Country Team Lead, GPE

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

JOB DESCRIPTION

 

Description

 

Are you a very passionate advocate for education? Do you want to make a difference in the lives of children? The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat (GPE) would like to hear from you.
 
Who We Are 
GPE is a shared commitment to end the world’s learning crisis. It is the only global partnership and fund dedicated entirely to helping children in lower-income countries get a quality education, so they can unlock their potential and contribute to building a better world.
 
We bring together governments, teachers, civil society, donors, United Nations agencies, development banks, businesses and private foundations to transform education systems so that
every girl and boy can have hope, opportunity and agency. 
 
What We Do 
GPE helps low- and lower-middle-income countries to build stronger education systems so that all children can get the education they need to thrive. We currently support nearly 90 countries where
the needs are greatest and focus on reaching the children who are the most vulnerable, including girls, children with disabilities and those affected by extreme poverty or conflict.
 
Our unique approach works. Since 2002, 160 million more children in GPE partner countries have set foot in classrooms for the first time, more than half of them girls. GPE is also the largest provider of education grants in the global COVID-19 response, providing partner countries with vital resources to ensure that learning can safely continue. 
 
How We Work 
Now, GPE is working to help governments transform their education systems to get the most vulnerable children in school, improve teaching and learning, and build equitable, inclusive and resilient education systems fit for the 21st century. Between 2020-2025, GPE will support transformative change in up to 90 countries and territories, which are home to 1 billion children.
 
Transforming education is about creating lasting changes and achieving impact at scale. GPE sets
out to deliver this transformative change by convening partners, mobilizing funds and catalyzing
reforms to help partner countries accelerate access, learning outcomes and gender equality. 
 
Raise Your Hand 
In July 2021, the Global Education Summit put GPE firmly on the path to be fully-funded by 2025, by raising a record US $4 billion from donors for GPE’s Raise Your Hand campaign. At the Summit, Heads of State and Government from partner countries made historic commitments to education financing and GPE also mobilized an unprecedented number of pledges from businesses, private foundations and development banks.
 
A fully funded GPE would support transformed education systems in up to 90 countries and territories, enable up to 175 million children to learn and help get 88 million more girls and boys in school by 2025. In the longer term, this investment could add $164 billion to economies in GPE partner countries, lift 18 million people out of poverty, and protect 2 million girls from early marriage.
 
Governance And Organizational Arrangements 
The GPE Board of Directors includes ministerial-level board members and alternates representing 20 constituencies that reflect the Partnership’s breadth. The Board Chair is HE President Jakaya Kikwete and the Board Vice Chair is Dr Susan Liautaud. The Board of Directors, with its three standing committees, provides policy and strategic oversight and approves or delegates funding decisions.
 
The GPE Secretariat, with 160 employees and hosted by the World Bank, is responsible for translating the policies and strategies set by the Board into practical support for partner countries, coordinating with diverse stakeholders and galvanizing global support for SDG4. The Secretariat’s headquarters are in the World Bank’s offices in Washington, D.C. and the European office is in Paris with a satellite office in Brussels.
 
ABOUT THE TEAM
 
CEP acts as GPE Secretariat’s primary relationship coordinator with country partners. We support national evidence-informed policy dialogue at country level, including on the development and implementation of inclusive Education Sector Plans, Partnership Compacts, Joint Sector Reviews, etc. to accelerate transformative progress in policy priorities. The CEP Team comprises three Regional Country Support teams, the Education, Policy and Learning team and the Strategy and Coordination team.
 
The regional teams comprise a group of Senior Country Education Specialists (‘Country Team Leads – CTLs), who each lead on the relationship with and support to a portfolio of countries with Education Specialists, and other Secretariat’s teams/staff (Monitoring officers, Thematic Leads, etc.).
 
ABOUT THE JOB
 
This position will be based initially in Paris but may be relocated if business needs arise that make it necessary to do so.
 
