Head of Global Distributors Collective Job in Kenya

Practical Action

Head of Global Distributors Collective (GDC)

Location: Flexible location

Salary: This is a senior post with commensurate salary. Salary will be benchmarked against local conditions.

Launched in 2018, the Global Distributors Collective is a collective of over 180 last mile distribution companies that cumulatively reach millions of the poorest consumers in the world with beneficial products such as solar lights, water filters and improved cookstoves.

The GDC was established in 2018 to support its members and develop the last mile distribution sector as a whole.

It provides a collective voice for its members to ensure their priorities are supported; drives research and innovation across the sector; facilitates the exchange of information, insight and expertise; and provides critical services that leverage economies of scale.

The GDC has a strong track record of delivery, a clear strategy and secure funding for three years and significant potential for further development.

We have a dynamic and highly collaborative team working within Practical Action (5 staff) and in our strategic/implementing partner Bopinc.

We are seeking an exceptional leader with expertise in last mile distribution to grow and guide the GDC through its next phase, deliver value for members, and help ensure that life-changing products can be made affordable and available to all.

We offer flexible working hours and have a hybrid working policy.

We believe that having a diverse and inclusive workplace culture based on respect will enable us to be an effective organisation.

We seek to create an inclusive workplace in which people are accepted as individuals, regardless of their differences and where they feel their contribution is valued.

We treat all applications for employment on their merits and do not take into consideration any factors that are not relevant to the job such as disability, race, age, religion, gender, gender reassignment or sexual orientation.

Practical Action is committed to safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults and as such candidates will be subject to pre-employment checks including criminal checks and terrorist financing.

About the Global Distributors Collective

The GDC is a collective of last mile distributors around the world, dedicated to supporting distributors to help them reach millions of underserved customers with life-changing products, and to developing the last mile distribution sector as a whole.

The GDC is the world’s only entity dedicated to supporting last mile distributors across sectors and across geographies.

Our vision is a world in which all communities have access to beneficial products that improve their lives.

1.   Our mission is to help last mile distributors make beneficial products available and affordable to all. We have two strategic goals:

2.   Help distributors improve business performance, by providing – and enabling others to provide – solutions and services that help save time, reduce costs, build capacity and develop catalytic partnerships.

Build a collective voice for the sector by generating and sharing learnings, raising the profile of distributors, and helping the broader ecosystem to work effectively with distributors to achieve shared impact goals.

Launched in 2018, the GDC is hosted by Practical Action alongside strategic and implementing partner Bopinc, and is guided by an Advisory Council comprised of both experts and member representatives.

The GDC has nearly 200 members operating across more than 50 countries.

The GDC has been supported by a range of funding partners to date, most significantly UK Aid through the Transforming Energy Access Program, but also USAID, GET.Invest, IBAN, British Investment International (formerly CDC), EEP and others.

The Role

The purpose of this role is to lead, champion and provide oversight of Practical Action’s flagship innovation initiative, the Global Distributors Collective (GDC).

The role of Head of the Global Distributors Collective involves:

·  leading the GDC team, currently 5 full-time staff within Practical Action as well as associates and consortium team members

·  leading the GDC’s strategy, and overseeing its implementation;

·  leading the GDC Steering Committee (consortium partners) and Advisory Council (high level experts and member representatives);

·  being the key face and spokesperson for the GDC and its 200+ membership, including speaking at key international and regional events;

·  creating and maintaining high level and influential relationships and partnerships with stakeholders including members, impact investors, foundations, aid agencies, government institutions, and multilateral institutions, to build our profile and relationships to advance our last mile distribution agenda.

·  driving strategic development and fundraising that will enable the GDC to deliver though its current phase and beyond;

·  supporting the GDC Project Manager to ensure high quality, timely delivery and financial controls across the GDC’s workstreams;

·  supporting the GDC Communications Manager to ensure high quality, timely delivery of communications and member engagement activities across all our workstreams, e.g., events, webinars, brokering technical advisory support, etc.

·  serving as a key technical expert on last mile distribution, leading and providing strategic technical input into GDC workstreams.

·  Providing steer and thought leadership on all aspects of last mile distribution, for example through shaping and authoring high profile research outputs, authoring blogs/articles.

·  In addition, as Practical Action’s lead expert on last mile distribution, this role involves acting as a strategic technical adviser for the broader organisation. This involves driving innovation, providing strategic input into proposals and projects and brokering strategic partnerships in last mile distribution work across the organisation.


Title: Head of the Global Distributors Collective

Reporting to: Head of International Operations, Practical Action

Directorate: Operations

Direct reports: GDC Project Manager, GDC Communications and Impact Manager, GDC Senior Consultant


·  External consultants

·  Consortium members, Steering Committee and Advisory Council

·  Internal relationships: Regional and Country Teams, Influence and Information Teams, Marketing Directorate

Financial scope: To oversee project budgets in range £30k to £3m per annum. To oversee team finances, including delivery against annually agreed income generation targets

Location: Worldwide – to be negotiated

Contract type: Permanent. This is a full-time position working 35 hours per week. An agile working scheme is in operation, which allows flexible hours and hybrid/remote working and flexibility may be required to meet project or proposal deadlines).

Grade: A

Travel: 6-8 weeks per year

Person Profile

The ideal candidate is a senior leader with recognised expertise in last mile distribution, strong active networks in the sector (particularly with the private sector and donor/investor community) and significant experience in fundraising and business development.

The ability to build the capabilities of colleagues and effectively manage a team is essential, as well as the ability to lead a partner consortium.

Experience & Knowledge


·  Masters in a relevant discipline or equivalent work experience

·  In-depth and high-profile expertise in last mile distribution, or possibly inclusive business, and/or energy access.

·  Demonstrated experience of working in partnership with diverse organisations

·  Business development experience including preparing proposals, winning work and programme/contract management

·  Proven experience of successful high-level engagement and networking, and established relationships with key stakeholders in the LMD space

·  Proven leadership and management experience of an organisation/unit

·  Experience of living and working in markets in which last mile distributors operate

·  Excellent strategic and analytical thinking skills

·  Ability to innovate and build and implement strategies and systems-wide interventions

·  Excellent communication and influencing skills across cultures and mediums, including proven technical writing and presentation/ communication/ advocacy skills.

·  Fluency in written and spoken English essential

·  Strong project management abilities, including finance and contract management, client and stakeholder management and managing inputs from team members, consultants and partners

·  Experience in motivating and building the capacities of others

·  Fluency in French

CLICK HERE for more details.

How to Apply

If you believe that you are the leader the GDC is looking for, then we would like to hear from you.

Please submit a copy of your CV and a supporting statement that describes your suitability for the role to recruitment@practicalaction.org.uk

Closing date for applications: Sunday 27th November 2022

Interview Process:

·  First round of interviews to be conducted provisionally in the week commencing 28 November 2022

·  Second round of interviews to be conducted provisionally in the week of 12 December 2022