Associate, Innovation Challenge Fund

Report to: Head of Innovation Challenge Fund
Location: Islamabad
Application deadline for the position is July 30, 2017


Job Description

Karandaaz Pakistan seeks to hire an Associate, Innovation Challenge Fund. The successful candidate will assist the Head of the Innovation Challenge Fund (ICF) in designing, implementing and monitoring challenge rounds of the ICF.

Karandaaz is implementing the Department for International Development (DFID) funded Innovation Challenge Fund (ICF). The fund is designed to overcome the challenges in financial inclusion by investing in innovative products and services. Karandaaz works with private sector firms to invite solutions to these challenges and reduce the risk of product development by funding the projects. Challenge funds are designed to leverage the innovative power and commercial instincts of the private sector, and financial service providers to overcome developmental challenges. The challenge fund, can overcome market failures that would otherwise prevent a solution-provider from making an initial investment, either from the cost of information discovery, costs of mitigating risks or simple lack of available funding. The Head of the ICF is responsible for identifying challenges on themes that require innovation for resolution, and designing & executing rounds of the ICF.  The Associate will assist the ICF Head in initial research, contracting of partners, financial and technical monitoring for challenge fund rounds. The ideal candidate will have experience in working on grant design & management and has passion for innovation in financial inclusion space. The candidate would have displayed versatility in the areas where they have worked.

Job Responsibilities

  • Conduct research and analysis to develop background knowledge on thematic problems and identify key Challenges
  • Help the ICF Head in drafting the Concept Note that identify the challenges & specify the funding process (eligibility and selection criteria, advisory committee constitution, application forms, guidance notes and systems for fund disbursement, governance, transparency and performance monitoring etc.) for each round of the ICF
  • Assist in implementing the competitive process for the different rounds of the fund, including proposal screening and selection of partners with a special focus on innovation, social impact and “new to market” products
  • Monitor the fund disbursement process including assessment and oversight, with a strong emphasis on due diligence, Value-for-Money and cost effectiveness
  • Coordinate with the Communications team for promotion of the ICF among potential applicants through use of social and print media, events etc.
  • Assist in documentation and coordination to help screen and appraise applications for funding from an EOI stage, followed by, if successful, by a full proposal. The Associate will also assist the ICF Head to assess whether the policies of the applicants adhere to donor requirements. Due diligence checks will include assessment of financial management and accounting practices and systems, environmental protection, etc.
  • Work with the M&E team to ensure that social/ financial objectives of the fund are measurable and reported at all stages
  • Draft periodic progress reports on each contract signed under the ICF.
  • Any other task assigned by the supervisor


  1. Technical Skills, Education & Experience
  • A Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in business, economics or related field of study with an understanding of project management and social science research
  • At least four (4) years of relevant experience preferably in funding of innovations
  • Strong analytical skills in terms of research, sectoral analysis and activity design
  • Superior English writing and presentation skills
  • Experience in working with various stakeholders from the public and private sectors
  • Demonstrated ability to analyze, synthesize and intuitively present research in compelling reports and presentations
  • Knowledge of the financial access space and impact investing will be a significant advantage
  1. Behavioral Skills
  • Highly organized, with demonstrated project and time management skills
  • Have strong decision-making skills, analytical skills and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to interface with and manage stakeholders at senior level
  • Ability to work to multiple and tight deadlines with a commitment to quality, accuracy and attention to detail
  • Team player and self-starter, shows initiative; works independently; has innate curiosity; passion for research, analysis and delivering insights to the market
  • Ability to work with geographically dispersed multicultural teams



Please email your resume on clearly mentioning the job title in subject.

Application deadline for the position is July 30th, 2017.

Note: Karandaaz is an equal opportunity employer. Women and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Only shortlisted candidates will be called for an interview.


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Non-profit company registered under Section 42 of the Companies Act, 2017