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Project Director, FCDO Girls Learning and Disability Inclusion – Sierra Leone

Freetown, Western Area, SL

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: Freetown, Western Area, SL
  • Grade: Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Project and Programme Management
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Managerial positions
    • Human Rights
    • Disability Rights
    • Poverty Reduction
  • Closing Date:

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The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is positioning to tender for the FCDO funded Girls Learning and Disability Inclusion (GLaDI) Programme in Sierra Leone. We are seeking a Project Director to drive this strategic opportunity, with an estimated value of £30 million GBP.

Background and objective of the GLaDI programme

The GLaDI programme is a 5 year intervention with a potential budget of £30 million. The overall aim of the programme is to provide inclusive post primary education for a growing school-aged population, as well as to work alongside FCDO’s health and governance programming to deliver twin UK objectives – quality education for girls and better sexual and reproductive health information and services.

The expected outcomes of GLaDI are to improve access to education, learning, and sexual and reproductive health information for over 800,000 adolescent girls and children with disability over the life of the programme and lead to:

-A reduction in the number of adolescent girls out of school disaggregated by primary and secondary;

-An improvement in the learning conditions in schools leading to more girls passing the end of secondary school examinations;

-An increase in the number of girls, and children with disability, enrolled and progressing through school or provided with out of school learning opportunities; and

-A reduction in the rate of 15-19 year old adolescents who have begun childbearing.

The programme approach is likely to focus on strengthening education systems (including improving teaching and learning, reducing violence in schools, improving management of public finances, and improved use of data for monitoring and decisions), developing education policies (including support to curriculum reform, improving pre-service teacher training, reducing children’s travel distance to schools, and helping to respond to shocks such as Ebola), and engaging with communities (including challenging cultural attitudes towards keeping girls and children with disability in school and healthy, holding evaluation and health service providers to account, and to connect adolescent girls with SRHR services).

Scope of work

The Project Director will coordinate across multiple partner organisations and IRC staff and be the primary representative of the project to all key stakeholders, government officials, and donors at coordination fora and other related meetings. The Project Director will ensure that the project achieves the expected results and is implemented in accordance with the donor agreement, donor regulations, and internationally recognised quality of assistance standards. She/he will have the overall responsibility for the oversight and delivery of outputs and results of the programme and will ensure that the programme is implemented as per the contract and in compliance with the FCDO requirements. She/e will also Oversee management of partners/subgrantees and provide financial and operations support that optimises resources through sound budgets, consistent financial tracking, and timely submission of reports to the donor. This will include overall technical, financial and operational management of the programme. She/he will be supported by a team of dedicated full-time and part-time personnel as determined by the needs of the programme, and will support project staff by creating and maintaining a work environment that promotes teamwork, trust, mutual respect, and empowers staff to take responsibility.

The Project Director will be the face of the programme and expected to maintain strong relationships with the FCDO and other networks in the sector as well as communicate effectively and distribute information about programme achievements and lessons learned to a range of different audiences. She/he will bring exceptional experience, expertise and commitment to girls’ education and empowerment, particularly in relation to girls living with disabilities. The Project Director is expected to have extensive skills in programme design and development, advocacy and networking with international and national institutions and development agencies which promote the education and empowerment of girls with disabilities, including SRHR. Wider technical knowledge of gender programming including women and girls’ economic empowerment, gender and poverty-related barriers, gender-based violence, education and livelihoods will be essential.

Project Director profile

This is a senior position which requires outstanding leadership, strategic thinking, and organisational, team-building and representational skills. We are looking for the following skills, experience and attributes from the Project Director:

-Advanced degree (or equivalent experience) in education, gender, disability or related field with at least 10 years working in international development in adolescent girls and empowerment;

-At least 10 years’ experience in leading the management of large and/or complex donor funded programmes, and managing a diverse team of professionals and consortium partners;

-Extensive Experience working in Sierra Leone;

-Experience in SRHR programming, and girls’ empowerment programming;

-Experience and ability to provide leadership and direction in harnessing the multi-disciplinary skills of the technical personnel and consortium partners;

-Familiarity with current debates about girls’ education and empowerment including FCDO’s thinking and emerging priorities;

-Experience and ability to work with, and build effective partnerships between, a broad range of stakeholder groups including government, civil society, private sector, multi-laterals and other donors;

-Prior experience in operating effectively within complex and high-risk environments and managing the needs of multiple stakeholders ;

-Prior experience in managing large FCDO programmes (preferably contracts)

-Experience working with children and adolescents and an ability to apply safeguarding, ethics, and ‘do no harm’ principles;

-Excellent analytical, communication and writing skills and ability to articulate arguments and positions backed with evidence in order to promote causes and ideas;

-The Project Director will be expected to align to and assure adherence to IRC’s internal policies, guidelines and ethics as well as DFID’s code of conduct and compliance requirements;

-Strong communication skills, both oral and written.Fluency in English is required and written and oral communication skills in French will be an advantage.

Duration and location

This is a 5 year programme with an anticipated release of the opportunity by end of 2020, and mobilisation in the first quarter of 2021. These dates are tentative and could be delayed due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and DFID’s merger with FCO.

The Project Director role is envisaged to be full-time and will be based in London, UK or Nairobi, Kenya. Travel to the target countries may be required subject to COVID-19 situation.

Please note that the JD is high level and indicative only at this stage and may be subject to change once the Terms of Reference for the programme is released and as the opportunity develops. This position will be contingent on the outcome of the bid.

Also note, qualified candidates from the priority countries listed for this opportunity will be STRONGLY preferred.

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