Regional Grants & Partnerships Coordinator- PlayMatters

International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC works with people forced to flee from war, conflict and disaster and the host communities that support them, as well as with those who remain within their homes and communities. At-work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. IRC reaches over a million children annually with education and child protection programs in 25 countries around the world.

PlayMatters is a US $100M investment, led by the IRC, which aims to reimagine childhood for 800,000 children across Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania through play-based learning. Now in its second year, the project is re-defining education and cultivate a generation of lifelong learners. PlayMatters is inspired by LEGO Foundation’s call to challenge the status quo and offer children the quality education they deserve. PlayMatters is being delivered by a diverse consortium with a track record of thinking and delivering differently. We bring three distinct characteristics:

1. OUTCOMES. Everything we do is fueled by the social, emotional, cognitive, physical, creative and resilience outcomes we seek. We know learning happens when children are at the center and teachers, parents and the system surrounding them embrace children’s agency and have not only skills and resources, but the motivation to drive change.

2. RESEARCH AND LEARNING. Effective delivery requires both rigor and a big heart. With LEGO Foundation, PlayMatters will generate scientific evidence that can transform our understanding of play and learning for refugees in East Africa and around the world.

3. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP. The LEGO Foundation Humanitarian Initiative offers an opportunity to deliver and comes with the responsibility to lead. Our consortium’s members have a record of mobilizing others.

More information on PlayMatters can be found here:

Reporting to the Senior Regional Project & Partnerships Coordinator- PlayMatters, the Regional Grants & Partnerships Coordinator- PlayMatters will be a critical member of the Regional Project Team (RPT), based in Kampala leading grants and partnerships management for the project.

Job Overview/Summary:

The Regional Grants & Partnerships Coordinator- PlayMatters is responsible for leading compliant, effective grants and partnership management for the PlayMatters consortium, supporting the high-quality programming and service delivery. The main objectives of this position are to support and coordinate program design, annual proposal development, grants management (including legal, monitoring, and reporting compliance requirements), internal and external communication, and partnership processes and procedures.

The Regional Grants & Partnerships Coordinator- PlayMatters will work closely with HQ, regional and country-level staff across technical, financial and project management departments to support in compliant delivery of the program. They will support the Regional Senior Management Team (SMT) to achieve PlayMatters’ strategic goals by setting and monitoring financial and programmatic goals, identifying, and notifying of any risks, and supporting productive relationship management with the donor and consortium partners.

Major responsibilities include:

Award & Partnership Management:

• Maintain a broad and deep understanding of donor policies, regulations, and procedures and provide relevant guidance to consortium. Ensure that the award is well-administered and implemented in compliance with relevant donor regulations and IRC procedures (e.g., legal expectations, IRC PEERS policy, etc.).

• Lead internal and external reporting with programs and finance teams, ensuring high-quality, well-written and timely reports meeting donor and IRC requirements. Manage reporting timelines and processes for consortium, including developing and communicating timelines, providing reporting support/follow-up when needed, coordinating internal reviews and partner responses/revisions, and escalating major issues to Regional SMT.

• Lead development, review, and amendment of donor, partnership, service, and collaboration agreements/amendments.

• Continue to build upon and improve grant management tools and processes for effectiveness, feasibility, and consistency across the consortium.

• Lead development and review of annual project planning documents, including budgets, workplans, technical narratives and milestones, and targets. Support Senior Regional Project & Partnerships Coordinator to obtain donor and partner approval of annual deliverables.

• Lead preparations for audits in collaboration with finance, AMU and OGC departments.

• Work with the Regional Project & Systems Coordinator- PlayMatters to manage all aspects of internal and consortium-wide project cycle meetings to enable regular, structured reviews of award performance.

• Support overall financial management of project. Lead review and processing of financial realignment and payment requests. Provide detailed support to budgeting exercises.

• Lead knowledge management of project, including keeping hard and soft copy grant files up to date (both internal and external drives).

