Company Description

Practical Action has over 40 years of experience in the energy access space. Over this time we have been involved in over 500 mini-grids projects, created thousands of jobs, published extensively on rural electrification technologies and approaches, and are now pioneering new approaches to building markets for energy access services, both on the ground and through our political and financial advocacy work and innovative partnerships such as Power for All. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more information.

Job description

Role brief

This is a challenging and rewarding senior role within the PAC International team: leading the energy strategy; growing the portfolio; ensuring high quality development and delivery; serving as a ‘principal’ technical expert and lead; managing a small team and associates; representing and building business-relevant partnerships and networks.

Reporting to the PAC International Managing Director, you will:

  • Lead the delivery of all aspects of the PAC energy strategy, including adapting it as required based on external market analysis and in close collaboration with the wider Practical Action Group’s energy strategy and PAC International SMT.
  • Develop and nurture strong external business-relevant partnerships and networks to support portfolio growth, client diversification, profile building and to position PAC International with strategic consortia.
  • Drive and deliver on energy business development processes – ensuring quality, competitiveness and financial viability of offers (including meeting income generation targets).
  • Serve as a ‘principal’ technical expert and/or lead on assignments – preferably bringing expertise in humanitarian energy, productive use of energy and/or last-mile energy access.
  • Ensure high quality, timely delivery and financial controls across the portfolio – and be willing to project manage as necessary.
  • Manage and nurture client relations to promote repeat business and position brand.
  • Lead and mentor a small team, fostering a culture of excellence that is business-oriented, results-driven and high performing. This will include assessments of team capabilities, supporting staff development and recruitment as necessary.
  • Grow and nurture the network of associates and ensure their effective deployment.
  • Provide and/or support the vision for innovation and ingenuity across all areas of work.
  • Work closely with other PAC and Practical Action colleagues, especially in energy, agriculture and markets and contribute to the wider Group’s strategic and technical capability.
  • Serve as a key member of the PAC International SMT: setting team strategy, reporting against progress, agreeing business targets, and contributing to communications and marketing strategies.
  • From time to time, provide/support the energy team to provide technical assistance to Practical Action energy programmes.

Indicators of success in this role would include:

  • Steady growth in the energy portfolio across all three focus areas, meeting/exceeding income targets at a minimum.
  • Energy portfolio aligns and contributes to Practical Action’s overall energy strategy.
  • At least 1 new strategic partnership created/significant client added each year and existing partnerships and networks nurtured.
  • A motivated, professional team capable of delivering to high quality, on time and within budgets.


About the role

  • Providing technical leadership and profile in one or more of PAC’s strategic focal areas for energy.
  • Nurturing and expanding client, sector, technical and associate networks to support client diversification, portfolio growth and enhanced profile of PAC International.
  • Representing strategic high-level fora and working groups.
  • Leading growth of PAC International Energy portfolio and ensures annual income targets are reached. As part of this, actively working on and leading bids, coordinating proposal team members, quality-assuring proposal submissions and assessing competitiveness of bids/approach.
  • Ensuring PAC International energy team members are provided with sufficient oversight, support and capacity-building as required.
  • Ensuring increased collaboration on development, delivery and other business aspects with PAC Global colleagues.
  • Providing high-quality inputs (technical, financial, management) to and quality assuring PAC International energy projects and proposals.
  • Providing leadership in terms of and creates space for others to input to innovation and creativity concerning our approach, strategy, external engagement and portfolio development.
  • Providing core contributions to the development of PAC International’s Strategic and Annual Business Planning, its monitoring, reporting and review. Ensuring alignment with PA Group strategy. Working with others in the PA Group as appropriate to share and integrate learning (internal and external) and to manage knowledge.


About you

  • Masters or above in a related degree/qualification (energy, international development, economics, MBA or related field/sector) or equivalent.
  • High-level and ideally high profile technical expertise in one or more of PAC International’s strategic energy focal areas (humanitarian energy and/or productive use of energy preferred).
  • Established track record in and understanding of consultancy business approaches and models – for instance, extensive experience of writing winning bids and delivering successful, impactful projects; experience of managing projects both technically and financially.
  • Proven track record in meeting income/growth targets and building viable, competitive portfolios.
  • Established, active networks in the international energy sector.
  • Demonstrated ability to build and nurture networks, raise profile and communicate persuasively and effectively.
  • Significant experience in high-level client and sector engagement and representation.
  • Ability to innovate and think creatively to offer new and exciting ideas, projects and concepts to clients.
  • Knowledge and experience of off-grid energy technologies and sustainable business models.
  • A driven and motivated individual, with the ability to motivate and inspire others towards more ambitious portfolio and impact growth.
  • Interest and experience in building capacity, mentoring and/or coaching others.
  • Ability to collaborate and work effectively in teams, internally (across our global offices) and externally.
  • Ability to work flexibly, multi-task and respond to emerging opportunities/challenges effectively.
  • Experience of working in Africa (particularly West Africa) and South Asia is desirable.
  • Ability to speak French is desirable.
  • Demonstrable track record/CV able to be included in bids for projects where clients require extensive experience (minimum of 10 years +).
  • A sound understanding of and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion across all dimensions.



13 June 2021