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Sr. Education Advisor, Early Childhood - based in Erbil, Iraq

International Social Impact | Erbil , Iraq | Contract

Job Description

Please note:  

Candidates from the MENA region will be considered for this role with a strong preference for Iraqi nationals. 

This is a regular full-time position that is term-limited for the duration of the anticipated 2-3 year program, with a possibility of extension.  

Position Summary:

Sesame Workshop seeks a Senior Education Advisor for Early Learning and Crisis, based in Erbil, Iraq for an anticipated 2-3 year USAID-funded early education and social cohesion program in Iraq. The Senior Advisor is responsible for ensuring that children and their caregivers in activity-supported locations and communities achieve improved outcomes in selected subjects, including school readiness, social and emotional skills and mutual respect and understanding. 

They will provide technical leadership and support to program staff and stakeholders to drive improvements in early learning educational opportunities and community level social cohesion. This role  will lead efforts to improve educational quality in target locations through the development of foundational curricula in school readiness teacher training and professional development support, student assessment, and support for students’ and teachers’ wellbeing and engagement. A major platform for delivery includes broadcast and digital media in addition to direction services.

The Senior Advisor for Early Education will dually report to the VP, Education, International Social Impact and the Chief of Party (COP) and provide technical leadership and support for technical education project team, as well as overseeing strategic and day-to-day implementation of program activities.


  • Provide technical leadership and ensure complementarity of activity approaches in training, literacy, numeracy, and socio-emotional learning across the geographic areas.
  • Lead on technical frameworks and direction for the consortium.
  • Supervise the implementation of early educational activities and provide technical support and guidance to program staff.
  • Liaise with production and media teams for the production of educational assets.
  • Provide technical inputs into the implementation of early education activities and ensures that activities and approaches across geographic areas are equitable.
  • Ensure the activities for older children and youth cultivates agency via social cohesion and crisis prevention.
  • Provide technical leadership related classroom and supplemental learning materials.
  • Provide technical inputs and leadership for the implementation of key assessments and research and assist with the process of development and field testing to validate instruments, analyze results and adapt instruments.
  • Supervise and provide quality assurance to the production of activity-supported materials, trainings, coaching, and student testing efforts.
  • Liaise with early education experts and technicians and other stakeholders on technical matters.
  • Maintain regular communication with the project staff and COP.
  • Responsible for management, leadership, and mentorship of technical staff across the team.
  • Ensure that the technical advisors provide information for weekly, quarterly and annual project updates and reports
  • Promote a team approach and a learning culture across all operational support services on the project team to prioritize and ensure responsive, quality support to delivery of programs.
  • Ensure the consistent implementation of the project with adherence to donor policies and procedures across all operational support services.
  • Represent the project in meetings and events.



  • Proficient and fluent in written and spoken English as well as native fluency in Arabic, with a strong preference for Iraqi Arabic native speakers.
  • A Master’s degree in early education, early childhood development, or related field/work experience preferred.
  • 7+ years experience managing aspects of early education projects in formal or non-formal education settings, including 3 years of experience working in crisis settings.
  • Prior experience with the development and implementation of evidence-based education materials, and preferably materials in local languages, training programs, classroom monitoring protocols, and tests and assessments.
  • Deep understanding of principles and concepts of literacy, numeracy and socio-emotional learning, and tools to assess those skills.
  • Demonstrated experience improving evidence-based education programming including to rural, ethnolinguistic, and underserved populations.
  • Ability to translate complex, technical concepts to a range of stakeholders, with differing levels of knowledge.
  • Strong diplomacy skills; ability to establish and maintain good working relationships with partners, donors and other stakeholders in a sensitive environment.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Strong multi-tasker with excellent organizational skills who can pay close attention to detail.
  • A proven interest in social change and commitment to work that reaches the most vulnerable children.
  • Experience working with international NGOs and non-profits strongly preferred.


Program Information:

In partnership with USAID/Iraq, over the course of the 3-year activity starting July 1, 2021, SW will implement Ahlan Simsim Iraq.  Ahlan Simsim Iraq will  leverage Ahlan  Simsim’s unique approach that combines locally driven, crisis-sensitive and age-appropriate interventions to increase resilience capacities among children, families and communities impacted by conflict and violence.  Using a combination of original multimedia that promotes inclusion and reflects the diversity of  Iraqi society, direct services that reduce the vulnerability of children, and youth engagement programming that lays the foundation for self-efficacy and  participation, Ahlan Simsim Iraq will help USAID reach its goal to contribute to a stable, sovereign Iraq that is able to respond in a timely and transparent manner to the needs of its citizens. 

The overall goal of the project is for families and communities impacted by conflict and violence to create and participate in inclusive Early Childhood Development (ECD) opportunities and have increased resilience capacities that help to counter malign influences. 

About Sesame Workshop:

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit

Equal Opportunity Employer/Minorities/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity.