ICT Regional Officers: Instant Network Schools Programme

UNHCR Innovation is a multi-year, inter-divisional initiative looking for more efficient, effective and creative solutions to challenges that refugees face across UNHCR operations worldwide. The ultimate goal of our action is improved refugee protection, empowerment, and dignity. We do this by rethinking the way UNHCR works, the way it involves refugees in the design of the programs, and the way it looks at good practices in the humanitarian and private sector
Education is a basic human right, but for the more than 50 million people around the world displaced by violent conflict, access to quality education often remains elusive. As families flee their homes in hopes of safety, children and adults of all ages leave behind empty classrooms, and as displaced individuals settle into new surroundings, many find themselves in need of additional skills—from new trades to new languages—in order to make a living in an unfamiliar environment.
One of the key outputs of UNHCR’s Global Education Strategy 2012-2016 is to seek innovative means of enhancing and expanding educational opportunities for refugees. To help achieve this goal, the Education Unit, within the Division of International Protection, partnered with UNHCR Innovation in late 2012 to form the Learn Lab. This lab has created an enabling environment for testing new approaches to ensure quality education for displaced communities.
1. General Background of Project or Assignment:
1.a Background
Since 2013, Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR have worked together on the Instant Network Schools (INS) Programme. INS aims to improve access to quality education for displaced children in refugee camps, through the use of technology and connectivity, alongside teacher training and capacity building support. An MoU has been signed between Vodafone Foundation and UNHCR for 2016-18, covering four countries across east Africa: Dadaab and Kakuma camps in Kenya; Nyarugusu camp in Tanzania; Ajuon Tok in South Sudan; and Boyabu, Mole, Inke and Goma in DRC.
1.b Concept
In each operation, the programme aims to establish Instant Network Classrooms in formal schools which are already operating in the refugee camps. Schools are selected by UNHCR along with the community and implementing partners, and cover primary, secondary and vocational training. From 2015, Community Learning Hubs were also established to serve the wider community; and in Kenya World Reader Mobile is being leveraged to give community access to eBooks on their own phones.
Both the Classrooms and the Hubs are equipped with internet connectivity, power, and equipment for use by teachers or coaches and students. An Instant Classroom Kit, comprising a laptop, projector, speakers and a local server for teachers to use, alongside tablets to encourage student interactivity, has been developed by the Vodafone Foundation and is being deployed. The Hubs will use the Kit, and will also be given eReaders which can be used by the community as part of a digital library.
2. Overall purpose and scope of the position
The two ICT Regional Officer positions are hired by UNHCR and reports to UNHCR Innovation’s Learn Lab Manager, with close communication with both the Programme Managers for INS in each location and upwards to the Vodafone Foundation’s Technical Co-ordinators. They are responsible for tracking and responding to technical challenges in the field locations; co-ordinating with national telecoms on connectivity; and for back-stopping all technical issues related to INS. Travelling at least 50% of the time, the positions take overall responsibility for the effective technical running of the Instant Network Schools programme, with each position taking responsibility for different geographical locations.
Description of Tasks
Performance Indicators
Support to programme set-up
Provide technical support to the planning and establishment of the INS locations in schools and community hubs
· Supporting the design of the new deployments including procurement of hardware and acting as a key contact point for Programme Managers;
· Back-stopping trouble-shooting for all equipment during and after set up
Programme Management
Supports UNHCR and VF team with the strategy, project planning, identifying mobile technology based solutions for the specific education needs in the location
· Support and approval given to quarterly and annual plans developed by the Programme Managers
· Feedback and support role around the selection and deployment of education content including to the VF team
Responsible for the oversight on the implementation of the INS programme in accordance with approved time schedules, budgets and both UNHCR and Vodafone Foundation guidelines and procedures
· Fortnightly meetings with VF team on technical and programming developments and plans in each location
· Oversight of technical logs issues and escalating these to the VF team where they cannot be solved
Monitoring and evaluation
Support all locations in the monitoring of the programme, in particular in analysing the use of the INS equipment and technical challenges
· Monthly, quarterly and annual monitoring, evaluation and impact reports sent to VF and internally within UNHCR as required
Resource Planning and Management
Manage the inter-agency implementation and support teams
· Monthly report and activity plan outlining activities, needs and planning of the programme team overall
Leads and supports the work of the Coaches in the schools
· Monthly feedback on Coaches’ activities and a detailed plan on training and support for the coming month
Training and Support
Co-design and deliver high level on-the-job training to Coaches, partners and other stakeholders in using educational technology, ICT maintenance and other relevant areas
· Working with the VF team to design and deliver trainings
· Supporting Programme Managers in delivering regular on-the-job trainings to Coaches
· Supporting other trainings and support to all stakeholders across the programme
3. Desired Skills and Experience
· Masters degree in ICT;
· A background in education and knowledge of educational technology will be an advantage;
· 5 years of proven experience with various distributed ICT Systems and Networks, preferably in a development setting;
· At least 3 years of providing support to geographically distant programmes and being able to manage support requests virtually as well as in person;
· Experience working in harsh environments with low bandwidth field technologies;
· Excellent team work and problem solving skills;
· Demonstrated experience and skills in facilitation and designing and delivering trainings;
· Demonstrated experience conducting data collection for monitoring and reporting;
· Solid writing skills and an understanding of project management cycle and programme management in complex emergencies;
· Fluency in English and Swahili (one position) and English and French (one position). Knowledge of Somali will be an added asset.
· Strong organizational, interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills;
· Exceptional abilities in multi-tasking effectively, managing own workload and balance competing priorities, reporting lines and deadlines;
· Advanced interpersonal skills he/she must be able to relate well with others, dictate responsibilities, offer support and constructive feedback;
· Must have excellent problem-solving skills. He/she must be able to adeptly and quickly solve problems as they come up;
· Some experience in working with internet connectivity or in a telecommunications setting is desirable.
4. Core competencies
  1. Innovation and Creativity – Generates innovative and creative solutions to problems that contribute to Organizational and inter-agency effectiveness. Tries different and novel ways of approaching work to create added value in the services provided.
  2. Knowledge sharing – Actively develops and shares knowledge, leverages expertise to improve organizational and inter-agency effectiveness and add value within sphere of influence.
  3. Collaboration and Influence – Encourages teamwork and cooperates with others to achieve mutually beneficial results. Gains the support of others for own ideas and initiatives, regardless of formal authority and organizational boundaries.
  4. Critical Thinking and Judgment – Uses data, experience, and good judgment to make sound decisions and devise effective solutions to problems. Assesses and manages risk in own work.

Employment Modality
This position will be based in Nairobi, Kenya. The contract will run until December 2016 with the possibility of extension. Preference will be given to Kenyan Nationals.
Application Deadline: 31 August 2016
Please send your CV and cover letter to the following email address: KENRHHEA@unhcr.org
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