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Senior Inclusive Design Manager (Asia Region)

About GDI Hub

The Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) is a research and practice centre driving disability innovation for a fairer world. We believe disability innovation is part of a bigger movement for disability inclusion and social justice. More than a product, a service or policy, disability innovation is a way of thinking to address disability challenges by co-designing solutions and sharing knowledge. We are solutions-focused experts in, Assistive & Accessible Technology, Inclusive Design, Inclusive Educational Technology, Climate & Crisis Resilience and Culture and Participation.

We work across 5 domains, disrupting current ideas and practice by bringing together new partnerships to overcome the barriers that exclusion and poverty creates in relation to disability.

  • Research: creating new knowledge, solutions and products
  • Innovation: growing inclusive innovation ecosystems
  • Programmes: testing what works
  • Teaching: learning and sharing knowledge
  • Advocacy: evidence-based outreach

Based in East London, UK and a legacy of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, we deliver world-class research, ideas and innovations, creating new knowledge, solutions and products, and shaping policy through co-creation, participation and collaboration. GDI Hub is composed of an Academic Research Centre (ARC) led by University College London (UCL) and a Community Interest Company (CIC) and is guided by an Advisory Board of disabled people. We currently have a diverse portfolio of work with a value of around $50million and are operational in 41 countries having reached 23 million people since launching in 2016.

GDI Hub values inclusion as a core business success factor. We actively seek to attract employees from diverse backgrounds and are particularly keen to attract applications for this role from disabled people. The role is offered on flexible terms, including location and hours of work and the accommodation of reasonable adjustments is business as usual for us.

Role Purpose

This role will form part of GDI Hub’s Inclusive Design team, led by Director of Inclusive Design, Iain McKinnon. The role will join the team as a Senior Inclusive Design Manager and report directly to the Director of Inclusive Design. It does not currently have any line reports, but that is expected to change in time as the team grows. It is expected the role will work closely with the Senior Inclusive Design Researcher on programme delivery.

Inclusive design is a broad subject. Our focus, though not exclusively, is to uphold the human rights of disabled people and ensuring the built environment supports disabled and older people. You can find out about our approach in our Inclusive Design Strategy here. Increasingly, our focus is supporting the creation of disability inclusive and climate resilient cities in developing countries where huge infrastructure projects and the impact of climate change are creating a necessity to, ‘get it right first time’. As a result, we are seeking an experienced Inclusive Design practitioner based in, or with significant experience of Asia, where a significant amount of our work is located. Countries across Asia where the Inclusive Design team are already working include Mongolia, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Georgia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Philippines and China.

Current inclusive design projects span all GDI Hub’s 5 domains as set out above and which you can read more about in GDI Hub’s current 3-year Strategy here. Inclusive Design teaching and training is led by Iain who delivers the ‘Inclusive Design and Environments’ module on our UCL awarded MSc Disability, Design and Innovation. Iain also leads our practice work which includes working with a number of clients ranging from multilateral development agencies to corporate partners. Our research is led by our Senior Inclusive Design Researcher, Mikaela Patrick, and includes the unique ‘Inclusive Infrastructure’ research on our AT2030 programme. The team is increasingly interested in the intersection of inclusive design and climate resilience and will be looking to develop this work further. This role will complement the existing team, by bringing their experience of disability and the Asia region.

Considering the range and breadth of work summarised above, typical tasks assigned to this role will include:

  • Be able to lead project/programme delivery with clients independently
  • Build strong client relationships with existing and new clients
  • Seek and secure new project opportunities, especially in the Asia region
  • Seek to grow the team in the region through new opportunities acquired
  • Write reports to be submitted to clients and partners (internal and external)
  • Bring insights and innovative thinking to the role and to the challenges presented in our work
  • Represent GDI Hub and the Inclusive Design team internally and externally
  • Support the Inclusive Design team to grow and diversify

The role requires strategic thinking, diligent delivery management and the creation of well-considered outputs. The post holder will work closely with clients and delivery partners (including other members of the GDI Hub team) to ensure projects maximise their positive impact. This means workflow is dynamic, adapting to project and programme timelines.

