Talent Acquisition at Third Sector Partners
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Country Director - Education (10-25 yrs)
Organization : STiR EDUCATION
Job Title : INDIA COUNTRY DIRECTOR
Reports to : SENIOR DIRECTOR - PROGRAMME DELIVERY
Location : NEW DELHI/ BANGALORE
Education systems today must prepare every child, everywhere, to thrive in a world of - unknown unknowns- . Children and young people today face a world of - unknown unknowns- . To succeed, they need to develop a love of learning. And education systems need to support them by building the foundations of lifelong learning. This has been recognised in the development plans of many emerging countries. The moral imperative here is clear.
The economic imperative is even clearer: for example, 90% of Ethiopian children will find jobs in the informal sector. - Unknown unknowns- will be constant pressures in their future lives. They will need to learn and adapt as they move between sectors, jobs and settlements. But education systems are failing to address this need.
Governments are spending hundreds of dollars per child per year on education - but not preparing them for a future citizenship and workforce. The - seeds- of their technical interventions are unable to grow and flourish. This matches the experience of leading employers. For example, the Confederation of Indian Industry found that more than 50% of Indian school leavers were unemployable.
STiR Education's reach today :
Since their creation in 2012, they have worked with 200,000 teachers and 4.7 million children in over 35,000 schools in India and Uganda, across both primary and secondary education. They are launching new programmes in Indonesia in two months- time, and are in scoping discussions with the government of Ethiopia. They also aim to begin government partnerships in Brazil and Egypt within the next two years.
They support education systems to reignite intrinsic motivation in every teacher and official, to role-model the foundations of lifelong learning for every child. To thrive in a world of - unknown unknowns-, children need to be able to continually seek, process, act and reflect on new information. They need to love to learn.
At STiR Education, they have identified the core foundations that enable lifelong learning. These foundations are supported by a deep body of global evidence. And their approach is designed to build these foundations sustainably and at scale within education systems.
Other organisations are doing great work on direct training programmes and curriculum reform. From reading programmes to adaptive learning software, these - seeds- will be essential in improving education systems. But there are almost no interventions that focus on the - soil- the intrinsic motivation of teachers and officials in systems. At STiR, they recognise that this soil is just as important. Without fertile soil, seeds cannot grow and flourish. So they support education systems to reignite intrinsic motivation in every teacher and official. It's their unique contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4.
- Every child is engaged, feels safe, loves learning, trusts and values their teacher, is curious and thinks critically.
- Every teacher loves teaching and intentionally improves their classroom practice.
- Every local and ministry official sees the foundations of lifelong learning as a core goal, prioritises the support of teachers, and uses data and insights to continually improve.
Their approach works through role-modelling and relationships at all levels of education systems. It is based around three core principles :
- Peer networks.
- Action and feedback.
These core activities underpin everything that they do for teachers, school leaders and officials.
- And they form the heart of the termly learning improvement cycles (LICs). Each LIC focuses on a different theme (e.g. the science of learning). First, district officials are introduced to the content for the next term in a three-day training meeting. Then they lead training sessions for school leaders to build their confidence and capability to lead teacher network meetings.
- At each level, they introduce monthly coaching and support to enable high-quality feedback. And regular alignment meetings at district and state levels provide an opportunity for all stakeholders to analyse data, share learning and develop plans together to strengthen delivery.
- This isn't a cascade model. They're working to build a culture of lifelong learning across systems, not just delivering content. So the relationships at every level are necessarily two-way, based on openness, honesty and a commitment to a common goal.
- Over time, they expect to see officials and school leaders developing the foundations of lifelong learning. They will spend more time in schools supporting and understanding teachers. And recognize their crucial role in driving improvements. They have developed an innovative set of measurement tools - in partnership with groups like the World Bank - to measure this progress on a monthly basis through a data app, and through an annual external longitudinal research study led by a leading JPAL affiliate professor.
HUMILITY : They don- t have all the answers upfront.
OPENNESS : They will listen, learn and improve, and lead through obstacles.
OWNERSHIP : They empower each other with high expectations and support.
PURPOSE : They're united by a shared vision they'll build and achieve together
They encourage and support team members to take ownership over the work that they do, and challenge each other to continuously learn and improve. And in the same way, their team role-models these values with their government partners. They encourage and support officials to take on ownership to ensure sustainability. They seek to build a culture of constant learning and use their innovative monitoring and evaluation data to inform further improvement.
These core values guide them as they build an internal culture and work environment that develops the foundations of lifelong learning in education systems around the world. They aim to walk their talk by recruiting and developing a team of lifelong learners. And as a result, STiR is an exciting and unique place to work. Their team is trusted and empowered with significant responsibility and accountability to deliver projects where they will learn and grow.
Team and Partners :
STiR has deliberately built a cross-cultural team with backgrounds in the private, public and social sectors. They- re a lean and nimble organisation with around 70 professionals working across seven offices in London, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Kampala, Jakarta and New York. And their Board members include Jo Owen (co-founder of Teach First and leadership writer), John Knight (former Finance Director of Pearson's International Business), David Rothschild (a senior leader at several leading US foundations, including the Skoll Foundation) and Rachel Hinton (Team Leader of the Research and Evidence Division at DFID).
