WAVS Employment Opportunities:
Job Title: Country Director
Location: Guinea-Bissau (10 months each year); United States (2 months each year)
Reports directly to: Executive Director
West African Vocational Schools is a Christian skills development organization that trains and equips young West Africans so that they can thrive in their work life, spiritual life, and family life. Since 2006, WAVS has partnered with local leaders in Guinea-Bissau to equip more than 1,000 young women and men with job skills including welding, auto mechanics, computer basics, English and French.
The Country Director is responsible for leading the local administrative and teaching team at the WAVS vocational school in Canchungo, Guinea-Bissau, and for developing a new campus on a 27-acre piece of property in the capital, Bissau.
The Country Director will represent WAVS in Guinea-Bissau; build relationships with government officials, partners, and other agencies; and work with the local team to achieve five-year objectives that include, among others:
Both campuses generate revenues that cover at least 50% of expenses.
Annual enrollment of at least 200 students each year at the Canchungo campus and at least 500 students each year at the Bissau campus.
Develop innovative training programs that have the potential to generate exponential impact by targeting workers in the labor market.
Graduate surveys reflect the following outcomes:
At least 75% of graduates of trade-skill courses are self-employed or employed, formally or informally, within 2 years of graduation.
At least 90% of graduates of language and ICT courses report they are using acquired skills within 2 years after graduation.
At least 75% of graduates report that their relationship with self, others and God grew while enrolled and/or since graduation.
Establish healthy, trusting relationships with the local team to contribute to an environment that encourages a strong work ethic, results-orientated job performance, and a culture of teamwork and mutual learning. Initially, the Country Director will work primarily with a team of two administrators and three department heads.
Work closely with the local team to evaluate, improve and generate detailed reports on the vocational schools’ programs and activities. This includes working with the local team to monitor the schools’ administrative operations (including finances and adherence to written policies) and its programmatic operations (including quality of classroom instruction and effective use of curricula).
Invest a significant amount of time and energy into training and capacity building of key team members in a cross-cultural context. This includes setting goals and reviewing the performance of key team members on a regular basis and creating an environment where key team members can effectively manage and evaluate their direct reports.
Recruit, hire, and orientate new team members as necessary.
Coordinate the development of the new campus in Bissau
Work closely with the executive director, as well as with the local team, the WAVS local attorney, construction contractors, and government officials, to develop a new flagship campus on 27 acres of property in the capital, Bissau. Once built out, the campus will provide space to train more than 1,000 students each year and will serve as a launching pad for establishing new campuses and partnerships throughout the region.
Travel between Canchungo and Bissau on a regular basis to coordinate with the various persons and agencies involved in the project. Initially, the position will be primarily based in Canchungo.
Recruit, hire, and orientate the first employees of the new vocational school, which will open in October 2020.
Utilize your knowledge and experience to develop effective administrative structures and foster a culture of excellence that will enable the WAVS vocational schools to become increasingly self-sufficient – both financially and administratively – and serve as models of effective and transparent institutions that can be replicated by peer organizations in the region. This includes:
Working with the schools’ administrative staff to consistently apply written policies regarding tuition payment, personnel management, financial management, and staff job responsibilities.
Working with the schools’ departments to increase production revenue. Production work (such as welding projects commissioned by clients in the community) provides revenue for the schools, as well as hands-on training experiences for students. Work with the local team to run these production efforts in a business-like manner.
Utilize your knowledge and experience to develop effective programs that will set the standard for quality vocational training in West Africa and consistently produce graduates who are able to achieve desired employment, income, and personal/spiritual growth outcomes. This includes working with the teaching staff to improve the quality of curricula and assessing classroom instruction.
Represent WAVS & Build Partnerships
Represent WAVS, establish new relationships, and build on existing relationships with leaders of other NGOs, vocational schools, associations, church leaders, local businesses, foreign embassies, and local government officials.
Seek out partnership opportunities with other organizations and build on existing partnerships, which include:
A partnership with the British NGO Wellfound to provide an annual two-week training module for building latrines and installing solar pumps.
