Head of Learning and Development

Countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda
Organization: Rift Valley Institute
Closing date: 23 Oct 2020


The Rift Valley Institute 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.

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 impact.

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 Head of Learning will have:

  • finalised 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.

How to apply:

Apply on the RVI website. 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. Please read the full job description and person specification here. For further information see www.riftvalley.net or write to recruitment@riftvalley.net.

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