Country Director

Mali

POSITION TITLE

Country Director – WUSC Mali

Project Director – Mali Girls Education Project

POSITION LOCATION

Bamako, Mali

REPORTS TO

Director of Programs

CONTRACT TERM

Indeterminate

APPLICATION DEADLINE

2 May 2021

EXPECTED START DATE

May 2021

LANGUAGES

Bilingual French and English essential

BACKGROUND

WUSC (World University Service of Canada) is a Canadian non-profit organization working to create a better world for all young people. We bring together a diverse network of governments, civil society organizations, schools, training institutions, private sector partners, and volunteers who share this vision. Together, we develop solutions in education, economic opportunities, and empowerment to overcome inequality and exclusion for youth around the world, particularly young women and young refugees. WUSC currently works in 25 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, with an annual budget of approximately CAD $40 million. We have over 90 staff in our Ottawa office, and over 200 people overseas implementing 16 development projects in collaboration with donors such as Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.

WUSC is currently implementing education projects in Africa and Asia, with funding from Global Affairs Canada, FCDO’s Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC), and private foundations. WUSC believes in supporting education along the full continuum from early childhood development to tertiary, and we have a particular emphasis on the upper primary to secondary years, when many children -particularly girls- are most likely to drop out. WUSC’s education initiatives work with many conflict-affected populations, particularly refugees and refugee girls.

THE PASCOFI PROJECT

WUSC is currently initiating a new education project in Mali (called PASCOFI) that aims to reduce the disparities in learning and academic performance of vulnerable girls affected by armed conflict in the regions of Mopti and Segou. The project will mobilize communities in support of girls’ education by involving parents, community leaders and religious leaders to reduce the risk of dropping due to insecurity or other socio-cultural factors. The Project supports the efforts of the Ministry of National Education to improve the quality of gender sensitive education by training teachers and deploying a new school curriculum that promotes inclusive and gender-sensitive pedagogical approaches and reduction of inequalities between girls and boys. Other key stakeholders in schools will be supported to sensitize and train on good health practices and sexual and reproductive rights, forced marriage and teenage pregnancies – key factors affecting the retention of girls in school.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Reporting to the WUSC Director of Programs, and working in close collaboration with the Senior Program Officer (SPO) in WUSC Ottawa, the WUSC Mali Country Director is responsible for the following:

Strategic Leadership

  • Providing strategic leadership for the implementation of the PASCOFI project and coordination with implementing partners and key stakeholders;
  • Representing the project in the country, building and maintaining effective relationships with relevant national and regional stakeholders, regional organizations, and related international programs;
  • Coordinating activities with other agencies working in the education sector<span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Arial; color: #050500; background-color: transparent; font-weight: 400; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">;
  • Liaising with GAC on a regular basis to keep its representatives in the field apprised of the Project’s overall direction, including any roadblocks; and engaging the GAC officer in senior level interactions, as appropriate;
  • Lead WUSC’s participation in and strategic management of the Project Steering Committee, Project Advisory Committee and other committees/working groups, as appropriate;
  • Managing the project offices and coordinating with appropriate government authorities in the country in relation to WUSC’s registration, tax-free status, ensuring that all facilities are operational;
  • Representing WUSC in the country by establishing and maintaining strong working relationships with key stakeholders including donors, partners and Government;
  • Ensuring that WUSC meets all Government memorandum of understanding (MOU), registration, reporting, audit and transparency requirements in the country;
  • Identify opportunities for leveraging the project to expand reach and impact in the country, focussed on WUSC’s theory of change and thematic priorities
  • Maintaining an ongoing relationship with WUŞC in Ottawa, with regular updates to the WUSC Director of Programs and ongoing exchange of information and collaboration with WUSC Ottawa based project staff and other technical advisors, as appropriate;

Technical Direction & Project Management  

  • Provide technical and managerial direction and guidance to the project, in line with the project’s expected outcomes and WUSC policies and procedures;
  • Develop key project planning deliverables (i.e. Project Implementation Plan, Annual Work Plans, Annual Reports and other reports ) using results-based management approaches and tools;
  • Develop specific strategies for cross-cutting themes (capacity building, gender equality, private sector engagement, environmental sustainability) for the project;
  • Maintain open and effective communication amongst strategic partners and project team members in Canada and Mali;
  • Oversee day-to-day coordination and delivery of project activities in conjunction with staff, technical advisors, volunteers and partners;
  • Convene and coordinate the project steering and advisory committees at regular intervals and as needed.

Monitoring & Evaluation

  • Oversee the establishment and effective implementation of a results monitoring system for the project in accordance with WUSC’s best practices and procedures;
  • Regularly monitor progress towards results, ensuring appropriate course correction and iterative management;
  • Work with team members to produce regular reports to key stakeholders;
  • Maintain regular communication with WUSC in Canada to ensure appropriate support.

