Team Leader - Policy and Research

Suva, Fiji

  • Suva-based position (Fiji)
  • Competitive expatriate package
  • Join the principal development organisation in the region


The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 26 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health surveillance, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The vision of the Educational Quality and Assessment Programme (EQAP) is to bethe agency for educational quality in the Pacific region’. Its mission is to enhance the quality of education and training for Pacific learners so they realise the benefits of lifelong learning. EQAP seeks to promote the following core values within the context of SPC’s corporate values:

  • a culture of quality;
  • a culture of continuous improvement;
  • cultural and political sensitivity;
  • respect for the autonomy and priorities of the education system in each Pacific Island country and territory (PICT); and
  • assimilation of the expressed needs of countries in its delivery of technical services.

The role – Team Leader – Policy and Research is responsible for the overall management of the Policy and Research work unit within EQAP. The role will coordinate policy support to member countries and educational research to improve educational achievement standards in the region. The Team Leader will ensure the delivery of high quality services to member countries as guided by SPC’s Strategic Plan.

The key responsibilities of the role include:

  • Strategic leadership of the Policy and Research work unit, and contribution to the strategic leadership of EQAP towards achieving key deliverables as articulated in the Business Plan
  • Leadership of the Policy and Research team ensuring a highly effective team that works cohesively and adheres to best practice as evidenced by high quality service provided to member countries
  • Management of Policy and Research work, including financial controls and practices that ensure accountability and transparency, which benefit member countries
  • Ensuring services delivered to member countries and across SPC are consistently of high quality and contribute to improved quality of education in the Pacific

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the job description provided.


Key selection criteria


  • A master’s degree in a relevant field, such as education, development, or public policy

Knowledge and experience 

  • At least 10 years of experience in education policy or educational research
  • Knowledge of education, particularly in educational assessment and research
  • Management experience within an education system at a national level
  • Experience providing education policy support, including assessing policy intent, capacity, and implementation in student assessment, teacher quality, education management information systems, school governance, curriculum and materials
  • Research experience, including research design, implementation, reporting and review of educational assessment research
  • Project management experience, including financial management

Essential skills 

  • Ability to promote teamwork and motivate
  • Initiative and ability to set priorities with minimal supervision
  • Ability to work within timelines and to respond to stakeholder needs in a timely manner
  • Ability to oversee research papers to meet international standards through recognition by regional or international research journals
  • A flexible approach and a willingness to assist with a variety of other tasks within EQAP
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality of information
  • Excellent PC-based computer skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint, and Internet

Language skills 

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness 

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including a positive and professional approach  
  • Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment


Salary, terms and conditions

Contract Duration – Three years

Remuneration – The Team Leader – Policy and Research is a Band 11 position in SPC’s 2018 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 2,942‒3,677 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 8,414–10,517 (USD 4,060–5,075; EUR 3,638–4,547). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members is not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.

Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,170–2,625 per month. Establishment and relocation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave, medical and life insurance and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their recognised dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and 30 days of sick leave per annum, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

As an equal-opportunity employer, SPC recruits on merit; however if two interviewed candidates are ranked equally by the selection committee, preference will be given to nationals of Pacific Island countries and territories.

SPC is committed to child protection, irrespective of whether any specific area of work involves direct contact with children. SPC’s Child Protection Policy is written in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Successful candidates will be required to provide a police clearance certificate.


Application procedure

Closing Date - 23 July 2018

Applicants must apply online.

Hard copies of applications will not be accepted.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume
  • contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference. These documents may be requested at a later stage.

For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. The Pacific Community does not support dual spouse employment.

Please ensure that you respond to all the screening questions.  If you do not respond to the screening questions, your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage.

Screening Questions:

  • Describe your approach to decision making, particularly in management contextt
  • Formulate and propose research guidelines relating to two relevant questions on the education sector in the Pacific region.
  • Present two samples of education policies implemented in different contexts that have solved or alleviated a pre-existing problem.
  • A child protection policy screening requirement: Have you been convicted of any offences involving children?

  • Team Leader Policy and Research.pdf

    Category: Education Quality & Assessment

    Reference ID: JM000058

    Date Posted: 25/06/2018