Education and Girls Empowerment Coordinator
Sierra Leone (Sierra Leone)
The IRC began implementing emergency interventions in Sierra Leone in 1999 at the height of the civil war and continues to assist vulnerable communities throughout the country to this day. The IRC supports the rebuilding of health and education services while actively promoting women’s and girls’ empowerment. Since the start of its implementation in Sierra Leone, the IRC has reached over two million beneficiaries.
The IRC is committed to supporting the Government of Sierra Leone in the strengthening of the country. We seek to build upon our programming experience and introduce new programs that are adaptive, collaborative and evidence-driven, leading to a more educated, safe, healthy and empowered Sierra Leone.
Scope of work
Building on this work over the years, the IRC in Sierra Leone has developed a program framework, strategy, and vision. The country program has committed to ensuring that school-aged children, in and out of school, have appropriate literacy, numeracy, social-emotional skills and learn in safe environments. The IRC also works towards the reduction and elimination of barriers to ensure that girls are equally skilled and safe as boys. The Education Coordinator will be responsible to lead high quality program implementation and provide technical support, capacity building and guidance to the IRC’s education staff and partners including: Government Ministries and departments; other NGOs, community groups; and international organizations.
Areas of Responsibility
Technical Oversight and Support
• Provide technical support and guidance on all education programming to a range of partners, stakeholders and the education team working in the communities, on the following broad areas:
Safe spaces for adolescents to find support, learn, and self-organize
Safe space- based programming for out-of-school adolescent girls with literacy, numeracy and social-emotional learning components
Basic literacy and numeracy for out of school youth
Social-emotional learning and Life Skills
Equity for girls in Education
Teacher professional development through trainings, coaching and teacher learning circles
School safety and elimination of violence against girls
• Ensure that all programs are designed to mitigate risk in order to do no harm, especially for women and girls.
• Lead the implementation of the Strategic Action Plan within the education sector and provide technical guidance to the teams.
• Ensure that programming adheres to the IRC’s Outcome and Evidence Framework to achieve outcomes. This includes having evidence-based theories of change and project approaches/activities, and a robust M&E framework according to IRC and donor standards. Where evidence is lacking, programming then generates evidence.
• Ensure that the education sector has an M&E system which follows the standards for data collection, management and reporting and teams use data to make decisions regarding program changes.
• Ensure the education program is evidence generating from rigorous research to inform practice.
• Proactively work with the IRC Technical Units, especially the Education Advisor, to ensure adequate technical support is provided to the teams.
Program Management and Business Development
• Coordinate and support all education programs and components within IRC Sierra Leone to ensure timely, effective and quality activity set-up, budget management, implementation, and monitoring, evaluation and learning.
• Coordinate effectively with the Consortium Coordination Unit for the EAGER consortium, proactively engaging with the Unit to input into program design, adaption and collaboration with consortium partners, as well as supporting synergies with the WGPR program.
• Proactively work with other IRC programs in Health and Women and Girls Protection and Empowerment to identify areas and opportunities for collaboration, design integrated proposals, and collectively implement projects that multiply positive outcomes for the people we serve.
• Provide leadership on new program development; actively pursue new program funding opportunities and business development in-line with the program framework and the country program’s strategic outcomes.
• Working with partners (particularly local ones) and providing ongoing capacity building and coaching on both technical and project management skills as per IRC’s PEERs requirements
• Engage in global IRC initiatives (e.g. PCM, Integra, PEERs …etc.)
• Complete and maintain a stakeholders mapping in-country for key actors, donors, potential partners and other peers agencies.
• Identify gaps in the Education programs and work with the team to develop innovative approaches and mechanisms to address them.
• Conduct regular field visits to assess program quality and progress toward objectives and facilitate collective problem solving with staff and other stakeholders to address challenges identified.
• Develop and maintain a monitoring & evaluation plan and framework for current and new education programming, ensuring ethical and systematic processes of data collection, analysis, decision making, and information sharing.
• Ensure programs and activities are locally led and owned by the individuals and communities who the IRC serve.
• Actively identify, build and promote partnerships with INGOs, UN agencies, local and national groups, organisations working on education issues, with the objective of facilitating strong coordination and collaboration.
Finance, Budget and Grant Management
• Overall responsibility for education program budgets. Monitor budget spending in line with the spending plans, budget vs actual analyses, and develop remedial plans where necessary to ensure budgets are optimally utilized.
• Work with the field teams in the development of program budgets, cash projections and spending plans and any other grants as may be required, and ensure diligence in grants utilization.
• Work with the Grants Manager to ensure all education grants are in compliance with donor guidelines and contracts/ agreements including budget flexibility and reporting requirements.
• Ensure high-quality and timeliness of IRC and donor reports on activities, indicators and achievements.
HR Management and National Staff Capacity Building
• Supervise and provide ongoing support, capacity development and mentoring to the national Snr Education Managers, supporting them to do the same with the Managers they supervise, on areas including (but not limited to):
Budgeting and grants management.
Project and HR management.
Leadership, delegation, decision-making, problem solving, strategic planning, and conflict management.
Technical performance management support (setting of objectives, appraisals and professional development action plans and follow up).
Monitoring and evaluation.
• When required, lead on the recruitment of new education program staff, consultants, or other external support, in coordination with HR.
• Ensure effective team communication and support between team members based in Freetown and the field sites, including opportunities for debriefing and ensure staff well-being and care.
Coordination & Representation
• Proactively build strong working alliances with other international and national actors/organizations working in education in Sierra Leone.
• Proactively develop and maintain effective working relationships with other key stakeholders, including donors, government actors, UN agencies (including UNICEF), international and local NGOs, and other relevant actors; maintaining IRC as a key contributor to addressing quality of education in Sierra Leone.
• Actively participate in national level coordination meetings and working groups.
• Advanced degree in education, social sciences, humanities, human rights, gender, or other relevant field or the equivalent in professional work.
• Five years’ experience in managing education and adolescent girls programming and passion to work in this area– additional experience in managing education programming is of advantage
• Technical knowledge and strong understanding of gender, power, gender-based violence, equity, and empowerment, and how to integrate these into programme design as well as implementation.
• Demonstrated coordination, networking and relationship building skills with key partners including government, donors, INGOs, national and local organisations, UN agencies.
• Demonstrated experience in successfully leading, building and strengthening a program team of 30 + staff in a dynamic, challenging and changing context.
• Demonstrated experience in supervising, mentoring and building capacity of staff.
• Strong experience, knowledge and skills in participatory methods, community development and partnership.
• Demonstrated knowledge and experience facilitating practical workshops and educating others in technical areas including – SEL, early grade and/or basic literacy and numeracy, safe space based programming for adolescent girls, teacher training, curriculum development and school leadership.
• Demonstration of strong writing skills and clear and appropriate communications skills.
• Demonstrated experience of project design, budget planning, project cycle management and monitoring and evaluation frameworks, including data analysis.
• Excellent interpersonal skills, positive and professional attitude, ability to lead and work well in a team setting and with multiple partners.
• Strengths in listening, empathy, flexibility, and creativity.
• Fluency in English Language.
Travel: frequent travel to field sites (including, Kono, Kenema, and Bo)
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity and Anti-Retaliation.