Leaving Development Innovations

My Final Grant Kick-off with Grantee AEA

Today is my last day as the Innovation Program Manager at Development Innovations. After two years of working on USAID’s Development Innovations project, I’m happy to announce that I’m headed back to the company I founded seven years ago.

It’s been an amazing two years, and I’ve grown a lot as a person, a manager, a husband, and a father. After taking a few months with my wife to figure out what’s next, I’m excited to be joining the team at Glean, to help expand our reach in the technology for development sector. The team, led by David Burton, has been doing great work over the last few years, and our slate coming up is full of opportunities for us to continue to help people who want to make a difference.

As part of my role at DI I’ve been blessed to have worked alongside, coached, and consulted with over 100 different NGO partners to help them better understand how to use technology in their programs, and I am excited to be able to bring that expertise to the Glean team and their partners. Officially my title at Glean will be Director of Innovation, but my primary role will be focused on helping our clients design, test, and implement the most effective tech programs.

I am so excited for what the future has for Development Innovations and the team at DAI. They are truly innovating in a sector that is traditionally very challenging. There are too many people to thank, but I’d like to say thank you for Kate Heuisler for giving me the opportunity to grow under her leadership, and a huge thank you to Vibol, Vantharith, Pork, Kanhchana, Sotheavy, Chandy, Ty, Chanton, Lydet, Leng, Sophat, and all my colleagues at DAI. You all make an amazing team and the future of Cambodia is bright with you all pushing forward!

There’s a lot of work to be done in the ICT4D space. Right now there’s a lot of confusion about the appropriateness of technology, and how to test, and if appropriate, implement it in a sustainable way. My aim is to bring my expertise afresh to the market in SE Asia, and help our partners design and build appropriate technology solutions.

We are going to push boundaries, challenge the status quo, and work to build a business that focuses on building the capacity of our partners. We want, as always, to work so well that we don’t get hired for the same job twice.

If you want to talk about technology, innovation, or anything else, please feel free to reach out. I’ll be coming back on-stream for the month of August in Cambodia, and working on our international work as well. I’d love to offer anyone a one-day desk review of your tech program and make some simple recommendations. If you’d like to take me up on the offer, shoot me an email at: jesse@glean.net

About the author

Jesse Orndorff

The founder of Glean, an agency for change. Formerly Innovation Program Manager at DAI. He's now focused on building technology and startups that work on challenging issues and doing social good.

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Jesse Orndorff

The founder of Glean, an agency for change. Formerly Innovation Program Manager at DAI. He's now focused on building technology and startups that work on challenging issues and doing social good.

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