Operations Manager, Rwanda



kigali, rwanda
Posted on Wednesday, June 5, 2024

Position Overview

Educate!, a fast-growing and award-winning social enterprise, is seeking the Operations Manager to drive our operations work in Rwanda as we work towards our organizational vision of measurably impacting millions of students across Africa each year. In this role, you’ll report to the Managing Director and be responsible for building and overseeing the systems that enable our operations to run efficiently and effectively. This includes setting up and running operations that support our scale program, E! Exchange, and improving the existing systems, and working with the performance metrics functions on reporting procedures and workflows. You will ensure we are building and experimenting with diverse systems to optimize our operations processes and maximize efficiency and effectiveness as we scale. In addition, you will lead, coach, inspire, and build a passionate and results-oriented team that will drive the realization of our ambition over the next years.

The right person for this role is someone who thrives in a high-growth environment and is able to build stable and scalable systems and continuously improve them. Able to oversee a team and see through to results while also managing, guiding, coaching, and supporting them. Should be comfortable using data to improve operations. You should be open to learning from other industries, adopting new ways of working, and changing processes based on feedback. A driven, creative systems builder & problem-solver who is motivated by removing obstacles to help operations teams design and scale high-impact operations systems.

Sound like you or someone you know? Read below, visit our careers page to learn more about Educate!,

About Educate!

Africa has the world’s youngest and fastest-growing population. By 2035, the continent is poised to contribute more people to the global workforce each year than the rest of the world combined.

At Educate! we're obsessed with impact. We leverage iterative learning to build highly scalable youth employment solutions aimed at unlocking the potential of the world’s youngest continent.

Educate! prepares youth in Africa learn, earn and thrive in today’s economy by:

1) introducing an employment-focused school subject into secondary, and

2) delivering livelihood bootcamps for out-of-school youth, with a focus on marginalized rural girls and young women.

To date, more than 390,000 youth have been meaningfully impacted across Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, and along the way, Educate! has become the largest youth employment and skills provider in East Africa.

Educate! is a team of over 250 largely African staff and 300 volunteer youth mentors. We prioritize building an engaging, fulfilling and growth oriented work environment. 50% of our top 30 leaders have been with us for over 5 years, 10+ alumni have started their own organizations and 6 current or former team members were Acumen Fund East Africa fellows.

We have been backed by top foundations such as Imaginable Futures, Big Bang Philanthropy, #startsmall, Generation Unlimited, CIFF and Echidna Giving. Educate! won a 2018 Klaus J. Jacobs Prize and a 2015 WISE Award, and has been highlighted by the World Bank’s S4YE's Impact Portfolio, an Al Jazeera documentary, BBC, The Brookings Institution as one of 14 case studies on scaling education, and the Gates Foundation as a Goalkeepers Accelerator. In 2022, we received a catalytic investment from philanthropist Mackenzie Scott to scale our systems change work.

Educate!'s long-term vision is to design solutions that measurably impact millions of youth across Africa each year. By 2025, we aim to scale our annual reach by 4x and measurably impact over 400,000 new youth.

Performance Objectives

Operations oversight 30%

  • Map out end-to-end field logistics workflows and ensure systems build that enables distribution of program materials. Create order fulfillment systems for all field materials needs
  • Coordinate with the MD, Program managers and Finance Manager to identify gaps, challenges and solutions within operations with the goal of creating a cost-effective operating strategies to address such challenges
  • Oversee and optimize the implementation of the systems and workflows of the field operations.
  • Lead the development of the field operations workflows and tools to help teams operate effectively.
  • Constantly train teams on new tools, guide them and track the operationalization of such tools.
  • Work closely with the Managing Director, finance and program managers to create budgets for all field operation activities.
  • Ensure full compliance to finance processes relating to field operations. This could include but is not limited to payments, reporting, Mobile Money use, systems audits, requisitions, accountabilities, approvals, and Common Cost sheet
  • Solve field logistical program operations-related challenges based on deep research from reputable sources including peer organizations
  • Lead the process of scouting for field training locations
  • Collaborate with program managers in facilitating efficient and cost-effective field travels for staff, teachers and other external stakeholders as need may dictate.
  • Lead the process of systems and processes standardization to ensure level ground in the application of our policies, procedures and systems across all areas of operations.
  • Ensure that the Common Cost Sheet is updated always and is 100% accurate
  • Lead the budgeting and budget management processes for the operations department
  • Lead the budget review for the operations department through the monthly and quarterly Budget versus Actual (BvA) process.
  • Participate in the development of Quarterly field operations goals

Team leadership & Performance Management 20%

  • Manage the operations team to achieve set goals and objectives and maintain overall oversight of work allocation.
  • Develop capacity-building initiatives for all the field operations teams and build a culture of continuous learning within the team.
  • Establish and maintain a strong, positive and engaged team culture. Promote Educate!’s cultural tenets within the team.
  • Ensure a healthy pipelining of field operations staff
  • Develop field operations manuals and handbooks and train staff on their use
  • Work closely with the HR on the hiring of new team members and participate in the hiring process.
  • Lead interdepartmental collaborative meetings to understand changes in the programs and inform updates in the field operations priorities.
  • Represent field operations in inter-departmental and strategic meetings.
  • Lead the annual performance reviews, provide feedback to the teams and lead training that equips the team to perform at their best.

