Further Information

Job Description

Job Title: Technical Advisor, ECDE Project, Sightsavers Malawi

Reports To:  Global Technical Lead (Education), Sightsavers and Technical Country Director, Sightsavers Malawi;

Directorate: Finance and Performance (Eastern, Central and Southern Africa)

Location: Blantyre, Malawi

Direct Reports: Global Technical Lead (Education), Sightsavers


Sightsavers will be supporting a three year Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) project in Malawi from 2016-2018. This will set up demonstration programmes in Community Child Care Centres (CBCCs) in two districts, while also supporting the development of home-based support for young children with disabilities. We are also carrying out broader system-strengthening activities focused on national training institutions for ECDE staff. Finally, the project has a strong policy and advocacy component focused on strengthening government support for ECDE for children with disabilities. Our advocacy partner will be the National Federation of Disabled People’s Organizations in Malawi (FEDOMA).  This project is funded by Comic Relief. The project will run alongside a UK Department for International Development (DFID)/Economic Social and Research Council (ESRC)-funded research project focused on identifying, documenting and disseminating good pedagogic practice in the field of ECDE. 

1) Job Purpose

Responsible for providing technical assistance for the Comic Relief funded ECDE project in Chikwawa/Ntcheu Districts and for ensuring that activities are planned, implemented, monitored and evaluated to the highest possible technical standards hrough close collaboration with colleagues, partners and others to identify areas for programme growth and development.

2) Main Responsibilities

a) Technical assistance

Drawing on advice from the global technical lead (education) and other education specialists, the technical advisor will be responsible for:

i. The design, facilitation, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of training programmes for ECDE trainers, caregivers, outreach workers, parents of children with disabilities, community members and other ECDE personnel
ii. The development of accessible and appropriate IEC materials in diverse formats to support the training programmes
iii. The development of an ECDE trainers’ manual and ECDE video and other teaching and learning manuals
iv. The identification of appropriate teaching and learning approaches in the Community Based Care Centres (CBCCs)
v. The identification of child-centred systems and process in CBCCs
vi. The identification of cost-effective, contextually-appropriate environmental adaptations to the CBCCs
vii. The development of home-based ECDE programmes for young children with disabilities
viii. The development of a tracking tool for caregivers and other pedagogic tools
ix. The provision of ongoing technical assistance in the field of ECDE for diverse project stakeholders
x. The analysis of ECDE policies and systems in Malawi, particularly pertaining to ECDE for children with disabilities
xi. The identification of obstacles to the provision of ECDE for children with disabilities and the identification of opportunities for overcoming these obstacles
xii. The development of evidence-based advocacy materials
xiii. The analysis/revision of existing government policies and development of new policies so they more effectively address the ECDE needs of young children with disabilities
xiv. On-going liaison with the ESRC/DFID funded research project 
xv. On-going monitoring and evaluation of project interventions and the fine-tuning of these interventions in the light of project learning
xvi. Continuous professional development through (for instance) analysis of journal articles and participation in relevant forums (for instance, national conferences and seminars)
xvii. The presentation of project learning in diverse forums for advocacy purposes

b) Project Management:

The project advisor will be required to contribute when and as necessary to:

i. The collection of baseline data in Chikwawa and Ntcheu districts
ii. The planning and overseeing of project activities in the above districts
iii. The facilitation of quarterly meetings of the project management committee and of on-going communication and collaboration between project partners (Catholic Health Commission (CHC) Centre for Children Affairs (CCA) and FEDOMA)
iv. Discussions with the ESRC/DFID-funded research project in order to promote on-going communication and collaboration
v. Discussions with government personnel at district and sub-district levels regarding the development of sustainable, cost-effective systems of ECDE provision in the project districts
vi. The facilitation of the identification, screening, assessment and delivery of follow-up services for children with disabilities in the project districts 
vii. The organization of quarterly visits to CBCCs to monitor project progress
viii. The facilitation of infrastructural improvements in CBCCs
ix. The production and distribution of IEC materials to ECDE stakeholders  
x. The organization of the distribution of teaching and learning resources to CBCCs
xi. The facilitation of the establishment of support groups for parents of children with disabilities

c) Monitoring and Evaluation:

The project advisor will be required to contribute when and as necessary:

i. The finalization of the M&E framework including setting up and agreeing targets for the project and develop the necessary data collection instruments
ii. The organisation of quarterly and annual data collection, analysis and reporting to relevant stakeholders
iii. Ensuring all project activities are effectively monitored and evaluated and ensure evaluation-findings are translated into improve service provision for children with disabilities and their families
iv. Ensuring community stakeholders – particularly children with disabilities and their families – meaningfully contribute to the on-going monitoring and evaluation activities
v. The provision of logistical and technical support for the end-of-project evaluation

d) Financial & Resource Management:

The project advisor will contribute when and as required to:

i. The preparation of budgets and forecasts, including budgets for specific activities – e.g. trainings
ii. The monitoring of project financial resources and liaise with the Finance Officer (Sightsavers Malawi) when and as necessary
iii. Follow-up with other partners any actions arising from audits carried out by the finance officer or by external auditors

e) Information & Communication Management:

The project advisor will contribute to:

i. Ensuring community stakeholders are provided with meaningful opportunities to contribute to the planning and implementation of project activities 
ii. Ensuring ongoing collection of case studies to be used in donor reports, social media and the website.
iii. Sharing project learning among project partners and stakeholders in diverse forums – e.g. quarterly development meetings, district level NGO forums, and support groups for parents of children with disabilities 
iv. Project reporting, including writing of annual reports and reviewing draft reports to the donor
v. The organisation of ‘open days’ at selected CBCCs and facilitate visits to these open days by relevant stakeholders (e.g. government officials, NGO staff, members of disabled people’s organisations) 
vi.The development of advocacy materials and the planning of advocacy activities
vii. The dissemination of project learning at national forums when and as required – e.g. ECDE NGO Network, ECDE Working Group and ECDE Taskforce Meetings 

f) Additional duties

Any additional duties identified as necessary for project success by the programme manager, Sightsavers Malawi, and the global technical lead (education)  

3) Planning and Organising

The technical advisor will be responsible for ensuring that project interventions meet necessary technical standards as specified in Sightsavers’ Quality Standards Manual and other documents. In order to do this effectively, the advisor will be expected to liaise with the global technical lead when and as necessary.

4) Problem Solving/Strategic Planning

The technical advisor will be responsible for identifying strategies for overcoming technical challenges associated the project – in particular, the challenge of providing good quality ECDE for children with disabilities in resource-poor settings. Again, the technical advisor will be expected to consult closely with the technical advisor and refer to Sightsavers Education Strategy, Sightsavers Quality Standards Manual and other relevant documents.   

5) Decision Making

Liaising with the global technical lead (education) and other education specialists, the technical advisor will be expected to make key technical decisions about the design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of project activities – particular related to teacher training, the identification of appropriate teaching and learning approaches, and the development of IEC materials and project tools. 

6) Key Contact/Relationships

7) Knowledge, Skills and Experience



8) Nature and Scope

See Dimensions.