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Education Specialist

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Mon, 10/08/2020 - 17:15

Plan International is an independent non-profit development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. 


We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it is girls who are most affected. 


Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. 


We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.


We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 75 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.


We are currently seeking to recruit {**Contingent on proposal award}

Title:                        Education Specialist

Grade:                     D2

Location:                Country Office

Report to:       Head of Programmes


Summary of the position 

The Education Specialist will provide technical assistance to all Plan International Sierra Leone education projects/programmes in design, projects coordination, implementation, monitoring and evaluation and ensure alignment between operations and the overall Country Strategy. In the absence of Project/Programme Manager, the Education Specialist will ensure overall project or programme management. The Education Specialist will also as liaise with other Plan International Sierra Leone teams and partners to maximise programme quality and effectiveness.


Dimensions of Role

The Education Specialist reports to the Head of Programmes. He/she leads the technical aspects of all Plan International Sierra Leone education projects/programmes. This includes:

  • ensuring best practice is evidenced and implemented and that quality and effectiveness is demonstrated throughout projects;

  • ensuring education staff correctly use tools and through the strong analysis of project data, results, feedback and learning that the project is adapted and enhanced, to ensure project objectives are met;

  • engaging closely with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary School Education, and other relevant actors in the education sphere in Sierra Leone;

  • providing hands-on support to the programme teams across all Programme Implementation and Influencing Areas (PIIAs);

  • building the technical skills of relevant staff and programme beneficiaries, particularly in relation to developing high quality education project and programmes.


Key Responsibilities 

Overall Technical Leadership and Management

  • Facilitate the formulation of technically sound education strategies/principles which ensure children have access to, stay in and complete primary and secondary school education in safe and inclusive environment.

  • Supervise, liaise closely with and provide the necessary technical advice and support to education projects and programmes in all matters pertaining to the effective management and implementation of activities within the program influencing and implementation area.

  • Provide thought leadership and maintain strategic direction to the project on education-focused components, with a particular emphasis on ensuring project/programme objectives are met in regards to improving access to quality education.

  • Work closely with partners and technical teams to develop, review and update activity plans and flag key implementation issues.

  • Provide technical support to project and programme colleagues to ensure education staff have up-to-date and robust theories of change and reflect good practice, in line with trends in the wider education sector in Sierra Leone 

  • Stay up to date with key sectoral trends in inclusive education in Sierra Leone to ensure that the project remains in line with best practice and innovative approaches are reflected in the project.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning

  • Ensure that designs and re/designs take place per standard and quality following the MERL process

  • With MERL colleagues, ensure that standard MERL tools are understood and utilised in a timely and correctly manner by all education staff and project beneficiaries.  

  • Follow up evaluation and reflection as well as audit processes and ensure their proper integration and response in the project cycle for program quality improvement and learning.

  • To work with the Partners’ and Plan International’s team to analyse information and data (e.g. project data, training reports, score-carding results, etc.) in order to identify core themes, key technical areas that need to be addressed, progress against the Theory of Change, as well as lessons learned.

  • Support production of donor and internal reports and learning pieces, where required.

Representation, Coordination and Communication

  • Participate in education cluster coordination meetings at national level including those held/attended by MBSSE, UNICEF, etc.

  • Engage closely with Ministry of Basic and Secondary School Education and other relevant actors in the education sphere in Sierra Leone.

  • Hold regular coordination meetings with project/programme teams, including the identifying ways to improve coordination and project delivery

  • Maintain awareness of Plan International Sierra Leone’s education portfolio and identify areas of collaboration.

Support to delivery teams

  • Technically line-manage education Project/Programme Managers and support them to ensure the smooth implementation of project activities

  • Support Plan International staff to deliver high-quality project implementation that advances girls’ and children with disabilities access to education.

  • Manage consultants were appropriate.

Capacity Building

  • Provide technical support and/or capacity building on education issues to staff to ensure good practice throughout the project.

