RTI International is seeking candidates for Deputy Chief of Party, Field Operations (DCOP, Field Operations) for USAID’s MERIT: Malawi Early Grade Reading Improvement Activity. This activity will assist the Government of Malawi’s efforts to improve the reading abilities of Malawian students in Standards 1-4. MERIT provides technical assistance and support to the Ministry of Education Science and Technology to implement the National reading Program (NRP). MERIT will improve early grade reading achievement through improved early grade reading instruction, supporting the Malawi Institute of Education (MIE) in the development and provision of reading and instructional materials, greater parental and community engagement in providing reading support, and building pathways to the sustainability of improved reading outcomes at district and national levels. It will also advance the USAID/Malawi Country Development Cooperation Strategy priority for integration.
- Support the Chief of Party to manage operational personnel and subcontractors in the implementation of a large, complex activity to improve the reading skills of Malawian students in Standards 1-4 nationwide.
- Maintain oversight of District level implementation of activities to ensure a coordinated and timely approach to achieving NRP goals across all activity objectives.
- Facilitate coordination with other Finance and Administration aspects of MERIT to ensure District level implementation is well planned and efficient, particularly in relation to finance and logistical support for implementation at district level.
- Support the Field Operations Coordinator and Division and District level staff to manage effective working relationships with District level stakeholders that supports effective implementation and capacity building and sustainable NRP outcomes.
- Ensure effective coordination and synergies between policy–level, school based, and community based activities. Identify and support sharing of best practice and innovation that supports project outcomes is spread where appropriate.
- Maintain oversight of ME&L activities and ensure compliance with USAID reporting requirements.
- Supervise the Grants Manager to ensure USAID compliance with all granting procedures and ensure granting activities are in line with program requirements and are delivered and accounted for in a timely manner and complement program outcomes and deliverables
- Track and report monthly and quarterly on programmatic achievements as required for project deliverable reporting. Produces technical and/or operational reports and updates for deliverable reporting and project success stories, including submissions in the USAID portal Devresults
- Provide technical and/or operational guidance and serve as a subject matter expert in assigned area or responsibility
- Serve as Acting Chief of Party as necessary
- Support the COP to manage project personnel as assigned.
The DCOP will assist the Chief of Party to oversee field operations to ensure high-quality program implementation and timely achievement of project milestones. S/he will be responsible for the division and district field level teams. The DCOP-Field Operations will supervise the Field Operations Coordinator, Grants Manager, Senior Finance and Administration Manager, and the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Specialist. This position is based in Lilongwe and will report to the Malawi MERIT Chief of Party.
Required Skills and Qualifications:
- Bachelor’s Degree in relevant social science or related field and 12 years of related work experience; or Master’s Degree in relevant social science or related field and 9 years of related work experience; or Ph.D in relevant social science or related field and 6 years of related work experience.
- A minimum of five (5) years of operation management experience.
- Knowledgeable and experienced with international development contracting policies and procedures, specifically USAID.
- Demonstrated managerial skills and track record of showing result in a project of relevant scope and scale
- Ability to build consensus and demonstrated ability to develop high performing teams.
- Strong leadership skills across various levels of staff and locations.
- Strong ability to work across technical and operational areas within business group and corporate.
- Demonstrated understanding of the technical activities MERIT will implement including improved instruction for primary grade reading outcomes, community mobilization to support reading and local capacity development
- Strong understanding of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
- Demonstrated track record of working in teams and fostering partnerships.
- Familiarity with international development systems, policies, finances and management in developing countries.
- Excellent knowledge of MS Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel.
- Ability to multi-task.
- Ability to work well with others.
- Strong communication, both oral and written, strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to develop excellent relations with donor officials and key local stakeholders.
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability.
- Culturally sensitive and respectful.