Join NEAR (Network for Empowered Aid Response) & Work Fully Remote as a Learning Director: Apply Now!!

NEAR is in search of a highly skilled and experienced Learning Director to join our fully remote Secretariat team.

Application Deadline: 07 April 2024

Organization: NEAR (Network for Empowered Aid Response), (Hosted by Adeso – African Development Solutions)

Reporting To: Program Director

Duration: 12 months

Starting Date: As soon as possible


NEAR (Network for Empowered Aid Response) is a movement of local organizations with a bold ambition – to reshape the top-down humanitarian and development system to one that is locally driven and owned, and is built around equitable, dignified and accountable partnerships. NEAR is a membership based organization with members coming from four regions: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East.


NEAR is currently hosted by Adeso, an expanding and vibrant African-based international development and humanitarian organization. Adeso and NEAR both aspire to prevent and overcome situations that adversely affect community well-being by: Influencing policy change and enacting systemic change through innovative solutions led by local and national actors.


The successful candidate will closely collaborate with all Secretariat team members. This role will involve occasional travel to ensure the Learning Director remains directly engaged with NEAR members, partners, and Secretariat staff. The Learning Director will supervise a team of two people, including a Learning Coordinator and Communications Officer, with the possibility to grow the team over time.

This position offers a unique opportunity to lead learning and knowledge management efforts that directly support the reshaping of the aid system. As the Learning Director, you will leverage the power of knowledge sharing and strategic learning to influence system change, ensuring that the NEAR membership leads the transformation. With many positive and scalable results already emerging, the Learning Team (with the Learning Director at its head) will play a pivotal role in realizing this ambitious vision. At NEAR, learning is central to reinventing the system and inspiring change, making this role particularly exciting and impactful.

NEAR seeks a highly committed, inspiring, and strategic leader capable of harnessing the facilitation, communications, research, and knowledge management skills of the various team members to serve NEAR’s global network, which currently comprises over 250 members in 36 countries. The Learning Director will be responsible for: (i) internal and organization-wide learning to promote an adaptive management approach within the NEAR Secretariat; (ii) publishing and disseminating relevant learning from the network that can guide the humanitarian, development and peacebuilding sectors to achieve incremental and cultural change; and (iii) facilitating peer to peer learning amongst members and local actors that can plant seeds for transformational change.


The Learning Director will build the systems and manage the processes for NEAR’s internal learning, sectoral learning, and peer-to-peer learning, with specific responsibilities as follows:

Oversight of Learning Team

Develop, update, and implement a comprehensive learning and knowledge management strategy aligned with NEAR’s mission and goals.

  • Recruit, onboard, and manage Learning Team members with the required skills to support the Secretariat in effectively reflecting, communicating, collaborating, and engaging with both external and internal actors (supported by credible, accessible, and timely evidence).
  • Provide ongoing strategic coaching and technical support to the Learning Team members to help build their skills, practices, and overall professional performance.
  • Provide guidance and support to NEAR members or staff in developing learning agendas, conducting evaluations or reviews, and documenting impact.

Internal Learning

  • Collaborate with internal teams and external partners to identify emerging trends, research findings, and relevant resources to inform NEAR’s programs and advocacy efforts.
  • Promote and manage the Learning Team’s ongoing search for, testing, adaptation, and rollout of new tools and technologies to ensure the team remains increasingly efficient and effective.
  • Contribute to routine donor and grant reporting, including being responsible for the monitoring, evaluation, and learning obligations under NEAR’s grant contracts.
  • Work directly with NEAR staff and members to collect data relevant to grant and sub-grant monitoring, evaluation, and learning frameworks, strategies, and activities.
  • Contribute to fundraising efforts by developing compelling proposals and reports showcasing NEAR’s learning and knowledge management initiatives.

Sector Learning

  • Oversee the development and maintenance of NEAR’s knowledge repository, ensuring easy access to relevant resources, tools, and case studies for NEAR members.
  • Oversee the development and dissemination of learning and communication products / events with a strategic focus on target audiences.

Peer-to-Peer Learning

  • Facilitate dynamic and inclusive learning experiences that promote knowledge sharing, collaboration, and collective problem-solving among NEAR members.
  • Champion the establishment and nurturing of communities of practice focused on specific thematic areas and learning tools, providing guidance and support to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and collaboration.


  • An advanced degree in international development, humanitarian studies, education, or a related field is preferred
  • Exceptional facilitation, communication, and interpersonal skills, with the ability to foster a supportive and inclusive learning environment
  • At least 10 years of professional experience in the areas of research/learning and team management
  • Strong understanding of adult learning principles, organizational change, capacity-building methodologies, and participatory approaches
  • Experience working in multicultural and multilingual environments, particularly in the Global South
  • Commitment to NEAR’s core values of local ownership, partnership, and accountability

How to apply


All applications should be sent to [email protected] by April 7, 2024, with “Learning Director” on the subject line. The selection committee will review all applications as they arrive.

Each application package should include the following:

  • Cover letter with the applicant’s current contact information (limited to one page)
  • CV
  • Three Professional References, with complete contact information

All applicants must meet the minimum requirements described above. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. Adeso is an equal opportunity employer.

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