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Education Specialist: Gender

Burnaby (Canada)

  • Organization: Commonwealth of Learning
  • Location: Burnaby (Canada)
  • Grade: Senior - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
  • Closing Date: 2019-03-02

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Position Title and Grade: Education Specialist: Gender, Grade B
Reports to: Vice President
Duration of Contract: Three-year term
Location: Burnaby, British Columbia



Commonwealth of Learning (COL) helps governments and institutions to expand the scale, efficiency and quality of learning by using new approaches, appropriate technologies, and open and distance learning methodologies. Headquartered in British Columbia, Canada, COL promotes learning for sustainable development. It is financed by voluntary contributions from Commonwealth Member States. Overview of Functions:

The Education Specialist: Gender conceptualises, develops and manages the activities related to Gender, a cross-cutting theme that underpins COL’s programme. COL recognises that advancing the goals of both women’s empowerment and gender equality are central to learning for sustainable development and that open, distance and technology-enhanced approaches can be helpful in enabling women and girls to access educational opportunities and skills training for livelihoods. The Specialist will be a thought-leader with a demonstrated ability to deliver results. S/he will develop innovative models for mainstreaming gender and advancing equality for women/men and girls/boys. S/he will work in partnership with diverse stakeholders in Member States as well as with regional and international partners to advance COL’s outcomes and impact.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conceptualise, manage and implement the cross-cutting gender initiative through innovative approaches that harness the potential of open, distance and technology-enabled learning to increase access to quality education and training for girls/women and boys/men in both the formal and nonformal sectors. This involves adopting innovative approaches to deliver concrete results; formulating an annual action plan with budgets based on the strategic plan; managing expenditures within defined limits; and actively participating in the monitoring and evaluation of all activities within a Resultsbased Management (RBM) framework.
  • Manage the implementation strategy for assigned activities and project(s). This involves working as a team with the Vice President and other staff to ensure a coordinated approach within the programme; identifying new ideas; managing consultants; leveraging other sources of support including raising additional funds and organising logistics
  • Develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation framework for assigned project(s), collect the necessary data and produce reports in accordance with COL’s RBM framework and project requirements.
  • Provide expert-level guidance and direction to a diverse range of stakeholders on the design and implementation of gender mainstreaming models/systems and policies in support of sustainable development.
  • Contribute to COL's overall mission and corporate life in planning, stakeholder engagement, and internal processes by providing advice in areas of expertise and by representing COL’s interests at international fora.
  • Regularly disseminate best practices in mainstreaming gender, identify gender training needs for staff and coordinate awareness raising activities. Ensure direct report(s) have clear work plans and conduct performance appraisals on staff who work in the area; and
  • Perform other duties related to COL’s programme or activities, as required.

Direct Reports:

Programme Assistant (shared)


Qualifications and Experience:





Post-graduate degree in gender studies, social sciences or related discipline.





Qualification in open and distance learning and/or development.


Ten years of relevant professional experience of working in open, distance and technology-mediated learning with specific reference to gender mainstreaming which demonstrates strong knowledge of trends, discourse, policy issues and technical expertise.


Experience in international development. Experience of working in developing countries  Desirable:

Experience of relating learning to sustainable development.

Skills and Competencies:

  • Innovation and Creativity: Injects originality into daily work through research, personal knowledge, and networking relationships; brainstorms and encourages new ideas and solutions; takes appropriate risks.
  • Prudence: Sets an example by consistently modelling high standards of performance, honesty and integrity, especially with appropriate use of funds; ability to mobilise, prepare and manage financial budgets in an effective, efficient and judicious manner to deliver ‘value for money’.
  • Professional Judgment: Possesses an in-depth understanding of the programme goals and the ability to develop realistic, relevant and achievable plans, including monitoring and evaluation strategies; is sought out by others for advice in an area of specialisation; has the expertise to be perceived as a thought leader and be a credible interlocutor in the field.
  • Networking: Ability to develop and maintain a network of contacts in government agencies and institutions; exercises discretion and diplomacy while representing COL’s interests; capable of identifying and selecting quality partners, as well as to prepare, negotiate and manage agreements consistent with COL’s policies.
  • Communication, Supervisory and Team Orientation Skills: Communicates effectively in a variety of settings including to wider audiences; displays sensitivity to ethnic and gender issues in verbal and written communications; possesses the capacity and skills to lead teams and manage human resources (staff, consultants, etc.), by promoting co-operation and collaboration to achieve collective outcomes; openly shares information, knowledge and expertise with the team and co-workers; appropriately gives and is open to feedback.

Personal Attributes:

  • Commitment to the ideals of COL, notably to the role of learning as the key to sustainable development and to the capacity of technology to enhance that role.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment with a readiness to adapt to the work culture, where integrity, mutual respect and dedication to the organisation are expected.


COL Headquarters is located at 4710 Kingsway, Suite 2500, Burnaby BC Canada V5H 4M2

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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