A new partnership with a small school in Gabu (eastern Guinea-Bissau) where WAVS will implement an English course starting in October 2019.
Ensure proper registration and organizational compliance of ongoing requirements from all relevant government agencies in Guinea-Bissau.
Follow analysis of Guinea-Bissau and the West Africa region to stay informed on current events and incorporate this information into program planning.
Research, Monitoring & Evaluation
Survey graduates (usually via in-person interviews) to gather baseline and post-training data on outcomes, including graduates’ income level and employment situation.
Work with the local team to conduct research in Guinea-Bissau regarding the labor market, business environment, and life circumstances of beneficiaries. This includes interviewing employers, employees, other vocational schools, current students, graduates, and others.
Coordinate with U.S. office
Work with WAVS leadership to further develop the WAVS theory of change model and generate new ideas for how to achieve desired outcomes.
Work with the executive director to establish clearly-defined, semi-annual objectives.
Work with the executive director to design and develop grant proposals.
Occasionally generate stories about students, graduates and school staff that will be shared with donors to illustrate the impact of WAVS programs.
Work with the U.S. office and the local team to occasionally host visitors in Guinea-Bissau, including U.S. staff, board members, and others.
Work from the U.S. office in Fresno, California, for up to six weeks each year to coordinate with U.S.-based staff, board members, and donors.
Knowledge, Skills & Experience
Minimum of three years cross-cultural work experience in a developing region, preferably in sub-Sahara Africa, working with development organizations, government, or the private sector.
Relevant previous job responsibilities include: Liaising between local and home offices, training and working with local team members, and program management.
Able to demonstrate exceptional results and show clear examples of the following:
Effectively managed a team in a cross-cultural context and resolved at least one difficult personnel issue.
Improved the outcomes of a program or team for which you were responsible.
Negotiated a result that secured a significant new opportunity for an organization you worked for.
Generated detailed written reports that outlined project plans and documented outcomes, preferably utilizing surveys or other data.
Worked effectively with host country government officials.
Developed healthy relationships and coordinated efforts with a wide range of people and agencies.
Familiar with the international development sector, its institutions and donors, and best practices. Prior experience with grant management is preferred.
Familiar with the politics and economics of the developing world.
Strong knowledge of Microsoft Excel; familiarity with Access is preferred.
Fluent in English. Ability to speak and read Portuguese is preferred, but not required. Willingness to learn Portuguese-based Guinea-Bissau Creole.
Preferred, but not required:
Experience developing teaching or training curricula.
Experience working with a vocational training institution.
Experience running a profitable enterprise or program.
Familiarity with life skills, soft skills, literacy/numeracy, and basic business skills training programs.
Committed Christian and active in a local church.
Value consistent and clear communication with all team members.
Strong analytical and strategic thinking skills, with a focus on outcomes.
Thrives in a role with clearly-defined objectives, but also flexible and adaptable to changing environments and unexpected circumstances.
Instinctively is a learner who seeks to understand before reaching firm conclusions. But also continuously questions the status quo and is able to build consensus around outside-the-box alternatives.
The Country Director will initially be based in Canchungo, Guinea-Bissau, a rural town with an inconsistent power grid and few paved roads. The town has a population of about 30,000 people. WAVS will provide housing (with solar power) and a reliable vehicle. The position will require frequent trips and some extended stays in Bissau, the capital, which is about 70 kilometers away via paved roads. Within the next one to two years, the Country Director position will be relocated to Bissau with frequent trips to Canchungo.
Competitive salary based on experience.
Housing stipend and work vehicle provided while in Guinea-Bissau. Monthly housing stipend while in the U.S.
In addition to vacation time, the Country Director receives four weeks of rest time every July. Responsibilities are reduced to about 10 hours/week during this time.
Reimbursement of airfare for one personal trip each year. This benefit provides reimbursement of up to $1,000 for one round-trip from Bissau to any location, once a year.
Health insurance discount and annual retirement contribution.
Please email your application to firstname.lastname@example.org. Candidates are encouraged to include a cover letter and/or introductory message with their application.