational needs, and to collaborate with Suvita’s Co-Founders to prioritise strategic tech objectives.
Who should apply?
- You are motivated by the satisfaction of building great solutions and are passionate about the opportunity to see those solutions immediately having a positive impact
- Experience in the design and implementation of software solutions, particularly where you have been the key decision-maker. You need to be both an architect and a builder. A good sign of this could be any of the below (but you may also have a great example that doesn’t fit neatly into one of these):
- Experience where you were the only tech person at a startup and built something to meet a need.
- If you have single-handedly completed any impressive side-projects.
- Experience as the project lead of a software team.
- We don’t have a hard requirement for a minimum amount of experience as we are more interested in quality than quantity, but we expect that it will be challenging to meet the skill requirements of the role without at least some experience working in a relevant role.
- Excellent communication skills, particularly for understanding and communicating user needs and for proactively highlighting important considerations in strategic discussions. You must be able to communicate clearly with colleagues and other users with varying levels of tech understanding/experience.
- Creative, open-minded systems thinker; adopter of the ‘scout mindset’ to focus very clearly on maximising Suvita’s impact, not likely to fall victim to ‘Maslow’s Hammer’ thinking. This is crucial because you will typically be the most knowledgeable ‘tech’ person in decision-making conversations, so at times the whole organisation will be relying on your open-mindedness and resourcefulness to help us make the right decision. For example, there may be situations where you should advise us to hire external tech providers to build certain components, where you will be closely involved with the process of procurement and delivery end to end, rather than building a solution yourself.
- You will need a strong overall understanding of data architectures, software development methodologies and best practices, coding styles and languages, etc., to be able to make informed recommendations about what we should do (and to justify why they are better than alternatives).
- Flexible and excited about working across multiple organisational areas in varying roles.
- Please note that a computer science degree is not a hard requirement and we don’t have a hard requirement for specific programming languages. We are more interested in your skills at problem-solving and solution design and building.
- Suvita’s work saves lives. You get the opportunity to work in a mission-driven, impact-focused organisation with strong values, delivering programmes grounded in a solid evidence base.
- The chance to work end-to-end on our tech systems, seeing your work immediately put to use to achieve impact.
- A friendly, passionate, curious team.
- A high-leverage role in a young organisation. Our programmes are set for huge growth in the next year and beyond, and we are in the early stages of setting up various tech-reliant systems in the organisation, so there are plenty of opportunities for personal impact.
- Independence, autonomy and a flexible work schedule.
- 30 days’ paid holiday leave per year plus 12 days’ sick leave at full pay.
- Reimbursement towards an annual health insurance policy for all India-based team members.
Publication: 16 August 2021
Duration: fixed one-year term with opportunity to make long term subject to performance and organisation plans and budgets.
Location: flexible within India; we have team members based in Pune and Patna but are open to fully remote or hybrid work models.
Pay: we expect likely in the range of Rs.1,00,000-1,70,000 per month, but will agree an exact amount in discussion with the top candidate.
Reports to: Co-Founder (Fiona Conlon)
- Application timeline:
Early deadline (to be guaranteed for consideration): 11:59PM, Sunday 5 September 2021
Final deadline: 11:59PM (IST), Sunday 19th September 2021