Education Program Manager

The Asia Foundation
  • Location
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Sep 09

Position description

In an increasingly complex and interconnected world, Asia plays a crucial global role. Would you be excited at the prospect of employing your knowledge and skills to improve lives, expand opportunities, and help societies flourish across this dynamic region?

You could have this opportunity at The Asia Foundation. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, we address critical issues affecting Asia in the 21st century: governance and law, economic development, women’s empowerment, environment, and regional cooperation. We work with innovative leaders and communities to build effective institutions and advance path-breaking reforms. Together with our partners, we are committed to Asia’s continued development as a peaceful, just, and thriving region of the world.

The Asia Foundation’s (the Foundation) Afghanistan Office, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is implementing a seven-year (2014 – 2021) project titled Strengthening Education in Afghanistan (SEA-II). Under this project, the Foundation is implementing the six following key activities: 

1. Support scholarship for 700 women to receive in-country four-year bachelor’s degree and 150 women to receive their master’s degree from India; 

2. Develop and expand Affordable Private Schools (APS) in Afghanistan to reduce the 3.7 million out-of-school children. 

3. Facilitate institutional sustainability for Teach for Afghanistan (TAO), the country office of the international organization Teach for All. 

4. Support programming and institutional capacity development for Children’s Museum of Science and Technology (CMST), the only standardized and modern center of its kind. 

5. Support the General Directorate of Science and Educational Technology (GDSET), a General Directorate within the Ministry of Education (MoE) in expanding its capacity for in-service teacher training by providing video-conferencing facilities for nine GDSET centers across Afghanistan and refurbishing a recording studio to support development of quality learning materials. 

6. Support 12th grade students at 300 girl’s schools (200 public and 100 private) across all 34 provinces to prepare for the Kankor examinations. 

Suitable candidates are required to have prior experience in the development sectors with specific involvement in the education sector. Experience in working on USAID projects is required. 

Under the direct supervision of the Foundation’s Country Representative, the Program Manager is expected to: 

· Facilitate expansion of APS in Afghanistan building on innovations based on research conducted on APS in other developing countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, and the Philippines), collaboration with public, private and CSO sectors, implementation of advocacy strategies, and use of technologies. 

· Work with relevant government agencies and the Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce to improve the current eco-system to support the expansion of Affordable Private Schools. 

· Provide thought leadership to develop Ministry of Education’s (MoE) policies for Public Private Partnership in the education sector. 

· Provide thought leadership on use of technology in innovative ways to improve teaching and learning outcomes. 

· Work with the project team to develop / maintain annual work plans, project plans, and budgets.

· Supervise project implementation, staff and serve as the principal communicator with USAID, MoE , Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Finance and other governmental officials and agencies.

· Work closely with Office of the Country Representative (OCR) and all other relevant units including finance, procurement and administration staff to ensure accountability and transparency in project implementation.

· Develop all required donor reports including weekly, quarterly, annual and close-out reports. 

· Review funding opportunities and if applicable provide technical leadership in the development of new proposals.

· Take lead on the project close-out in close coordination with USAID and the Foundation’s relevant departments.



· Daily contact with the program staff and consultants in cooperation with the project managers. 

· Frequent interaction with the Country Representative (CR) and his team, and the departments of finance, procurement, administration and human resources.


· In coordination and collaboration with the Education department’s Project Managers and other staff, maintain external communication with donors which includes but is not limited to: donor reporting, responding to donor queries, keeping the donor updated on urgent issues such as security concerns that may negatively impact program beneficiaries, and other requested ad-hoc reports. 

· Develop and maintain relationships with key ministries that include but is not limited to: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Finance. 

· Develop relationships with other Implementing Partners and donors working in the education sector by attending education-sector related meetings and volunteering to participate in working groups and committees. 



· At least 5 years of experience in the education sector. 

· Experience in and/or knowledgeable about how technology can be used to improve teaching and learning outcomes. 

· Experienced in working in Afghanistan and with either the Ministry of Education or Higher Education. 

· Experience working with USAID funded programs.

· Demonstrated familiarity with gender equity issues in Afghanistan or in a similar context.


Candidates must have an advanced degree (or a bachelor’s degree with 6-8 years of experience) in a field relevant to the intended position.


· Strong skills in the management of multi-year, multi-million dollars projects in Afghanistan.

· Excellent oral and written communication skills in English. 

· Fluent oral communication skills in Dari and/or Pashto. 

· Demonstrated interpersonal skills including diplomacy, tact and the ability to negotiate and influence.

· Practical experience establishing and administering international, donor-funded programs and monitoring compliance.

· Strong computer skills, including ease and skill in using MS Office package and Windows applications.

· Experience in developing capacities of Afghan nationals. 


Knowledge of and professional experience in Afghanistan. Background or technical proficiency in one or more of the following fields: Education, small-medium sized business development, and public policy development.


Financial Management and Administration

In collaboration and coordination with the CR and the Finance Department: 

· Contribute to the development of project budgets, the fiscal year country budget and spending projections; ensure that budget and spending projections are kept up-to-date and relevant; ensure expenditures are within approved budgets and that spending targets are met. 

· Assist with the oversight of compliance with all grant and contract requirements, and related regulations and procedures. 

· Assist with the oversight of due diligence requirements of sub-grants and sub-contracts. 

· Ensure compliance with administrative, grant management and financial policies and practices. 

Supervision and Staff Development 

In collaboration and coordination with the CR and HR: 

· Participate in the recruitment, orientation, training, supervision of international and national staff and consultants. 

· Conduct the team’s performance evaluation and recommend opportunities for professional development. 

· Responsible for addressing staff performance issues through mentoring, coaching and if needed following the HR process of performance management plan. 


· Provide support as assigned in program development, proposal writing, or other activities. 

· Participate in Foundation-led initiatives, task-forces and committees as assigned. 

Why work at The Asia Foundation in Afghanistan?

At a critical moment in Afghanistan’s history, you will have the opportunity to contribute to the country’s development and, more broadly, to the development, stability, and growth of the Asia region. You will help promote a more effective and constructive engagement between government and citizens, strengthen the role of women in Afghan society, and advance learning and awareness about the country. You will work with and learn from dedicated, smart, and accomplished colleagues, program partners, and local leaders and, in the process, improve your skills and grow as a development professional.

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