Are you ready to use your program management, leadership, and administration skills to correct the vision of millions of low-income customers across Bangladesh so they can work, learn, stay safe, and care for their families?
The pioneering social enterprise, VisionSpring, seeks a dynamic and experienced program director to launch, implement, and manage its COVID Safe Workplace program–a collaborative strategy to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among Bangladesh’s garment industry workers–and advance VisionSpring’s broader portfolio of vision correction programs in support of livelihoods. The program director works with the Bangladesh-based VisionSpring team; partner organizations, including NGOs, government agencies, and private businesses; and global team members in Vietnam, India, and the U.S. to achieve successful outcomes.
With the dramatic spread of COVID-19 and the health and economic consequences it has had on Bangladesh’s ready-made garments sector, VisionSpring has strategized with its global brand partners to prioritize infection prevention as a means to assure people can continue to make a living during these uncertain times. Our approach is to build an ecosystem of front-line, community-based and factory resources that will help normalize preventive behavior throughout a factory worker’s day, once she returns to her residence at night, and when she goes home to visit her family. This approach will include the procurement and distribution of products such as reusable masks and hand washing stations and incorporate methods of behavior change to instill long-term health and safety habits. VisionSpring will partner with locally based NGOs to create a robust program that can serve as a model to be replicated in other manufacturing zones throughout Bangladesh. The program director will oversee pilot projects in collaboration with these partners, monitor progress against milestones and timelines in cooperation with the global director of the Clear Vision Workplace (CVW) Program, and lead development and implementation of the projects.
The program director provides leadership for VisionSpring’s 23-person team and operations in Bangladesh, cultivating high levels of mission alignment, engagement, productivity, and adherence to structured processes. This position is based in our Dhaka office and reports to the global director of CVW and the chief operating officer, both located in VisionSpring’s New York support office. This is an 18-month, full-time contract position, with the potential to grow into a permanent country leadership position, offering the opportunity for a successful entrepreneurial leader to direct the rapid expansion of VisionSpring’s impact in Bangladesh.
- You have a deep appreciation for the importance of local context to programmatic success, paired with a sound grasp of best practice and evidence-based development interventions.
- You are practical and look for areas of agreement and common ground in order to move forward in the achievement of shared goals.
- You are innately rigorous in all that you do, from disciplined, strategic thinking to well-structured organization and efficient process development. You also can track execution and spot problems that signal the need for course correction.
- You are a decisive leader and communicate clearly and frequently with your teams, partners, and international colleagues. You proactively solicit input and are comfortable both giving and receiving candid, respectful feedback.
- You look for opportunities to develop team members’ skills and competencies, encouraging them to continuously learn in order to grow as people and realize our social impact objectives.
- You are resourceful in a fast-growing organization. You seek answers, create structure, and devise solutions when obstacles appear.
- VisionSpring is creating access to affordable eyewear, everywhere. Clear vision creates opportunities for increased learning, work, safety, civic participation, and quality of life.
- As a social enterprise, social change motivates us first. Our focus on sales and revenue targets serves and advances our mission objective—to increase functioning, productivity, and income earning potential for our low-income consumers by correcting refractive error with eyeglasses. Every $1 of philanthropy invested in VisionSpring yields an unprecedented $43 in increased earning potential at the household level.
- We are working to transform the systemic dysfunction of an optical market that has failed to deliver eyeglasses—a 700-year-old technology—to 2.7 billion consumers in need of vision correction, most of whom live on less than $4 a day.
- We serve low-income consumers, not as beneficiaries but as customers. Our customers expect a high-quality and affordable product, and they will spend limited discretionary income for the immediate and tangible benefits of vision correction.
- We run our business on both sales metrics and social impact measures. We use a range of organizational forms and practices to get the job done.
- We believe in scaling our impact, not our organization. We are a lean team of doers.
