EPG is looking for an outstanding, experienced, and highly motivated leader to join its Senior Management Team as Director of Programmes. The successful candidate will find EPG’s vision and values to be exciting and motivating and be eager to contribute to the development of an organization striving to redefine the role of technical assistance in international development and education.
The Director of Programmes will lead the design and delivery of EPG’s entire portfolio of work, including establishing and managing relationships with multiple governments and funders; leading a team of highly professional staff to deliver outstanding work to all clients; providing strategic insight into the monitoring and evaluation of the portfolio; undertaking financial oversight across all country budgets; and playing a significant strategic role in the leadership and growth trajectory of EPG.
This role is based in Kenya, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire or London, with international travel (approximately 35% of the time), as and when travel is possible in the context of COVID restrictions.
- Lead engagements and forge close working relationships with multiple governments, including Ministers and senior government officials, to oversee the end-to-end design and implementation of projects focused on improving the quality of education systems; and ensure work is cognisant of, and responsive to the wider political economy;
- Build a coherent portfolio of work within and across countries with attention to strategic ambition, project quality, risk management, robust evidence generation, and sound budget management;
- Help to ensure the financial sustainability of the organisation by leading on the development of new country engagements and supporting the Director of Strategy and Partnerships in the development of new funding relationships and maintaining existing ones
- Provide vision and leadership around how technical assistance might be delivered more sustainably;
- Ensure EPG's programmes benefit from high quality technical expertise and advice obtained through either in-house expertise or consultants or a combination of both, as relevant for the individual programmes;
- Work with the CEO and SMT to reform programme management systems and processes to ensure EPG is operationally fit-for-purpose for a small, growing non-profit consultancy working towards independence from Ark;
- Lead initiatives internally and with external partners to deepen staff understanding of education system reform, best practice and the practicalities of successful partnership with government officials;
- Line manage programme staff, including remotely, to quality assure delivery against programme objectives as well as the personal and professional development of individuals;
- Work with the Research and Evaluation Manager to ensure that all of EPG’s projects have contextually-relevant and operationally efficient monitoring and evaluation plans that inform best practice internally and externally and to deliver robust policy research;
- Keep abreast of the latest global research, news and trends in education, development and country/client contexts to inform EPG strategy and programming;
- Report to the EPG Board on the health of the programmes portfolio, flagging significant issues, as they arise and as appropriate, for discussion
- Participate as an active member of EPG’s Senior Management Team to provide strategic and operational leadership across the organization as EPG matures and grows towards independence.
Essential requirements for the candidate are:
- Significant professional experience in international development or international consulting, and in education, including experience leading the design and delivery of education policy-related projects;
- Significant experience working in long-term partnerships with government officials, especially in sub-Saharan Africa
- Exceptional relationship-building and management skills especially with leaders in government and non-government institutions in low-and middle-income countries;
- A strong track record in complex, end to end, project management, particularly in in low- or middle-income countries;
- Significant experience leading, developing and managing teams, including remotely and across cultures;
- Passion for education and for the central role of government in delivering education;
- Experience designing and delivering on major organisational strategies;
- Exceptional written communications and presentation skills in English;
- Experience in analysing and interpreting qualitative and quantitative data, and drawing out key themes and policy implications;
- Familiarity with research and evaluation methodologies;
- Masters’ degree or equivalent experience.
Desirable skills and experience include:
- Good network within the global education sector
- Experience in research, monitoring and evaluation design and delivery
- Knowledge and/or experience in the role of non-state actors in the provision of basic education;
- Experience working on projects aimed at strengthening accountability in education systems;
- Formal training in microeconomics;
- Fluency or advanced language capabilities in French.
About Education Partnerships Group
Incubated within UK education charity, Ark, the Education Partnerships Group (EPG) is an international not-for-profit consultancy that partners with governments to shape and strengthen their education systems. Our vision is that governments in low- and middle-income countries are equipped to ensure that every child goes to school and learns. We believe that supporting government to design and implement contextually relevant and evidence-based public policy is the best way to drive sustainable progress towards achieving quality education for all.
We assist governments across three critical stages of the policy process:
1. Generating and using research to inform policy
2. Supporting the design and development of policy
3. Supporting the piloting and scaling of policy reform initiatives
Today, EPG works in five countries in Sub-Saharan Africa: South Africa, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Cote d’Ivoire, and Zambia.
In our work, we prioritise a genuine understanding of context rather than assuming ideas can simply be transplanted from one country to another. We also focus on the system – the roles, responsibilities, and relationships of all the different actors – rather than working on one policy area in isolation.
COVID has demonstrated more than ever the importance of effective education systems capable of coordinating and targeting limited resources through evidence-based approaches for impactful education service delivery. With growing demand for our services, EPG is currently focused on seizing those opportunities to expand our footprint in current programme countries and new geographies.
The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.