Senior Strategic Partnership and Community Engagement Manager

IRC - The International Rescue Committee

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Job Description


The International Rescue Committee (IRC), one of the world’s largest humanitarian international NGOs, provides relief, rehabilitation, and development support to vulnerable people and communities in over 30 countries. IRC began work in Ethiopia in 2000 in response to severe drought in Ethiopia’s Somali Region and is currently providing assistance to Ethiopians and refugees in six regions in the country, implementing emergency and development programs in health, water and sanitation, economic recovery and development (ERD), women’s protection and empowerment, education, child protection, and multi-sectoral emergency response mechanisms.

Job Overview/Summary:

IRC is seeking a Strategic Partnership and Community Engagement Manager for a five-year project, “PlayMatters”, funded by the LEGO Foundation. This position will be a part of the larger PlayMatters initiative to increase play-based learning opportunities for nearly 1 million pre-primary and primary school-aged refugee and host community children impacted by the humanitarian crises in East Africa, living in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania. This project aims to build children’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical, and creative skills through play in their homes, schools, and communities and will be implemented in partnership with WarChild Holland, Plan International, Behavioral Insights Team, and Innovations for Poverty Action.

The Strategic Partnership Manager will be responsible for ensuring that PlayMatters consortium and IRC staff identify, engage, and influence key education stakeholders in Ethiopia engaged in promoting learning outcomes for children aged 3 to 12 in refugee camps and in the refugee hosting local communities. This includes collaboration with the government, UN, and other humanitarian coordination decision makers, education implementing partners, and large-scale development initiatives to improve learning through play. The Strategic Partnerships Manager will report to the country-level Deputy Project Coordinator and work closely with the PlayMatters regional and country team to develop key messages, communication materials, and an engagement strategy for Ethiopia that will inform the day-to-day task of building relationships and defining roles and responsibilities. The post holder will also work to ensure the engagement of community members in the project by developing various content, and leading needs assessments at the community level. In doing so, the Strategic Partnerships Manager will ensure stakeholders’ engagement in the design and implementation of joint priorities and objectives that provide play-based learning opportunities for all children.

Specific responsibilities:

Strategic Partnership:

- Jointly work with the Deputy Project Coordinator and the Senior Policy and Advocacy manager to conduct a stakeholder analysis and to develop a country-specific engagement strategy that is continuously updated as contexts evolve and change. - Establish and maintain strategic relationships and closely work with education actors in PlayMatters intervention areas across refugee and refugee hosting communities to ensure meaningful engagement and collaboration. - Identify focal points and decision-makers among key stakeholders to leverage support and resources to achieve the objectives of PlayMatters project. - Define clear roles and responsibilities of key education actors in achieving program objectives. - Work with PlayMatters team at different levels to organize meetings with stakeholders, prepare key information ahead of time, ensure attendance, and capture and share action points. - Ensure the engagement of education actors is reflected in project documents such as the work plan and continuously capture learnings to inform decision making. - Closely work closely with PlayMatters team across different organizations to plan for and pilot interventions that ensure the successful integration of LtP in the teaching-learning process target locations. - Ensure the engagement of education actors in project planning, implementation, and monitoring throughout the life of the project. - Ensure PlayMatters LtP intervention approaches are understood by project staff and harmonized across partners. - Build the capacities of IRC project team and consortium staff on stakeholder engagement and influencing.

Community Engagement:

- Closely monitor and document policy debates, changes in policies, and shifting strategies that affect PlayMatters project and ensure relevant information is disseminated to project staff in a timely manner. - Work in close collaboration with the Senior Play Content Adaptation and Training Manager, content development focal persons in partner organizations, and multimedia companies to design written and Audio-visual contents that promote LtP among target communities. - Ensure the written and Audio-visual contents are reviewed and validated by governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders by establishing the necessary platform. - Leads regular needs assessment activity conducted at the community level in different project target locations. - Develop/update key messages and communications materials around community engagement for LtP in a way that reflects the country-specific context. - Organize different awareness-raising events and campaigns on LtP for target communities


- Train selected community members and community leaders on LtP in the community, and other relevant topics. - Regularly train field-level project staff on LtP in the community and conduct a regular training needs assessment for field-level project teams. - Support other LEGO-funded projects in providing training on LtP in the community and other related topics when needed. - Lead the planning and implementation of pilot training on newly developed LtP contents for communities in different target locations.

Support and Supervision

- Ensure partnership and community engagement strategies are commonly understood by the project team at different levels and provide necessary technical support for their implementation. - Conduct regular supportive supervision to project locations to ensure project activities are being delivered timely and with the required quality. - Hold regular and frequent meetings with the field-level project team virtually or in-person to monitor progress and identify strengths and challenges in the implementation of partnership and community engagement components of the project.


- Bachelor or post-graduate degree in Education, Public Policy, Sociology Public Administration, or related fields of study. - A minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience for first-degree holders and 4 years of relevant experience for postgraduate degree holders with a minimum of 2-year middle level management experience around strategic partnership, community engagement, education project management and similar roles. - Experience in providing training, with the ability to develop, implement, facilitate, and impart learning to a wide range of audiences. - Must have a proven track record of proactively identifying and communicating potential problems and proposing solutions. - English fluency both written and oral (knowledge of additional local language is a plus.

Skills and Abilities:

- Excellent organizational skills with proven ability to manage and absorb large amounts of information and prioritize work. - Should be a strong collaborator with effective interpersonal skills and the capability to manage conflicting views. - Must be able to function effectively in a fast-paced and challenging work environment and to work with competing priorities. - Strong ability to communicate concisely and with impact in English. - Proficient in MS Office Suite. - Commitment to the IRC’s mission, purpose, and values.

IRC is an equal employment opportunity employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability.

Professional Standards: The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity Anti-Retaliation and Combating Trafficking in Persons

Gender Equality: IRC is committed to narrowing the gender gap in leadership positions. We offer benefits that provide an enabling environment for women to participate in our workforce including parental leave, gender-sensitive security protocols, and other supportive benefits and allowances

Equal Opportunity Employer: IRC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. IRC considers all applicants on the basis of merit without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, disability or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

Added 3 months ago - Updated 3 months ago - Source: