Literacy Program Officer, Quality Reading Materials

Dar es Salaam Full Time
TSh Confidential
1 week ago

Job Summary

Literacy Program Officer, Quality Reading Materials Position Overview

Job Description

Room to Read is a global organization transforming the lives of millions of children in low income countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Founded in 2000 on the belief that world change starts with Educated Children, our innovative model focuses on deep, systemic transformation within schools in low income countries during two time periods which are most critical in a child's schooling; early primary school for literacy acquisition and secondary school for girls' education. We work in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and ensure girls can complete secondary school with the skills necessary to negotiate key life decisions. By focusing on the quality of education provided within the communities and ensuring these outcomes are measured, we have created a model that can be replicated, localized and sustained by governments. Room to Read has benefited 10 million children across 17,000 communities in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, South Africa, India, Laos, Srilanka and Tanzania and aims to reach 15 million children by 2020

Literacy Program Officer, Quality Reading Materials Position Overview

The Literacy Program Officer, Quality Reading Materials' CQRM") primary responsibilities include managing and coordinating all aspects of Room to Read's publishing initiatives including sourcing content, reviewing, editing, and negotiating agreements. S/he will also be required to research and form networks within the publishing industry to gauge local market trends and promote Room to Read as a key player in children's book publishing. The position will require some travel and involves frequent interaction with authors, illustrators, designers, publishers, printers, Tanzania Kiswahili Council (BAKITA) and Tanzania Institute of Education (TIE). The position will report directly to the Literacy Director.


Duties & Responsibilities

Management, Coordination and Implementation

·         Works closely with the Instructional Design and Teacher Support CIDTS") unit to develop engaging teaching resources and materials

·         Does book layout and/or organizes and oversees the complete process of publishing Room to Read books in the Country Office CCO"). This involves: sourcing local authors and illustrators, advising on story development, reviewing, editing, securing copy rights and ISBN codes, obtaining government approval, sending to print, etc.

·         Collaborates with authors, illustrators and designers to produce original, high quality content that is appropriate for target age groups, suitable for the local cultural context and functional as a tool for education

·         Facilitate dialogues between authors and illustrators; ensures attention to detail and steers efforts toward a shared vision of a final product.

·         Initiates and manages a writers' competition in which manuscripts for children's books are submitted and reviewed by Room to Read.

·         Collaborates with the Literacy team on book leveling and analyzes and makes recommendations for improving book content and layouts before submitting final drafts to Literacy Director for approval.

·         Ensures global guidelines are being adhered to and adapted as needed.

·         Prepares detailed cost estimations of each book title and ensures that the publishing projects stick to budget. Gets quotes from several publishers to ensure competitive pricing.

·         Collaborates with Admin/Procurement team to source and procure needed materials.

·         Submit manuscript to BAKITA for Kiswahili review and editing

·         Submit the manuscript to TIE for their review and approval

·         Participates in any other activities which may be required to be undertaken to fulfill the objectives of the organization.     


Planning, Reporting and Documentation

·         Support donor affairs including supporting donor site visits and documenting anecdotes that evolve through field work.

·         Documents best practices and lessons learned during field work and shares with other project sites, relevant local staff, the Country Director and appropriate Regional and Global Office-based team members.


External Coordination' and Networking

·         Establishes and manages relationships with _other NGOs, government officials and local educational facilities/authorities.        

·         Represents Room to Read in different forums and advocates the importance of reading and the need for local language children's books.

·         Stays informed about the local children's book publishing industry, investigating major children's book publishers and local market demand.

·         Tracks changes in market trends with respect to content, format, types, age/grade levels, themes, languages (bi-lingual and/or minority languages) etc., and use this information to evaluate and inform Room to Read publishing initiatives.

·         Builds partnerships with organizations and associations involved with children's books (NGOs involved with content development, writers groups, creative writing departments of universities, etc.) with the goal of becoming a key player in this community.




·         Bachelor's degree (in education, languages, communications, or a related field)

·         A minimum of 5 years of related professional work experience

·         Knowledge and understanding of local book publishing industry

·         Experience managing a printing and publication process

·         Manuscript editing, design and layout experience

·         Facilitation and training skills

·         Experience in developing and implementing programmatic improvements

·         Prior success working closely and building relationships with diverse groups of people and organizations

·         Effectiveness in working or volunteering in a non-profit organization that is focused on maintaining high quality work and low overhead

·         Prior experience in a fast-paced, growth-oriented global or regional organization

·         Proven track record of achieving results

·         Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English

·         Ability to juggle multiple priorities simultaneously



·         A master's degree in a related field of study

·         Prior experience in the book publishing field

·         Knowledgeable with Desk Top Publishing software.


Application Procedure

Please send a cover letter and resume by email, with Literacy Program Officer - Quality Reading Materials in the subject line to or send by post to HR Manager, Room to Read, Post box 105459, Mikocheni A, Plot No 14, Senga Street, Rose Garden Road Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The deadline for receiving all applications is 14th August, 2017. If you do not hear from Room to Read within one month of closing date, please accept that your application was unsuccessful. Please note that late applications will not be considered and correspondence will be limited to shortlisted candidates only.

Room to Read is an equal opportunity employer committed to Identifying and developing skills and leadership from diverse backgrounds.