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Design, Innovation and Education Consultant at UNHCR (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Job Overview

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Title: Design, Innovation and Education Consultant

Organization: UNHCR (Individual Consultant Contract))

Duty station: Gambella, Ethiopia

Duration: 5 months

Expected Start Date: Early August 2016

1. General Background of Project or Assignment:


Education is a basic human right, but for the more than 65.5 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.

In collaboration with UNICEF and UNHCR,’s Amplify program launched a third challenge seeking innovative ideas to improve the delivery and quality of education for people displaced by conflict. We’re looking to harness the creativity of thousands of people—including displaced individuals around the globe—to design new, human-centered solutions.

About Amplify and the We Love Reading Program

Amplify is bringing increased collaboration and a human-centered design approach to international aid. Through a series of ten innovation challenges hosted on the OpenIDEO platform, the program is identifying and supporting emerging, community-based solutions to some of the world’s toughest challenges. One of the main goals of the Amplify program is to support the prototyping of solutions through engagement with the local communities. In order to reach this goal in collaboration with UNHCR will provide on the ground support to the testing of these concepts.

One of the Amplify challenge winners is the We Love Reading movement, run by the Jordanian nonprofit organization, Taghyeer. We now seek a consultant in Ethiopia, to support the adaptation of the We Love Reading movement, a Jordanian approach to reading circles for children, to the Ethiopian refugee context. Originally developed by Taghyeer, We Love Reading (WLR) has now been designed for expansion in additional Arab contexts with the support of’s Amplify program, UNICEF, and UNHCR. A consultant is sought to perform early-stage research and prototyping to understand how the movement might take root in Ethiopia. Over the course of six months, the consultant will operate in a mostly independent manner to help Taghyeer learn about adaptations to the WLR model that will be necessary for implementation in Ethiopia, and to highlight probable opportunities and challenges. As Taghyeer works to scale their approach in the Arab world this consultant will work in parallel to, and largely independent from, their team in Jordan to provide early insights as to possible opportunities for expansion into Ethiopia.

Overall purpose and scope of the position

This position is hired by UNHCR and reports to the Education and Community Services Officer, with support-supervision from UNHCR Innovation’s Learn Lab Manager. They are responsible for day-to-day support on the testing and monitoring of the We Love Reading extension in Ethiopia. Working closely with relevant implementing partners and UNHCR’s community service and Education focal points, the Consultant is responsible for the effective and efficient management and implementation of the below responsibilities and deliverables.


  • Provide on the ground support to relevant partners testing solutions: coordinating activities with relevant UNHCR staff, lead engagement with the community, co-facilitate and document testing process, and systematically communicate progress with Taghyeer, and UNHCR Innovation abroad.
  • Develop an outreach and partnership strategy to connect with organizations and individuals working with displaced populations, education innovation, designers and human centered thinkers.
  • Increase local visibility and awareness of the We Love Reading program through community engagement activities.
  • Co-design tools to support the testing of solutions with communities and incorporate human centered design into their solution development process.
  • Collect and share learnings on resources that are locally relevant for outreach and engagement.
  • Write biweekly reports and blog posts documenting process and sharing learnings.


● An interim presentation to reflect upon learnings from research and synthesis. In this meeting Taghyeer and consultant will review a document outlining interviews conducted and insights that emerged from the research phase and together decide on the opportunity areas and prototype concepts to move forward with.

● A handoff presentation given at the end of the engagement that outlines prototypes run, iteration on prototypes, insights and feedback gathered, as well as adaptations to the model recommended for success in Ethiopia, and a potential strategy for moving forward with WLR in Ethiopia.

● Vetting and shortlist of potential NGO partners that can carry the WLR model forward in Ethiopia.


Desired Skills and Experience

· University degree in Design, Innovation, Education or relevant studies.

· A background in education and knowledge of refugee contexts, particularly Ethiopia, will be an advantage.

· 1-3 years’ experience supporting innovation projects.

· Experience working in harsh environments.

· Excellent team work and problem solving skills.

· Ability to work independently.

· Fluency in design thinking and rapid prototyping.

· Has adapted or launched a product or service before.

· Demonstrated experience and skills in facilitation and delivering trainings.

· Demonstrated experience in qualitative research including 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. Knowledge of Nuer will be an added asset.

· Knowledge of Arabic will be an asset for understanding and translation of documents and correspondence with We Love Reading team in Jordan.

· Strong organizational, interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills.

· Strong computer literacy.

· Must be able to multi-task effectively 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.

Employment Modality

This position will be based in Gambella and hired through an Individual Consultancy contract arrangement. The successful candidate will initially be offered 2 months probationary contract which will be extended until the end of 2016 upon successful completion of the probation period. Preference will be given to Ethiopian Nationals but we encourage all interested candidates to apply.

Please send your CV and cover letter to the following email address:


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