South Africa

Strategic Education Advisor Research in South Africa

Closing date

VVOB in South Africa
In collaboration with the Department of Basic Education (DBE), the South African Council for Educators (SACE) and the Provincial Education Departments in Free State (FS) and Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN), VVOB started with a multi-year programme (2017-2021) on “Leadership and Teaching for Diversity (LT4Diversity)”. The programme is carried out by local teams in two provinces (FS and KZN) and reaches all provinces through the national partners and aims to improve the quality of education through the professional development of school leaders and teachers, with a strong emphasis on online learning. Furthermore, in 2020 we started a two-year programme on Gender Responsive Pedagogy for Early Childhood Education (GRP4ECE, 2020-2021) and VVOB is implementing a Climate Change Education (CCE) project in collaboration with GreenMatter (and the Fundisa-for-Change network), during the timeframe of 2019 – 2022. VVOB is currently formulating a new multi-year programme (2022-2026) for primary education that builds on the current programme and brings into focus Early Grade Reading. This programme will work again with the national partners (DBE and SACE) and focus on KwaZulu Natal province (our Durban office is located in the provincial training center where the senior provincial officials are based). Evidence-based research is a key component of this programme.

Purpose of the function
As Strategic Education Advisor Research you contribute to the ambition and values of VVOB in South Africa by being the key person in M&E and Research. You provide technical and strategic advice and guidance on this domain to VVOB and VVOB’s partners in South Africa. In this position you report to the Country Programmes Manager.

You will:
As Strategic Education Advisor Research you will be responsible for developing a clear M&E and research strategy for the country programmes, strengthening evidence-based practices and support in the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of activities:

  • You support in the construction of correspondent log frames and indicators and instruments for data collection both qualitatively and quantitatively and you assist in and improve the M&E processes;
  • You identify relevant research domains related to the country’s programme and ensure a good execution from start to end internally or through M&E and research consultancies;
  • You build and maintain a strong network with research & M&E partners in the development sector in the country and in the geographical region;
  • You support the reporting on existing projects and the formulation of new projects, including proposal writing, from an evidence-based and evidence-generating perspective;
  • You take up a variety of roles in the capacity development process according to the needs, particular situations, and phases of the programme;
  • You contribute to internal and external knowledge development and learning, by systematising lessons learned and sharing pro-actively lessons learned between partners, colleagues and other VVOB country teams and you guide and coach the SA M&E team as the country programme scope grows.

If you’re our Strategic Education Advisor, your workweek at the office will include the following highlights:

  • You give a presentation during an online conference on recent research related to evidence-based decision making.
  • You represent VVOB at external meetings with research and learning partners.
  • You check in with the country programmes manager to give an update on the Theory of Change and results-based framework for a new programme we are developing.
  • You organise an internal training for VVOB colleagues on the new M&E software to collect and analyse data.
  • You gather and analyse data in the field through surveys, focus group or other methodologies and instruments defined in the monitoring plans to produce high quality data and reporting, in function of the internal learning needs of the programme and donor requirements.
  • In a team meeting with the programme team, you share some interesting research articles on early grade reading interventions, as further inspiration for the team.

Who are you?

Your expertise and experience:

  • A Relevant Master’s or doctoral degree;
  • Min. 5 years of experience in programme and/or project management preferably in international development cooperation, in particular on M&E;
  • Research experience, preferably in the education sector, and an in-depth understanding of latest international development and research in the education sector;
  • At least 2 years international (working) experience:
    • You obtained your master’s degree abroad, and/or
    • You have working experience related to this vacancy abroad
  • Track record of published research is desirable;
  • At least two years of experience in a position working closely with external stakeholders, preferably with multiple partners;
  • English proficiency: CEFR level C1.

Matching competences

VVOB core competences:

  • Cooperation
  • Result & Goal Oriented
  • Lifelong learning and improvement

Function specific competencies:

  • Creativity
  • Vision Building
  • Problem analysis & Judgement
  • Strategic Networking & Partnership Building
  • Persuasiveness

What we’re offering:

A full-time contract until 31/12/2026 with the possibility of extension depending on the availability of donor funding; This will be a local contract for national candidates or an expat contract for international candidates.

A dynamic working environment in an international context;
An exciting job in a growing organisation with varied responsibilities and opportunities for professional development;
An attractive salary & benefits package

How to apply

Are you interested in this vacancy? Then read on for the specifics!