Program Manager - All Children Reading: Grand Challenge for Development

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 4 March 2020
  • Washington, D.C., District of Columbia, United States
  • Closing on 3 April 2020
  • Current

Job Description

World Vision seeks a Program Manager who sits within the All Children Reading: A Grand Challenge for Development (ACR GCD) Challenge Management team at World Vision. Launched in 2011, ACR GCD is a partnership of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Vision and the Australian Government that advances EdTech innovation and research to improve reading outcomes for marginalized children in low-resource contexts.

The Program Manager directs and manages project design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of a portfolio of small to mid-size projects, including prize competitions, that drive innovation and scaling in three focus areas:

  • enhancing literacy learning for children with disabilities;
  • driving the development and use of accessible books in underserved languages; and
  • strengthening foundations for literacy to improve early childhood learning.

The Program Manager also contributes to effective collaboration among stakeholders and Partners, innovator capacity building and program quality improvement. This role also develops and oversees the use of an agile project management systems and tools, including functioning as a Scrum Master. A background in international education and development and an understanding of the contribution of technology to literacy and learning is preferred.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  1. Manage the full awards and/or activities lifecycle, which includes the following:
  • Develop and maintain positive and productive working relationships with the ACR GCD Partners, stakeholders, vendors and awardees. Ensure that awarded projects are managed effectively through timely and detailed communication with internal teams, awardees and other stakeholders especially around major project issues and successes. Contribute to and facilitate the documentation of promising practices and lessons learned from ACR GCD activities.
  • Work with awardees to improve project design, provide capacity building and ensure accountability for the project milestones, timeline and budget.
  • Schedule and carry out check in meetings with awardees. Review and file project reports and documentation of achievements against agreed-upon milestones and deliverables prior to approving payments. Ensure delivered solutions and outcomes meet quality standards. Manage and negotiate amendment requests to project scope and plans to ensure impact and deadlines are achieved. Provide direction and support to awardees as needed. Escalate issues that cannot be resolved directly with awardees.
  • In collaboration with awardees, develop and update detailed project implementation plans and monitor and track progress. Determine agreed upon metrics and analyze reports against indicators to ensure projects are executed effectively. Conduct appropriate and mutually-beneficial visits to awardee projects.
  • Proactively disseminate project status and other required project communications. Prepare summary project reports including progress, problems, and solutions to share with Partners through Challenge Manager reports. Lead awardee and project close-out processes (including documentation and distribution of final reports, evaluations and lessons learned).
  • Showcase projects and collected evidence through internal and external fora. Ensure that evaluation outcomes and lessons learned are shared with and disseminated to Partners and other appropriate stakeholders.
  • Lead or co-lead competition designs related to the three ACR GCD-prioritized focus areas, using human-centered design approaches, and develop guidance for product development to promote scalability and sustainability.
  1. Employ agile project management processes, systems, and tools to coordinate ACR GCD activities and support effective team collaboration.
  2. Manage vendor relationships with consultants and contractors, including advising on vendor selection, issuing requests for proposals, defining scopes of work, and ensuring that vendor contract requirements are fulfilled. Monitor compliance and ensure WV responds professionally to all compliance and audit issues, follow-up on audit findings and evaluation recommendations. Ensure technical review of any evaluation terms of reference. Revise program documents as necessary and as requested and coordinate or complete approved amendments. Coordinate and/or submit cost and no-cost extensions.
  3. Identify and manage risks in procurement and support the ACR team by developing guidelines and best practices to promote efficiency and team productivity.
  4. Maintain awareness of corporate goals, objectives, organizational announcements, and activities. Reference and follow organizational policies and procedures, seeking clarity as needed.
  5. Function as a Scrum Master to coordinate project work and protect the team from distractions to focus on sprint goals. Schedule and run Agile project lifecycle meetings, including sprint planning, daily scrums, backlog refinement, sprint review and sprint retrospective meetings.
  6. Perform other duties as assigned.

Minimum Education/Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience (eight years) with a minimum of four (4) years of relevant professional experience in international development with emphasis on managing grants and/or projects.
  • Demonstrated experience in project design, monitoring and evaluation, social inclusion, the social and human rights model of disability and the broader international development and/or education sector
  • Familiarity with assistive technology, accessibility, product development and scalability of open source tools
  • Demonstrated ability to facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement;
  • Familiarity and understanding of the contribution of technology to literacy and learning, and of ACR GCD activities are preferred
  • Strong command of English in speaking and writing skills; familiarity with a second language is not required but favorable.
  • Strong Microsoft Office skills.
Working Environment / Conditions Standard office environment. Domestic and international travel required (up to 25% of the time).

About the Organization

We are a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty and injustice.

Working in nearly 100 countries around the world, we serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.

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