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Global Practice Area Lead: Education

Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) Various Countries


An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Global Education Practice Area Lead at VSO.
We are looking for an experienced strategic leader who can significantly increase the scale and reach of our global Education portfolio.

Over the past five years we have supported almost 3,500,000 children to access the quality education they deserve. By 2022, we want to reach another five million.

This is a fantastic time to join VSO as we look to scale up and deepen our impact across Africa and Asia.

The ideal candidate will develop and grow the impact and
influence of VSO’s portfolio in the Education practice area in line with agreed organisational strategy and programming standards.


Strategic leadership and Business Pursuit

Provide leadership with strategic development and programmatic quality improvement (technical and volunteering for development approach) of VSO’s global portfolio in the Education practice area.

Plan and oversee portfolio growth to achieve significantly increased scale and reach targets as outlined in VSO’s operating plan.

Partnership development and donor engagement

Raise and advance the profile, and positioning of VSO, with current and potential donors, external partners, networks and stakeholders to secure strong strategic partnerships for income and people resourcing.

Identify and facilitate engagement of VSO employees, volunteers and partners as a network of practice to continuously deepen VSO’s technical capability and knowledge in the practice area.

Programme knowledge

Guide and Manage VSO resources to respond to opportunities and needs across each part of the programme cycle Continuously improve VSO’s programming in the relevant practice area by ensuring a strong evidence base informed by analysis of both internal and external evidence and research.

Policy dialogue

Participate in strategic decision-making about our global programme portfolio and programming, policy, advocacy, research and evaluation priorities Establish clear positions and priorities on VSO’s policy agenda in the relevant practice area, advocating for change, networking with key people/bodies.

Safeguarding, security and risk management

Ensure compliance with all security, fraud, safeguarding and code of conduct requirements, to promote and uphold VSO performance standards.


With peers across VSO to ensure effective ways of working and to share knowledge, skills, resources and networks.

Knowledge, evaluation and learning team to monitor and manage impact and influence outputs and outcomes.

Engagement and leadership team to ensure full integration of volunteering for development engagement and leadership strategies.

Programme development team to monitor quality of volunteering for development programming and integrate learning from practice area.

With the business pursuit leads and country representatives to ensure alignment of income growth with programme strategy; to ensure technical resourcing of business pursuit processes, including positioning and bid development.

Work closely with multi-disciplinary people resource within practice team and global support teams;

Post Graduate Degree

Post graduate qualification in the relevant practice area and/or international development or equivalent experience.

More Details on Experience

  • Deep understanding and knowledge of relevant development, policy and funding trends within the relevant practice area.
  • Significant experience of influencing and delivering results crossorganisationally at senior level in large, complex development organizations.
  • Strong experience of creating and maintaining a high performing, globally dispersed team, managed in line with the organisation’s values, policies and procedures.
  • Strong experience of engaging a broad range of donors and managing strategic partnerships.
  • Experience of programme design, monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning management and leadership.
  • Experience of driving programme quality and leading and supporting organisations to become knowledge driven.
  • Experience of representational activities in high level forums.
  • Experience in leading and managing change and employee engagement.

More Details on Skills

  • Strong leadership behaviours including external orientation, situational agility, and partner focus.
  • Strong people management skills and experience of working across multiple cultural contexts.
  • Financial and budget management skills.
  • Commitment to VSO’s mission and values and experience of the working culture of VSO, including managing through uncertainty, the practices of collaboration and a learning orientation.
  • Ability to build partnerships and networks at senior levels to influence within and outside the organisation.
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to drive forward VSO’s organisational strategy; contribute to setting the future direction in response to anticipated changes in the external environment.

Terms And Conditions

If you’re interested in applying for this role, please click on the link // to make an application before 31st January 2021