  • Organise and lead trainings, develop training materials and provide on-going support throughout the project to ensure good practice and project adaptations are fully cascaded to school-level staff and government partners.


Education/Professional Background

  • A Master’s degree in Education or relevant discipline

  • Significant experience of designing or providing technical advice to education programmes in Sierra Leone, ideally with a focus on adolescent girls and/or inclusive education

  • Experience supporting programme implementation, primarily through advising, coaching and influencing

  • Experience of working with bilateral and multi-lateral donors

  • At least five (5) years of experience a managerial role, preferably in a social development setting

  • Strong leadership skills and ability to undertake strategic and programme planning

  • Good communication and facilitation skills

  • Strong understanding of gender equality programing and meaningful child participation

  • Knowledge of development challenges and contexts in Sierra Leone, particularly child rights, girl’s rights and child protection

  • Demonstrated experience working collaboratively and supportively without the need for close supervision

  • Proficient computer skills and use of relevant software and other applications.


Knowledge and skills

  • Knowledge of the various donors’ strategic interests, priorities and requirements

  • Excellent English oral and written communication skills

  • Proven strategic relationship management skills, including negotiation skills

  • Coaching, mentoring, training and facilitation skills

  • High level of computer proficiency

  • Experience working with people from different cultures to deliver complex work tasks

  • Building the technical skills of relevant staff and programme beneficiaries, particularly in relation to developing high quality education programmes.



  • Ability to maintain strategic vision and link with everyday work

  • Clear and effective communication that builds relationships in order to influence others

  • Accountability and responsibility for own performance

  • Promotes team work and cooperation

  • Confident in taking initiative and exploring new opportunities

  • The numerical ability to analyse financial information, budget and monitor costs

  • Excellent people and interpersonal skills

  • Ability to think and work proactively, creatively and strategically under pressure or when faced with competing demand.



Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Child Protection (CPP) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) are fully embedded in accordance with the principles and requirements of the policy including relevant Implementation Standards and Guidelines as applicable to their area of responsibility. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring staff and associates are aware of and understand their responsibilities under these policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), their relevance to their area of work, and that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.


Ensure staff understand Plan International’s commitment to driving a feminist agenda within the organization, and the ambition for gender equality and gender transformative leadership is embedded in our value-based leadership framework.



We are open and accountable

  • Promotes a culture of openness and transparency, including with sponsors and donors.

  • Holds self and others accountable to achieve the highest standards of integrity.

  • Consistent and fair in the treatment of people.

  • Open about mistakes and keen to learn from them.

  • Accountable for ensuring we are a safe organisation for all children, girls & young people


We strive for lasting impact

  • Articulates a clear purpose for staff and sets high expectations.

  • Creates a climate of continuous improvement, open to challenge and new ideas.

  • Focuses resources to drive change and maximise long-term impact, responsive to changed priorities or crises.

  • Evidence-based and evaluates effectiveness.


We work well together

  • Seeks constructive outcomes, listens to others, willing to compromise when appropriate.

  • Builds constructive relationships across Plan International to support our shared goals.

  • Develops trusting and ‘win-win’ relationships with funders, partners and communities.

  • Engages and works well with others outside the organization to build a better world for girls and all children.


We are inclusive and empowering

  • We empower our staff to give their best and develop their potential

  • We respect all people, appreciate differences and challenge equality in our programs and our workplace

  • We support children, girls and young people to increase their confidence and to change their own lives. 

Applications: Last date for submission of Application (CV and cover letter) is: 10th August, 2020 by 5:00 pm


Your application should include: 
·         A cover letter
·         A comprehensive CV including details of two referees, one of whom should be your current or

           most recent supervisor


Send applications to the below link:


Only short-listed candidates shall be contacted. References will be taken and background and anti-terrorism checks will be carried out in conformity with Plan International’s Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy. 


Plan International follows an equal opportunity policy and actively encourages diversity welcoming applications from all especially women and people living with disability.


Early application is encouraged as we will review applications throughout the advertising period and reserve the right to close the advert early.