Literacy Director

Room to Read

Pretoria, South Africa

Position Overview

This position is responsible for overseeing the overall design and technical quality of Room to Read’s South Africa Literacy program. The Director will provide technical guidance, oversight, direction and support to the Literacy program. The position will collaborate closely with the Program Operations Director. The Literacy Director is a member of the Country Management Team, reporting to the Country Director. This position will be based at the Pretoria Country Office and will require regular travel to project sites and Province or District offices. The Literacy Director manages the Literacy program technical team, which includes the Literacy Program Manager, Quality Reading Materials (QRM) and Literacy Program Manager, Instructional Design & Teacher Support (IDTS).

Roles and Responsibilities

Management and Coordination

  • Responsible for country-wide Literacy program quality and outcomes, utilizing research, monitoring and evaluation data to inform design.
  • Ensures strong coordination and collaboration between CO Literacy program technical staff, the Programs Operations Director and Manager, and community-based teams.
  • Provides technical expertise to assist country and community-based staff with the recruitment, training, and development of Literacy program staff, and provide regular feedback on their performance.
  • Identifies Literacy program staff capacity-building and professional development needs and assist the Human Resources team with sourcing of support to address the needs; provides similar support to community-based and partner capacity-building efforts.
  • Conducts the technical evaluation of consultants and other service providers for the Literacy program, includes development of terms of reference for programme consultants.
  • Serves as a member of the Country Management Team, which provides overall support and direction for the work of Room to Read in country.
  • Participates in any other activities which may be required to be undertaken to fulfill the objectives of the organization.

Program Design, Implementation, Training, and Monitoring

  • Collaborates with the Global and Africa Region Literacy program team members in developing, refining, and adapting the global Literacy program design.
  • Ensures global Literacy program guidelines and modules are being implemented and adapted to the local context, as needed.
  • Ensures that any new programme activities are aligned with global Literacy program guidelines AND the local context.
  • Supports the design of professional development modules and learner materials that incorporate online learning and media that goes beyond print media.
  • Provides technical advice and guidance in support of Literacy program implementation and research, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Visits program sites to assess effectiveness of program design and implementation, training, workshops, as well as for other purposes.
  • Provides support to Country Office Administrative team in purchase and procurement for Literacy programming.

Planning, Reporting and Documentation

  • Provides the technical input necessary to support the Program Operations Director’s Literacy program annual, quarterly and periodic budget development, reviews and reporting processes.
  • Oversees the collection, documentation and sharing of effective practices from the Literacy program with Country, Regional and Global Literacy program teams.
  • In collaboration with the Regional and Global Research, Monitoring & Evaluation (“RM&E”) team, oversees the collection and usage of program metrics that can be analyzed by RM&E to enhance the effectiveness of the Literacy Program.
  • Assists the Development team by giving input into fundraising strategies for the program, preparing funding proposals and reports, and meeting with donors, as required.
  • Prepares proposals for custom projects.
  • Supports the Literacy team in applying for SACE endorsement.

External Coordination and Networking

  • Provides the technical input necessary to prepare annual or multi-year project permission and fund release documents, as appropriate, to obtain permission from government bodies at the national, provincial and district level.
  • Explores opportunities with government to obtain support (for example, financial support, public acknowledgment of Room to Read’s work, advocacy for successful Room to Read program elements) as well as integrate Room to Read’s ideas and innovations into the mainstream education system at the local, provincial, and national levels.
  • Creates and responds to thought leadership opportunities in pursuit of Room to Read South Africa’s strategy, and supports team members to do the same.
  • Represents Room to Read by attending and speaking at relevant forums and advocates for the importance of Literacy program work.
  • Liaises with other NGOs running similar programs to identify areas of knowledge sharing and possible collaboration.



  • Master’s degree required in a related field of study (e.g. MA, MSS, MPA, or MSc in International Education, Development Studies, Applied Linguistics, Literacy and Language, Education, or Early Childhood Development)
  • If your Master’s is in International Education, Development Studies, Education or Early Childhood Development, at least a junior degree in Education, Applied Linguistics or Literacy and Language.
  • Minimum of 10 years of work experience in a field focused on primary education, with a minimum of three years in a senior management capacity
  • Substantial, relevant working experience in education programs
  • Experience working within literacy programs
  • In touch with literacy issues and trends nationally and internationally
  • Demonstrated leadership in program planning and design
  • Strong materials development or publishing skills
  • Strong coaching, mentoring and training skills
  • A proven ability to establish effective working relationships and partnerships with diverse stakeholders, including donors
  • Experience working with NGOs/a good understanding of the development sector landscape
  • Effective English communication skills (oral and written) and capability to relate and interact with multicultural teams and represent the organization in professional forums
  • Willingness to work with strict deadlines
  • Ability to travel frequently, occasionally on short notice, and, when required, for extended periods of time


  • Knowledge/experience working with South African languages, African language education and African linguistics
  • Experience working with government schools
  • Experience in language education at the primary stage
  • Experience working with libraries or library programs
  • Experience teaching at the primary stage
  • Experience working with local communities
  • Experience in publishing

To be successful at Room to Read, you will also

  • Have passion for our mission and a strong desire to impact a dynamic nonprofit organization
  • Be a proactive and innovative thinker who achieves results and creates positive change
  • Have a very high level of personal and professional integrity and trustworthiness
  • Embrace diversity and a commitment to collaboration
  • Thrive in a fast-paced and fun environment

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