Community Mobilization Specialist, Education
International Rescue Committee - Sudan, TX

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This position is contingent upon funding.
Application deadline: Friday, March 1, 2013.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.
The IRC has been active in South Sudan since 1989, supporting communities, government offices, and local civil society organizations to deliver education, protection and rule of law, health, environmental health, women’s protection and empowerment, and economic recovery and development programming.

The IRC is seeking a Community Mobilization Specialist for a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded project to strengthen and establish safe schooling opportunities in communities that have not had access to education in northern and northeastern South Sudan. Based in Kwajok (Warrap State) or Juba, South Sudan (location to be determined), the Community Mobilization Specialist will work under the leadership of the Senior Education Advisor and will provide overall technical expertise on community engagement and accountability components.

The Community Mobilization Specialist will support community members and community-based actors to ensure they have a greater voice and engagement in education services and are able to demand greater accountability from education authorities (particularly at payam and school levels) for the delivery of quality basic education services, particularly for underserved populations. This position and start date is contingent on the IRC being awarded funding.

Job Responsibilities:
  • Work with the Senior Education Advisor to provide direct leadership, supervision and oversight of community engagement and accountability components to ensure efficient and effective project implementation in accordance with the project agreement, and ensuring that the project addresses the needs of target populations in the most cost-effective manner;
  • Develop a strategy for the effective implementation of support to Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs), School Management Committees (SMC), Community Mothers Groups (CMGs), or other community-based organizations/associations to improve and expand safer education services for children and youth, as well as social accountability processes which are accessible, sustainable and strengthen the education system;
  • Ensure that community engagement initiatives contribute to strengthening the responsiveness and support provided to schools and teachers by the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) payam-level offices;
  • Responsible for ensuring that activities are implemented according to a well-defined set of program protocols and tools which balance the need for timely achievement of objectives with the importance of quality processes, and methodological rigor;
  • Ensure that all project approaches and interventions are guided by a thorough analysis and understanding of gender, conflict and politico-economic dynamics in target areas;
  • Work closely with M&E Specialist and Grants Advisor to support the M&E functions of the community engagement and accountability components, including quality reporting on results and documenting best practices and lessons to share with development partners and influence policy and practice.
  • Provide effective guidance and oversight to technical members and short‐term technical consultants supporting the community engagement and accountability components;
  • Conduct regular visits to all field offices to provide technical support to project staff and partner organizations, as well as monitor implementation progress;
  • Provide expert contribution to the development or adaptation of education policies, guidelines and standards that promote quality service provision that is accessible, responsive and accountable to citizens, and allows their voices to be heard.
  • Promote productive relationships with appropriate Government of South Sudan ministries (at the central, state, county, and payam level), local organizations, private sector partners, project partners, and members of civil society through regular contact and meetings;
  • Contribute to the development of field staff through training, mentoring, and assisting with professional advancement;
  • Ensure that the community engagement and accountability components are implemented according to defined work plans in order to achieve project deliverables. Through strong planning and monitoring, identify potential obstacles to programmatic success in a timely fashion, and implement corrective actions as needed;
  • Ensure that lessons learned from this & other programs / organizations are considered for relevance to ongoing program activities, and propose adjustments as needed. In particular, support the process of analyzing the outcomes of the community engagement and accountability components of the program and adapting it as appropriate.

Requirements:
  • Master’s degree from an accredited university in education or social sciences, or additional experience in similar types of programs;
  • At least 7 years of technical experience in developing and implementing community–based programs, social accountability tools and capacity building plans in culturally, politically and security sensitive environments.
  • Demonstrated field training skills (oral and written)
  • At least 5 years work experience in developing countries, including in conflict-affected environments;
  • Proven track record of successfully providing technical assistance to and monitoring and evaluation for large-scale governance and/or education programs;
  • Previous experience with USAID-funded programs preferred;
  • Solid understanding of the South Sudan context, with previous experience in South Sudan or the region preferred;
  • Demonstrated innovation and success in staff capacity-building and in participatory, flexible, and gender-sensitive programming and implementation;
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written;
  • Ability to conduct field visits to rural communities in remote areas of South Sudan;
  • Ability to work constructively under challenging conditions and in difficult environments;
  • Fluency in English is required, knowledge of Arabic and/or South Sudanese languages such as Dinka or Nuer is a plus.
South Sudanese candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

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The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their...