Data Reporting Systems and Quality Assurance Oversight 20%

  • Establish systems for data integrity check
  • Lead data quality assessment conversations with the performance metrics and program management teams and surface any data quality flaws that need to be addressed.
  • Collaborate with the data collection and management team, set expectations and participate in weekly and monthly team meetings.
  • Identify areas that require new or improved systems and workflows and collaborate with the tech and performance metrics team to solve them.
  • Provide timely feedback to the performance metrics team on data systems performance and communicate any system issues that needs to be resolved ● Review periodic monitoring reports and provide insights that enables quality and sound program and field operations decision making

Procurement and procurement policies compliance 30%

  • Develop and execute procurement plans and ensure that all programs procurement support and delivery is a top priority
  • Implement the procurement policy and strategy and promote purchasing best practices to drive a culture of prudence in resource utilization and management.
  • Ensure procurement processes are complete, accurate, documented and in compliance with relevant laws and Educate! Policies
  • Ensure that vendor files and documentation is complete with all relevant information
  • Anticipate procurement needs to pre-select competitive vendors, and create systems to track and strategically guard against common procurement challenges
  • Liaise with user departments to prepare monthly and quarterly procurement plans to ensure timely closure of procurement needs.
  • Coordinate the awards to the best bidder and draft a contract for the selected vendor.
  • Ensure that standard operating procedures for the procurement function are understood and applied by staff.
  • Lead the process of prequalification of service providers in anticipation of procurement needs
  • Build and maintain a strong E! relationship with vendors that is mutually beneficial and drives Educate!’s goals of getting the best value in the market
  • Promote the Educate! Ethics Guide principles and ensure that staff understand the dictates of these principles.
  • Ensure vendor contracts have complete specifications and invoices paid promptly.
  • Lead the negotiation of contract terms on a range of central contracts and to monitor performance against these contracts.
  • Seek and act on feedback from end users on the quality of products delivered and general service levels to ensure value for money.
  • Formally and proactively communicate and advise budget holders and administration managers on possible areas of cost reduction.


  • Experience working in a company or organization that has experienced growth – adopting new systems and structures as part of the growth.
  • Experience managing medium to large-sized operational teams at scale and balancing multiple priorities
  • Comfortable working with data, numbers, and reports with basic budget management experience
  • Strong orientation to team culture and cross-functional work.
  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree with at least 6 years of operations leadership experience
  • A good fit with our Five Cultural Tenets (see “What is Educate! About?” Below; learn more by looking at Educate!’s culture deck here.


  • Compensation will be competitive for the social enterprise sector and commensurate with experience.
  • Benefits include a generous vacation policy and medical insurance.
  • This position will be based in Kigali, Rwanda with periodic field travels.

Why You Will Brag About Working At Educate!

  • We’ve got the impact.
  • Educate! is designed for scale. We quadrupled operations in 2014, going from 54 to more than 200 schools served. We carefully measure our outcomes, and — here’s the best part — we are maintaining quality at four times the size.
  • We believe in local leadership — 96% of our staff is African.
  • Our model has gone nationwide in Uganda — Educate!’s model is now incorporated into the national curriculum and exams, impacting many thousands more students than we can reach directly.
  • Educate is a well-oiled learning machine. We built our model by methodically testing hundreds of assumptions and we are constantly experimenting, evaluating, and improving.
  • We’re honored that luminaries and leaders like Oliver Wonekha, the Ugandan Ambassador to the US, and Ann Veneman, a former Secretary of Agriculture and head of Unicef, believe in us enough to have joined our advisory board.

What Is Educate! About?

We’re ambitious. Are you? Educate! is growing fast, so new opportunities are opening up and expanding all the time. We’re inspired by people with drive, and we love to help them reach their full potential. We expect everyone at Educate! to contribute above and beyond their job description, grow their skills, and advance their careers, and we are committed to supporting our staff members on that journey.

  1. We put Youth First, Impact-Obsessed - We never forget that Educate! exists to impact youth. We are purpose-driven. We obsess over impact daily and if it doesn’t lead to impact, we want nothing to do with it. We prioritize interacting with and listening to youth. We design and manage the organization to ensure every dollar creates transformative experiences that youth value.
  2. We Exceed Expectations - We take pride in going above and beyond to achieve the best results. When we know what needs to be done, we do it. We don’t wait to be asked and we don’t stop at what is asked of us. We look for solutions as much as we identify problems.
  3. We Are Always Learning - We are committed to seeking and applying new knowledge and ideas. We stay open-minded. We know there is always another way and we are excited to learn about it. We continuously look for resources of all kinds from multiple disciplines. We try new things, experiment, grow, and improve. We invest in learning for ourselves and our teams.
  4. We are One Team, Many Views - We say what we think while treating each other well. We believe that all people have the same inherent value and that diverse ideas and open dialogue fuel excellence. We constantly strive to create an environment where everyone can and does express themselves freely. We support and respect each other as people and colleagues. We act as one team: We prioritize the organization's mission and goals over team or individual goals.
  5. We have the Startup Mindset - We will always keep innovating to grow our impact. We aspire to be game-changing. We never think “we have arrived” or “we’re done.” We question the status quo in our industry. We move fast and embrace change to move towards our long-term vision. We’re not afraid of failure. We interrogate anything that slows us down.

Every person at Educate! — from interns to the executive director — is evaluated by how they live up to these five cultural tenets. They are at the core of how we achieve our mission and why we work as well as we do.

Educate is committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all who interact in our community. In creating this environment, we encourage people from a variety of cultures, backgrounds and life experiences to join our diverse team.

Child Safeguarding: Educate! is committed to child-safe/youth-safe recruitment, selection and screening. Our recruitment and selection procedures reflect our commitment to the safety and protection of children in our programs. The successful candidate will be required to provide a satisfactory.

Certificate of Good Conduct as a condition of employment. We reserve the right to decline to offer employment to an individual or terminate an employment contract with an employee that may pose a risk to children and youth.