This role can be based in Kampala, Uganda or Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
Play Matters re imagines childhood for refugees. It will bring play-based learning to 800,000 children across Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania. It will redefine education and cultivate a generation of lifelong builders. Play Matters is inspired by LEGO Foundation’s call to challenge the status quo, to offer children the quality education they dream of. Children are not gaining the skills they need, teachers are under-supported, and parents are overwhelmed. The systems built to serve them are failing them. Play Matters proudly offers something different. It is being delivered by a coalition with a track record of thinking and delivering differently. We bring three distinct characteristics:
1. OUTCOMES. Everything we do is fueled by the social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and resilience outcomes we seek. We know learning happens when children are at the center and teachers, parents and the system surrounding them embrace children’s agency and have not only skills and resources, but the motivation to drive change.
2. RESEARCH AND LEARNING. Effective delivery requires both rigor and a big heart. With the LEGO Foundation, PlayMatters will generate scientific evidence that can transform our understanding of play and learning for refugees in East Africa and around the world.
3. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP. The LEGO Foundation Humanitarian Initiative offers an opportunity to deliver and comes with the responsibility to lead. Our consortium’s members have a record of mobilizing others.
IRC is seeking a Regional Content and Teacher Professional Development (TPD) Specialist to join the PlayMatters Regional team. As PlayMatters launches into its year of iterative content development, the Regional Content and TPD Specialist will build all levels of consortium capacity around learning through play and the PlayMatters TPD approach. This will include meeting with monitoring, research, leadership, and implementation teams—and capacitating all members on the PlayMatters learning through play approach. Through trainings, material review, and provision of consortium-wide pedagogical leadership, this person will provide strategic guidance and system strengthening around a unified understanding of learning through play to ensure the project achieves expected results. The Regional Content and TPD Specialist will work closely with the educator content writing teams (drafting and reviewing), providing technical support to ensure that LtP pedagogy is appropriately integrated. This role will also support the coordination of the content development and testing process for educator content, with an eye for learning through play pedagogical excellence. The Regional Content and TPD Specialist will also be responsible for supporting the PlayMatters TPD approach. This will include reviewing and providing technical input into the drafting and testing of TPD content, as well as working closely with, and training, consortium education officers to ensure the PlayMatters TPD programming (workshops, observations, teacher learning circles, etc.) is implemented appropriately. The Regional Content and TPD Specialist will be responsible for closely collaborating with the PlayMatters’ regional workstream leads, as well as the content development teams and PMCs in Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda.
● Lead and coordinate LtP trainings with consortium members to enhance the technical presentation and understanding of learning through play across all workstreams, and how to integrate this into their work (internally and externally);
● Lead and coordinate TPD trainings with MEL and research officers to ensure the PlayMatters TPD programming (workshops, observations, teacher learning circles, etc.) is implemented appropriately;
● Train education officers on the PlayMatters TPD and coaching approach (including ToT for headmasters/school leadership, use of PM observation tools, etc.) to ensure implementation of technical excellence;
2. Technical Excellence
● Collaborate with regional workstream leads (including MEL, research, policy, implementation, multimedia), to ensure country level activities infuse proper LtP strategies to achieve the greatest impact toward project goals and objectives;
● Undertake field visits to testing locations to ensure that LtP and the PlayMatters TPD approach is implemented, monitored, and understood appropriately;
● Collaborate with the IRC Curriculum TA to provide regional technical support to the educator content development committee and testing teams, ensuring that their content is pedagogically strong;
● Provide technical support to the educator writing teams (drafting and reviewing), to ensure their content represents the PlayMatters LtP approach;
● Collaborate with the regional technical, content, and design leadership to ensure testing reports and user feedback to ensure all aspects related to LtP and TPD are technically considered and appropriately acted upon;
● Collaborate with Regional Multimedia Coordinator to design and test the PlayMatters e-course, ensuring the technical strength of the integration of LtP pedagogy and the PlayMatters TPD approach;
● Provide support to consortium teams as they engage and collaborate with system actors to ensure the PlayMatters TPD and LtP approaches are understood, properly communicated, and integrated (attending meetings with system actors where needed);
● Review quarterly/annual reports to ensure lessons learned from country teams and partners are reflective of LtP and that learnings related to LtP are effectively captured/considered to contribute to project success;
● Provide cohesive leadership and mentorship to ensure technical workstreams across the project integrate LtP;
● Advanced degree from an accredited university in education international development, or related field;
● Expertise in learning through play and developing content for educators;
● Experienced educator who has taught in one of the countries of implementation (Ethiopia, Tanzania, or Uganda);
● Minimum of 10 years of experience working on education programs for refugees or crisis-affected populations;
● Familiarity with LEGO Foundation grants;
● Experience managing content development within multi-million-dollar, complex, multi-partner projects;
● Demonstrated success in staff capacity-building and in participatory, flexible, and gender-sensitive educational programming and implementation;
● Strong communication skills, both oral and written;
● Fluency in English required.
Reports to: Regional Curriculum Technical Advisor
Working Environment: The Regional Content and Teacher Professional Development Specialist will work in Kampala or Dar Es Salaam and be provided regular administrative and logistics support to perform his/her responsibilities.
Standards of Professional Conduct: The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in the IRC Way – Code of Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, Equality and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Harassment-Free Workplace, Diversity Equality and Inclusion (DEI), Fiscal Integrity, Anti-Retaliation, Combating Trafficking in Persons and several others.
Narrowing the Gender Gap: The International Rescue Committee is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including a flexible hour (when possible), maternity leave, transportation support, and gender-sensitive security protocols.
Equal Opportunity Employer: IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws.
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