Description
The successful applicants will report to the Chief Technical Officer and CEP manager but will be located within a regional team and supervised by the relevant Regional Manager. Successful candidates will lead all aspects of the GPE Secretariat’s engagement with assigned countries. They will ensure coordination and management of teams of education and operation specialists, to provide the required support to assigned countries, including guiding and mentoring other staff. They will also ensure that the Secretariat’s support and messaging are consistent, as well as adapted to country context and needs.
 
Duties And Accountabilities
 
Country engagement and leadership
 
Support evidence-informed and inclusive sector policy dialogue in assigned countries to drive education system transformation by:
• Communicating effectively the key messages of GPE 2025 and processes of the Operating Model to country stakeholders.
• Leading relationship management with country partners, including ministries, civil society, development partners and knowledge institutions.
• Supporting the country political and technical leadership for system transformation and helping to sustain dialogue for change.
• Monitoring sector policy framework implementation and supporting government-led and inclusive policy dialogue, sector learning, adaptation and course correction through sector monitoring and reporting.
• Facilitating country level dialogue on GPE funding model requirements and supporting assigned countries in accessing GPE grants and other strategic resources (Knowledge and Innovation Exchange (KiX) , Education Out Loud (EoL) and Strategic Capabilities).
• Supporting evidence dissemination and uptake fostering informed decision-making practices and knowledge sharing, as well as promoting peer-learning among partners.
• Championing a cross-cutting gender lens in all operations and program and support diversity and inclusion in all team initiatives.
 
Strategic and technical leadership
 
Under supervision of the Chief Technical Officer/Regional Manager, lead country teams through effective integration of education specialist and monitoring officer and where appropriate technical support from other teams within the Secretariat in the support to assigned countries:
• Ensure an inclusive team approach and provide guidance and mentorship to other staff as and when required.
• Contribute to knowledge, analysis and dialogue around the country level work through regional teams.
• Contribute to  Secretariat’s quality assurance process and monitoring of GPE grants.
• Provide technical and strategic advice to the Secretariat management on country level issues as and when required.
• Participate in global and strategic dialogues, engagement and share experiences of country level engagement.

 

Selection Criteria

 

Education

Master’s degree in education, economics, public policy, social sciences, international development or a relevant related field.

Experience

A minimum of 8 years directly relevant work experience in education, and demonstrated experience and knowledge of education policy (financing system planning, education in fragile contexts, gender equality in education, learning, inclusive education, teacher development, or other areas relevant to GPE work).

Competencies

Collaboration & Teamwork – Views the whole of the Secretariat as greater than sum of the parts and works collaboratively with colleagues with shared goals in mind. Acts as a teammate; steps in to supports teammates and colleagues across teams as needed, regardless of organizational boundaries. Recognizes, values and reinforces the role of each team in delivering on GPE’s mission. Approaches challenges and obstacles as shared challenges to be overcome and leads groups to this outcome. Fosters productive group dynamics and actively seeks and considers diverse ideas and approaches. Supports and acts in accordance with final group decision, even when decisions don’t reflect own position.

Accountability & Results Focus –
Engages in productive consultation without losing sight of responsibility for own, and team, decisions, deliverables and deadlines. Doesn’t let the pursuit of perfection prevent forward progress, in self or on teams. Seeks clarity from colleagues or leadership team when needed; Helps junior staff get needed clarity to move work forward; works within and across teams to remove obstacles and resolve issues. Takes ownership of own mistakes, failures or oversights, and seeks to correct them; Shares credit for team accomplishments and accepts joint responsibility for team mistakes. Manages differences of opinion to productive resolution so as not to impede progress. Ensures group efforts produce clear actions and decisions and tasks conclude.

Communication & Interpersonal Skills – Has extensive experience & success working in multicultural environments. Speaks and writes clearly and effectively, adapting language, tone, style and message to diverse, multicultural audiences, internally and externally. Skilled at communicating complex information in succinct and digestible ways; coaches others to develop this skill. Shares information and keeps people informed; Operates with transparency, in a way that builds trust in a culturally diverse environment; Within and across teams, addresses behaviors that undermine transparency and trust. Maintains productive working relationships with colleagues and holds team members responsible for doing the same. Engages in active listening and two-way conversation. Asks questions for clarification and responds to others appropriately.  Learns from others’ ideas and expertise.

