Plan International seeks a dynamic leader and project strategist to fill the role of Chief of Party (COP) for USAID’s Niger Education and Community Strengthening activity in Niger, a cooperative agreement with an expected budget of approximately $1.5 million for one year.
The project, which has been operating since 2012, focuses on increasing access to quality education, particularly for girls, and increasing student grade reading achievement through close collaboration with government officials and capacity enhancement for teachers and Ministry of Education personnel.
The COP will lead and oversee all aspects of this high-profile project, including directing strategic planning and decision making, providing technical guidance, managing the activities of sub-recipients, and supervising staff. S/he is responsible for annual planning, implementation, and monitoring of progress towards project goals. Serving as the key liaison with USAID, the Government of Niger, implementing partners, and other stakeholders, the COP will also establish and maintain an integrated vision among different actors while ensuring adherence to all project objectives, performance requirements, and donor regulations.
Consideration for this pivotal role will be given to education professionals with 1) a clear understanding of Niger’s education sector, community-centered development, and early grade literacy; 2) experience with USAID project management and administration policies, procedures, and reporting requirements; and 3) the ability to meet rigorous timelines, track results, effectively manage staff and multi-stakeholder relationships, and influence decision-making at the local and national level to create positive change.
- Provide overall technical and managerial oversight and leadership for the project.
- Direct supervision of senior staff including Education Specialist, Finance Director, Social Mobilization Specialist, and M&E specialist.
- Lead implementation of project annual work plan with detailed activities, operational processes and budget for field level implementation.
- Ensure efficient management of financial resources, including the review and approval of program budgets and monitoring expenditures.
- Supervise field operations, project administration, logistics and procurement.
- Oversee the delivery and monitoring of sub-grants.
- Supervise program monitoring, evaluation, and reporting and ensure quality control and timeliness of all deliverables as required by the grant and donors.
- Ensure full compliance with all USAID, Plan, and other fiduciary regulations.
- Serve as the principal liaison with the Government of Niger, particularly the Ministry of Primary Education; USAID and other donors; and project partners and stakeholders to ensure effective program implementation and build lasting relationships.
- Maintain advocacy efforts to ensure the Ministry of Primary Education takes ownership of and commits to scaling up the best practices promoted by the NECS+ project.
- Maintain a functional relationship with Plan Niger staff to remain aligned with the Country Strategic Plan and make meaningful contributions to the achievement of country program objectives through this project.
- Solve problems and operational constraints of the project by analysing and exploring both internal and external environments (i.e. Plan International, USAID, Government of Niger and NGO partners).
- Establish protocols and processes for smooth implementation of activities.
- Take a proactive stance in identifying and resolving conflicts among project team members, implementing partners, and high-level stakeholders.
- Develop a high performing team culture and keep staff motivated to meet their objectives.
In order to succeed in this challenging and varied role, you will have extensive experience in the following areas:
- Possess at least a Master’s Degree in Education or related field.
- Strong knowledge of the education system in Niger.
- Experience managing a large child-focused program for an international NGO.
- Significant experience with large-scale, multi-year US government-funded programs, with a strong track record of successfully managing USAID-funded programs in West Africa.
- Demonstrated knowledge of USAID project management, including USAID rules, regulations, and reporting requirements.
- Demonstrated knowledge of gender and proficiency in managing development projects that mainstream gender.
- Demonstrated ability to implement projects with rigorous timelines and deliverables and to track program quality through donor-approved monitoring and evaluation systems.
- Ability to work under pressure, as part of a team or independently, and meet deadlines consistently.
- Experience collaborating with diverse stakeholders, such as local NGOs, government officials, donor representatives, and local and international staff.
- Ability to respond to requests on short notice and simultaneously plan and execute several activities.
- Proven experience in hiring, training, and supervising teams of international and local staff.
- Proven leadership, interpersonal, and cross-cultural skills, with the ability to build and motivate diverse teams.
- Strong advocacy skills and the ability to devise strategies, take action and propose solutions to influence decision-making at the local and national level, specifically related to education, literacy and community mobilization.
- Ability to understand and assess potential risks while handling resources and mitigating/managing conflict.
- Excellent command of English and French, with strong verbal and written communication skills.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office suite, including Word, Excel, and Outlook.
Type of Role: fixed term contract
Location: Niamey, Niger
Salary: Competitive salary available
Reports to: Plan Niger Country Director and Plan International USA Senior Program Manager
Closing Date: August 12, 2018
Early application is encouraged as we will review applications throughout the advertising period and reserve the right to close the advert early.
Please note that only applications and CVs written in English will be accepted.
A range of pre-employment checks will be undertaken in conformity with Plan International’s Child Protection Policy.
As an international child centred community development organisation, Plan International is fully committed to promoting the realisation of children’s rights including their right to protection from violence and abuse. That means we have particular responsibilities to children that we come into contact with.
Plan International believes that in a world where children face so many threats of harm, it is our duty to ensure that we, as an organisation, do everything we can to keep children safe. We must not contribute in any way to harming or placing children at risk.
Plan International operates an equal opportunities policy and actively encourages diversity, welcoming applications from all areas of the international community.