Our mission is to get preschool children in rural Africa school-ready. At present over 250 million children worldwide fail to receive the education and care they need in their early years which means they are less likely to do well in school, find gainful employment, and are at greater risk of early marriage, early parenthood and even criminality. Current approaches to solving this crisis are not proving effective or scalable in lower middle income countries.
That’s where Lively Minds comes in. We have developed an award-winning Early Childhood Development programme that has been proven through randomised control trial to get pre-schoolers in hard-to-reach communities school-ready, so they have a greater chance of succeeding in school and in life. The programme provides marginalised Mothers with a parenting course that empowers them to run educational Play Schemes for pre-schoolers and to provide better home-based care, using cheap local resources. The programme is delivered through government partners, is cheap and highly scalable. It genuinely has the potential to play a transformative role in ending the global ECD crisis.
Over the past few years the Lively Minds programme has been delivered in over 350 communities in rural Ghana and Uganda reaching over 50,000 children. During COVID we launched a radio programme for parents and this has now become a permanent fixture that is reaching over 2million households each week. We are extremely proud that the Government of Ghana have now adopted the programme and we have a ground-breaking partnership with them to support them to institutionalise it, fund it and to scale it to 60 education districts, reaching over 4000 communities and 1million children. In addition, an award-winning international research institution will be conducting a further randomised control trial to help us understand its impacts at scale. We see this as the test case that will provide the blueprint to take the programme to scale in Uganda and elsewhere within the next 5 years.
We’re a lively ambitious organisation, determined to have a major positive impact on the world. We work hard, at a fast pace, in a challenging environment. We expect everyone to give their best to achieve the best possible results. Our work is demanding but provides plenty of opportunity for innovation, responsibility, growth, collaboration, creativity and fun. We want all staff to be happy, fulfilled and to feel appreciated and valued in their work.
About the role
We see our programme’s curriculum as “software” that needs to be run through government distribution systems, using a training of trainers approach. In order to scale successfully, we need excellent content and we need to ensure that everyone involved in implementation is able to deliver the content with fidelity and to quality standards. We therefore provide a standardised 2-year package of technical assistance (training, coaching, mentoring, tools) to government implementing partners, with the expectation that after this period the programme will be embedded and government partners can sustain it themselves.
The postholder will be responsible for both content creation/optimisation and for the development of the technical support package for government implementers.
Main duties and responsibilities
· Contribute to the global scale and sustainability strategy for Lively Minds.
· Develop and implement plans to support the achievement of strategic goals.
· Identify and drive forward strategies to support grassroots demand, and government motivation, uptake and sustainability strategies.
· Lead the content team to develop engaging context-appropriate content, founded in behaviour science techniques, to improve the early childhood care and education provided to rural children. In particular, we are growing our bank of radio episodes and in-person workshops for parents.
· Update the existing content and approaches to strengthen community engagement, inclusivity and ensure that programme activities and processes are optimised, so that burdens are minimised and tasks are simplified.
· Own a database of all curriculum and materials, so that templates can be reused and lessons learnt and incorporated
· Work with the Head of Monitoring & Evaluation and with external evaluators to develop ways to evaluate the programme and user experience
· Work with other team members to identify ways to improve the programme, curriculum, approaches, systems and practices to ensure it is as simple, scalable and user-focussed as possible.
“Government as doer” strategy
· Build the technical skills of government trainers to deliver programme activities to high standards, by developing training content, coaching frameworks and tools (e.g. how to monitor, how coach and give feedback, problem solving).
· Develop training and tools for government that will build their general ability to coordinate and project manage the programme (e.g. skills in work planning, SMART goals, data analysis, problem solving)
· Analyse bottlenecks affecting the quality of delivery or sustainability and find creative scalable ways to raise performance levels of government implementers (e.g. normalising feedback and self-reflection, incentivising good behaviours, accountability measures for low performance)
· Work with the Head of Monitoring & Evaluation and Country Directors to evaluate government uptake, capacity, motivation levels.
· Review and iterate strategy and approaches in response to feedback loops.
Implementation and training excellence
· Develop strategies that support staff and government partners to facilitate training to the highest standard and to strengthen the cascade delivery model
· Conduct field visits to supervise and observe the quality of training and work with COO and Country Directors to identify implementation challenges and risks, and create effective systems, tools, trainings, materials to improve quality of implementation, and specifically the cascade delivery approach.
· Line manage two content officers, and co-manage the Learning and Development Specialist jointly with the Head of HR,L&D.
- Job City Tamale