• Support the Senior Project & Partnerships Coordinator- PlayMatters to advise consortium on all external branding and intellectual property matters. Help with the negotiation and approvals for use of external content, ensuring compliance with relevant use terms and conditions.

• Lead routine technical and financial/compliance monitoring and evaluation of consortium partners and IRC country programs, including coordinating timelines, travel, and expectations of RPT and consortium teams. Lead documentation and communication of achievements, lessons learned, challenges, and changes needed.

Staff Management & Capacity Building

• Lead building of consortium’s capacity in grants, compliance, and partnership skills. Includes on-boarding of new staff, routine re-fresher trainings, as well as development of unique trainings for dynamic needs identified as the project evolves.

• Build capacity of RPT to utilize effective partnership approaches and consortium grants management tools.

• Promote constructive, collegial teamwork between programming staff and operational support staff in execution of project.

Other Duties:

• Proactively identify awards management risks throughout the portfolio and creatively develop solutions in collaboration with Senior Regional Project & Partnerships Coordinator- PlayMatters.

• Support Senior Regional Project & Partnerships Coordinator- PlayMatters to develop relevant communications materials, updates, and presentations for donors, senior leadership, or other external bodies (e.g., local stakeholders) in collaboration with the Communications and Technical Departments.

• Write or review donor communications, such as responding to requests for information, and assist with coordinating donor visits.

• Research and be informed about programmatic issues, as well as security and political developments in the region. Support in ensuring donor remains up to date on any developments which may impact implementation.

• Support RPT to liaise with relevant IRC HQ-based functions, including Communications, Finance, Fundraising and Award Management.

• Support relationship building with potential partners (both formal and informal), in collaboration with relevant Technical Department staff.

• Perform other duties as required by the Senior Regional Project & Partnerships Coordinator- PlayMatters.

Key Working Relationships:

• Position Reports to: Senior Regional Project & Partnerships Coordinator- PlayMatters

• Position Supervises: N/A

• Indirect Reporting: N/A

Other Internal and/or external contacts:

• Internal: Country team staff; RPT staff; Education Technical Unit; Fundraising teams (IPP); Communications team; Office of General Counsel (OGC); Awards Management Unit (AMU); and Finance team.

• External: Consortium partners, Donor (LEGO Foundation), and other education actors/potential partners.


• At least 5-7 years of experience in program and grants management, and communications at an international NGO or similar organization

• Positive, helpful attitude and willingness to learn new skills is essential. Must be excellent coordinator and great teammate; this role collaborates across department and ability to influence colleagues, often without line management.

• Exceptional organizational skills; experience with establishment and implementation of grants management software and tools

• Superb professional writing and editorial skills.

• Demonstrated ability to successfully work in a fast-paced environment, within and across departments/functions and develop positive relationships with locally and remote based staff

• Excellent interpersonal and oral communication skills.

• Flexibility and adaptability to adjust plans for the realities of working across multiple time zones and cultural contexts.

• Excellent computer skills: MS Word, Excel, file sharing and database software.

• Ability and willingness to travel (up to 25%).

• Experience providing supportive and respectful staff management and capacity-building.

• Ability to accurately develop and review budgets is highly preferred.

• Experience working in conflict and crisis settings and knowledge of humanitarian programming is preferred.

• Knowledge of the East Africa context, with direct experience working in Ethiopia, Tanzania and/or Uganda preferred .

• Consortium management experience is a plus.

• Self-directed, able to independently set priorities and solve problems with minimal guidance

• Understanding of IRC grants systems and policies (e.g., OTIS and PEERS, etc.) and experience implementing grants in an IRC country program is a plus but not required.

National and/or female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Working Environment:

• Standard office work environment

• Travel required, up to 25%

• Position is based in the IRC Regional PlayMatters office in Kampala, Uganda

Application Requirements

1. CV or Resume

2. Cover Letter (must be no longer than one page)

3. Two professional writing samples of work candidate has led (ideally grants related)

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.

How to apply

Deadline: 13 Apr 2023