Design Lead – YLabs Rwanda


YLabs is a leading global design and research organization working to improve health and economic opportunity for young people 10–24 years old. Founded in 2016 at the Harvard Innovation Lab, YLabs has worked in Sub Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Central America in partnership with young people to design health programming to address key challenges in sexual reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and mental health. Find out more about our projects here:

Our team of physicians, designers, economists, developers, public health professionals, and educators bring a unique mix of human-centered design, adolescent health, economic and health outcome evaluation, behavioral science, and implementation know-how to the global problems facing youth.

We have offices in the US and Rwanda, and are currently supporting our teams to work remotely during COVID-19.  


YLabs is seeking a Design Lead to provide leadership and support YLabs Rwanda’s design team growth and projects in Rwanda and East Africa. The Design Lead will take initiative in supporting the growth and capacity of YLabs Rwanda’s design team across all design functions, while also building capacity in key human-centered design and additional design areas across the entire YLabs Rwanda team. The Design Lead is responsible for ensuring high quality, innovation and delivery of all YLabs Rwanda projects.

The Design Lead will also play a global role and be responsible for leadership in YLabs’ global visual and communications design areas. The Design Lead will work collaboratively with visual, product and service designers across all YLabs’ office, ensuring that YLabs Rwanda’s design function supports YLabs’ global vision and objectives.

The ideal candidate will be excited to work with a dynamic interdisciplinary team of designers and public health professionals to support the development of design solutions for some of the biggest challenges facing young people in the East Africa region. This position may also support future YLabs projects in the South Asia region.


  • Design Leadership: Build design capacity for Rwanda and regional based projects. This includes training and capacity building all staff, providing strategic guidance on design function growth within the region, and managing regionally based design staff.
  • Visual Design: Lead YLabs’ visual and communication design practice and maintain a high quality of deliverables across internal and external projects. This includes training and mentorship for the design team within the region and critique of design materials.
  • Project Leadership: Lead regional human-centered design and communication design projects. This includes and is not limited to managing a project team, communications with donors and partners, guiding the design direction of the project and working closely with the regional operations team to manage the project successfully.
  • Communication: Translate and communicate complex ideas across departments and stakeholders as well as the ability to simplify those complex ideas into succinct data points.
  • Capacity building: Build design Utilise and involve junior designers in the design process, building their design capacity and fluency with CyberRwanda product and service.
  • Feedback: Collecting strategic feedback and metrics from your designs and creating improvements on the platform based on data.


  • Proven experience leading high quality youth-focused economic empowerment or sexual and reproductive health focused HCD projects in East Africa
  • Experience leading and training, including developing the training tools, all stages of an HCD design project including user research and testing, prototyping, and developing user-centered deliverables.
  • Experience conducting human-centered design processes with young people.
  • 2- 4 years of experience leading and managing a visual design team that supports organizational and project level branding.
  • Extensive experience in hiring, collaborating with and managing freelance designers and/or other vendors.
  • Experience working across multiple cultural contexts and country offices.
  • Experience working and managing external partners, including key stakeholders and donors.
  • Proven experience crafting innovative design solutions within complex service systems is a plus.
  • 4 years of experience in human-centered design methodologies and practice.
  • At least 7 years of experience in visual design, service design, or design research is required.
  • Masters degree in Interaction Design, Service Design, Social Innovation Design, Graphic Design or related design discipline preferred.
  • Worked and/or lived in East Africa or South Asia


Under normal circumstances, this role would be based out of the YLabs Rwanda Kigali office. Given the current circumstances due to COVID-19, it is possible to conduct this role remotely within GMT+0 to GMT+4. There is an expectation that this role will be based in Kigali once normal office life resumes.


Salary range: RWF16,150,000 to RWF38,000,000 gross,  commensurate with experience.


To apply, send a resume, cover letter, and a link or PDF of your portfolio to [email protected] with the subject line “Design Lead – Rwanda”. All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines. All YLabs offers of employment are conditional on satisfactory background check and criminal record clearances.


YLabs adheres to Project Fair’s principles and standards to establish equity in pay with the overriding principle of “equal pay for work of equal value” outlined in the Sustainable Development Goals. All salary ranges are based on level within the organization and are competitive to regional and national salary benchmarks, based on the respective office location.

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