Senior Education and Child Development Specialist 32 views



Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children. We work in 120 countries. We work together, with partners, to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. Save the Children works in thirteen districts in Rwanda with a current staff complement of approximately 183 staff.

SC Rwanda Country Office seeks to hire qualified, committed and experienced National to fill the following position:

Position:                                                  Senior Education and Child Development Specialist

Place of Work: Kigali with field visits
Reports to:

Staff directly reporting with this post:

Time frame:    

Tentative start date:                                                                     

Programme Development and Quality Director





Level 3 – the role holder will have contact with children and/or young people either frequently (e.g. once a week or more) or intensively (e.g. four days in one month or more or overnight) because they work in country programs; or are visiting country programs; ore because they are responsible for implementing the police checking/vetting process staff.



The Senior Education and Child Development Specialist is an important member of the PDQ team. Under the general direction and guidance of the Programme Development and Quality Director, the Senior Education and Child Development Specialist will ensure that all early childhood development (ECD) and basic education interventions are of a high technical quality and attract significant donor funding which contribute to Save the Children’s strategic objectives; that monitoring processes are in place, and that programme quality and relevance is continually assessed and solutions quickly put in place to reflect changing contexts.

The Senior Education and Child Development Specialist is expected to strengthen the capacity of the existing ECD and basic education team, conduct training and provide technical advice and support to project staff, with frequent visits to the field to support high quality programme implementation and ensure programming objectives are successfully achieved. The position technically supports the ECD and education program in both development and humanitarian contexts. The Senior Education and Child Development Specialist is also expected to provide technical advice and support to ECD and basic education implementing partners.

Save the Children in Rwanda is currently running a programme titled ‘Advancing the Right to Read’ whose goal is to ensure that all children leave school able to read. It achieves this goal by working with children, their families and schools from birth through early primary, focusing on improving learning outcomes and early grade literacy. Advancing the Right to Read seeks to support the Government of Rwanda to bring together parents, communities and schools to achieve this goal and achieve systemic change. The Senior Education and Child Development Specialist will be responsible for leading on advocacy, technical support and resource mobilisation work.


Current thematic priorities include:

–       In ECD: Emergent literacy and maths for children aged 4-6 and parenting education for children aged 0-3

–       In Basic Education: Literacy Boost for primary school aged children 7-9 which includes both engagement with and support for in-class learning as well as community based support and reading clubs.

Literacy sector: Supporting the development of a rich literacy environment though continued support for the development of the Kinyarwanda language book sector.


Reports to: Programme Development and Quality Director

Number of direct reports: None

Important colleagues: ECD and Basic Education Program Managers, Program Implementation Director, Head of Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL), Senior Child Protection Specialist and Business Development Manager, Senior Education MEAL Specialist



General management

  • Demonstrate behaviours that are consistent with Save the Children’s Mission, Vision and Values and ensure their broader application by staff across the programme.
  • Contribute to a conducive and productive work environment.
  • Contribute to the wider country programme agenda.
  • Participate actively in PDQ meetings, planning and review activities, providing enhanced insight into child protection and child rights governance programming.
  • Participate in any Donor visit to project(s) within the country office portfolio, as required.
  • Carry out the responsibilities of the role in a way which reflects Save the Children’s commitment to safeguarding children, in accordance with our Code of Conduct and Child Safeguarding Policy.
  • Comply with and promote Save the Children policies and practice with respect to child protection, code of conduct, health and safety, equal opportunities and other relevant policies and procedures.


Programme Quality

  • Overall responsible to ensure the programme quality of Save the Children’s ECD and basic education programming;
  • Provide, or obtain from members/external sources, appropriate high level technical support on methods and practices to be rolled out within basic education and child development programming;
  • Lead the continuous assessment of ECD and basic education needs and ensure that these are appropriately reflected in sector strategy and program;
  • Work collaboratively with other sectors on ways to integrate child development and education with other programs, in order to maximize impact for children and families;
  • Conduct regular visits (30% of time) to the education and child development programs;
  • With the ECD and Education Program Managers and the MEAL team, collaborate on the development of tools to monitor and improve the quality of education and child development work.  Where necessary provide technical training for staff and partners as required (assessment tools, programme quality tools, case management, etc.);
  • Lead the process of lessons learning to ensure high quality programming, with support from the MEAL Specialist, coordinating the collection of documentation across all the programme areas;
  • Improve/strengthen the coordination of Save the Children’s work with the relevant ministries on education and child development;
  • With the Program Managers and Awards Manager, ensure reports to donors are of the highest quality, that there is alignment between the narrative and financial, and that they are submitted in a timely fashion;
  • Ensure recognized international best practices and Save the Children policies are applied in the work with children;
  • Ensure program products and learning are maintained within the Save the Children country program.
  • Provide technical support to the ongoing humanitarian program.


