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Software Engineer (Short-term Technical Assistance)

Put your web application, database, and telephony design skills to the test at building Africa’s prominent educational mobile engagement project. The Kaizen Company (Kaizen) is looking for a fast, creative, adaptable software engineer, experienced in PHP and MySQL MVC web applications. We are looking for a coding craftsman who reaches for total perfection, but knows when to choose the 80% solution.

Job Location: Remote + travel to Gbarnga, Bong County (Liberia)

Program Overview

Launched in May 2017, the USAID-funded Learning Links Program is an innovative education program targeting adolescent girls who had to leave school due to pregnancy. Liberian girls who become pregnant often drop out of school, fall behind academically, usually never return, and become trapped in a cycle of poverty. USAID/Learning Links is piloting an innovative approach in rural Liberia that connects literate and numerate Liberian women with these at-risk girls to serve as Tutor-Mentors. Drawing from successful private sector collaborative consumption business models (e.g. Uber, Upwork), and leveraging existing SMS and mobile money functionality present in Liberia, Learning Links is providing micro-incentives to both Learners and Tutor-Mentors for demonstrated learning progress verified by SMS. The program complements this incentive-based performance model with psychosocial support that draws from existing support channels in Gbarnga, Bong County. This model will support 2,500 girls in and around Gbarnga over the life of the project (three years). Learning Links is implemented by The Kaizen Company.

Job Description

  • Maintain and design new features for USAID/Learning Links’ web-based mobile engagement application
  • Build and deploy features using PHP, MySQL, CSS and Java script, using MVC frameworks and an agile software development methodology
  • Synthesize feedback from users and collaborate to create the future product
  • Create a clear road map
  • Participate in design and usability discussions to build a product that is easy and enjoyable to use

The selected candidate will work in close collaboration with the Project’s Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist who is based in Gbarnga, Liberia.


  • A minimum of a University Degree (recent graduates are welcome to apply)
  • Experience with telephony applications and SMS integration
  • Experience with Telerivet or similar technology
  • Exposure to Mobile Money applications
  • Experience working in Liberia or in West Africa
  • Portfolio of experience in website front-end design (HTML, CSS, JavaScript)
  • Application programming in PHP
  • Database design and performance optimization (MySQL)
  • Experience with open-source tools and Linux systems administration
  • Women engineers are encouraged to apply


  • Exceptional self-management: ability to use your own judgement to independently solve high-level problems on a deadline
  • Teamwork: You use technology best practices (e.g. git version control and collaboration tools), professionalism, positive communication, and knowledge-sharing to support the growth of the project
  • Responsibility: You take ownership for projects and commit to seeing deliverables through and on schedule


  • The STTA Software Developer will report to the Program Director

Start date: December 22, 2017

Please apply by sending a cover letter and CV by December 29, 2017, 5:30 PM (DC time).

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