Design Talent Pool: Consultant

General Information

International Rescue Committee- IRC
Job Type:
Date Posted:
Aug 31, 2020
Employee Type:


Background/IRC Summary:

The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC works with people forced to flee from war, conflict and disaster and the host communities that support them, as well as with those who remain within their homes and communities. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure.
As a global humanitarian organization, the IRC has unique capabilities – and is particularly known for rigorous research and evidence-based programs. A key initiative that supports this strategy is the Airbel Impact Lab, a group of designers, academic researchers, strategists, and behavioral scientists who invest in the design, development, and scaling of new humanitarian interventions and delivery models. The lab seeks to apply best practices from human-centered design, rapid iteration, multi-disciplinary problem-solving, and an innovation portfolio management function in the humanitarian context.

In 2017, in concert with the IRC’s Middle East Regional team, the Airbel Impact Lab created a regional innovation “hub” with the objective of building a portfolio of breakthrough solutions for the problems facing refugees and host communities in Lebanon and Jordan. We encourage applicants to visit our website,, for insight into our work, values, and areas of focus.

As the Middle East Hub expands its work across the region, we need additional design capacity on an ad-hoc basis. Thus, the Hub is currently seeking to pre-screen a list of freelance designers in the region who we can flexibly hire as project needs arise, depending on availability and team fit.

Design Talent Pool Overview:
The Airbel Impact Lab Middle East Hub is building a talent pool of freelance designers to support projects in the region.

The Airbel Impact Lab, IRC country offices, and partners, often have a need to rapidly identify and contract designers for short-term engagements. We are looking for creative people with a range of experience (from fresh graduates to experienced designers) who are able to work collaboratively on sensitive issues with displaced communities, and are specialized in one or more of the following fields:

▪ Design Thinking
▪ Human-centered Design
▪ Social Design
▪ Service Design
▪ Design Research
▪ Graphic Design
▪ UX/UI Design
▪ Illustration
▪ Animation
▪ Data Visualization
▪ Design Workshop Facilitation

Freelancers specialized in one or more technical fields listed above, available for assignments on an on-call basis are invited to apply to join the Design Talent Pool, where they will be contacted as opportunities arise.

Major Responsibilities:
Responsibilities will be defined on a project by project basis. Projects may include some of the following responsibilities. (Recognizing that there are different design skillsets, please note that candidates might be expected to take on some but not all of the responsibilities below - these are only examples.)

Support projects with design, from challenge definition through to high-fidelity prototype
● Plan and conduct design research with community members, leveraging a variety of methodologies to gather insights, including, but not limited to: systems, behavior, and user journey mapping; conducting focus groups and user research
● Work with field team to develop, test, and roll out tools to better understand the challenge from the perspective of affected populations, including refugees and host community
● Ensure all tools are implemented “where people are” and “in their language”, including potential field testing specific words or phrases used; conducting interviews in people’s homes; shadowing someone throughout the day, etc.
● Lead ideation workshops designed to integrate different perspectives with staff in Lebanon, Jordan, or Iraq
● Develop sacrificial concepts/prototypes informed by design research as well as academic literature and other qualitative and quantitative research. Prototypes may include: wireframes; storyboard; paper prototype.
● Plan and carry out user testing using appropriate methodologies, including but not limited to A/B testing, usability testing. Synthesize feedback and learnings, and provide recommendations for strategic, system, and/or product changes in response
● Ensure that IRC client, staff, and community voices are compellingly represented in the design of new solutions

Communicate findings
● Working with an interdisciplinary team, identify key audiences for research, and combine and present key findings in an easily consumable format, including through visual insights or written pieces.
● Share stories from the field to inspire the selected teams to synthesize the research findings into meaningful dire

Company Profile