Their donors include the Mastercard Foundation, DFID, UBS Optimus, Vitol Foundation, Dubai Cares and the Ikea Foundation, in addition to leading family foundations such as the Sainsbury, Peery and Segal Foundations, and Indian corporates such as IDFC Asset Management.
They bring a mix of skills to their partner governments, including design, learning, M&E, quality assurance and implementation support. Their team works with senior officials around planning, influencing, facilitating, coaching and leveraging data.
They're aiming to remain lean and agile even as they scale significantly. It's important that they continue to embrace change and take risks - but build in rapid feedback loops to ensure that they stay on the right track. By 2025, they aim to reach over 60 million children (10x their current scale), but they estimate that their budget will increase by only 2.5x.
This will be enabled by their shift to central learning partnerships. But it will also be aided by being smarter about how they operate. For example, they- ve centralised some key functions in India so that they can serve new countries cost-effectively.
Reason for the hire :
STiR Education is looking to hire a Country Director. He/She will have a powerful opportunity to create a lasting impact on education in India. They will be responsible for bringing STiR's strong vision to life with the team - their greatest resource. Their people, partners & supporters believe strongly in the STiR approach & the values they hold firm as an organization - making it imperative that the Country Director leads in line with these values.
STiR is currently active in Delhi (where they work with all government secondary schools), Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. They have state wide MOUs in all cases and strong relationships with the state governments. The new Country Director will lead STiR into a new chapter in India - building on very strong foundations in all current states and leading their growth into new states.
STiR is looking for a leader who can continue to make a strategic case for developing intrinsic motivation in India's education system; lead the team in making this a reality; create a culture of continuous improvement; and lead STiR's growth within existing and new states.
Roles and Responsibilities :
- Drive the vision and quality implementation of STiR's work in India
- Establish a clear purpose and sense of momentum toward the vision of increasing intrinsic motivation for all in the education system.
- Ensure the vision is shared by a 'guiding coalition' of senior government and political leaders.
- Internally/externally communicate and enact a plan to achieve the vision over five years.
- Take full ownership of all elements of STiR's work in India and lead the execution of STiR's programme with energy and rigour.
- Conduct regular field visits to monitor programme delivery and vitality of the STiR values.
- Nurture a team and partnership culture that's grounded in their values.
- Model professionalism, ownership and a growth mindset at all times.
- Use budget and resources effectively, efficiently and responsibly.
- Provide exemplary leadership and development support to the team and leaders
- Set a planning process and high expectations - making sure each team member sees how their role fits into the wider organizational, India wide and State-specific goals
- Clearly articulate expectations and provide operational structures for the team to meet them
- Exhibit quality line management that fosters peak performance and personal growth
- Support functional team leads to take ownership of program delivery and results.
- Build real learning partnerships with senior government officials at national and state levels
- Align STiR's work with national and state government priorities and hold implementation to a high standard
- Ensure STiR's role in helping governments achieve their own priorities is clearly understood and valued by all senior stakeholders
- Guide the government in bringing the vision to life using regular learning sessions and check-ins
- Develop a business case for teacher motivation, using system-level structures and budgets and a plan for growth into new states.
- Act as the STiR ambassador in India and contribute to their global goals, fundraising & strategy
- Work closely with their Donor Partnerships team to support engagement with their donors
- Share STiR's learnings and core messages with funders and strategic partners to establish trust and build confidence in their continual forward progress
- Manage the STiR India advisory board in a manner that enables real insight and growth
- Contribute to sector-wide learning and position STiR to stay current with policy changes and merging trends in Indian education
- Form mutually beneficial relationships with counterparts in other countries/states to support each other and share findings
- Work closely with Global Director Finance and Administration for India budgeting processes and monitoring including MOUs.
Must Haves :
- Proven experience in setting strategic direction and leading others to deliver with excitement and self-drive
- Strong implementation focus, 'can-do' attitude and ability to rapidly adapt
- Knowledge and experience in delivering complex programmes within a government context
- Proven experience in forming collaborative relationships with governments and diverse stakeholders - at all levels of seniority
- Ability to manage change and support teams to deal with ambiguity.
Other specific skill requirements :
- A commitment to developing people into leaders
- Enjoy working in a "flat" structure that empowers all team members to take responsibility for their decisions
- Ability to proactively build and maintain a dynamic culture of high expectations and learning
- Humility, no ego and open to feedback
- Excellent influencing and written/verbal communication skills
- Strong planning, budgeting & financial and project management skills
- Evidence-based decision making and data-driven alignment practices
- Creative and critical thinking - from adaptive design to problem-solving.
- There will be significant in-country travel required plus opportunities for international travel.
Remuneration and Benefits :
The role carries a consultancy fee of Rs.333,900/- p.m (Rs.40,06,800 p.a) along with Medical Insurance for yourself, spouse and up to two children.