Project Director - International Rescue Committee, Kabul

Closing date:  26 Mar 2012

The IRC is seeking a Project Director who will be responsible for the overall management of a CIDA-funded multi-year education project, the Basic Education Consortium for Afghanistan (BEACON). The Project Director will provide strategic and operational leadership and assume the overall responsibility for the development and implementation of a tactical approach and effective strategy for this large-scale project. The goal of BEACON is for children, youth and adults to have the knowledge and skills to be productive members of Afghan society by supporting the Government of Afghanistan to expand and improve quality education to children, youth and adults. This project will be implemented in partnership with AKF, CARE and CRS.

The Project Director position will be based in Kabul, Afghanistan and will be a member of IRC’s Country Office Extended Senior Management Team, reporting directly to the Country Director. She/he will supervise the project team and technical members and will lead the Project Management Unit constituted of members of the implementation partners. He/she will be accountable for ensuring that the program objectives are met.

RESPONSIBILITIES
Strategic Direction, Program Implementation • Provide strategic and operational leadership for the BEACON and coordinate all annual work planning, project reviews/evaluation activities and project implementation activities with team members and stakeholders. • Support Partner NGOs in implementing community based education programs in the designated provinces; • Ensure that efficient systems to support all aspects of the program (including sub-grant management, financial, and performance monitoring and reporting) are in place and support the effective use of program resources in compliance with CIDA regulations and IRC policies; • Supervise2 international and local staff (12 in total) and oversee the hiring process of any PMU personnel; • Fully inform IRC head/field office on all matters relating to the project, and maintain appropriate links with partner head/field offices.
Technical Assistance and Capacity Building • Ensure appropriate training programs for staff members, partner agencies and others in support of high quality programs; • Provide other technical support particularly in the areas of materials development, research, monitoring and evaluation; • Maintain a strong mentoring relationship with the project’s senior national staff in order to built local capacity and ensure program sustainability; • Oversee the identification and selection of appropriate short and long-term technical assistance;
Reporting and Documentation • Ensure the timely submission of all deliverables to CIDA, including Project Implementation Plan (PIP), annual work plans and project monitoring and evaluation plan.

• Ensure that all reports required by CIDA, IRC and government are produced on time and are of a consistently high quality;

Monitoring, Evaluation and Research • Ensure that the project monitoring system is in place and organize internal and external evaluations; • Ensure that the researches and studies built in the grant are initiated; • Identify consultants, both national and international for the purpose of meeting objectives and deliverables; • Monitor expenditure of the project in relation to program activities and budget;

Representation and Networking • Work closely with CIDA/Canada and its administrative arm CANADEM, IRC – Afghanistan Field Office and Head Offices, representatives of Government of Afghanistan in particular Ministry of Education; and local and international partners; • Ensure strong communication and coordination with other IRC programs, and with other education initiatives in country in order to maximize the use of resources achieve multi-sector program integration and avoid redundancy; • Ensure identification of advocacy issues, development of advocacy and influencing plan and its proper implementation with government as well as with other stakeholders;

REQUIREMENTS • Advanced degree in education, development or related field plus a minimum 6-8 years' experience managing overseas, multi-partner development programs, especially with CIDA, related to community-based education, institutional strengthening and/or civil society.

• Experience implementing complex basic education programs in developing countries in areas such as education policy; improving educational quality and access; educational assessment of disadvantaged students; development of community participation in the improvement of education for disadvantaged children; and M&E of education projects.
• Demonstrated skills in strategic and program planning; previous employment with or extensive knowledge of NGOs; and excellent oral and written communication skills in English. • Familiarity with CIDA regulations and policies as well as significant experience interacting with Canadian or other donor agencies is important.
• Proven ability in promoting and collaborating closely with multi-level stakeholders as well as knowledge or prior work experience in country preferred. • Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to lead and work effectively in team situations.
• Sensitivity of Central Asian cultures, capacity to work well under pressure, and the ability to communicate cross-culturally is critical. • Experience in conflict affected or post conflict areas plus the ability to travel extensively are important.

SPECIFIC SECURITY SITUATION/HOUSING This position will be based in Kabul, Afghanistan. The candidate should be prepared to implement programming in remote and insecure environments. This is a non-accompanied position, and shared housing is provided. Candidate should be aware that movement is severely restricted by local security policy due to high risk environment.
 
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