2/16/15 – Library Assessment Specialist
The Asia Foundation, Kabul, Afghanistan
Sarah P’s comments: For anyone with experience in developing school/public libraries here is a short-term opportunity to expand into NGO work. The position description says you will ‘work closely’ with your Afghan partners but does not discuss whether you will be located in the country or will visit, a very important detail which you will need to verify and then discuss.
Contract Duration: 12 weeks
Qualified candidates are encouraged to submit their resumes with a brief application letter and contact details, no later than February 27, 2015 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please clearly indicate “Library Assessment Specialist” in the subject line. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
The Asia Foundation is a non-profit, nongovernmental organization committed to the development of a peaceful, prosperous, and open Asia-Pacific region. The Foundation, with the support of USAID, will begin a five year project called Strengthen Education in Afghanistan (SEA-II) in 2015. The project will improve institutional capacity in the areas of operations, administration, leadership, management, and fundraising of educational institutions and civil society organizations in Afghanistan, (and provide support to some other program activities.) These institutions include the International School of Kabul, the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University (ACKU), and the National Science Center in coordination with the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE) and Ministry of Education (MoE). Strategic planning to incorporate USAID goals for education, gender equity, development of youth programming, inclusion of marginalized populations, inclusion of people/children with disabilities, and the development of public-private partnerships will be integrated into the design of the project.
A major focus of this project will be partnering with ACKU, a non-profit organization that collects and makes available resources that contribute to the understanding of the social, economic, political, and cultural dynamics of Afghan society in the past, present, and future. ACKU also facilitates research that addresses Afghanistan’s nation-building challenges. ACKU’s Box Library Extension (ABLE) program establishes libraries and provides books and reading materials to rural communities and high schools throughout the country. ABLE is a pioneer of “boxed libraries” in Afghanistan, which aim to enhance and encourage reading among people of all ages and abilities – but especially among the newly literate – by bringing appropriate and relevant reading materials directly to them. These materials provide communities, students, and teachers with simple, informative, technical, and supplementary reading materials. “Boxed libraries” currently reach 225 location including schools and communities in all 34 provinces of Afghanistan. For more information please refer to ACKU website www.acku.edu.af. Support for ACKU under the ABLE component focuses on activities that improve literary and primary grade-level reading skills, however currently ACKU/ABLE contributes mainly to enhanced reading of students and teachers at the secondary school level. The responsibility of the library assessment specialist is to make sure ABLE promotes literacy and a culture for reading among the primary grade level students, improve the ABLE library service, and acquire primary grade level books.
Duties and Responsibilities
The ideal candidate will work closely with his/her Afghan national counterparts, enhancing their capacity by progressively transferring skills, expertise, knowledge, and responsibility. This assignment will involve assessment and supporting of the ACKU/ABLE component, the ideal candidate will conduct assessments and provide technical support to ABLE libraries in the following key areas:
- Through a consultative process conduct a technical and capacity assessment of the ABLE libraries, ABLE custodians, and partner NGOs including, developing the methodology and tools for the assessment.
- Provide technical and capacity assessment report to TAF and ACKU.
- On the basis of the assessment report, develop a capacity building plan for the ABLE school and community libraries, partner NGOs, and ABLE custodians.
- Provide technical support and mentoring to the TAF and ACKU staff in implementation of the plan.
- Train ABLE library custodians and partner NGOs to encourage reading through school and community-engagement activities.
- Support ABLE with the publishing and distribution of primary grade level books.
- Promote the use of the ABLE through displays, reading competitions, and other promotion activities.
Strategic Planning and Gender
- Develop a three-year strategic plan for ABLE that considers gender equity in all aspects of the ABLE project.
TAF is looking for a candidate with the following skills, experience, and qualifications:
- PhD or the equivalent in Library Science or a related area of study.
- Seven years of experience in the development of school and community libraries
- At least five years experiences in teaching and training in library science.
- Demonstrated skills and expertise in advising, mentoring, and technical supporting.
- Previous experiences in developing and publishing primary school level reading books
- Able to produce reports and other standard documents in English
- A good team player with ability to work in a very challenging environment.
- Previous experience in under-developed, insecure, or post-conflict environments is highly desirable.
- Proven knowledge and expertise in using libraries to improve the reading skills of students at both the primary school and adult level.