Human Resources Management

  • Manage the project team in Mali including its project offices in Bamako, Mopti and Segou;
  • Supervise, guide and evaluate the work of project staff and consultants;
  • Oversee human resources management issues such as employment policies and practices and subcontracting, are in compliance with local laws and regulations;
  • Work with colleagues and partners to ensure the effective mobilization, orientation and coaching of volunteers and technical advisors;

Financial & Office Management

  • Lead overall project budget planning and execution according to WUSC policies and procedures and in compliance with donor requirements;
  • Establish and oversee a financial management system for the project in close consultation with WUSC’s Finance team;
  • Ensure that the project complies with local taxes, banking controls, and labour laws;
  • Under the guidance of WUSC’s Finance team, regularly update, monitor and report on the local project budget in order to ensure regular reporting to the donor by WUSC Head Quarters;
  • Oversee office set-up , and operations in the project’s offices in Bamako, Mopti and Segou;
  • Maintain the required administrative and project infrastructure of staff, field offices and equipment.

Risk Management & Security Preparedness

  • Actively assess and monitor the risk profile of the project; identify specific risks and appropriate mitigation strategies;
  • Ensure the application and relevancy of WUSC security policies, procedures and preparedness to the operational context of the project;

Donor Liaison & Coordination

  • Establish a strong working relationship with the donor and its representative(s) at the Canadian Embassy in Bamako including on strategic planning and information sharing;
  • Ensure coordination with GAC and assigned Project personnel as required in conjunction or consultation with WUSC HQ
  • Coordinate regularly with other development actors to ensure harmonization and synergy with similar initiatives;
  • Ensure GAC approval of official communications via communiques, brochures, radio spots or other media in Mali

Communications and Promotion

  • Represent the project in official communications in Mali
  • Develop and implement a Communications strategy in Mali in consultation with WUSC’s Communication team at HQ
  • Develop promotional materials as appropriate for dissemination or use in Mali

QUALIFICATIONS AND COMPETENCIES

Education

  • A Master’s Degree from a recognized university in a related field and/or a combination of education and relevant experience

Experience & Competencies

  • 7 years of professional experience managing complex donor funded projects (preferably GAC).
  • 5 years of demonstrated experience and a proven track record in a senior project management role.
  • 5 years of demonstrated experience in delivering education projects in complex programming environments
  • 3 years of continuous field-based experience in a developing country, preferably in Mali.
  • Proven and demonstrated experience in project leadership, including experience with donor results-based management policies, financial reporting and contracting requirements, as well as delivering partnership-based projects.
  • Proven experience managing complex financial controls and management systems, Human resources management experience in a field office setting.
  • Availability to travel locally, regionally and internationally, sometimes on extended assignments and under challenging conditions.
  • Sound knowledge-base and experience in project design, management and monitoring and evaluation, preferably with GAC funded projects.
  • Sound and current knowledge of development concepts, methodologies and techniques in education.
  • Thorough knowledge of participatory approaches, as well as project planning, monitoring and reporting using Results-based Management and/or Logic Framework Analysis.
  • A highly effective and collaborative communicator possessing an exceptional capacity for delivering both written and verbal communications;
  • Capacity to establish strong supportive relationships with partners and staff.
  • Proven skills in managing multi-stakeholder projects in a complex regulatory environment.
  • Skillful networking and experience in partnership-building and working in collaboration with Southern partner organizations, the private sector, governments and donors.
  • Excellent negotiation and communication skills, including demonstrated ability to handle highly sensitive issues with diplomacy and tact.
  • Strong leadership and management skills.
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Curious, enthusiastic and willing to innovate and adapt.

Languages

  • Complete fluency in French is required
  • Ability to effectively communicate in English in writing and orally

WHY WORK WITH WUSC?

Join Us. Our work is important, cutting-edge, and fast-paced. We encourage curiosity, innovation, and flexibility, and we provide a phenomenal learning experience.

WUSC offers a dynamic international work environment with a diverse intercultural workforce. We offer employees exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference in the lives of youth around the world. Employees at WUSC work hard to create lasting change in education, economic opportunities, and empowerment.

APPLICATIONS

WUSC’s activities seek to balance inequities and create sustainable development around the globe; the work ethic of our staff, volunteers, representatives and partners shall correspond to the values and mission of the organization. WUSC promotes responsibility, respect, honesty, and professional excellence and will not tolerate harassment, coercion, sexual exploitation or abuse of any form. Successful applicants will be required to undertake an enhanced criminal record check where appropriate.

WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

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