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Commonwealth of Learning - Opportunities

Senior Adviser: Women & Girls

Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada .
full-time . March 1, 2023


Position Title and Grade: Senior Adviser: Women & Girls, Grade B
Reports to: Director: Skills
Duration of Contract: up to three years
Direct Reports: Project Coordinator/Assistant, Consultants

Commonwealth of Learning (COL) helps governments and institutions to expand the scale, efficiency and quality of learning by using new approaches, appropriate technologies, and open and distance learning methodologies. Headquartered in British Columbia, Canada, COL promotes learning for sustainable development. It is financed by voluntary contributions from Commonwealth Member States.

Job Overview:
The Senior Adviser: Women and Girls will be responsible to serve as the project lead to deliver a project titled “Empowering Women and Girls in the Commonwealth” in five countries – Bangladesh, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – over a three-year period. The project will directly support the social, educational and economic empowerment of 75,000 women and girls in rural, remote and disadvantaged communities, and build the capacity of 20,000 men and boys, as well as teachers and managers, community and traditional leaders, and women’s rights and civil society organisations, to provide a supportive environment for enabling gender equality and the realisation of rights.
The Project’s intermediate outcomes are: 1) strengthened social actions by empowered women and girls with or without disability against the dominant social norms that perpetuate gender inequality and gender-based violence; 2) improved equitable attainment of lower secondary education including vocational education among women and girls with or without disability; and 3) enhanced livelihood opportunities for women and girls with or without disability.

Duties and Responsibilities:
  •  Overall responsibility for the delivery and administration of the project according to the approved proposal and budget assigned to train 75,000 disadvantaged women and girls in remote and rural areas in the five countries of the project (Bangladesh, Malawi, Mozambique, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and other project deliverables.
  • Engage with local partners and relevant stakeholders in the five countries of implementation to identify priority communities and the knowledge and skills needed by women and girls from those communities to successfully enhance their livelihoods and involve local government authorities to ensure long-term sustainability of the project.
  • Conduct country-specific climate risks analysis to inform all relevant activities, including those aimed at enhancing livelihood opportunities for the specific needs and challenges of women and girls with disabilities and develop country action plans aligned with the expected results.
  • Oversee training to build staff capacity of local educational partners to develop quality content to support the development and provision of appropriate and context-specific educational, vocational and skills training courses, platforms and opportunities for women and girls in local languages.
  • Work with partners to develop and deliver the training programme using available and affordable technologies for learner support.
  • Catalyse links with labour market and financial institutions to support employability and entrepreneurship.
  • Participate as a member of a Steering Committee for the project that monitors progress and provides the required reporting as stipulated by COL.
  • Develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation framework for the project, collect the necessary data and produce the final report in accordance with COL’s RBM framework.
  • Promote COL’s interests with development partners.
  • Undertake other tasks as may be assigned in relation to this project.
  • Ensure that the direct reports have clear work plans; identify training needs and conduct performance reviews. 

  • Postgraduate qualification in one or more of the following:
  • International Development; Education and / or any other relevant discipline
  • Qualification which includes elements of open, distance and technology-mediated learning.

  • Ten years’ experience in implementing education and/or human resource development programmes and projects which have resulted in better social, educational and economic outcomes, out of which five or more years of this experience should be related to international development;
  • Experience of project management at an international scale. 
  • High level knowledge of global development targets.
  • Experience in conceptualising and managing multi-stakeholder engagements. 
  • Experience of working in developing countries.

Skills and Competencies:
  • Innovation and Creativity: Injects originality into daily work through research, personal knowledge, and networking relationships; brainstorms and encourages new ideas and solutions; takes appropriate risks.
  • Prudence:  Sets an example by consistently modelling high standards of performance, honesty and integrity, especially with appropriate use of funds; ability to mobilise, prepare and manage financial budgets in an effective, efficient and judicious manner to deliver ‘value for money’.
  • Professional Judgment: Possesses an in-depth understanding of the project goals and the ability to develop realistic, relevant and achievable plans, including monitoring and evaluation strategies; is sought out by others for advice in an area of specialisation; has the expertise to be perceived as a thought leader and be a credible interlocutor in the field.
  • Networking: Ability to develop and maintain a network of contacts in government agencies and institutions; exercises discretion and diplomacy while representing COL’s interests; capable of identifying and selecting quality partners, as well as to prepare, negotiate and manage agreements consistent with COL’s policies.
  • Communication, Supervisory and Team Orientation Skills: Communicates effectively in a variety of settings including to wider audiences; displays sensitivity to ethnic and gender issues in verbal and written communications; possesses the capacity and skills to lead teams and manage human resources (staff, consultants, etc.), by promoting co-operation and collaboration to achieve collective outcomes; openly shares information, knowledge and expertise with the team and co-workers; appropriately gives and is open to feedback.
  • Commitment to Gender Equality: Ensures that men/boys and women/girls receive targeted attention, where they are most marginalised; integrates gender considerations into programme planning, implementation, and gender disaggregated data is available as evidence.
Personal Attributes:
  • Commitment to the ideals of COL, notably to the role of learning as the key to sustainable development and to the capacity of technology to enhance that role.
  • Ability to work in a multicultural environment with a readiness to adapt to the work culture, where integrity, mutual respect and dedication to the organisation are expected.

Know someone who would be a perfect fit? Let them know!