International Rescue Committee
This job is closed

Early Childhood Development (ECD) Manager

Job Description and Requirements

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC works with people forced to flee from war, conflict and disaster and the host communities that support them, as well as with those who remain within their homes and communities. At-work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. IRC reaches over a million children annually with education and child protection programs in 25 countries around the world.

The Syria crisis is often described as the worst humanitarian catastrophe since the end of the Cold War. Inside Syria, 7.6 million people are internally displaced and 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian assistance, with 4.8 million in hard-to-reach areas. There are four million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries. This is no short-term humanitarian episode. The devastating human consequences to huge numbers of people will endure for decades. The destruction of relationships, communities, livelihoods, homes and infrastructure will take years to repair.

IRC is offering a robust humanitarian response to the Syria crisis. IRC is undertaking programs in Syria in the fields of health, protection, and economic recovery and development. Our work in these challenging settings gives rise to some of the most pressing issues facing contemporary humanitarian action, including questions of access, security, funding and coordination.

High-quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs provide the foundation for children’s future academic success, health, prosperity and wellbeing. A large body of scientific evidence emphasizes the need for increased investment in early childhood, particularly for children experiencing conflict, crisis and displacement; these children are extremely vulnerable to the long-lasting effects that prolonged stress has on the developing brain.

In December 2017, Sesame Workshop and the IRC were awarded the MacArthur Foundation’s inaugural 100&Change grant to make real progress toward solving a critical problem of our time. With the extraordinary investment of $100 million, our partnership will transform the language, early reading, math, and social-emotional skills of a generation of children ages 0-8 affected by the Syrian war. Focusing on children in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria over the next five years, the plan combines the depth of in-person services, reaching 1.5 million children, with the breadth of mass media, reaching 9.4 million children. For more information, please 

Reporting to the Integrated ECD Coordinator, the ECD Manager for Northwest Syria will lead the ECD program implementation in Syria North West through collaboration with relevant IRC sectors teams, managing and overseeing the activities associated with supporting, adapting and expanding the provision of ECD Sesame Seed Project in NWS, especially through adapting the ECD in Health and Protection sectors.The ECD Manager will also support the ECD Coordinator in internal and external representation activities, communication and knowledge management initiatives, as well as donor reporting and program development opportunities as required.

The Early Childhood Development Manager is responsible for four key objectives: 
(1) Program Quality and Implementation: lead and support the effective execution of ECD activities in collaboration with relevant team members (especially Protection and Health) and partners. 
(2) Technical Support: provide technical support in relation to the integration, adaptation and development of ECD materials and resources that are center and home based. Assess the capacity gaps, establish and execute innovative plans to strengthening the capacity of IRC staff in relevant sectors and implementing partners’ organizations. 
(3) Grants Management: Ensure effective grant and budget management and contribute to new proposal and concept notes. 
(4) Coordination and Partnership: Build strong coordination mechanisms with IRC protection and Health sectors and support collaborative relationships with Syrian organizations to adapt, plan and implement ECD-related activities.

1. Program Implementation and Quality 
• Work with regional team and IRC program teams (Protection and Health) to provide technical support in integrating ECD in relevant IRC programming in Northwest Syria directly and through partners.
• Support the preparation of integrated ECD work plans with clear objectives and achievement benchmarks, long-term and short-term priorities, in line with programmatic vision and strategies; 
• Close monitoring of implementation of ECD activities, progress on achieving program’s indicators; and taking corrective actions whenever needed in collaboration with relevant team members.
• Ensure feedback from the field are reflected in ECD activities in order to respond to changing realities and needs of the field.

2. Technical Support 
• Build the capacity of relevant IRC staff and partner organizations on an integrated ECD services and ensure the roll out of ECD training for staff.
• In coordination with the ECD TU and the MEAL team, oversee the maintenance of a robust monitoring and evaluation framework for ECD, including quality control and reporting systems;
• Adopt innovative methods in building the capacity of IRC staff and partner organizations using remote management techniques. 
• Work closely with the ECD Coordinator and ECD TU to provide clear technical support, supervision, training and mentoring to the ECD team, including training needed to build specialized skills;
• Ensure that ECD staff and services adhere to best practice, professional standards and principles;
• Actively review relevant ECD materials, provide technical input and create plan for adaptation and integration that is consistent with relevant programs.

3. Grants management and business development
• Work closely with the Grants section and relevant sectors to complete grant management documents, deliverables, and budget compliance within donor guidelines;
• Support the ECD Coordinator in identify gaps in existing integrated ECD programming and work with the team to develop innovative approaches and mechanisms to address them; 
• Work closely with the ECD Coordinator in the design and development of new and potential funding opportunities for ECD programming;
• Support the ECD Coordinator in producing donor reports and other materials as required;
• Ensure effective Budget management and appropriate and timely spending of grants to achieve program goals in collaboration with relevant team members.

4. Coordination and Partnership
• Support the development of strategic partnerships with local implementing partners in NWS to facilitate effective adoption and implementation of an integrated ECD activities and scaling up. 
• Actively develop and maintain effective working relationships with key stakeholders, including in particular local implementing partners, and other relevant actors in coordination with the integrated ECD Coordinator. 
• Work with Partnership colleagues to come up with strategies for integration of ECD activities and Sesame Seeds content across a range of partner programs;

5. Human Resources and Staff Management and Development 
• Supervise and mentor direct-report staff, including communicating clear expectations, setting performance objectives, providing regular and timely performance feedback, and providing documented semi-annual performance reviews.
• Promote and monitor staff care and well-being; approve and manage all leave requests to ensure adequate coverage. 
• Adhere by staff to IRC’s Global HR Operating Policies and Procedures.
• In collaboration with the HR, support recruitment of program staff as needed;
• Maintain open and professional relations with team members, promoting a strong team spirit and providing oversight and guidance to enable staff to successfully perform in their positions;
• Adhere to and act in accordance with the IRC Global HR Policies and Procedures;

Key Working Relationships: 
Position Reports to: Integrated Early Childhood Development Coordinator 
Position directly supervises: Senior ECD Officer 
Other Internal and/or external contacts:
Internal: ECD Manager – NES, Regional Technical Lead ECD (Sesame Seeds), Regional Research Lead (Sesame Seeds), other IRC programs and support departments especially Health, child protection, WPE and partnership managers
External: Local implementing Partners in NW


The requirements should establish a baseline (minimum) for educational background, previous work experience, professional knowledge or certification, specific skills and strengths and any other skill necessary to perform the essential functions of the job.

- Bachelor degree in Social Sciences, Education, Psychology, Human Development, Social Work, or related subject at least, Master degree is preferred. 
- Three years’ experience in managing and/or technically supporting early childhood development, education or child protection programs.
- Prior experience and excellent understanding of working in emergency settings or insecure environments
- Solid demonstrated experience in planning, budgeting, reporting, monitoring and evaluation;
- Strong written and oral communication skills;
- Must be capable of applying skills and knowledge in a range of capacities, including direct implementation, advisory functions, training, and transfer of technical knowledge and management skills to others;
- Demonstrated track record in working with teams, showing high performance in a multi-cultural environment, demonstrating flexibility, and ability to handle pressure;
- Excellent Computer skills: MS Word, Excel;
- Fluency in Arabic and excellent English (written and speaking).

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, and Anti-Retaliation .

Only Applicants who apply through the link will be considered