TaRL Africa Country Director: Côte d’Ivoire


Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa is a new high-profile initiative jointly led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and the Indian Education NGO Pratham. TaRL Africa works to improve basic reading and arithmetic skills of children on the African continent and aims to reach 3 million children in the next five years. Key countries of operation include Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Zambia. The initiative is housed at FiRM Africa, a Kenyan entity formed in 2021. 

Côte d’Ivoire’s Ministry of National Education is currently implementing an adaptation of this pedagogical approach to the Ivorian context. The Programme d’Enseignement Ciblée (PEC) is being implemented in classes CE1 to CM2, as well as in bridging classes.


TaRL Africa (a project under FiRM Africa) is looking for a Country Director to build and strengthen the TaRL team currently working with the Ministry on the PEC programme and further support the growth and development of PEC in Côte d’Ivoire. The Country Director will report to a senior director in the TaRL Africa central team and will be responsible for managing the country team and operations. The Country Director will also work with the government and the TaRL Africa team to use lessons learned in the field to adjust the implementation of the programme, while carefully considering the evidence behind the approach.

This role involves working in close collaboration with the Ivorian Ministry of Education and its partners, and maintaining effective working relationships with all programme stakeholders. The post will be based in Abidjan and will require frequent travel within Côte d’Ivoire as well as to other countries in the sub-region.

 Major Functions

        Develop TaRL / PEC expertise

       Become an expert of PEC program delivery and methodology, and the evidence behind the TaRL approach, reading related academic papers and compiling lessons from Pratham and J-PAL teams around the world.

       Being an active member of the TaRL Africa team: contributing to reflections on the adaptation of TaRL pedagogy across Africa, to improve children’s learning.

       Work with Ivorian partners and political actors to take ownership of TaRL pedagogy, and support the adaptation of TaRL in the Ivorian context.

       Lead the training, coaching and monitoring of systems used during the implementation of the PEC, and support all partners in improving the effectiveness of these systems.

       Represent FiRM Africa in Côte d’Ivoire and the surrounding region across platforms and stakeholders

       Manage the project to achieve the TaRL Africa team’s objectives

       Support and nurture the country team in Côte d’Ivoire, and build the team to continue to support the government, and work closely with TaRL Africa’s core team across the continent

       Understand the education system and different actors in Côte d’Ivoire and other countries within the sub-region

       Maintain relations with the government and other partners, and coordinate the work of the Ministry of Education with other PEC partners.

       Ensure that useful lessons on implementation and the pedagogical approach are collected, synthesized and disseminated, particularly within the Ministry

       Manage budgets, and oversee expenses, procurement procedures and all other financial and administrative activities

       Contribute to writing reports for the different partners


       A Masters Degree in Public Policy, Education, Management, Economics or other related disciplines

       5-years professional experience of similar nature is required, especially on programmes involving multiple actors

       Perfect command of professional French is essential, both oral and written, as well as very good skills in English, writing and speaking in public

       Excellent managerial skills, including the ability to work with a diverse, dynamic team comprising professionals with varied skill-sets and functional expertise

       A good understanding of the importance of scientific research for effective public policy development and the ability to communicate academic data to a non-specialist audience

       Experience with event organizing

       The ability to create and manage budgets

       Good adaptability to a changing work environment

       Professional experience in the sub-region is advantageous

       Experience in developing monitoring and evaluation systems advantageous

       Ability to internalize FiRM Africa’s organizational and managerial culture: team-spirit, creation of a thriving and empowering working environment for the teams, and dedication to the improvement of children’s education.

 How to apply

Please complete the below application form and include:

1.      A one-page cover letter in French

2.      Your resume

3.      Two short writing samples (1 to 2 pages): one in French and one in English

Please fill in this application form by 10th July 2021. Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete a writing assessment, followed by an interview process. Due to the large volume of applications, we will only be able to respond to short-listed applicants.


TaRL Africa is an equal employment opportunity employer.