The Senior Inclusive Design Manager will focus on three key areas:

  1. Programme and Project Delivery (approx. 75%)
  2. Inclusive Design Advocacy (approx. 15%)

Management and Administration (approx. 10%)


Programme and Project Delivery:

  • Be responsible for the quality and timeliness of programme and project outputs
  • Produce deliverables that meet client expectations and programme aims/targets
  • Lead internal and external meetings and workshops, including with client teams
  • Hold key relationships with partners and stakeholders (internal and external) to support effective collaboration
  • Lead in-country project work, including some international travel
  • Ensure good clear and consistent communication, digitally, on phone and in person with colleagues, clients and stakeholders at all times

Inclusive Design Advocacy:

  • Be an advocate for inclusive design and GDI Hub, especially in the Asia region
  • Raise the profile of GDI Hub’s Inclusive Design work, especially in the Asia region
  • Produce advocacy and comms materials, including on social media, for GDI Hub comms team
  • Lead and take part in GDI Hub led events and external events we are part of
  • Write insight reports, blogs, articles and other content as required
  • Highlight relevant advocacy and comms opportunities arising, suggesting strategies to optimise these opportunities
  • Review the need for education and training on Inclusive Design, especially in the Asia region, and develop strategies to meet this need

Management and Administration:

  • Programme and project planning and management
  • Provide timely and accurate reporting that meets donor and client needs
  • Lead team meetings, internal and external, including with clients
  • Manage programme and project financial information including timesheets, invoicing and reporting
  • Collaborate with and provide information to the GDI Hub Operations team as required

Experience and Qualifications

    • Degree qualification or equivalent, focused on an area relevant to inclusive design of the built environment, for example, design (all disciplines), architecture, urban development, planning, public policy, disability and inclusion or a related field
    • Excellent experience (at least 10+ years) working on delivery of inclusive design projects, ideally across a range of building sectors and with a range of different clients
    • Experience working on disability inclusion in the Asia region
    • Experience working in the international development sector is beneficial
    • Experience working closely and collaboratively with disabled people and disabled people’s organisations
    • Experience undertaking access audits and forming strategic responses to these is beneficial
    • Experience developing national and/or regional inclusive design policies, frameworks and technical standards is beneficial
    • Experience of disability policy and policy work at international and national level is desirable
    • Experience delivering inclusive design of the built environment teaching/training is desirable, though not essential
    • Track record of publications, reports or papers on inclusive design of the built environment, disability inclusion, age-friendly cities or other relevant field is an advantage
    • Excellent communication skills. Proficient English language skills (verbal and written) is required. Additional languages are an advantage
    • Ability to work as part of a dynamic and growing team and collaborate with individuals with diverse technical backgrounds
    • Ability to effectively manage own commitments to the benefit of the team
    • Positive and proactive attitude, with a genuine passion for this work

Role Competencies

Skills and abilities

Planning and organising work
  • Results and achievement focused
  • Analytical skills and comfortable working with data
  • Proactive, self-motivated, committed and enthusiastic
  • Skilled in profile-raising activities
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Comfortable working remotely, with a global team and clients
  • Excellent ICT skills (Office365, incl. Excel, SharePoint, Teams, etc.)
  • High degree of integrity and ability to operate in a politically sensitive environment

Personal style and behaviour

  • Pro-active problem solver
  • Practical and pragmatic
  • Likes working as part of a dynamic team
  • Creative and organised
  • Integrity and inclusive behaviours
  • Able to work independently and prioritise tasks
  • High degree of professionalism
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills
  • Approachable and amiable

Application Procedure

To express interest in this opportunity please submit your CV and 300-word covering note here no later than midnight (GMT) on 9th October 2022. We have made every effort to make this process accessible, however if for any reason you find it is not, please let us know and we will make an adjustment. We will review candidates on a rolling basis and the vacancy may be filled before this deadline. We encourage early applications. Please be advised that only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

We have made every effort to make this process accessible. However, if for any reason you find it is not, please let us know and we will make an adjustment. We encourage early applications. Please be advised that only shortlisted applicants will be contacted. For an informal discussion about the role, please contact Iain McKinnon, Director of Inclusive Design at

Responsible To

Director of Inclusive Design

Position Type

Full-time staff role (other options may be considered)


£45-50k plus Benefits (depending on experience)


Flexible, remote working. We are looking for someone based in Asia due to increased project work in that region.

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