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Director Of Training at African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)

African Economic Research Consortium, established in 1988, is a premier capacity building institution in the advancement of research and training to inform economic policies in sub-Saharan Africa. It is one of the most active Research and Capacity Building Institutions (RCBIs) in the world, with a focus on Africa. AERC’s mission rests on two premises: First, that development is more likely to occur where there is sustained sound management of the economy. Second, that such management is more likely to happen where there is an active, well-informed cadre of locally-based professional economists to conduct policy-relevant research.

Job Details

The Director of Training provides the overall intellectual leadership and guidance and strategic oversight for the Training Programme and ensures that the training programmes of the Consortium are of the highest quality and relevance to the economic and policy needs of Africa. In this respect, the Director must actively manage the capacity-building training programmes at the Masters’ and Doctoral levels in economics and applied and agricultural economics.

The Director also contributes to the development and implementation of the resource mobilization strategy with reference to the Consortium’s Training programmes and collaborates with the Resource Mobilization and Donor Relations Unit to ensure that donor monitoring and evaluation requirements are met. The Director is also responsible for ensuring all other reporting requirements for the Research activities. S/he is a member of the Senior Management Team and supports the Executive Director in promoting teamwork and collaboration, performance standards, and a value for money culture across the Secretariat.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Director of Training will have the following key responsibilities:

 Training Programme Management

  • Providing leadership in the strategic development of the Training Programme through active management of the Collaborative Masters and PhD Programmes in Economics (CMAP & CPP) and Collaborative Masters in Applied & Agricultural Economics Programme (CMAAE) activities, ensuring that they respond to the longer term needs of Sub Saharan Africa’s needs for research, teaching and economic management and that the training provided is of the highest standards. This role is at the center of creating and providing frontier training with high quality outcomes.
  • Initiating, innovating, and developing activities aimed at improving the scope and quality of training such as workshops and other programmes for trainees and capacity building for their institutions, considering the needs of under-represented groups and countries. The holder should develop, review, and revise the curricular of graduate training which impacts the graduates who go through the programme in Africa.
  • Monitoring changes in the structure, content and financing of higher education in Sub Saharan Africa with particular reference to their possible impact on training in economics at the graduate and undergraduate levels, with a view to introducing new modalities to the training programmes.
  • Provides economics/agricultural economics content that is dynamic and innovative and addresses the changing landscape taking place globally.
  • As part of strategic planning, monitors the labor market for graduate African economists as part of continuously updating the training programmes to help retain graduates within the region in positions that make effective use of their professional skills and knowledge.
  • Continuously provide online training curricular for core and elective courses to be used across the network universities and the academic infrastructure required.
  • Overseeing the organization of core training sessions and meetings, including the operation of the Joint Facility for Electives.
  • Ensuring that reports on activities are provided to the AERC Board, Funders, Programme Committee, the Academic Board and management as required.

Liaison with AERC network and training institutions

  • Networking with senior African and non-African researchers and academics as well as with relevant Pan-African and international institutions, to ensure continued relevance of training activities and a high profile for the Consortium.
  • Enhancing collaboration among African institutions and scholars engaged in research and training in economics. Establishing and actively maintaining close links with universities both to promote economics training within their structures and to promote research into issues bearing on economic development in Sub Saharan Africa.
  • Liaising closely with parallel graduate training programmes for Nigeria and for Francophone Africa.
  • Keeping the AERC Programme Committee and its Subcommittee on Training fully informed of pertinent issues, provides advice, and facilitates their work, including the review of submissions for institutions support and for institutional attachments for trainees

Fundraising, Management, and Coordination

  • Developing fundraising proposals for the Training programme that is targeted to diverse Funders and specified activities in line with the new strategic plan in place.
  • Ensuring that the Training Programmes are adequately funded and there is a strong funding pipeline to enable awarding of grants in a timely fashion.
  • Contributing to the development and implementation of the resource mobilization strategy with reference to the Consortium’s Training programmes, and collaborating with the Resource Mobilization and Donor Relations Unit to ensure that donor monitoring and evaluation requirements are met and that any indicated changes are implemented. In addition, develops fund raising proposals.
  • Overall responsibility for the management of the Training Department, including financial management of activities and generally oversees day to day activities, including the supervision of a small staff team.
  • Ensuring that the Training Department serves the Consortium according to established internal and external performance criteria and within a value for money culture.
  • Liaising as necessary with the entire Secretariat to ensure the smooth functioning and high performance of AERC, particularly exploiting successful linkages between AERC’s training and research activities.

Secondary Responsibilities

  • Playing an active part in outreach activities and coordinating with the Communications Department as needed, including on the posting of training information and results on the AERC website.
  • Exercising such managerial responsibilities, including performance management of staff in the Training department, administrative back-up and serving as Officer in Charge as may be delegated from time to time by the Executive Director.
  • Special training-related projects/program oversight e.g. Short- term training, specialist data bases for training needs such as DAKMAH, Rutgers, IFAD, climate change programme etc.
  • Undertake any other duties as directed by the Executive Director:
  • Fellowships development and management
  • Organizational oversight (GMT, Procurement Committee, etc.)

Required Competencies

  • Strategic thinking, leadership, and management skills
  • Good financial management skills
  • Good knowledge of information and communication technology and computerized management systems
  • Computer literacy, virtual learning, and virtual networking
  • Well-organized and able to multi-task and meet deadlines
  • Excellent interpersonal, networking and negotiating skills including diplomacy
  • Excellent people management skills
  • Excellent presentation skills
  • Excellent report writing skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Excellent judgment in analyzing data and information
  • Excellent oral and written communication
  • Good leader and team player
  • Identify and contribute to one of the thematic areas of AERC
  • Good administrator – Internal for staff and programmes
  • Knowing the global trend, integrate process and innovate
  • Understand Process of Graduate training

Qualifications and Experience

  • A PhD in Economics and a track record in economic research reflected in published works as well as experience in graduate training in economics in Africa.
  • At least 10 years relevant experience, including management, teaching and training experience at the university level.
  • Ability and willingness to travel widely in Africa
  • Ability to manage grants and fundraising
  • Ability to work in French would be an asset
  • Ability to provide cohesive leadership
  • Strong passion for training

Terms of Appointment

This is a full-time position with a fixed-term fiver year contract subject for renewal. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

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