Foundational Education Skills Program Specialist, USAID Education Support Initiative

  • Posted on 19 June 2020

Job Description

About Us

Are you passionate about driving programs focused on foreign assistance? Do you want to be part of an organization that offers meaningful assignments and opportunities to expand your skills and expertise? At Dexis, you will experience a corporate culture of inclusiveness, fairness, and trust. You will be given the means and mentorship needed to succeed, and your creativity will be rewarded.

About the Position

Dexis Consulting Group is recruiting for an international Foundational Education Skills Program Specialist that will be embedded within USAID’s Office of Education (ED) within the Bureau for Education, Environment, and Economic Growth, Education and Environment (E3). For the purposes of this position, “foundational skills” are defined as a learner’s reading, numeracy, and social and emotional skills. The foundational skills specialist will support the implementation and monitoring of USAID programs funded to improve these skills in diverse contexts worldwide. The specialist will also provide needed organizational and administrative management to the team. The specialist will sit on the Office of Education’s Reading and Learning team. The position is evaluated by Reading and Learning Team Lead, but day-to-day technical assignments are supervised by the Senior Education Advisor for Reading and Learning in the E3/ED office.

The USAID Office of Education is responsible for advancing the priorities of the USAID Education Policy:

  • Children and youth, particularly the most marginalized and vulnerable, have increased access to quality education that is safe, relevant, and promotes social well-being.
  • Children and youth gain literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional skills that are foundational to future learning and success.
  • Youth gain the skills they need to lead productive lives, gain employment, and positively contribute to society.
  • Higher education institutions have the capacity to be central actors in development by conducting and applying research, delivering quality education, and engaging with communities.

USAID’s Reading and Learning Team aims to advance the strategic areas of the policy by sustainably increasing the number of pre-primary and primary grade learners who meet global proficiency standards for foundational skills (literacy and numeracy skills) in low and middle income countries. Work is based at E3/ED (USAID headquarters in Washington, DC) and the Washington offices of the Dexis Consulting Group, but the Foundational Education Skills Program Specialist is expected to travel to the field, and to participate in assignments that may cross organizational lines, including work with USAID’s Global Book Alliance (GBA) and with Agency regional bureaus.

This is a hybrid position, encompassing both technical and operations-related duties. The specialist will help USAID Mission education teams and country-level partners, including host country governments, civil society and other donors to develop high impact, sustainable and scalable reading, numeracy and pre-primary programs. The specialist will conduct background research, document preparation, and briefer/training module development, and will participate in the Reading and Learning team’s oversight of project and portfolio performance monitoring plans. The specialist will also support general communications and management functions for the team, including information flow, task flow management, and record-keeping for various workstreams, including, at times, the Global Book Alliance.


Technical Support to Programs and Projects - 50% LOE

  • Provide technical support to missions implementing foundational skills programs through collaboration with USAID’s DC-based regional bureaus and the integration of evidence-based best practices in USAID’s work
  • Provide technical guidance on the design, implementation, and monitoring of foundational skills programs
  • Contribute to the design of professional development programs on key components of foundational skills development, such as fidelity of implementation, pre-primary education, structured pedagogy, coaching, teacher training, and assessment
  • Support USAID missions and the Agency in applying appropriate methodologies for monitoring and evaluating programs aimed at improving foundational skills
  • Support program and contract implementation to be carried out following Agency guidelines
  • Represent Reading and Learning team as assigned on key E3/ED cross-cutting workstreams
  • Take on other tasks as needed

Knowledge Management and Communications - 25% LOE

  • Partner with evidence, communications, and program team counterparts and contractors to develop, compile and promote knowledge products
  • Work together with Reading and Learning team colleagues, the GBA staff, implementing partners and other partners to develop, compile and promote knowledge products related to implementing and scaling foundational skills programs
  • Prepare briefs, reports, and respond to taskers related to reading and learning, when necessary
  • Take on other tasks as needed

Administrative Support - 25% LOE

  • Provide team workflow-related support
  • Maintain the team’s Google Drive folder system and assist with other administrative tasks like trackers and tables for planning and monitoring upcoming tasks and responsibilities
  • Support the Global Book Alliance with workflow management, administrative duties, and other organizational duties as assigned
  • Take on other tasks as needed

Minimum Requirements:

  • Master’s degree in education or a related field
  • At least 8 years of experience related to the development, implementation, management, and/or evaluation of pre-primary or primary education programs in developing country contexts
  • Ability to design and deliver training in early grade reading, numeracy, pre-primary education, elementary education and/or other related topics, to diverse audiences and with an awareness of the barriers created by marginalization based on socioeconomic status SES, race, ethnicity, disability status, sexual orientation, being a member of an indigenous group or tribe, etc.
  • Experience and familiarity with best practices in primary education particularly as related to literacy and numeracy instruction, particularly for underserved or marginalized populations, (including if those students were enrolled in programs led by small NGOs, philanthropies, or other civil society organizations)
  • Familiarity with the interpretation of both quantitative and qualitative research
  • Experience supporting high-level representatives of various organizations in their coordination and communication
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills; detail-oriented; ability to multitask and prioritize tasks; and able to learn quickly under pressure
  • Excellent writing, editing, and interpersonal and communication skills; able to successfully and effectively liaise with people within and across departments in a multicultural environment; confident communicator with proven negotiation skills
  • Ability to work independently, resourcefully and to own initiative, with flexibility to changing priorities and an eagerness to learn under pressure
  • Advanced skills in MS Word, Excel, and other products and applications
  • Ability to obtain and maintain Secret security clearance

Preferred Requirements:

  • Prior teaching experience at the pre-primary or primary level
  • Working knowledge of at least one language other than English (e.g. French, Arabic, Spanish, African languages, Dari, Pashto, etc.)

About the Organization

Are you looking for a company that offers meaningful program assignments and opportunities to develop professional skills and expertise? At Dexis, staff are empowered to be part of the decision-making process and collaborate with colleagues and management across the company to satisfy our clients. We create transparency in our operations with our clients and employees; and we offer our people opportunities to grow and challenge themselves in meaningful ways. Dexis follows a "find a way or make a way" business directive, and we’re paving the way for innovative management solutions in the global development and security assistance arenas worldwide. As a Dexis employee you will be challenged, empowered, and mentored. That’s how Dexis goes "all in.” How will you?

Dexis is an equal opportunity employer offering employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, citizenship, physical or mental handicap, or status as a disabled or Vietnam Era veteran of the US Armed Forces.

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