PlayMatters Regional Technical Advisor At International Rescue Committee

This role can be based in Kampala, Uganda or Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

PlayMatters reimagines childhood for refugees. It will bring play-based learning to 800,000 children across Ethiopia, Uganda, and Tanzania. It will redefine education and cultivate a generation of lifelong builders. PlayMatters is inspired by LEGO Foundation’s call to challenge the status quo, to offer children the quality education they dream of. Children are not gaining the skills they need, teachers are under-supported and parents are overwhelmed. The systems built to serve them are failing them. PlayMatters proudly offers something different. It will be delivered by a coalition with a track record of thinking and delivering differently. We bring three distinct characteristics:

1. Outcomes: Everything we do is fueled by the social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and resilience outcomes we seek. We know learning happens when children are at the center and teachers, parents and the system surrounding them embrace children’s agency and have not only skills and resources, but the motivation to drive change.

2. Research and learning: Effective delivery requires both rigor and a big heart. With LEGO Foundation, PlayMatters will generate scientific evidence that can transform our understanding of play and learning for refugees in East Africa and around the world.

3.Thought leadership: The LEGO Foundation Humanitarian Initiative offers an opportunity to deliver and comes with the responsibility to lead. Our consortium’s members have a record mobilizing others.

The IRC is seeking a Technical Advisor who will work closely with the PlayMatters Senior Technical Advisor and other technical staff as well as the PMC leadership to ensure that the implementation of PlayMatters both adheres to our approved work plan and responds to contextual factors. This will require support to the PMC leads and the CDC leads, coordination with workstream leads and the operations team, and an understanding of project implementation that melds technical and operations. Because PlayMatters is emphasizing continuous learning, using an iterative process for content development and following a rigorous research and learning agenda, and is also emphasizing the role and participation of systems actors and other implementers working in the region, the Regional Technical Advisor will help implementation teams make sure they pull these streams of work together and will coordinate with the work stream leadership to make sure there is coordination and communication both horizontally and vertically.


1. Project Management and compliance:

• In coordination with the MEL team, lead the consortium in tracking progress against the work plan, documenting challenges and adaptations.

• Develop or co-develop tools and guidelines as necessary to facilitate work processes and/or reporting

• Spread/share promising/best practices and lessons from field implementation across PM countries and teams.

2. Capacity building:

• Support PMC leadership to manage to the project work plan and to use other project documents, tools, and resources.

• Support PMC Leads to use project documentation (including, but not limited to, the Gantt and budget) to guide their daily work.

• Support PMCs in relationship building with external partners with an eye to eventual scale of PM

3. Support Content Development Committees and their implementation

• Support the CDCs to coordinate their work and timelines and to communicate those to the wider consortium, helping them to set up processes for requests such as printing and translation (the “operational” side of their work), working closely with the curriculum specialist, who coordinates and supports the “technical” side of their work.

• Facilitate coordination between CDCs and PMCs and CDCs and policy leads

• Conduct regular visits to field sites to support teams across the PM workstreams (Content/TPD, Policy, MEL, Research), helping to facilitate communication and collaboration


• Advanced degree (MA) from an accredited university in education, development, social work

• Minimum of ten years of experience in leadership of Education programming, experience with education and child protection programming for refugees and displaced populations preferred.

• Significant previous experience implementing education activities in conflict or crisis situations.

• Experience working in East Africa and/or Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Uganda on Education programming.

• Strong communication skills and the ability to develop relations with diverse teams, local counterparts, donors, and other partners.

• Strong communication skills, both oral and written.

• Proficiency in English required. Proficiency in languages of the region preferred (Amharic, Tigrigna, Arabic, Somali, Nuer, Kiswahili, French, etc.).

Working Environment:

• Standard office work environment

• Travel required 25-40% (COVID and security situations permitting)

• Position is based in the IRC Regional PlayMatters office in Kampala, Uganda or the IRC office in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

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

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