The Project Director/Chief of Party for this exciting project will be responsible for the overall project management, supervision, administration, implementation and advocacy of the “Read to Learn” Project in Bangladesh. The project will be funded by USAID and the expected valuation of this contract will be $50M-$99M over the life of the project. S/he will provide strategic and operational leadership to develop, implement, monitor, evaluate and influence improvement of Bangladeshi children’s reading skills within primary schooling through instruction, increased supplementary reading materials, facilitation of community engagement in early grade reading and providing teachers with appropriate tools to meet the objectives. S/he will liaise closely with relevant ministries of the Government of Bangladesh including the Ministry of Education, USAID, community leaders, civil society, schools, districts, business partners, and other USG agencies.
This position is contingent upon donor approval and funding.
Essential Duties, Responsibilities and Impact
- Represent Save the Children and the project in formal and informal relationships with USAID, partners, government authorities and other stakeholders, as appropriate.
- Serve as a technical leader on early grade literacy/reading and build staff capacity in reading and research.
- Lead the preparation of annual work plans and oversee the production and dissemination of accurate and timely reports as well as other deliverables to the donor, such as project success stories and project briefs.
- Supervise project planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation in a manner consistent with Save the Children’s working principles.
- Implement appropriate and meaningful approaches to address gender and women’s empowerment, as well as constructive engagement of men in Bangladeshi context.
- Ensure representatives and leaders at the national, directorate, and community levels are informed of program progress and best practices.
- Work with and manage national and local partners to assist in the implementation of the project.
- Ensure that efficient systems are in place to support all aspects of project activity, including contract management and project monitoring and evaluation, and that they support the effective use of project resources in compliance with USAID regulations.
- Ensure that financial systems support Save the Children’s accountability to USAID and that financial reports are timely and complete.
- Communicate regularly with the Contracting Officer and COR within USAID and other key stakeholders regarding program deliverables.
- Supervise key and non-key personnel of the project, including external technical consultants.
- Provide leadership to advocacy work with relevant stakeholders, particularly with government – its various agencies and ministries.
- Model strong leadership behavior in line with Save the Children’s gender & inclusion strategy.
- Focus on knowledge management and evidence generation and can align them with policy engagement and project sustainability.
Required Background and Experience, Skills and Behaviors
- Master’s Degree in Education preferred or in a related field, with a preference for PhD level education qualifications and specialized training in reading.
- Minimum of 10 years of professional experience at the COP level, preferably focused on early grade reading or literacy programs.
- Proven experience in a leadership role and management of education programming, including managing budgets and personnel, motivating and supervising team efforts and achieving success in complex, demanding environments.
- Experience in building organizational capacity and programming activities relative to reading, primary education and development through both formal and non-formal approaches and possessing strong professional credibility within this field.
- Proven expertise in building and maintaining relationships with government counterparts at the central and local levels as well as with partners and beneficiaries.
- Experience in managing USG funding with contracts and familiarity with donor rules and regulations is required.
- Experience in monitoring and evaluation of educational programs.
- Strong understanding and knowledge of evidence-based and promising reading models and best practices in improving and institutionalizing quality reading programs within public education systems in low resource contexts.
- Knowledge and familiarity with the Bangladesh education context is ideal; Asia regional experience is required.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and the demonstrated ability to lead and work effectively in team situations to achieve desired results.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required.
About the Organization
Save the Children invests in childhood – every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we are dedicated to ensuring every child has the best chance for success. Our pioneering programs give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. Our advocacy efforts provide a voice for children who cannot speak for themselves. As the leading expert on children, we inspire and achieve lasting impact for millions of the world's most vulnerable girls and boys. By transforming children's lives now, we change the course of their future and ours.