PURPOSE OF POSITION:
This is an exciting new role in VisionFund’s Africa region that will create a regional strategy for learning and development, based on robust training needs analysis in the Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) and contextualizing the global Learning & Development (L&D) standards of VisionFund for the region. This role will manage all aspects of Technical Capacity Building in our MFIs in Africa in order to drive the behaviours and practices that will help the MFIs to achieve their double bottom line of social impact and financial sustainability. This role will design and execute learning and development interventions (usually training) on technical topics in alignment with VisionFund International’s standardized training programmes, materials, and methodology. This role will provide training and will work on developing capacity of; a) Front Line staff, including Loan Officers (Los) and other branch staff, b) Middle Management including Branch Managers and Regional Managers, c) Other head office staff in MFI, d) Training Managers/Officers in MFIs. This role will have matrix management responsibility of Training Managers in the MFIs and will require a strategic thinker and skilled influencer who can ‘sell’ the value of investing in training.
Leadership and Reporting of the L&D Function in the Region:
- Creates a strategy for learning and development for the region and proactively plans L&D for the region.
- From the MFI leaders, gets approval and secures budget as needed for L&D activities.
- Embeds a learning culture in the regional team and the MFIs.
- Is a voice of influence on L&D within the microfinance industry in the Africa region.
- Ensures training needs assessments occur on regular basis in order to make adequate MFI and Regional Training Plans.
- Develops a Template for Yearly Training Plan and Budget for MFIs and assists MFIs in the preparation of their Yearly Training Plan and Budget. Influences the content of plan and budget.
- Proactively develops reports and other monitoring tools for tracking execution against plan, and measuring effectiveness of MFIs training activities.
- Makes Monthly Reports on performance of the Training function to the Regional Team and to the Global L&D Team.
- Creates a set of common internal and external trainings to be delivered to all MFIs in order to minimize training cost.
- Conducts follow-up studies of all completed training to evaluate results and practise continuous improvement.
- Assesses & validates learning interventions offered by external consultants / in-house staff in MFIs to ensure that the most effective methods of learning are used, bearing in mind VFI’s learning philosophy of 70:20:10 (70% learning through doing, 20% coaching & monitoring, 10% classroom/conference training).
- Reports proactively on the effectiveness of L&D interventions and adjusts the strategy based on the realities on the ground and changes in the external environment and overall organizational strategy.
- Ensures that MFIs do annual training needs analysis and have Learning & Development plans for all staff.
- Supports MFIs in determining learning priorities, roll-out plans, setting program deadlines, and ROI analytics.
- Leads best practice sharing across the region to create a learning organization culture in the region.
- Models best practices in learning and development activities.
- Evaluates the MFI training needs assessments and plans, ensures they are in line with the needs of the MFI for the year, and recommends to the MFI leaders and regional leaders how the training will be delivered (in house, external, capacity building, secondment, etc).
Developing the L&D Capabilities in the MFIs:
- Assists MFIs in recruiting training staff and matrix manages the MFIs’ training managers.
- Participates in Performance Appraisal of Training Staff in MFIs.
- Develops Training Capacity in MFIs. In case that there is no training unit or full time training staff within MFI, proactively identifies and trains several staff members to serve as trainers.
- Delivers training of trainers in Africa MFIs.
- Builds a Pool of potential part-time trainers in each MFI.
- Develops the knowledge and skills of MFI staff in how to not only plan and run effective training but also how to assess learning needs and how to evaluate the effectiveness of training.
Hands-on Execution of Learning & Development Plan:
- Plans, organizes and facilitates employee development projects (usually training) in alignment with VisionFund’s standardized training programmes, materials and methodology including new curricula and refresher trainings.
- Proactively develops customized training curricula for training needs that are identified in Africa MFIs and collaborates with MFI and regional staff and subject matter experts to ensure MFI staff develop the required technical skills to ensure effective microfinance programmes.
- Identifies the most effective mix of internal and external trainings for MFIs, always practising wise stewardship.
- Champions the appropriate use of technology for L&D and is subject matter expert on L&D for the region.
- Maintains updated curriculum and training records.
- Liaises with MFI leadership teams to coordinate training events and supports financial objectives by recommending training budget items.
- Identifies important gap areas in the MFIs and as needed designs/rolls out and provides ToT on these areas, then ensures proper roll out to the branches before handing it to operations and compliance department (for example, in the areas of rotation, bonus systems, creation of a debt collection unit, etc).
- Uses accepted education principles, keeps up to date with L&D innovations, trends and technology and implements new L&D methods and techniques as appropriate.
- Provides matrix management, coaching, mentoring and spiritual nurture to the training managers in MFIs, encouraging their development and providing performance feedback.
- Represents the WV Partnership with technical donors.
- Represents the WV Partnership with the microfinance industry in the region.
- Carries out additional responsibilities and projects as assigned.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS & ABILITIES:
- Work experience required as a minimum for this position:
- Previous experience of at least 5 years in a Training or learning and development role.
- Microfinance experience of at least 5 years.
- Experience in monitoring and reporting on the effectiveness of L&D activities, with ability to proactively propose adjustments/new solutions.
- Demonstrated proactivity and technical ability in identifying learning needs.
- Demonstrated ability to teach and train in both formal and informal processes.
- Demonstrated excellent analytical skills and facilitation skills.
- Self-motivated and proven ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
- Experience organising business events, trainings, conferences, celebrations and similar.
- Demonstrated ability to successfully mentor and coach staff for performance improvement (ideally including people management experience).
- Minimum education of a Bachelor’s degree with a relevant post graduate qualification in a related field and proven ability to think strategically, plan proactively, manage multiple simultaneous projects and evaluate results.
- Fluency in written and spoken English and French, including for training facilitation and negotiations.
The following knowledge, skills, and abilities may be acquired through a combination of formal schooling, self-education, prior experience, or on-the-job training:
- Knowledge of adult learning principles and experience of applying them.
- Advanced facilitation skills to foster employee engagement in learning events.
- In depth knowledge of microfinance industry best practice and performance drivers gained through formal study and work experience in microfinance.
- Exceptional interpersonal skills including a track record of influencing, negotiating, developing people and inspiring people.
- Demonstrated commitment to a Christ-centered life, passion for VisionFund’s mission and vision and ability to apply the Core Values.
- Intercultural sensitivity, interdenominational sensitivity and ability to apply Biblical principles to learning and development interventions.
- Demonstrated skill and understanding in cross cultural communications and demonstrated commitment to valuing diversity and creating an inclusive environment.
- Clear thinking and compelling communication, with ability to influence regional leaders and MFI leaders to take appropriate action to meet the learning needs.
- Proficiency with Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.
- Problem solving ability and tenacity in the face of set-backs.
- Self-motivated and able to work in a virtual team.
- Proficiency in eLearning design software, particularly Articulate Storyline, is desirable.
- Previous experience in financial services technical operations training in an African context.
- The position requires ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally up to 40% of the time, mainly within the Africa region with some travel outside the region occasionally as needed.
- Experience working and communicating virtually and in a multinational /multi-cultural environment.