Program Manager, Operations
Who We Are
Bridge partners with governments, donors, and parents to ensure that every child has access to an education that develops her full potential and creates the foundation for prosperity for the country. We are dedicated to supporting teachers, empowering school leaders, and ensuring every child has the learning support needed to master the national syllabus and have the confidence to succeed in a competitive world. Each of our project or country teams are supported through expertise and programming from additional offices around the world, combining world-leading expertise in core design areas with locally resident leadership and execution. We leverage experts, data, and technology in order to support and scale every aspect of quality education delivery. Bridge managed and supported schools are technology enabled and data driven to ensure accountability in the classroom for both teachers’ performance and children’s learning.
The Bridge model delivers significant learning outcomes at large scale by combining technology and customized learning materials. At Bridge, we believe innovation and technology can transform learning. Our model – which uses technology to deliver thoroughly researched and carefully designed daily lesson guides to teachers in our academies – is proven to increase learning outcomes for children. We are a solutions-driven, implementation-focused organization, using design principles to work in varied and often highly constrained contexts to ensure learning outcomes and positive development for children. Working in regional and national scales is important to us, as empowering entire generations of children with core knowledge, skills, and confidence is what builds the foundation for a peaceful and prosperous future for us all.
Our mission is to provide our pupils with a life-changing education and we believe that every child should have a right to world-class education regardless of her family’s income. Core to our approach is the conviction that every child can learn, as long as the school she attends is committed to her development and puts her needs to learn at the forefront of all decisions. We have seen teachers and children transform and excel in both government and private schools that we support and manage.
We invite you to join this incredible endeavor that is having world-changing impact across multiple continents. You will join a team of dedicated change-makers committed to ensuring that each decision we make keeps a child’s experience of learning as its guiding principle.
Bridge partners with the Liberia Government and parents to ensure that every child has access to an education that develops his/her full potential and creates the foundation for prosperity for the country. The education crisis is one that requires urgent, collective, and concrete action to surmount. While Liberia has some of the lowest rate of out of school children in the world, the education crisis is not just about out of school children, but also about children who are in school and not learning. In Sub Saharan Africa, statistics say that 88% or almost 9 out of 10 children and adolescents will not be able to read proficiently by the time they are of age to complete primary and lower secondary Education.
Bridge started operations in Liberia in 2016, partnering with the government to launch its first Partnership Schools for nursery and primary schools targeted at providing life changing education for families living in low-income areas in 8 Counties (Bomi, Grand Cap Mount, Bong, Grand Bassa, Margibi, Rivercess, Nimba and Montserrado) under MOE's multi-providers Partnership Schools for Liberia (PSL) program. In 2017, Bridge Liberia further expanded its reach to the other marginalized and vulnerable communities in Grand Kru and Maryland Counties totaling 10 counties of operations in Liberia. The program was later re-branded in 2018 to Liberia Education Advancement Programme (LEAP).
Today, Bridge Liberia works with both communities and governments to ensure thousands of children have access to either a well-run, high achieving affordable public school so that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 of Quality Education becomes a reality for the millions of children in Liberia quickly. You will join a group of young and passionate Liberians taking concrete action to help address the education crisis in Liberia and ensure a better future for the children of Liberia
Operations are central to how everything functions seamlessly at Bridge. The Operations group is responsible for all core operations within the region. This includes a central and distributed headquarters team that supports and monitors the academies’ operations and designs all the processes and systems that are critical to the success of each and every academy. Operations work closely and take responsibility for the critical performance of our entire network of academies, including personnel management, instructional delivery, expenses& payroll, facilities and more. Effective management of academy operations is measured by:
Staff satisfaction and turnover
Cost of headquarters support per pupil
Educational outcomes as measured by academic testing programme
About the Role
Certain aspects of what we do originate in other departments or teams – from Development, Academics, Finance or People – but end with Operations. No matter how well other departments may complete their individual functions, it is up to Ops to be the interface that brings all academy-level support functions together.
The role of Programme Managers is a microcosm of the overarching goal of the entire Operations Team, broken down by specific functional components. Each Programme Manager has a unique sphere that s/he is responsible for owning. Within that realm of responsibility, Programme Managers identify and analyse operational needs, design strategies and processes to address these challenges, and supervise the necessary training, monitoring, and constant adjustments needed for these programmes to execute successfully.
