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Focus of the Role
Do you have experience working in the tech field on programmes that drive systemic and transformative change in the education sector? Are you excited by opportunities to work directly with government to create impact at scale? If yes, then we are looking for you!
The Tomorrow Partnership is the Tony Blair Institute’s work with political leaders and governments to bring tech and digital solutions to their biggest challenges, because we believe tomorrow will belong to those who responsibly harness the power of technology for the good of all people, and to leave no one behind.
Through The Tomorrow Partnership, we broker strategic partnerships between governments and leading tech organisations and innovators to help foster environments that enable tech to deliver practical change in people’s lives.
As part of TBI’s growing tech programme in Sierra Leone under the Tomorrow Partnership, we are looking to hire an outstanding Advisor with experience and expertise in the areas of technology and government advisory. The post holder should have experience and expertise deploying successful technology across complex environments, ideally for governments or other large-scale programs.
The post holder will work with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation of Sierra Leone and other relevant agencies, technical committees and the wider TBI team to implement an innovative, tech-related education project, advising and supporting its rapid development and execution in Sierra Leone.
This project will pursue the development of a unique Learner ID linked to the national civil registry database. A learner ID is a single number issued to each child enrolled in compulsory education to enable access to uniquely identifying and reliable student data, facilitate improved tracking and allocation of financing for the delivery of education services.
This role will be embedded with government counterparts, working closely with senior leadership and teams. The Technology Advisor is co-responsible (with another Advisor) for providing expert advice and supervising the development of the Learner ID and its use cases. The role would begin immediately, based in Freetown.
Main expected outcomes
The immediate task is to:
- Oversee the development of the education project and technology solution in line with the Government of Sierra Leone’s strategy, programming and priorities
- Report to senior leadership of government counterparts on project progress, problems encountered, and recommended solutions
The advisor is expected to have the following responsibilities:
- Drive the scoping and design of the project, including support to resource mobilization
- Review and monitor the execution of project activities and deliverables
- Facilitate cooperation and collaboration among public and private entities with respect to the integration of the project with other systems and programmes
- Provide technical quality assurance of tech service providers by supporting government to ensure that technical requirements and specifications for solutions developed by third-party tech providers are met, including drafting of ToRs and reviewing deliverables
- Analyse and monitor the risks related to the project and the work schedule
- Regularly inform TBI country-level and central colleagues of progress through reporting and engagement sessions, and proactively escalate issues for further support as needed
The longer-term responsibilities of the role include supporting the adjacent technology activities to support Government’s priorities in education and innovation. This will involve:
- Planning: Working closely with TBI Tech team and in consultation with government interlocutors to design, maintain and continually improve country project plans and tools to roll out our Tech support to government
- Execution and Monitoring: Under the direction of the Country Head and Tech Programme Manager for Sierra Leone, review and maintain project goals, plans, proof points and KPIs. Report to and engage with Country Head for Sierra Leone, Tech Programme Manager and our Global Director of The Tomorrow Partnership programme, and his/her team to drive delivery, ideate, troubleshoot and manage roll-out. Where relevant, ensure expenditure is utilised in line with budget with robust management accounts and accountability established. Ensure all necessary risk, legal and financial compliance and processes are followed
- Government Relations: Support the Country Head and Tech Programme Manager to maintain effective and trusted relationships in government in line with the country project strategy and positioning, and in service of the overall TBI mission to support political leaders to achieve results that benefit the people of the country and our work through The Tomorrow Partnership programme
- People: Support the recruitment and management of team staff, as required. The post holder will be expected to develop strong working relationships
- External Relations (non-governmental): Support the Country Head and Tech Programme Manager engage with relevant external stakeholders such as tech companies, Partners, other actors and stakeholders in the tech and Education sectors as directed
The post holder will report to the Tech Programme Manager. They will work closely with and support Ministerial interlocutors at the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and other relevant Ministries and agencies.
We are looking for an experienced Technology Advisor with a good understanding of the tech and digital space in the education sector. Prior work experience with an African government is highly desirable. Additional skills and competencies required include:
- Significant experience in education project implementation
- Significant professional experience working in business operations, education technology implementation, management strategy consulting or government advisory functions
- Project management experience highly desirable
- Familiarity with the political and economic ecosystem of the tech sector and experience working with key (public and/or private sector) stakeholders in the education tech and digital space in an African country
- Knowledge of technology policy and regulatory environment in developing countries globally, with strong understanding of data protection and security in practice
- Good knowledge of databases, the main programming languages, as well as a good understanding of Open Standards and Open Source solutions highly desirable
- Knowledge of and experience in biometric identification modalities and vendors are desirable
- Demonstrable experience and ability to work (and deliver impact) in complex and uncertain political environments
- Problem solving and analytical skills, including sound knowledge of data analysis, strategic planning, and project management practices
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Excellent negotiation and influencing skills, with discretion and tact, and the ability to foster trusted relationships with a diverse selection of stakeholders
- Sensitivity to a broad range of cultural and regional norms
- Proven ability to coordinate processes managed by others and to influence compliance with conflicting demands
- Proven ability to conceptualize, plan and execute ideas
- Proven ability to effectively manage relationships with donor partners and potential donors
- Ability to organise meetings, calls and documents that require the input of multiple sources
- Proven ability to work both independently and as part of a team coordination
- Prior work with Government of Sierra Leone or in West Africa is highly desirable
About The Institute
The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. We exist to equip political leaders and governments to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies. We work hard, every day, to make a difference. When governments work well they are able to create economic and social change in a way that promotes fairness, social justice and opportunity. We work relentlessly to support leader and governments with the challenges they face. Giving them practical solutions and actionable insights, that once implemented, can be transformative for their people
We do this within two connected divisions:
Our Government Advisory teams work directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It works with a variety of partners and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia.
Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas:
- Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics;
- Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution; and
- Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world.
As an organisation, the core beliefs we all embrace are:
- Open and Progressive: you’ll believe in the value of teamwork
- Bold and Pragmatic: you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity
- Optimistic Changemaker: you’ll be focused on results
TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work. It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you\'re successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.