Project Manager, Sustainable Development Return on Investment


Project Manager, Sustainable Development Return on Investment
(located in Oakland, California or Orissa, India)

Global Footprint Network is a growing, international non-profit organization that promotes a sustainable economy by advancing the Ecological Footprint, a tool that makes sustainability measurable. The Ecological Footprint has become one of the most widely used sustainability metrics in the world. It is the only tool that comprehensively measures human demand on the planet against what the planet can supply, and is increasingly being used by governments and investors to guide decision making in a resource constrained world.

Position Summary

While many governments and international aid organizations are taking large-scale actions to address human development progress in low-income communities, none of these entities have a science-based metric to track how much lasting development gains they produce per dollar investment, when compared with other development projects. Put another way, there is no established measurement tool that systematically identifies both comprehensive, long-term human development gains as well as the natural resource access that will be needed to maintain those gains.

To address this issue, Global Footprint Network is launching a pilot project called the Sustainable Development Return on Investment (SDRoI): Empowering Communities & Measuring Investment Effectiveness. The SDRoI pilot project is a collaboration between Global Footprint Network and key partner organizations that include GramVikas (India), IDE-India (India), and Escuela Nueva (Colombia), with expert advisement from CAMFED (UK and Africa). The collaboration will involve at least nine (and up to 12) villages in the Orissa region in India to test and study the applicability, replicability, and scalability of the SDRoI concept at the community level. It should empower each community to identify their current resource and development situation, set ecological and development goals, measure their progress toward those stated goals, and help them drive their overall development strategies.

A key outcome of SDRoI is to empower local communities to own, negotiate, and manage their own social and economic development trajectory. But it should also help implementing agencies and social entrepreneurs to measure their project’s overall sustainable development impact. Ultimately, and most ambitiously, we hope to inspire the development agencies to increase their accountability towards the ultimate bottom-line – to measure their expenditures against how much lasting poverty alleviation they are generating.

The program has the support of the Barr and Skoll Foundations and the UNDP has shown interest in applying such a tool to a much broader set of communities.

The Project Manager will report directly to the Director of Research. This position will be based in Orissa (India) or Oakland (California).


The Project Manager will:

  • Manage the SDRoI project – securing its successful execution on time and under budget.
  • Coordinate and guide the collaboration with the three other participating organizations and Global Footprint Network staff.
  • Play a leading role in the development and implementation of the SDRoI tool, which local communities will maintain on their own.
  • Co-develop the tool with local communities, facilitate local buy-in and help communities embrace the benefits of using the tool.
  • Develop systems for the collection of local data, support the communities in interpreting the data, identify challenges at the local level and find ways to overcome them.
  • Develop assessment frameworks that donor agencies and local communities can use to identify sustainable development opportunities with the highest value and greatest impact.
  • Help social entrepreneur organizations and donor organizations to successfully apply the tool to show the impact they generate through their investments.
  • Assist in clearly and broadly communicating the findings from the project.
  • Engage with development agencies to begin incorporating the SDRoI tool into their evaluation criteria.
  • Handle administrative tasks associated with the project, including database updates, setting up meetings, arranging travel, project reporting, etc.


  • At least four years of experience managing international development projects preferred.
  • Strong leadership skills. Proven ability to inspire an international cross-cultural team.
  • Solid track record in project management across time zones and cultures.
  • Evaluation and quantitative analysis skills. Experience in developing metrics.
  • Proven entrepreneurial abilities. Past experience in working with international agencies to adopt new approaches.
  • Passion for sustainable development. Track record of engaging low-income communities and a commitment to working with communities collaboratively.
  • Outstanding writing and oral communications skills.
  • Cross- cultural sensitivity.
  • Advanced degree in a related field of study, such as international development.
  • Experience in India a plus.

Salary and Benefits

If the person works out of Orissa, s/he would be working under a full-time 18-months contract with a competitive, commensurate rate. If the person has Oakland as his or her primary workplace, this full-time position would be salaried. In the latter case, Global Footprint Network offers a benefits package and competitive salary that is commensurate with experience. Health insurance, 403(b) and other benefits are provided. Our collegial, open-plan office in Oakland is located in a neighborhood with good transit access. Our communal lunches are light-hearted and often delicious.


To apply send cover letter and resume to; subject line MUST include the term “Project Manager SDRoI.” Global Footprint Network is committed to diversity in the workplace. For more information about Global Footprint Network and the Ecological Footprint visit: .


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