Head of Learning and Development Job at Rift Valley Institute - Jobs in Uganda

Title: Head of Learning and Development

Hiring Organization: Rift Valley Institute

Job Location: Uganda Kampala East Africa

No of Vacancies: 01

Deadline of this Job: 02 November 2020  

Employment Type: Full Time

Date Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Base Salary: Not Disclosed

Work Hours: 8

Job Title: Head of Learning and Development.
Location: Eastern or Central Africa (negotiable based on RVI office locations), with a minimum
expectation of 30% travel.
Employment type: Full-time, two-years renewable, subject to funding.
Reporting Arrangements: Reports to Executive Director.
Start date: As soon as possible.
Compensation: This is a senior position within RVI and part of a senior management team. The
salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits include 28 days annual paid, health insurance,
pension, and travel allowances.
The Rift Valley Institute ( www.riftvalley.net ) is seeking a highly experienced and dynamic educator
to design and manage a professional development programme for early career researchers in
eastern and central Africa. The position will be based in one of the countries in eastern and central
Africa where RVI is operational, with frequent travel within the region.
As Head of Learning and Development you will lead RVI’s learning and development strategy. You
will work with RVI country teams, managers, partners and RVI Fellows, supporting existing training
programmes in South Sudan, the Somali regions and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and
the development of new blended learning programmes, ensuring consistency in approach and
methods. You will support the professional development of early career researchers through
bespoke training, coaching and mentoring and generate original research publications that amplify
the voices of African scholars and researchers.
The ideal candidate must have experience in leading and facilitating learning and development
programmes, a demonstrable record in qualitative research, pedagogical skills and management
experience. This role demands the ability to work collaboratively as well as independently, while
handling multiple initiatives.
The Rift Valley Institute (RVI) is an independent, non-profit organisation working in eastern and
central Africa since 2001. The Institute works at the interface between research, policy and
education. The aims of the Institute are to advance understanding of the region and its diverse
communities, connect local knowledge to social and political action, defend freedom of information
and promote social justice through action-oriented research, field-based training, and public
information. A UK-registered charity, the Institute has offices in Nairobi, Juba, Hargeysa and London.
RVI is a leader in practical social research, policy analysis, training and public information. Our fieldbased
research emerges from and seeks to respond to ideas generated by the communities and
institutions with which we work. RVI research projects involve collaborations between African and
non-African researchers and include training and mentoring of researchers to develop their skills and
experience. RVI supports the right to information and the exchange of knowledge by publishing its
research and disseminating it through public fora.
Job Context and Purpose
For many people and communities across eastern and central Africa, conflict, political violence,
climate emergencies, rapid demographic change and social injustice are persistent risks, affecting
livelihoods and shaping life chances. These challenges require collective solutions by Africans
informed by well-founded, evidence-based research generated in the region. Despite a commitment
by African scholars and scholarly institutions to understand and address the challenges, there is a
deficit in applied social science research capacity. This perpetuates an imbalance in knowledge
production and creates an environment in which externally conceived research dominates, resulting
in limited understanding of local realities, local ownership of research processes, outcomes and
application. The RVI aims to respond to these challenges by linking scholarly research to real-world
This new two-year project supporting African research capacity and the development of research
communities of practice is funded by the Peacebuilding in Africa programme of the Carnegie
Corporation of New York. It has three related components that build on RVI’s experience. It will:
• support the professional development of early career researchers through bespoke training and
mentoring to increase expertise and knowledge production;
• establish and convene research communities of practice in conflict affected countries in East and
Central Africa;
• make publicly available locally generated knowledge and amplify the voices of African scholars
and researchers through research and publications.
The Head of Learning and Development will have overall responsibility for managing the programme
and delivering its intended outcomes. Over a period of twenty-four months, with a six months
inception phase, the she/he will have:
• finalized the design and establishment of an innovative research capacity-building programme;
• overseen the design and delivery of training programmes;
• supported the establishment of research communities of practice that brings together African
and non-African scholars;
• identified sources of funding for African research scholarships and African authors .

