Sesame Workshop South Africa New Opportunity

Posted on :

18 Jul, 2018

Category :

Vacancies South Africa

Sesame Workshop South Africa has an opportunity for a childhood development expert to join our growing team as Head of ECD Initiatives and be part of the exciting new vision for Takalani Sesame. With a passion for media and working with children, you will be the education subject matter expert leading our strategy to catalyse transformational ECD outcomes for preschool children in South Africa including providing technical content leadership for various Takalani Sesame mass media and community engagement initiatives. You will also provide research, monitoring and evaluation support to ensure interventions are based on research evidence and demonstrate social impact. Project management of new and ongoing initiatives, partnership building, contribution to resource mobilization efforts and organizational governance processes will also be key components of the role.

Job Title: Head of Early Childhood Development Initiatives
Job Location: Rosebank, Johannesburg

ECD Subject Matter Expert

  • Develop and execute ECD strategy for Takalani Sesame.
  • Lead the planning and implementation of community level ECD interventions in line with the strategy.
  • Lead in developing the educational curriculum for the Takalani TV show and other mass media content, including guiding decisions on which messages are best suited for mass media (one-way) and community engagement (two-way) channels.
  • Provide expert advice to media production teams to ensure that content is consistently aligned to curricular messages.
  • Working with other Sesame Workshop project teams, develop guides and training materials, plan and deliver/facilitate workshops/trainings for Takalani partners, teachers, parents, caregivers and other ECD stakeholders.
  • Provide thought leadership including convening multi-stakeholder engagement forums, representing Takalani at external events such as conferences, workshops and other ECD stakeholder gatherings.

Research, Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Working with Sesame Workshop’s Content Research Department, oversee formative and summative research activities including contributing to the development of research protocols and obtaining necessary ethics approvals.
  • Manage local consultants and other content research vendors.
  • Develop and implement monitoring and evaluation plans for specific projects including instrument development, data gathering and report generation.
  • Identify project challenges, synthesize lessons and recommend research-based corrections, applying collaborative, flexible, and practical thinking.

Project Management and Partnership Building

  • Lead in developing work plans and inception of new projects in line with the contractual requirements of funders.
  • Recruit and supervise project managers, consultants and other staff, ensuring their scope of work is clearly defined and performance agreements are in place.
  • Oversee quality assurance of project deliverables in line with Sesame Workshop’s program standards.
  • Serve as the liaison point between local project staff and other Sesame Workshop international project teams.
  • Prepare and submit relevant project reports to funders and Sesame Workshop.
  • Establish Sesame Workshop South Africa as a leader in the ECD space.
  • Build and manage partnerships with similar minded organisations in the ECD space.
  • Support the Managing Director in fundraising efforts through developing project concept notes, leading relevant aspects of proposal writing, and creating pitches and other fundraising materials.
  • Participate in meetings with current and prospective funders and other resource mobilisation partners.


  • Minimum postgraduate degree in Early Childhood Development, Education, Developmental Psychology or related field.
  • Proficiency in English and at least two or more local languages.

Essential Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in the education sector, at least 5 years involving work related to young children.
  • Professional experience in designing and delivering early childhood learning initiatives, parenting programs, social and behavior change communication (SBCC) interventions and/or related services in low-resource settings.
  • Familiarity with workings of the South African Department of Basic Education.
  • Indepth understanding of the National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy, the National Curriculum Framework for Children from Birth to Four, as well as other relevant policy frameworks and curriculum standards.
  • Good research, monitoring and evaluation skills.
  • Demonstrated project cycle management skills.
  • Demonstrated cross-cultural communication skills and related competencies.
  • Ability to work well individually and as part of a multidisciplinary team in multiple geographical locations.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills in English, with excellent attention to detail.
  • MS Office skills including ability to prepare professional and appealing reports and presentations.
  • Flexible, creative, solution-oriented thinking.
  • Commitment to working with young children, parents, care givers and families.
  • Willingness to travel to and work in low-resource settings (up to 25%).

Desirable Knowledge, Skills and Experience (not mandatory but will give you an advantage)

  • Familiarity or understanding of the educational media ecosystem particularly TV, radio and digital.
  • Experience of designing and executing SBCC research studies and/or social impact assessments.

Interested candidates should email the following to [email protected] : 1) a CV with two referees and 2) Cover Letter describing your interests and qualifications for the job. Please use this subject line in your email: ‘Head of ECD Initiatives: [Your Name]’The closing date for applications is 11:59PM South African Time on Thursday 16th August 2018. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

Only South African citizens and permanent residents will be considered. We will correspond with shortlisted candidates only. If you have not been contacted within one month of the closing date of this advertisement, you should consider your application as unsuccessful. Sesame Workshop reserves the right to not fill this position. We are an equal opportunities employer and encourage people with disabilities to apply.

Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit organization behind Sesame StreetTakalani Sesame and so much more. Sesame Street is our pioneering television show that has been helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder since 1969, and now reaching more than 150 countries. Sesame is a beloved household name in dozens of languages, and it means learning – and fun – in all of them.  Takalani Sesame is the South African adaptation launched in 2000 and currently broadcasting on SABC, produced in partnership with Kwasukasukela, the Department of Basic Education and Sanlam. Takalani addresses a range of early childhood development needs from literacy, math, life skills, and HIV awareness to instilling in children a greater sense of self and nurturing their readiness for lifelong learning. The TV and radio broadcast is complemented by outreach programs. As we continue pursuing our vision of creating a better world in which all children reach their highest potential, Takalani Sesame is poised for a new dawn of exciting growth, with a mission to use the combined power of media and play to inspire the builders of tomorrow to grow smarter, stronger and kinder.

Application Deadline: 16 August, 2018

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