13 Jan 2021

Business / Service Designer at Design for Wildlife

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Design for Wildlife is a design collective created to bridge the gap between design thinking and global wildlife conservation objectives. We partner with nonprofit organizations, foundations, and companies to support missions that protect the wild whilst supporting food security, health and equality of people affected by conflict with wildlife.

About the Project:

Design for Wildlife is working in partnership with international wildlife conservation organization WildAid to support the development of the “smelly elephant repellent”, a scent-based solution to elephant crop raiding, a challenge which impacts the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of farmers across Africa and Asia. This initiative will expand the use of this cost-effective method by creating an economically sustainable service delivery model that can reduce elephant crop raiding while supporting new local sources of income, job security, and fostering pro-wildlife coexistence attitudes.

Initial trials of the elephant repellent across Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania have led to improved harvest yields, increased food and income security, improved tolerance of elephants, and better attitudes towards conservation. This initiative aims to develop a service delivery model that will be self-sufficient and require minimal donor funding in the future. An initial design research study conducted in 2019 uncovered promising service delivery concepts that could 1) increase local job opportunities in human-elephant conflict zones, 2) be easily replicable and scalable and 3) be available through an open-source toolkit to roll-out the method across human-elephant conflict hotspots worldwide.

Your role: 

Working as part of a multidisciplinary team alongside designers, human-wildlife conflict experts and community development leaders, you will work hands-on to develop a culturally appropriate, scalable and economically sustainable service delivery model for the elephant repellent.

Essential responsibilities: 

  1. Support the design and development of the elephant repellent delivery service model through prototyping in Northern Uganda during the next elephant raiding season, between May-July 2021.
  2. Work alongside the elephant repellent core team (based in both the US and Uganda) to plan and execute the field prototyping stage of the project.

Specifically, you will: 

  • Create prototypes to test iterations of a service delivery model, translating user needs and real world constraints into effective service designs.
  • Work with a team remotely and in person (as the global COVID-19 pandemic allows) in the US and in Kampala/the general Murchison Falls area in Uganda.
  • Bring fresh ideas and new ways of thinking to encourage the final service design to be as effective and culturally appropriate as possible.
  • Be solution-focused and medium-agnostic, willing to step outside your core skill set or discipline to find the best solution to the challenge.
  • As one of two designers in the team, you will support the design process and instill confidence in the design process amongst our team and partners.

Experience and Qualifications:

Our ideal candidate has experience with fast paced prototyping in service and/or business design and can think creatively and on their feet, and quickly pivot their thinking based on new learnings. Additionally, we are looking for a candidate who has:

  • 2+ years of professional experience in a design consultancy, non-profit, agency, or other environment where you’ve worked in multidisciplinary design teams.
  • MUST have prototyping experience, ideally in service design.
  • Experience working at the intersection of social innovation, business and/or service design.
  • Able to synthesize data and distill complexity.
  • Fluency in the human-centered design process, particularly the prototyping stage.
  • Cultural sensitivity, creativity, and resourcefulness.
  • Willingness to travel to Uganda (assuming it is safe to do at the time) and work in a rural setting.
  • BONUS: Understanding of rural Ugandan culture and/or rural life in East Africa.
  • BONUS: Spoken proficiency in Acholi and/or Swahili languages.
  • BONUS: You are based in, or familiar with travel in East Africa.
  • You do not need to have any experience with elephants or wildlife conservation, but a healthy dose of curiosity to learn about how their behavior affects the communities that coexist with them. If we are able to travel for prototyping you will have the opportunity to encounter elephants in the wild.
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Method of Application

This part-time consulting job will run approximately from Jan 30th - June 30th 2021. If you are interested, please send an email to [email protected] outlining your qualifications, past relevant experience (please focus on prototyping!) and why you are interested in this work.


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