WHAT YOU’LL DO
Partnership Development and Program Leadership (15% of time)
- Serve as the most senior program leader in Bangladesh, responsible for making decisions about how best to achieve VisionSpring’s impact objectives
- Serve as VisionSpring’s national voice for the Clear Vision Workplace and COVID Safe Workplace programs in Bangladesh. Represent VisionSpring externally with local government, implementing partners, factory and private sector clients, and existing and potential funders.
- Create, manage, and nurture collaborative relationships with 2-4 partner organizations, working together in a network to promote the health and livelihoods of factory workers and their families.
- Serve as a strategic leader for all Bangladesh programs, including the nationally scaled Reading Glasses for Improved Livelihoods program and the innovative, new Pharmacy-based Vision Access program, which are poised to resume operations and expand once it is safe to do so.
Program Planning and Management (50% of time)
- Lead day-to-day development and execution of programs, using data and inputs from team members, community members, and partners to adapt and made decisions.
- Develop and conduct assessments to inform project plans, validate assumptions, and determine feasibility.
- Create annual program budgets and plans, and help line managers develop short-term work plans, in order to ensure the team meets program goals. Identify and communicate risks that could derail program success.
- Build and execute a simple and effective monitoring and evaluation plan that provides all partners with actionable data to course correct and improve.
- Ensure programs are managed within budget and on schedule.
- Assure all projects and partners in the network have the information, resources, and support they need to execute on the plan and meet their goals.
- Collaborate with VisionSpring’s global program team to assure best practices are used across programmatic activities.
- Provide VisionSpring’s executive, communications, and development teams with timely, relevant, and accurate information on the programs.
Operations, Human Resources, and Financial Management (20% of time)
- Work with the local human resources associate and the global HR team to ensure all employee concerns are addressed and the team is performing with high levels of mission alignment, satisfaction, and productivity.
- Support the operations team with procurement and supply chain activities, working with local and international suppliers. Identify opportunities for operational streamlining, cost reductions, and process improvements.
- Work with the COO to manage the country-wide budget, ensuring effective allocation of financial and human resources.
- Work with the Bangladesh finance and accounting associate and the global finance team for accurate and timely financial reporting.
- Partner with the COO, finance team, and legal counsel to ensure that VisionSpring is operating to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. Serve as the country representative when requested.
Sales and Business Development (15% of time)
- In collaboration with the COO, support the sales team in developing the annual plan for eyeglasses and PPE sales. Provide guidance as needed for key accounts management and pharmacy sales strategy, ensuring sales goals are met in a timely manner and customer complaints are resolved.
- Guide the Clear Vision Workplace team in developing sales targets and plans for factory-based vision screenings as the COVID context allows.
- Ensure all sales activities are tracked in Salesforce, VisionSpring’s CRM system.
- Ensure sales performance is recorded by the Bangladesh finance department.
- Ensure marketing campaigns are implemented across all channels.
- Work with sales teams to conduct market analyses and identify growth opportunities for both new and repeat customers.
- Create synergies across programs and relationships with channel partners to promote the development of the eyeglasses market and maximize value for eyeglasses wearers and institutional partners.
- Track relevant funding trends in Bangladesh and identify relevant philanthropic and public donor opportunities. Work with development team to produce high quality, timely proposals for potential donors.
- A minimum of 15 years of relevant professional experience in global health, development and/or business.
- Experience in program development, implementation, and management; partnership development and management; coordination of multi-partner coalitions or networks working in one geographic context; and/or operations management.
- Prior responsibility for teams of at least 20 people and budgets of $500,000 or more.
- Extraordinary follow-through, attention to detail and deadlines, and a strong personal sense of accountability.
- Must meet the highest standards of ethics, with a demonstrated capacity for discretion and for handling sensitive information with care.
- A strong commitment to respectful collaboration with colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
- University degree.
- Fluency in English and Bengali, written and verbal.
- Preferred experience: (1) Working in a relevant national or international organization operating in Bangladesh; (2) Project Management Professional (PMP) certification; (3) Graduate education in a relevant field; and/or (4) Familiarity with Salesforce.
- Salary range BDT 2,540,000 – 3,390,000, (~USD $30,000 – $40,000) based on experience and education.