What You Will Do
Some of the deliverables Program managers are tasked with include: analysing, creating systems and processes to effectively address, and managing on an ongoing basis:
- Functioning Guides on Teacher Computers – our teachers use highly detailed lesson guides to give each day’s lessons. These are delivered via wireless and Wi-Fi connections a week in advance to all teachers’ computers. Given the importance of these lessons, it’s vital that 100% of all teachers have them on their computers and are able to use them. Yet, given challenges in the field around electricity access, wear and tear from harsh environments, and limited cellular networks, issues crop up constantly. To make sure we hit our 100% target, you’ll organize outbound call campaigns through our Customer Care team, liaise constantly with our IT team, create customized reports that will help you quickly identify potential issues, and develop processes to supply money to teachers on an ongoing basis to pay for recharging.
- Teacher Staffing- Bridge promises to have a teacher in class every day of the academic year. To meet this promise to our parents, the Program Manager must work closely with our Recruiting and Training and People Operations Departments to make sure we find effective ways of filling local vacancies and with our Customer Care Department to devise ways to manage our nationwide team of volunteer teachers so that they can immediately provide cover for any class missing a teacher due to sickness or other.
- Textbooks and Supplies at Schools – we need to ensure each academy has just the right amount of textbooks and supplies. While textbooks are vital for our students’ academic growth, printing them and delivering them to schools is a considerable cost. To make sure we are prudently managing our inventory, you’ll create inventory audits for our field-based teams to give you a count of existing textbooks each term at each school and you’ll work with the supply chain department to ship out additional textbooks as needed if there are more pupils than originally expected or to retrieve textbooks if the school has an oversupply of them. Though this may seem like a relatively basic task, once you dig in it becomes considerably more complex. The cost savings from successfully executing on this program are considerable and the academic gains from making sure our classrooms have the exact right number of books and supplies are even more significant. Likewise, you will adjust existing Bridge software systems for on-the-ground reality in Liberia, to set and track school-specific monthly budgets and to provide funds to schools when they request them for simple supplies such as chalk and water.
- Repairs at Schools – when Bridge starts working at new schools, they may need considerable repairs such that our students can learn in safe environments conducive to learning. In this role, you’ll work with construction experts on scoping and costing the needed repairs, coordinate with our community engagement team to get support and manpower from the community, and work with our supply chain team to procure supplies and ship them to the schools. You’ll find ways to drive down costs and you’ll put together easy-to-understand budgets on potential school improvement projects.
- Building Teams in Operations – as a Senior Manager in the Operations team, you’ll help to build the Supply Chain and Customer Care team, assisting and or leading with training, designing and improving current and future systems and processes, and ensuring the team excels in its vital function as the central nervous system of our academy operations. Likewise, you may build other teams as well, such as a field-based auditing team to ensure consistency and quality across all of our schools.
Preferred Experience and Skills:
- Minimum 7 years or more of experience building processes at a start-up company or executing on multiple programs at an established firm
- MBA is helpful but not required
- Enthusiastic gathering and analysing data, always willing to learn new tricks and processes in Microsoft Excel, and comfortable using data to drive decisions and execution
- Team building and management skills
- Clear track record working with multiple departments across a company, making sure everyone is coordinated and delivering on crucial tasks
- Persistent and versatile in getting things done and a track record achieving success. You must be a fighter and determined to achieve; we have a large mission. Don’t accept what has been done before and eager to challenge the status quo
● A detailed doer – You have a track record of getting things done. You’re organized and responsive. You take ownership of every idea you touch and execute it to a fine level of detail, setting targets, engaging others, and doing whatever it takes to get the job done. You can multi-task dozens of such projects at once and never lose sight of the details. Likely, you have some experience in a start-up or other rapid-growth company.
● A creative problem-solver – Growing any business from scratch comes with massive and constant challenges. On top of that, Bridge works in often fragile, sometimes volatile low-resource communities and with complex government systems. You need to be flexible and ready to get everything done effectively, quickly, and affordably with the materials at hand.
● A relentless advocate – The children we serve and teachers we empower never leave your mind. You know them, get them, have shared a meal with them (or would be happy to in the future). You would never shrink back from shaking a parent’s hand or picking up a crying child, no matter what the person was wearing or looked like. Every decision you make considers their benefit, experience, and value.
● A malleable learner – You believe you can always do better. You welcome constructive criticism and provide it freely to others. You know you only get better tomorrow when others point out where you’ve missed things or failed today.
● A data-driven decision-maker – When making decisions, you don’t rely your intuition alone. You collect data, you analyze it and make decisions with clear justifications.
● A curious investigator – You ask why a lot. You don’t just take what you see and accept it. You wonder why it is that way, and are aware that the world we see is created by human choices and actions – and it could be different. You wonder, and see the world as wonderful even when you want to change a part of it that is unjust.