Early Childhood Development Coordinator (A Senior Managerial Level)- Erbil
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, IRC offers life-saving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in more than 40 countries and in 22 U.S. cities, IRC restores safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted by conflict or disaster. IRC leads the way from harm to home.
The IRC established programs in Iraq in 2003 to address the overwhelming needs of displaced people in Iraq and the neighboring countries. Since re-establishing its presence in Iraq in November 2007, the IRC has been assisting thousands of internally displaced families in the northern, central and southern governorates in the sectors of protection, gender-based violence (GBV), education, economic recovery, child Protection and emergency humanitarian assistance. Working in coordination with the humanitarian community in Iraq, the IRC's assistance and emergency programs address the needs of war-affected Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs) and Syrian refugees from several operational bases in the country, and include both camp-based and urban-based assistance. IRC operates throughout Iraq, with the main office in Erbil and field offices in, Baghdad, SAD, Anbar and Mosul.
In Iraq, high-quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs have the potential to provide the foundation for children future academic success, health, prosperity, and wellbeing. A large body of scientific evidence emphasizes the need for increased investment in early childhood, particularly for children experiencing conflict, crisis and displacement; these children are extremely vulnerable to the long-lasting effects that prolonged stress has on the developing brain.
Ahlan Simsim program
In December 2017, Sesame Workshop and the IRC were awarded the MacArthur Foundation’s inaugural 100&Change grant to make real progress toward solving a critical problem of our time. With the extraordinary investment of $100 million, our partnership will transform the language, early reading, math, and social-emotional skills of a generation of children ages 0-8 affected by the Syrian war. Focusing on children in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria over the next five years, the plan combines the depth of in-person services, reaching 1.5 million children, with the breadth of mass media, reaching 9.4 million children. For more information, please visit: http://refugee.sesameinternational.org/.
Reporting to the Deputy Director of Programs and the Regional Deputy Project Director of Ahlan Simsim, the ECD Coordinator will serve as the project lead for IRC in Iraq and provide technical direction and leadership for the design, content creation, implementation, scaling, and advocacy of high-quality ECD programming within the region. The ECD Coordinator will work in close collaboration with the Alhan Simsim Regional team and Technical Advisors.
The Early Childhood Development Coordinator is responsible for four key objectives:
- Program Quality and Implementation: Plan and execute effective deployment of ECD resources and materials to support quality and inclusive programming for children and caregivers, as well as support related to the development and implementation of sound M&E systems and research-driven efforts;
- Integration: Ensure program quality and integration of the Ahlan Simsim program and other ECD programs in Iraq across other IRC programming sectors through training and capacity building, and using high quality data and evidence to inform programmatic decision-making;
- Representation: Represent IRC and the Ahlan Simsim program inside and outside Iraq at strategic meetings and events in close coordination with the Regional Project team;
- Advocacy, partnerships and scaling:Establish and strengthen productive relationships with ECD-focused organizations and networks, technical experts, government agencies and donors within Iraq, that support Ahlan Simsim’s advocacy, scaling and sustainability objectives in coordination with the Regional Project Director and the Regional Technical Lead for ECD.
1. Program Quality and Implementation
- Supervise the implementation of Ahlan Simsim’s child facing and caregiver facing programs in IRC and non-IRC centers;
- Ensuring reach targets and quality standards are met and in line with local or national standards for early childhood development and pre-primary education;
- With guidance from the Regional Technical Lead for ECD, develop country-specific programmatic standards for parenting/home visiting and early learning/ preschool/daycare programs implementation;
- Supervise the development of relevant M&E systems and ensure regular follow-up on monitoring data relevant to the Ahlan Simsim program and other ECD initiatives inside Iraq;
- Support the implementation of the Iraq Strategic Action Plan by ensuring that program activities align and contribute to achieving selected pathways of the prioritized signature and core sub outcomes.
- Collaborate with Ahlan Simsim team and IRC Iraq program teams (CYPD, WPE, and ERD) teams to come up with strategies for integration of ECD activities across IRC programs;
- Collaborate with IRC program teams to effectively integrate ECD activities into existing community outreach and humanitarian response;
- Work closely with Partnership colleagues to come up with strategies for integration of ECD activities and Ahlan Simsim content across a range of partner programs, including government-run initiatives.
- In coordination with the Regional Deputy Project Director, represent the IRC to donors, the UN, international and national NGOs, line ministries, and key ECD actors inside and outside Iraq;
- As ECD focal point at country level, participate actively in external coordination forums; participate in internal coordination and management meetings to promote effective and efficient information sharing, problem-solving and decision making.
4. Advocacy, partnerships and scaling
- Work in close collaboration with the Grants and Partnership unit to develop a holistic and collaborative approach to strategic and operational partners that can best leverage ECD programs, improve the quality and reach of IRC programs;
- Provide technical oversight and guidance to ensure quality implementation of Ahlan Simsim ECD approaches through partners;
- Establish and maintain solid relationships with ECD stakeholders, networks and government agencies that support Ahlan Simsim’s scaling and sustainability objectives;
- Work closely and coordinate with line ministries to influence national ECD strategies and initiatives, to ensure greater investments in ECD and greater access to ECD services, especially in conflict and crisis settings.
5. Grant Monitoring and Business Development
- Ensure sound and effective management of the ECD portfolio and donor compliance, including appropriate and timely spending of grants to achieve program goals, grant reporting contributions, use and distribution of supplies and resources;
- Lead the development of new business concept notes and proposals for the continuation and expansion of ECD programming in Iraq;
- Ensure the submission of timely, accurate and well written donor reports and other reporting requirements for all ECD programming in Iraq ;
- Work closely and coordinate with IRC other technical unit, logistics, finance and grant staff to ensure timely and compliant program activities and expenditures; including active participation in grant opening/closing and review meetings and participation in bids opening and review.
6. Staff Management and Development
- Coach, train, and mentor staff with the aim of strengthening their technical capacity, exchanging knowledge within the team and providing professional development guidance;
- Develop and implement staff capacity building plan to ensure quality ECD programming across programming teams and other IRC programming;
- Promote and support staff well-being and work-life balance;
- Conduct timely and quality performance evaluations.
Key Working Relationships:
Position Reports to: Deputy Director of Programs and Regional Deputy Project Director of Ahlan Simsim
Position directly supervises: ECD Research Monitoring Evaluation and Learning Manager, ECD Managers in Mosul and Anbar, ECD Quality, Training, and Capacity Building Manager, Ahlan Simsim Scaling and Learning Manager, ECD Admin Officer.
Other Internal and/or external contacts:
Internal: Regional Ahlan Simsim team, HQ Ahlan Simsim team, other IRC programs and support departments.
External:all relevant donors, NGOS, DPOs, universities, partners, ministries, stakeholders, and government agencies.