The Ministry of Public Education (MPE) in Uzbekistan is committed to an ambitious program of systematic and comprehensive reforms. The country aims to create an education system that can produce graduates with the critical thinking, problem solving, and practical skills that will enable them to succeed. Launched in December 2019, the O’zbekiston Barkamollik uchun Ta’lim Dasturi (Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program) is a four-year USD29.5m initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to support the goal of sustainably improving the reading, mathematics, technology, and English skills of students in the country’s public schools.
The Program is implemented by RTI International (RTI) in partnership with Florida State University (FSU) and Mississippi State University (MSU) to provide the expertise and experience needed to help MPE achieve and sustain the anticipated outcomes of the Program. The Program focuses on three main results: (1) improving reading and math outcomes in grades 1–4; (2) supporting information technology instruction for grades 5–11; and (3) improving English language instruction.
To achieve these results, Program activities will be jointly implemented by the RTI team and MPE to:
- Review current teaching practice, standards, and materials
- Develop and refine standards for Uzbek Language Arts (ULA), Mathematics, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and English as a Foreign Language (EFL)
- Develop or customize curricula and instructional resources, shifting to standards-, and competency-based instruction
- Design and implement professional development and support activities for teachers and school leaders
- Conduct Program and impact evaluation research.
The O’zbekiston Barkamollik uchun Ta’lim Dasturi/Uzbekistan Education for Excellence Program is committed to gender equality, social inclusion, transparency as well as local ownership and sustainability.
The Program Operations Systems Advisor will mentor and coach the Program Operations personnel to strengthen planning for, introducing, utilizing and improving operations systems processes and procedures in order to efficiently and effectively support the overall functionality and implementation of the Program and specifically the education technical work.
Specific Responsibilities include the following:
- Provide leadership for appropriate and timely planning and task execution in order to ensure that the Program education technical personnel and activities are well-supported and work with Program Operations and Technical Units to ensure that Program resources are effectively and efficiently budgeted, analyzed, disbursed, monitored, and reported on.
- Provide leadership and capacity enhancement for Program Operations personnel to understand, introduce, utilize and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Program finance, procurement, human resources, logistics, administration, IT and knowledge management systems, procedures and functionality.
- Provide grounded advice and tried and tested systems, processes, procedures and documents (e.g., templates) and introduce these to Program Operations and Technical personnel including, but not limited to:
- Activity budget tracker which can be maintained by the finance team to manage project expenses against the annual work plan budgets
- Book-keeping, bank accounts, and cash flow, to ensure that processes are efficient and there are no issues in cash management.
- Security and safety and general operations including Standard Operating Procedures, such as RTI Code of Conduct, document management and retention approaches, data privacy and ICT policy, Program Tashkent Office opening and monitoring according to RTI COVID-19 re-opening guidelines.
- Support and advice project operational team in etc., are implemented and adherence is monitored regularly.
- Human resources management and development including onboarding processes, etc.
- Office administration including establishing appropriate office management, materials delivery, etc.
- Assist Program Operations personnel to understand and fully comply with GOU and USG (USAID) policies, regulations, decrees and laws and with RTI policies, systems and procedures.
- Assist Program Operations to establish and apply a clear set of expectations, responsibilities and ways of working to carry out specific operations functional work tasks assignments and to work interdependently and collaboratively as a team to problem-solve, provide back-up and feedback for each other.
- Work closely with COP and DCOP to ensure that Operations personnel work effectively and efficiently together and with the Program Technical personnel, relevant RTI Home Office and Asia Regional Office personnel and, when necessary, with appropriate USAID staff.
- Stay abreast of all Program-related matters and stay abreast of state and local matters (e.g., the security, political, socio-economic and other aspects of the Uzbek context and other actors’ directions) of relevance and importance to the technical team and the Program overall and share information and insights with the respective Operations personnel and Deputy Chief of Party.
- Contribute as needed to communication activities and the development and dissemination of communications products and Program contractual documents.
- Participate in meetings, workshops and conferences, as requested by the Chief of Party and produce an internal report and/or notes as needed.
- In coordination with the Chief of Party and/or Deputy Chief of Party/Technical, satisfactorily meditate/resolve any conflicts during the development and implementation of Program tasks and activities.
- Continue to develop professionally through reading and participation in online and other forums.
- Be collegial and work as part of a team to support others and to share experiences and expertise.
- Perform other reasonable tasks as required by the Program and as negotiated with the supervisor.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND WORK EXPERIENCE
Required Qualifications and Experience:
- A Master’s degree in business administration, public administration or other relevant field.
- 15 years of experience in operations systems, management and implementation with experience in finance, procurement, logistics, human resources development and management and IT systems, including at least 10 years of work experience in senior management positions for program operations of USAID projects.
- Advanced skills in QuickBooks, Microsoft Excel, Access and other relevant software.
- Native or near-native proficiency in English. At least intermediate proficiency in Russian or Uzbek is desirable.
Required Experience, Knowledge and Skills:
- Substantive successful experience with enhancing the capacity of local staff to understand, introduce, utilize and improve operations systems efficiently and effectively.
- Demonstrated grounded experience with project start-up, including introducing and ensuring utilization of effective and efficient systems related to all project operations functional areas.
- Demonstrated ability to quickly understand a new context, specifically the legislative frameworks pertinent to finance, procurement, human resources (local national and expatriate) and to provide well-founded, well-informed and appropriate advice to Program personnel, the RTI Home Office and the RTI Asia Regional Office on how to align Program operations with Government of Uzbekistan, US Government and RTI regulations and policies.
- Demonstrated ability to resolve complicated and at times sensitive work issues with Program Operations staff and Program senior managers, host country personnel in various ministries and agencies (e.g., Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tax Authority, etc.) and donor personnel.
PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: April 1 – September 30, 2021 with possible extension