Description of Responsibilities
• Create a comprehensive project development strategy.
• Lead RVI’s strategy to invest in the professional development of early career researchers in
Africa, including those who lack formal education opportunities, through training, coaching
and mentorship programmes.
• Lead the development and effective delivery of the Institute’s range of learning programmes,
including direct and online trainings.
• Lead RVI’s strategy to expand its networks of local, regional and international research
partners, and build sustainable partnerships between African researchers and activists and
non-African researchers and academic institutions.
• Lead the development of strategies across the Institute that support organisational learning.
Project Management and Development
• Finalize the design of the project in consultation and collaboration with RVI staff, RVI
Fellows, and partners.
• Design and develop professional blended learning programmes for researchers.
• Ensure the delivery of high-quality innovative research training courses.
• Oversee the recruitment and management of trainers, coaches and mentors.
• Participate in the delivery of training and learning initiatives as required and appropriate.
• Engage with existing and new partnerships for the delivery training courses.
• Develop the methodology and criteria for the selection of candidates for the research
training programme and oversee their recruitment and participation.
• Design bespoke learning plans with participants in the programme to maximise impact.
• Establish performance metrics and the means for monitoring, evaluation, learning and
reporting on the impact of the training and all other aspects of the project.
• Support the production and dissemination of research outputs.
• Oversee the design, organization and facilitation of research community of practice events
in collaboration with RVI staff and Fellows.
Partnerships and Public relations
• Cultivate and broker relationships with academic and learning institutes within and outside
• Engage RVI Fellows in project activities.
• Represent RVI in discussions with funders, international organizations, government officials
and formal institutions in the region.
• Publicize RVI’s work and raise its profile in the region through participation in public events,
and official functions.
Financial Management
• Manage the project budget and expenditure in collaboration with the RVI Finance Team and
other managers.
• Ensure that financial reporting complies with RVI’s procedures and policies and donor
• Expand the funding base for the project to ensure sustainability and long-term impact.
• Develop long term funding mechanism for student scholarships and their research
Personnel management
• Line manage administrator and other project personnel.
• Manage consultants and Fellows involved in the project

Job Skills: Not Specified

• Essential: Minimum of a Masters of social science degree.
• Desirable: Social science PhD
• Understanding of the research and policy environment in East and Central Africa.
• Published research on East or Central Africa
• Demonstrable interest in the value of knowledge production through education and research and in local knowledge production.
• Evidence of action taken to support local knowledge production.
• An understanding of tertiary education in eastern or central Africa
• Experience of working in or with the tertiary education sector in Africa.
• Minimum of five years’ experience in designing and delivering teaching and skills training in research design and methodology.
• Five years’ experience in tertiary level teaching methods, adult learning theory, mentorship.
• Minimum of five years’ experience of conducting research and applying qualitative research methods (such as ethnography, oral history, participantled, community drama or other actionresearch methods).
• Qualified in teaching qualitative research methods.
• Experience in designing and delivering online learning solutions
• Minimum of five years’ experience in programme and organizational management and progressive responsibilities in the development sector or relevant field.
• Demonstrable experience of developing and managing effective partnerships across cultures and countries within Africa.
• Experience of developing and managing project partnerships with institutions and or individuals inside and outside Africa
• A minimum of three years’ experience of working in one or more of the focus countries.
• Experience of organizing conferences, workshops, and learning events
• Experience relevant to building a research community of practice
• Evidence of successful fundraising
• Fluent spoken and written English
• Spoken and written knowledge of a language spoken in the region: French, Arabic, Somali, Kiswahili
• Excellent communicator.
• Excellent writing and editing skills.
• Participatory and problem-solving approach to work, with experience of leading multi-cultural teams.
• Strong analytical skills and ability to design and lead work plans.
• Experience in designing monitoring, evaluation and learning processes
• Practical requirements: Resident with the right to work in East or Central Africa and A citizen of East or Central Africa

Job Education Requirements: Not Specified

Job Experience: Not Specified

Job application procedure
Please apply online. Instructions can be found on https://riftvalley.net/index.php/vacancyjob/head-learning-and-development . Applications must include a CV and a letter supporting your application outlining your motivation, experience, and knowledge relevant for the position, with two professional references. For further information see www.riftvalley.net or write to recruitment@riftvalley.net . Application deadline: 23 October 2020 and interviews the week of 2 November 2020. Only applicants invited for interview will be contacted.

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