Position Overview

Educate!, a high-growth and award-winning non-profit social enterprise, is looking for a Head of Strategic Projects to lead a portfolio of high profile projects that are critical for the organization’s success. This is an exciting new role that will sit at the heart of a global team growing Educate!’s impact and scale through new government partnerships.

In this role, you will lead a portfolio of strategic projects, specializing in high priority initiatives with external government stakeholders and in internal projects which contribute to Educate!’s long term strategies. Educate! is on an exciting journey of growth, and the work you do to create new systems and ways of working will be a critical part of building a game-changing organization, as we work towards our organizational vision of measurably impacting 1 million students across Africa each year.

We have already partnered with governments in Rwanda and Kenya to support skills-based curriculum reforms through our education system solutions, and results from a rigorous impact evaluation have shown that our cost-effective solutions create a real impact on youth through national education systems. The Head of Strategic Projects will work closely with the Chief Education Innovation Officer (CEdIO), Regional Director of Partnerships and our program and advocacy experts in Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda to continue developing ways of working and program models that support long-term changes to education systems and meaningful, sustainable curriculum reforms.

The right person for this role will:

  • Be motivated to work with government education systems to create a broad and sustainable impact on youth through those systems.
  • Enjoy collaborative working across geographies and teams, and thrive in bringing structure and systems to complex and fast-changing environments
  • Enjoy varied and flexible work - from supporting high profile government events, to troubleshooting problems internally - on initiatives that contribute to Educate!’s future success. Experience might come from work in consultancy, government policy and communications, or project management in a social impact setting.
  • Be driven to shape the role and their own career path. Educate! is growing rapidly and this role comes with opportunities to develop skills and experience in a range of fields including education policy, communications, fundraising, strategy, and product development. 

About Educate!

What if there was a way to measurably change the trajectory of the lives of youth across Africa? Since its launch in 2009, Educate! has worked to do just this, delivering outsized impacts at scale and at disproportionately low cost, through a product-led approach to youth development. As a disruptive, not-for-profit, social enterprise, our team leverages an obsession with evidence and entrepreneurial drive to tackle one our planet's greatest challenges - unlocking the potential of its youngest continent.

Educate!’s core model combines training in key skills with access to practical experience starting a business and mentorship, a formula that has been validated by several independent evaluations. This model is distributed through products targeting two lead channels. First, Educate! works with governments to help reform education systems at scale through policy change, teacher behavior change and tech-enabled products targeting systems-level sustainability, while also working directly with select schools. Second, Educate! builds employment-focused bootcamps and business support services targeting out-of-school youth left out of the education system. To date, more than 200,000 youth have been meaningfully impacted by this model across Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya and along the way Educate! has become the largest youth skills provider in East Africa.

Educate! is a team of over 160 largely African staff and 300 volunteer youth mentors. We have been backed by top foundations and product leaders such as Imaginable Futures, Big Bang Philanthropy, Echoing Green, the 1st Google Employee’s foundation, the head of Google Search and Rippleworks Foundation. Educate! won a 2018 Klaus J. Jacobs Prize and a 2015 WISE Award, and has been highlighted by Bill Gates, in the World Bank’s S4YE's Impact Portfolio, an Al Jazeera documentary, BBC, and The Brookings Institution as one of 14 case studies in their global scaling education learning initiative. Educate! was also selected by the UN’s Generation Unlimited as 1 of 20 innovative youth solutions and by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as a Goalkeepers Accelerator

Educate!'s long-term vision is to design solutions that measurably impact millions of youth across Africa each year.

Performance Objectives

Government partnerships

  • Work with the Regional Director of Partnerships to support government outreach and communications, including conducting stakeholder analyses, preparing advocacy and talking points, and preparing partnership documentation.
  • Provide high quality project management to support government reform teams in new markets, owning project plans, meeting agendas and action logs to optimize team resources and progress Educate!’s advocacy outcomes.
  • Provide professional event management for government partnership events, such as policy dialogues, learning visits, and workshops, coordinating material production, workshop plans, communications and logistics.

Research, policy and strategy

  • Produce high quality resources for government reform, such as benchmarking reports, education system analyses and policy briefs.
  • Support senior leaders with Educate!’s market expansion strategy for our Education System Solutions work, including analyzing education policies and trends, and co-ordinating the strategy development process across the team.
  • Conduct and co-ordinate market analysis to contribute to Educate!’s product development strategies, identifying policy, competitor and market trends.

Strategic Project Management

  • Design, scope and manage strategic projects agreed with the Chief Education Innovation Officer CEdIO, managing communications, resources and external contractors, and making strategic recommendations to contribute to Educate!’s future success.
  • Partner with the CEdIO and senior leaders to codify and disseminate Educate! products internally, producing standardized toolkits and resources to support team upskilling and the scaling of Educate! innovations in new markets.
  • Develop tools, templates and project management systems to support the design and delivery of projects across the team, including departmental budget, reporting and knowledge management systems.

Qualifications and profile

  • 3+ years’ experience in a projects environment in a public sector context, with a professional background in an area such as consultancy, external communications or policy engagement.
  • Ability to tailor research and policy insights for different audiences, with experience of producing high quality deliverables such as policy briefs and benchmarking reports to deadlines.
  • Experience in building systems and processes for use by different stakeholders.
  • Experience of collaboration in a multi-disciplinary and remote working environment, as well as ability to work independently on deliverables.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Ability to manage internal and external stakeholders, including those in more senior positions.
  • Demonstrated ability to operate well in complex and fast-changing environments.
  • Passion for Educate!’s mission is a must, but past work in education or youth development is not required. We value diverse perspectives and encourage applications from people with a variety of backgrounds.
  • Fits our Five Cultural Tenets(see What Educate! About? below); Learn more by looking at Educate! culture deck here
  • This role will preferable be based in East Africa, though we are open to virtual candidates willing to include travel to East Africa

We’re ambitious. Are you? Educate! is growing fast, so new opportunities are opening up and expanding all the time. We’re inspired by people with drive, and we love to help them reach their full potential. We expect everyone at Educate! to contribute above and beyond their job description, grow their skills, and advance their careers, and we are committed to supporting our staff members on that journey.

  1. We Put Youth First - The youth we serve come first. Always. In everything. That means we wake up thinking of ways we can serve youth even better and get the highest impact out of every dollar that we spend. It means Educate! doesn’t own a single vehicle, because we’d rather take the bus if it means one more student can participate. It means making every decision like the future depends on it — because if we get our way, it does.
  2. We Are Always Learning - When you work at Educate!, educating yourself is part of your job too. We encourage every employee to find the best book on management; share the latest article on graphic design; bring in your favorite college mentor; or meet the researcher pushing the edge of the field. We are always thirsty for knowledge and love to share.
  3. We Only Solve a Problem Once - We are allergic to band-aids so we love the person who brings the new system to solve the problem for good, even problems we haven’t recognized yet.
  4. We Are Flexible - We thrive on change — we’re driving it. We are growing every day, so we have to adapt quickly to meet new challenges, and our team keeps up.
  5. We Exceed Expectations - We assume we can achieve the impossible because we already have, year after year. We want our staff to create your own challenges, ask the toughest questions, and dream scary big!

Every person at Educate! from interns to the executive director is evaluated by how they live up to these five cultural tenets. They are at the core of how we achieve our mission and why we work as well as we do.

Educate is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who interact in our community.  In creating this environment, we encourage people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences to join our diverse team.

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