Technical Lead – Higher Education Access, USAID/Malawi, Youth Prosperity Through Agriculture Pathways

About Palladium:

Palladium is a global company working to design, develop and deliver positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of people around the globe; broaden access to health, water, power, and infrastructure; build enduring, sustainable, and transformative institutions and market systems to address global challenges; and conserve the natural world. We operate in over 90 countries and have a workforce of 4,000 talented, motivated, and diverse staff of all religions, races, languages, and gender identities.

This Proposal Opportunity:

Palladium is seeking a Technical Lead – Higher Education Access for an anticipated USAID-funded agriculture higher education strengthening program expected to begin in 2024. The USAID/Malawi Youth Prosperity Through Agriculture Pathways Activity aims to increase Malawian youth’s contribution to the country’s economic growth. The activity will increase access to higher education with a specific focus on agriculture training, improve the quality, governance, and relevance of agriculture training institutions’ systems, and increase economic growth opportunities for graduates.

Under the supervision of the Chief of Party (COP) or Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP), the Technical Lead –  Higher Education Access will manage project objectives and activities related to increasing access to agriculture higher education opportunities for rural and vulnerable youth, including youth with disabilities, adolescent girls and young women, youth from ultra poor households, youth from Community Day Secondary Schools, and youth from rural areas. The Technical Lead will guide activities that reduce barriers and create opportunities for vulnerable youth to access post-secondary education. The Technical Lead will ensure the project remains on schedule with the approved workplan and meets project milestones and deliverables. They will liaise with key stakeholders, including youth, secondary schools, higher education institutions, the National Council for Higher Education, the Higher Education Loans Board and others. The Technical Lead will develop and compile quarterly and annual reports on relevant activities. This role requires previous experience working with rural and vulnerable youth in Malawi.

*This is a proposal position and is contingent upon award from USAID.*   

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide technical leadership and oversight for Intermediate Result 1 activities. Intermediate Result 1 focuses on increasing access to higher education/post secondary training in agriculture
  • Design, develop, and implement sustainable initiatives with local partners to support vulnerable youth to attend higher education/post-secondary training in agriculture
  • Design and implement solutions with local partners to support secondary school graduates with MSCE who are not selected to university access short courses, TVET education or diploma programs
  • Support initiatives to update the higher education application system to further increase access for vulnerable groups
  • Ensure interventions reflect high technical quality and international best practices
  • Direct and coordinate technical team to ensure that student access goals and objectives are met
  • Ensure the sustainability of program activities
  • Ensure strong collaboration with other government institutions, educational institutions, donor activities, private sector, and other implementing partners
  • Support the development and review of project work plans and reports

Key Competencies Required:

  • Experience engaging and supporting youth with disabilities, adolescent girls and young women, youth from ultra poor households, youth from Community Day Secondary Schools, and youth from rural areas in Malawi.
  • Experience engaging educational institutions in Malawi, including secondary schools, TVETs, private higher education institutions, and universities
  • Demonstrated understanding of the social and economic factors that limit access to post-secondary education in Malawi
  • Demonstrated creativity and willingness to test new innovative approaches
  • Demonstrated commitment to working with and through local stakeholders to ensure sustainability
  • Demonstrated knowledge and expertise in the implementation of projects with a focus on youth, education, and/or agriculture workforce development
  • Strong leadership and communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to be flexible and respond to emerging opportunities and overcome barriers
  • Attention to detail and ability to effectively and efficiently perform multiple tasks and balance competing priorities often within a required timeframe

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion – Palladium is committed to embedding equity, diversity, and inclusion into everything we do. We welcome applications from all sections of society and actively encourage diversity to drive innovation, creativity, success and good practice. We positively welcome and seek to ensure we achieve diversity in our workforce; and that all job applicants and employees receive equal and fair treatment regardless of their background or personal characteristics. These include: (but are not limited to) socio-economic background, age, race, gender identity and expression, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, veteran, marital or Indigenous status.

Should you require any adjustments or accommodation to be made due to a disability or you are a neurodivergent individual or for any other circumstance, please email our team at accessibility@thepalladiumgroup.com and we will be in touch to discuss.

Safeguarding – We define Safeguarding as “the preventative action taken by Palladium to protect our people, clients and the communities we work with from harm”. We are committed to ensuring that all children and adults who come into contact with Palladium are treated with respect and are free from abuse.  All successful candidates will be subject to an enhanced selection process including safeguarding-focused interviews and a rigorous due diligence process.