Relief News

Afghanistan: National Advisor, Early Childhood Development


January 25, 2015
Organization: Aga Khan Foundation
Country: Afghanistan
Closing date: 14 Feb 2015
The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is a private international, nonprofit, and non-denominational development agency. It seeks sustainable solutions to long-term problems of poverty, with special emphasis on the needs of rural communities in mountainous, coastal and other resource poor areas across the world. Concentrating its efforts in health, education, rural development and strengthening civil society sectors, AKF's approach is based on a long-term commitment that is maintained despite political and social uncertainty.

The Aga Khan Foundation, Afghanistan (AKF (Afg)) is a member agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a dynamic network of development agencies currently operating in over 30 countries across Central and South Asia and East and West Africa. AKF (Afg) currently manages and implements the largest multi-sectoral development programme within the network and has built a strong reputation with the Government of Afghanistan, donors and local partners in a number of technical fields.

The AKDN is a group of international, private, non-denominational development agencies and institutions that seek to empower communities and individuals, usually in disadvantaged circumstances, to improve living conditions and opportunities. AKF (Afg) is part of AKDN and has been working in Afghanistan since 2002, with programs focused on Rural Development, Education and Health.

Job Summary:

The Technical Advice and Support (TAS) Team within AKF Education provides specialist professional educational advice and support in programmatically relevant areas such as policy, management and leadership, teacher capacity building, teaching and learning, adult education and Early Childhood Development.

The National Advisor Early Childhood Development (ECD) is a key member of the TAS team, responsible for providing technical advice and support, internally and externally, on AKF's programme. S/he will be based in Kabul and work in close collaboration with other technical advisors and provide technical support to the teams in the regions in order to ensure the development and delivery of a high quality, contextually relevant and sustainable ECD programme.

AKF's ECD programme currently supports 143 Community-Based Pre-schools accommodating over 5000 children (4-6 year olds) and 50% girls per year in four provinces in central and north-east Afghanistan (Bamyan, Parwan, Baghlan and Badakhshan). The ECD Advisor is expected to travel frequently in the field and spend 40% of his/her time in the regions to ensure the quality of ECD programme implementation. A core responsibility of ECD Advisor is to develop a second line leadership in ECD through mentoring support and also develop a structure mentoring plan for ECD Senior Officers to build their capacity through workshop and on the job support so that quality of ECD implementation is improved. Also s/he will make sure that the programme is well aligned with MoE ECD policy and AKDN directives.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Providing Technical Advice and Support-internally: After assessing the existing ECD programme, pre-school design, staff capacity and programmatic needs, work in consultation with the National Manager Education (TAS) and regional management to provide strategic direction, advice and leadership for the programme in line with AKF strategy, values and commitments;

Providing Technical Advice and Support-externally: As required, participate in meetings, forum and working groups with Afghan Ministry of Education partners in order to share experiences, knowledge and, when required, advice for the development of ECD programme and policies within Afghanistan;

Representation: As required, represent AKF Education in meetings with other AKDN Agencies, Afghan NGOs, INGOs and other relevant stakeholders in matters relating to ECD;

Programme Delivery - Planning and Implementation: In order to ensure realistic understanding of how the programme is being implemented and the challenges faced, regularly visit pre-schools and parenting classes to monitor and support AKF field staff, pre-school teachers and communities;

Programme Effectiveness: In addition to introducing initiatives to strengthen current programme delivery and effectiveness, develop innovative and creative ideas to strengthen, expand and sustain programme impact;

Staff Development: (i) Work and support the localization process of ECD Advisor and provide mentoring support; help in transition of the nominated person into the national advisor position. (ii) Through a combination of training courses, mentoring and coaching, creates other relevant development opportunities, build the technical, management and communication skills of the regional ECD TAS Officers, which will enable them to identify, support and develop strategies to strengthen the programme within their respective region;

Resource Management: Assist in the identification and selection of appropriate technical supplies and equipment for the ECD programme (e.g., teaching and learning materials and resources);

Reports and Communication: (i) In addition to ensuring full and ongoing communication with the TAS manager, provide him/her regular written reports on problems being faced, ideas being recommended and general progress and impact of the programme. (ii) As part of the TAS Team, take part in regular team meetings to share ideas, concerns and gain clear approval before implementing new ideas. When visiting regions, ensure clear communication with regional senior management;

Monitoring, Evaluation and Research: As necessary, provide technical support and ideas for undertaking research projects and impact studies related to ECD. When required, work with the Monitoring and ERLU teams to develop and strengthen effective tools for measuring programme impact and success;

To carry out the responsibilities of the role in a way which reflects AKF-A's commitment to protecting children in accordance with the Child Safeguarding Policy;

Occasional Significant Duties:

Collaborate with other members of the Education Team such as Advisors/Coordinators;

Provide technical advice to AKF teams in organizing/taking part in events, campaigns and conferences on ECD relevant initiatives**;**

By remaining up to date with research, initiatives and developments relevant to ECD, advise and update other colleagues as relevant.

Decision Making Authority:

Administration: Provide regular reports to National Program Office;

Technical : Responsible for evaluating and providing feedback to senior regional management;

Logistical: Ensure appropriate selection of the ECD materials.

Required Qualifications and Experience:

Master Degree in Education (preferably in Early Childhood Development);

Minimum of 5 years' experience as a practitioner in Early Childhood Education;

Minimum of 3 years' experience in managing the implementation of education-related projects, preferably in a post conflict or complex region;

Proven excellent interpersonal, mentoring and team building skills, particularly working in cross-cultural contexts;

Excellent time management skills-ability to deal with multiple tasks and diverse team;

Excellent English written and spoken communication skills (Dari would also be an advantage);

Ability to make decisions and suggestions based on strong analytical and problem solving skills;

Strong and realistic planning skills with the ability and tenacity to follow a project through to completion;

Proven experience in writing training materials and designing resources; Flexibility in responding to unexpected changes in circumstances.

How to apply:
Please apply through our Career Centre:

Only short listed candidates will be contacted for further assessment.

Aga Khan Foundation - Afghanistan recruitment and selection procedures reflect our commitment to the safeguarding of children from abuse.

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