Programme development

  • Update the education and child development strategy, including the advocacy component, ensuring consistency with the Rwanda Country Office Strategic Plan 2016-18, Global Initiatives, and with Save the Children’s theory of change;
  • Ensure that the education and child development advocacy plan is implemented in timely manner and in line with the general Country Office advocacy strategy;
  • Support country strategic planning and annual reporting processes;
  • Lead programme development for ECD and basic education in close coordination with the Program Managers and field managers, awards, finance and operations staff;
  • Grow Save the Children’s ECD and basic education portfolio sustainably and strategically, consistent with the Country Strategy;
  • Ensure updated and accurate needs information for use in program development;
  • Lead on technical visioning of new programs and proposals;
  • Identifying opportunities and contributing to proposals for donors
  • Work with colleagues from other sectors to coordinate on and integrate programing to ensure children’s needs are met.


External Relations

  • Maintain strategic links with key duty bearers and stakeholders such as governmental bodies, UN agencies, INGOs and other local NGOs and community organizations, identify opportunities and ensure Save the Children’s participation in key activities at  the national and local level;
  • Represent and advocate for Save the Children in all ECD and Basic Education working groups and other interagency fora to ensure Save the Children is seen as the lead international agency in terms of innovation and quality of implementation in basic education and early childhood development;
  • Help to clearly articulate the ECD and basic education advocacy messages for the Rwanda Country Office;
  • Work with the Communication Manager, ECD and Education Program Managers to develop the communication plan, package communication messages and ensure that the program visibility is compliant with Save the Children standards.

Monitoring and Evaluation

In collaboration with the Senior Education Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Specialist:

  • Oversee knowledge sharing across the ECD and basic education teams, and in coordination with other sectors, and ensure that monitoring and evaluation results are understood and used to improve programmes;
  • Review reports, lessons learned and extract for internal and external use;
  • Develop programme quality assurance tools, such as needs assessment tools, programme level indicators, quality checklists for use in spot checks, complaints and response mechanisms, internal review and programme evaluation work plans, and others;
  • Work with the MEAL team to ensure clear plans in place for monitoring and evaluating project activities in relation to the objectives and that lessons learnt are shared and capitalized on;
  • Ensure that projects are monitored regularly, and that data is collected on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis;
  • Regularly visit project sites to ensure that teams are appropriately supported.

Capacity building, team work

  • Work with program implementation department to ensure adequate capacity building and technical support to the field;
  • Support the recruitment, training and promotion of ECD and education staff as appropriate and ensure availability of appropriate professional development opportunities for staff.

SKILLS AND BEHAVIOURS (our Values in Practice)


  • Holds self-accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
  • Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved


  • Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves (and their team), takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages others to do the same
  • Widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
  • Future orientated, thinks strategically


  • Builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, members and external partners and supporters
  • Values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
  • Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to


  • Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
  • Willing to take disciplined risks


  • Honest, encourages openness and transparency


  • A child development or education professional with a Master’s degree in education, child development or relevant field;
  • At least 5 years professional experience in education and/or ECD, including experience working at a senior management or technical level in child development or education for NGOs;
  • Excellent understanding of the ECD and education sector, particularly issues related to literacy, holistic child development, pedagogy, teacher training, curriculum development, child protection and child rights either in development and humanitarian context;
  • Clear understanding of the intersection of ECD and education with other thematic areas
  • Proven representation skills;
  • Strong commitment to capacity building of national staff and partners with willingness to adopt participatory and consultative approaches;
  • Experience writing donor funding proposals;
  • Ability to compile narrative sections and thematic budgets for proposals; ability to edit/write narrative reports, with reference to financial reporting;
  • Highly developed oral and written communication skills including influencing, negotiation and coaching;
  • Strong results orientation, with the ability to challenge existing mind-sets;
  • Ability to present complex information in a succinct and compelling manner;
  • Fluency in English and Kinyarwanda, verbal and written, required;
  • Commitment to Save the Children values, including willingness to abide by and enforce the Child Safeguarding policy.



Any employee, consultant, contractor or the supplier undertaking an activity on behalf of SCI must sign the Child Safeguarding – Declaration of Acceptance  Form] and comply with the SCIs Child Safeguarding Policy which is a statement of SCI’s commitment to preventing abuse and protecting children with whom it comes into contact.


More Information

  • Required Experience At least 5 years professional experience in education and/or ECD
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Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organization for
children. We work in 120 countries. We work together, with partners, to
inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children and to
achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. Save the Children
works in thirteen districts in Rwanda with a current staff complement of
approximately 134 staff.

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