Literacy Specialist

Go Back

Organization: American Institutes for Research
Job Type: Full-Time
Country: Benin
Experience: Mid Career (3-5 years)
Languages: English, French
Category: Education/Pedagogy
Topic: Food/Nutrition
Application Deadline: 31. May 2021

Job Description

Established in 1946, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is one of the world’s largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations. Our mission is to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world. AIR works with federal, state, and local government agencies, philanthropies and other organizations to conduct research and evaluation and provide technical assistance in the areas of education, health and workforce development, in the U.S. and abroad.

AIR’s International Development Division (IDD) strives to improve the quality of life in developing countries by using rigorous research and evaluation to enhance education and social development. We work across a wide range of topics including workforce development, agriculture/food/nutrition, early childhood development, education, refugees and migration, social protection, water/sanitation/infrastructure, and women’s empowerment in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Central and Latin America as well as the Middle East. The IDD generates policy-relevant evidence through rigorous monitoring, evaluations, and research; helps improve program design through continuous learning and adaptation; and works with local organizations and governments to build sustainable solutions based on evidence.

AIR is seeking a Literacy Specialist to work on a USDA-funded Food For Education project in Benin. This is a five-year project aiming to achieve two main objectives: 1) improved literacy of school-aged children; and 2) increased nutrition, health and dietary practices of beneficiaries in Northern part of Benin.


The Literacy Specialist is field based and will closely support AIR HQ in designing, developing, and rolling-out of the literacy interventions in collaboration with implementing partners and other in-country stakeholders. The Literacy Specialist will serve as the technical lead and will be responsible for facilitating the design and oversight of literacy assessments, materials mapping and development, and training for teachers and other educators. The full list of responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Provide overall management and technical guidance of all literacy implementation and research activities throughout the life-cycle of the program
  • Work closely with AIR HQ technical team and the prime implementing partner in design, development, and implementation of the interventions
  • Oversee and manage the local team, operations and budget
  • Take the lead on preparing expected donor’s deliverables (e.g., annual or semi-annual reports) as needed
  • Facilitate stakeholder workshops, dissemination events to improve the design and update the pedagogical materials
  • Facilitate and support development of school curricular materials based on effective pedagogical methodologies and strategies for learning to read and write agreed upon with HO
  • Facilitate and support design and implementation of professional development activities for pre-service and in-service teachers on literacy instruction
  • Provide coordination and support in linking evaluations and assessment (e.g., EGRA) results to the development of appropriate supplemental instructional materials, teacher training and parental/community support for language skills acquisition
  • Provide oversight for literacy research activities
  • Develop literacy content for distance learning modalities aimed at primary students and teachers
  • Assist in project quality assurance efforts
  • Have – and continue to develop and maintain – a good rapport with key government and stakeholder agencies, especially INFRE and teacher Training Units and all literacy supervisors and any literacy Coaches
  • Ensure effective coordination with national and decentralized education institutions and local partners
  • Work closely with all FFE staff based in Kandi
  • Mentor and support staff through both training and technical supervision


  • Ideal candidates will have a Masters or equivalent in a related area such as Education, Developmental Psychology, or Cognitive Psychology (focus on reading/literacy, early childhood, or elementary education is preferred)
  • A minimum of five years of experience in the design and implementation of international development programs with demonstrated expertise in education and literacy
  • Understanding and experience working in bilingual environments and supporting the transition to learning in French
  • Demonstrated proficiencies in writing, conceptualizing, analyzing, and consulting
  • Prior experience with USDA preferred
  • Experience managing detailed and complex projects and teams preferred
  • Fluency in French and English required
  • Ability and willingness to live outside of the capital, and travel to remote areas
  • Good interpersonal skills and ability to work in a team
  • Well-established knowledge of Benin education system

Hiring is contingent upon successful award of the project and USDA approval of the candidate.

Beninese specialists are encouraged to apply.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability.

AIR adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks.

Apply now

Leave a Comment