Human Centered Design (HCD) Coordinator (re-announcement)

Published: 14.01.2021 09:28:48
Deadline: 26.01.2021 23:59:59 The deadline for applications has expired
Salary: According to the interview results
Work experience: 5 years
Location: Bishkek
Type of involvement: full time

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Common information

AKF Kyrgyz Republic is seeking to hire a Human Centered Design (HCD) Coordinator in Kyrgyzstan for the AKF and USAID jointly funded Local Impact Leader with Associate (LWA) award. With an eye toward conflict prevention and resolution, Local Impact will target marginalized and vulnerable communities to: (1) Catalyze inclusive economic growth and ensure basic livelihoods; (2) Enhance infrastructure and access to basic services with a focus on clean energy; (3) Enhance the capacity of citizens and local institutions; and (4) Promote pluralism and social cohesion.

The HCD Coordinator will support design team members and co-creators in the country office focused on turning human insights into tangible products, services, and experiences and will support those designs towards funding and implementation. You will also build the capacity of local teams in leading and facilitating design processes. As part of an interdisciplinary team, you will tackle complex, human-centered and socially impactful challenges alongside other development practitioners from different backgrounds. You will report directly to the Local Impact Manager, Kyrgyz Republic, and also work closely with the Regional Co-creation Manager and the Global Lead for Innovation. Frequent travel (25%+ of working time) will be required within Kyrgyzstan and with some international travel. 

Qualification requirements

·         Education. Master’s degree or higher in international development, design or other related field.

·         Technical Expertise. At least five years of combined and demonstrated technical expertise in (I) at least one or more of the following technical areas: (i) application of new and relevant HCD techniques that create insights into end-user actions, thoughts and behaviors; (ii) research methods including: contextual inquiry, concept/solution testing, usability testing and similar methods; (iii) generative methods, diagramming and participatory design sessions; (iv) cooperative design and contextual design and (II) tackling poverty-related challenges in the country or the region.

  • Adaptive Project Management / Coordination. At least three years of demonstrated experience in a coordination position in design thinking or projects using adaptive management.

·         Human-Centered Design (HCD). Fluency in the HCD process, from qualitative research and synthesis to ideation, prototyping, and implementation. Selected candidates will be requested to submit an example of products, services, and approaches that they helped create and that have the potential of driving impact locally or globally.

·         Planning. Demonstrated experience planning and leading research activities, such as interviews, group sessions, and observations.

·         Prototyping. Experience creating quick and dirty prototypes as well as more refined deliverables. You have experience prototyping in various resolutions to create experiences that lead users to provide valuable feedback about your solutions.

·         Capacity Building. Experience training and building capacity of non-designers on HCD would be an asset.

·         Stakeholder Management. Demonstrated ability to work with a wide range of government and civil society counterparts and donor and other partners.

·         Team Management / Coordination. Demonstrated ability to (1) design and manage field-based research studies and (2) Manage and lead interdisciplinary team.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Cultural sensitivity, and an ability to connect easily with new people.

·         Perspective. You add a unique perspective to your research and to our teams, such as writing and storytelling, strategic thinking, or service design.

·         Language. Spoken and written fluency in English and at least one of Russian or Kyrgyz is essential.


  • Project Scoping. Identify opportunities and scope design challenges in close collaboration with local teams and Local Impact focal points based on AKDN and USAID priorities.
  • Design Planning. Support country and agency offices in planning design processes, methods, and tools to use. Create learning plans, identify the right questions to ask, and collaborate with other designers to find creative ways to answer them.
  • Design Facilitation and Consulting. Support the projects and teams in conducting design processes and workshops. Prepare and facilitate workshops to move the design work forward.
  • Design Research. Employ a variety of traditional and non-traditional research methods, including creating research plans, conducting interviews and focus groups, shadowing participants, participatory observations, expert interviews, and even putting yourself in the shoes of the people you’re designing for.
  • Synthesis. Bring together learnings from design processes by leading the discussion of data collected in the field (a process we call ‘synthesis’). This will include debriefing and discussing user feedback with your teams—collaborating to turn research into potential directions for design.
  • Prototype. Build prototypes and test solutions with target audiences to collect feedback and iterate on solutions.
  • Capacity Development. Conduct workshops and learning experiences to build design capacity of local teams and stakeholders.
  • Document. Creating design playbooks, resources, and other assets.
  • Present. Clearly communicate complex concepts to a variety of audiences to include, but not limited to, internal AKDN stakeholders, USAID staff, and more.
  • Strategy. Create an overall strategy, framework, and plan for working with these design projects.
  • Identify Opportunities. Review proposals submitted by local teams regarding design challenges based on internal priorities and USAID mission.
  • Build Resources. This may include customizing tools and building other materials that teams can use for their own projects.
  • Writing. Contribute to other project documents such as reports, communications materials, case studies and presentations. 
  • Relationships. Engage with key project partners and donors to ensure they are bought-in and contributing to the project.
  • The Fit
  • Leadership. A natural collaborator and a proven leader, you’re at ease with multidisciplinary teams and can set strategic direction for development interventions.
  • Designer at Heart. You believe that great design creates impact, both in its ability to deliver needed solutions and delight through unexpected details.
  • Solutions-Oriented. Solution-focused and medium-agnostic, you are willing to step out of your core skill set or discipline to find the correct solution to a challenge.
  • Systems Thinking. You are a critical thinker who can logically visualize complex systems.
  • Translator. You are skilled at turning human insights into concrete design concepts.
  • Interdisciplinary. You are knowledgeable about how to support other disciplines in their work and champion their success.
  • Visual. You are able to articulate the value of human-centered design through verbal and visual presentation.
  • Experimenter. You are comfortable with trial and error and have experience prototyping and experimenting at different levels of fidelity.
  • Curiosity. You have insatiable curiosity and a passion for experimentation.
  • Flexibility. From informal settlements in a rural village to the national government, you can thrive in diverse work cultures. You are adept at switching seamlessly between self-directed independent work and highly collaborative teamwork.
  • Passion. You are excited about rooting great design in human needs, motivations, and behaviors.
  • Inspire. You contribute fully to Accelerate Impact’s innovation culture

Other duties as assigned.


Interested candidates should submit their Resume and cover letter in English by January 26, 20201 to 

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and invited for interviews.  

“The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is committed to safeguarding, which means it promotes respectful relations with and between all staff, associates, beneficiaries and wider communities with whom it works, and takes all reasonable measures to prevent harm, including all forms of sexual exploitation, abuse, harassment (PSEAH), bullying, discrimination, harassment and abuse of power that may arise from contact with its staff, programmes or operations.

AKF also adheres to child safeguarding principles, as set out by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

All selected candidates will undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s), employment history and any potential history of misconduct. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a full background check.

All employees of AKF are required to adhere to the organizational safeguarding standards and principles and at all times to act with dignity, respect and to contribute to a safe environment free from any type of harassment, abuse or discrimination.”

About company

Aga Khan Foundation (AKF)is an international, non-denominational, not-for-profit organisation. AKF seeks to improve the quality of life, enhance self-reliance and promote pluralism in poor and marginalisedcommunities of Asia and Africa. Established in 1967, its long-term, community-based approach addresses and benefits people of all faiths and backgrounds, especially women and girls. Its activities enhance agriculture and food security, promote early childhood development and access to quality education, improve health and nutrition, advance economic inclusion, and strengthen civil society.AKF is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of development agencies with mandates that include the environment, health, education, architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalization ofhistoric cities. For more information, please visit the website at

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