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Project Management Specialist (Basic Education)

Salary rangeConfidential | Contract type: Permanent

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Job Summary

The Senior Basic Education Specialist works closely with other education, youth/workforce development and child protection team members to strategically adapt USAID/Uganda’s basic education efforts to the goals of USAID/Uganda’s Country Development Coordination Strategy (CDCS) and provides education sector expertise on education policy reform, education management, and effective strategies for sustainable improvements in basic education outcomes. S/he serves as advisor to USAID/Uganda management and the EYCD office. The Senior Basic Education Specialist focuses on national education policy development and reform, including issues related to financing and resource utilization, strategic planning, measurement, and classroom practice. As a senior advisor for policy-related aspects of the Mission’s education program, the incumbent works closely with the Ministry of Education and Sports (MOES) and other donors to maximize the effectiveness of public sector financing and to achieve planned results within USAID’s larger development objectives. The incumbent has a leadership role in program management of the Mission’s basic education and related awards, providing appropriate oversight, robust responses to collaboration, learning, and adapting (CLA), and overall direction for the basic education efforts of USAID/Uganda. The position requires significant programmatic and technical knowledge and a thorough knowledge of international basic education best practices, as well as major Ugandan education policy initiatives. S/he reports to the Basic Education Unit Lead and has frequent direct contact with senior Mission Management and/or US Embassy State Department staff, the MOES and other donors, and with USAID/Washington regarding matters relating to education sector policy in Uganda.
A master’s degree in education or other social science subject is required.
Prior Work Experience:
Seven (7) years of progressively responsible professional experience in supporting primary education systems reform programs and/or initiatives; including at least three years in strategy development and program management, is required. Demonstrated strategic planning, policy dialogue and problem-solving skills on complex bilateral/multilateral and/or public sector programs are required.


1. Program Policy Guidance (40% of time)
The Senior Basic Education Specialists provides EYCD and USAID/Uganda with expert guidance on education sector reform, education sector financing, and education administration.
--Works closely with the EYCD Basic Education Team Lead on issues related to the education sector in Uganda, including in consultation, coordination, and partnership with the wider donor community.
--Produces Ugandan education sector policy briefs, strategy papers, and reporting documents, all based on in-depth sector knowledge and independently produced analyses.
--Advises the EYCD Basic Education Team Lead, EYCD Office Director and at times the Mission Director, Deputy Mission Director, or members of the Embassy Country Team on education policy in Uganda, including education sector initiatives and strategic planning, educational laws and policies, and education financing.
2. Basic Education Program Management and Oversight (45% of time)
The Senior Basic Education Specialist has principal responsibility for strategically managing activities to improve national level basic education systems and policies. The position requires substantial programmatic and technical knowledge regarding major educational policies and practices that impede learning outcomes. S/he participates in the design and management of USAID education programs and projects and assesses potential programming modifications to ensure that USAID education strategy and policy in Uganda address key issues in the sector and that investments in the sector produce positive results. At the same time, s/he ensures that USAID/Uganda’s basic education activities are in line with international and local best practice and complementary to efforts of other donors.
--Provides oversight to contractors and grantees by serving as Contracting Officer’s
Representative/Agreement Officer’s Representative (COR/AOR) (or alternate), and/or Activity Manager for selected implementing partners, including those implementing and evaluating basic education programs. Activity management will be guided by designation letter from the Contracting Officer and will include financial and pipeline analysis, tracking of deliverables and results, technical expertise to  resolve challenges in achieving results, and general knowledge of Uganda specific issues such as violence in schools, adolescent pregnancies, child marriages, etc.
--Leads adaptation of the Mission’s basic education efforts in response to Collaboration, Learning, and Adaptation (CLA) assessments and independent performance and impact evaluations at both the program level and in collaboration with USAID, Ministry, donors, and other stakeholders.
--Develops tools and documents including operational plans, performance management plans and reports, portfolio presentations, and official briefing materials.
--Contributes to EYCD’s Development Outreach and Communications strategy by writing program success stories and sharing information on USAID/Uganda’s education program with audiences in Uganda and the United States.
3. Representation to the Government of Uganda, Other Donors, and Stakeholders (15% of time)
The Senior Basic Education Specialist establishes and maintains collaborative relationships with a wide range of partners and stakeholders including central and decentralized levels of the MOES, other donors, and private sector and NGO representatives working to improve education in Uganda. The incumbent serves as a basic education technical specialist and shares responsibility with the Basic Education Team Lead in representing EYCD on various external education committees and with internal USAID stakeholders. S/he will ensure USAID/EYCD’s views and goals regarding basic education are well articulated during various internal and external education fora, including the Education Development Partners, Education Sector Consultative Committee, Education Sector Review, the Basic Education Working Group, other MOES working groups, CDCS integration working groups, and others, including as high as the Permanent Secretary and State Minister for Primary Education levels.The contractor is eligible for temporary duty (TDY) travel to the U.S., or to other Missions abroad, to participate in the “Foreign Service National” Fellowship Program, in accordance with USAID policy.
(3) Supervisory Relationship:
Supervised by USDH Education Officer. The Senior Basic Education Specialist will apply a highly technical body of knowledge about basic education with minimal supervision.
(4) Supervisory Controls:
None. However, s/he has oversight responsibilities over the entire Basic Education portfolio of approximately $90 Million over five years.

Job Requirements

Required education: Post-graduate education
Required relevant work experience: 7 years
Required languages: English (Spoken: fluent | Written: fluent)
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