Education Research & Innovation Manager

International Rescue Committee

The Airbel Impact Lab, the IRC’s research and innovation team, strives to design, test, and scale life-changing, cost-effective solutions with people affected by conflict and disaster. Airbel works to develop breakthrough solutions by combining creativity and rigor, openness and expertise, and a desire to think afresh with the experience of a large-scale implementing organization.

One of the impacts of COVID-19 is that an unprecedented 1.6 billion students across the world have been out of school; however, 258 million children were already out of school before the pandemic. Half of these children live in crisis-affected countries. And while progress has been made towards achieving universal education over the past twenty years, these “last mile” children remain largely out of reach. In response to this crisis, the Education Global Research & Innovation Priorities (GRIP) at Airbel in coordination with the Education Technical Unit will implement an innovative program in a number of crisis-affected contexts including — Bangladesh, Colombia, and Nigeria — that reaches last-mile children and parents and caregivers, providing them with quality education solutions.

Our approach to reaching these last-mile children with quality education has three areas of focus:

  1. Meet children where they are both physically and cognitively, with flexible, student-centered learning that they can access in or close to their homes;
  2. Break down barriers to school entry and support children’s integration into schools once they are ready; and
  3. Prepare teachers in schools to integrate children with specific needs into their classrooms and equip both teachers and students for future school disruption.

Our strategy has three core pillars:

  1. Localized innovation – Engagement with local innovators and educators who are well-placed to advance locally-driven solutions with sustainable impact.
  2. Research & development – Mapping of promising solutions, operational pilots, and rigorous evaluations to drive quality, cost-efficiency, and evidence of effectiveness of our solutions, especially for high-risk students.
  3. Platform-based approaches – Adopting innovative digital approaches for the last mile to empower students, teachers, and caregivers at scale across multiple contexts.

Job Overview

The IRC is seeking to hire a full time Education Research & Innovation Manager responsible forsupporting the implementation of projects across our portfolio of the education Global Research & Innovation Priorities (GRIP). Our multi-disciplinary teams build, facilitate and contribute on projects that span research and ideation through to prototyping, piloting, evaluation and scaling. Our solutions are co-created in partnership with colleagues and partners from the regions where we work.

Do you have a strong work ethic and experience in education? Are you passionate about IRC’s mission, making a positive impact and seeing an improvement in people’s lives? Then join us!

The Education Research & Innovation Manager will be an integral part of the Airbel team and will work collaboratively with global partners, the Education Technical Unit (TU) and country teams at various stages of innovation and research and support operational and administrative activities.

We are looking for a self-motivated, highly organized individual with an eye for detail to support an exciting new education program in Bangladesh, Colombia and Nigeria, scope existing education solutions globally and support education GRIP projects.

The successful candidate will work directly with the Education GRIP Lead and Delivery Advisor on projects across the GRIP portfolio and document relevant innovation processes. You must thrive in a fast paced, collaborative and flexible working environment. Experience of working in cross-functional teams is essential.

  • **Highlights of Your Key Responsibilities:**Collaborate with the Delivery Advisor to support the implementation of projects across the GRIP portfolio and develop required documentation and resources.
  • Participate in GRIP innovation process activities to support the development of new products and services.
  • Support with documentation including reporting (monthly, quarterly and annually) against program level deliverables and indicators.
  • Review team budgets and track expenditure across projects.
  • Coordinate communication on various procurement activities with external partners.
  • Plan travel logistics including reviewing and approving travel request forms and expenses for the GRIP for domestic and international travel.
  • Plan and schedule meetings with relevant country programs, take minutes, communicate and follow-up on action items.
  • Actively participate in continuous improvement activities e.g. retrospectives delivery team meetings.
  • Manage education GRIP related event planning, and logistics including identifying relevant EdTech and innovation conferences for the GRIP.

Job Requirements:

Work Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field (Education, BSC, Social Work, etc.) – or equivalent professional experience
  • 3-4 years of experience delivering projects and programs ideally in Non-Governmental Organizations or social enterprise settings.
  • Experience of working with cross-functional teams.
  • Excellent computer skills: MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google Docs, and file sharing.
  • Enjoys collaborative working, flexible structures and working with a geographically dispersed team.
  • Ability to multi-task and move quickly between projects through effective prioritization.
  • Excellent organizational skills: the ability to multitask, learn quickly, and work independently and productively in a fast-paced and detail-oriented environment.
  • Strong interest in EdTech and Innovation in the humanitarian sector
  • Ability to apply a diversity and inclusion lens and approach to work. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills: the ability to effectively liaise with and motivate a variety of people in a multi-cultural environment and across various time zones.
  • Cares about the mission and goals of the IRC.


  • Preferred experience working in education in humanitarian contexts.
  • Preferred experience creating or incubating digital solutions.
  • Experience of working on projects with a diverse range of non-profit, commercial and entrepreneurial stakeholders.

Language Skills:

  • English
  • French/Arabic preferred

Working Environment:**

Location: Kenya, Nigeria, USA

  • Mix of remote and in person work. Applicants must have a home or alternate workspace they can effectively complete their work from during regularly scheduled work hours.
  • Potential for some travel COVID-19 permitting.

The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way – Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.

IRC et les employés de IRC doivent adhérer aux valeurs et principes contenus dans le IRC WAY (normes de conduite professionnelle). Ce sont l’Intégrité, le Service, et la Responsabilité. En conformité avec ces valeurs, IRC opère et fait respecter les politiques sur la protection des bénéficiaires contre l’exploitation et les abus, la protection de l’enfant, le harcèlement sur les lieux de travail, l’intégrité financière, et les représailles.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement:

In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for any in-office or hybrid positions. All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).

How to apply

Closing date: 11/1/2022