Adaptability – Models flexibility – responds to changing circumstances by innovating and altering behavior to better fit different situations. Learns new skills, performs work in different ways and coaches team members to do the same. Exerts a calming influence on colleagues and staff in stressful situations. Professionally deals with personal discomfort in a changing work environment and helps others do so.

Planning & Organizing – Works well independently and in teams. Develops clear goals aligned to agreed strategies and direction. Plans and prioritizes work effectively, for self and assigned teams Works under pressure and against tight timelines, and still delivers high-quality work. Manages own and team time efficiently, and delegates appropriately. Foresees risks and identifies mitigation strategies and contingencies.

Foundational Technical Knowledge in Education & Development – Demonstrated experience leading work on education and/or development issues in low and middle income countries. Experience with the policy process. Strong understanding of, and experience with, fragile and conflict affected contexts. Broad and deep knowledge of stakeholders and major issues and challenges, with demonstrated experience applying this knowledge to country issues. Expertise in one or more of the following GPE focus areas: Education finance, education planning and management, education in fragile contexts, girls’ education, inclusive education, learning, teacher development, other areas relevant to work of GPE.

Policy Dialogue Skills – Is aware of, and sensitive to, different stakeholder perspectives, interests and needs, and effective at building trust and support for proposed courses of action or solutions. Possesses political judgment, diplomatic sense, negotiation, conflict resolution and problem- solving skills. Understands the importance of transparency & accountability in implementation of education policies and programs, and the importance of monitoring and tracking results. Thorough understanding of country context – organizational or technical capacity of country partners; policy environment, laws and sector issues; key actors relevant to dialogue. Demonstrated experience working effectively within constraints to facilitate system transformation. Skilled at identifying entry points/opportunities to support an informed policy dialogue. Demonstrated experience making substantive contributions to policy discussions at all stages including development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. Skilled at promoting and applying cross-country development knowledge, expertise, ideas, and evidence to discussions with countries and their partners.

Quantitative and Analytical Skills – Proven ability to conceptualize, design and produce major/complex reports or studies. Demonstrated leadership and ability to lead a team in the execution of major projects. Able to guide/coach staff to effectively organize, analyze and monitor large volumes of information and data. Able to identify key issues in complex situations, weigh pros and cons quickly and make informed decisions. Checks assumptions against facts and evidence and challenges others to do the same. Able to conceptualize, design and produce major/complex reports or studies and to guide more junior staff in doing so.

Education Program Development, Support & Management – Understanding of, and experience supporting, education reforms and their enabling conditions. Thorough understanding of education policy lifecycle. Extensive experience developing, supporting, managing, and evaluating education-related programs. Experience supporting multi-stakeholder education partnerships. Deep understanding of, and demonstrated experience with, core education data sets/indicators and use of evidence for education policy. Ability to mentor and develop junior staff in these skills and their application. Deep knowledge of best practices and latest evidence-based solutions and successes in the sector.

BENEFITS FOR THIS POSITION 

Term appointments include, but are not limited to, medical benefits, including dental and vision, Staff Retirement Plan, financial assistance program, life & disability insurance, comprehensive leave policy (minimum 26 days/annum) and parental leave policy (50-100 days).

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

Poverty has no borders. Neither does excellence. This is why we continually search for qualified individuals with a diverse set of backgrounds from around the globe. We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, creed, race, color, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability.

GPE has a zero-tolerance policy against all forms of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment in line with its PSEAH policy.

Individuals with disabilities may be provided reasonable accommodations to perform essential functions of the role and support in receiving other workplace accommodations. Please contact the DAF-Disability Accommodation Fund at [email protected] for further information and support.

 

World Bank Group Core Competencies

The World Bank Group offers comprehensive benefits, including a retirement plan; medical, life and disability insurance; and paid leave, including parental leave, as well as reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity and inclusive employer with a dedicated and committed workforce, and do not discriminate based on gender, gender identity, religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Learn more about working at the World Bank and IFC, including our values and inspiring stories.


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