GCPEA Consultant

Location: Abuja, Nigeria
Aplication Deadline:
Anticpated Start Date:

Job Title: Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) Consultant to serve as an International Conference Coordinator

Location: Abuja, Nigeria

Application Deadline: Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled so applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible

Anticipated Start Date:  As soon as possible and by January 2021 at the latest.

Position Summary

The Consultant will serve as GCPEA’s lead in organizing the Fourth International Conference on Safe Schools, which is being hosted by the Government of Nigeria with the support of the Governments of Argentina, Spain, and Norway, together with GCPEA. The Conference will be held in Abuja, Nigeria, in May 2021 and may take place virtually or in a hybrid format. 

The International Safe Schools Conferences are held biennially, and bring together world leaders, government experts, relevant United Nations agencies, other international organisations, and civil society to share experiences in protecting schools, universities, their students and staff, from attacks by armed forces and groups in situations of armed conflict. In particular, the  Conferences serve to galvanize support for endorsement and implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration. The Declaration, which is a political commitment to protect education from attack led by Norway and Argentina, has been endorsed by 106 countries, over half of all UN member states. By joining the Declaration, states endorse and commit to using the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict (Guidelines).

The Fourth International Conference on Safe Schools will build on the momentum and outcomes of the three previous conferences – the inaugural Conference in Oslo in 2015, which launched the Safe Schools Declaration, and the conferences in Buenos Aires in 2017, and in Palma de Majorca in 2019. This fourth Conference will be the first to be held in Africa, in a country and region that is severely impacted by attacks on education, providing a unique opportunity to strengthen implementation of the Declaration in the region.

The Conference will reflect on key commitments at national, regional, and international levels to protect education from attack, and encourage further endorsements, future cooperation, and strengthened gender-responsive implementation of the Declaration and theGuidelines. The Conference will also provide an opportunity to officially launch the State-led Implementation Network comprised of endorsing states supporting each other in putting the commitments within the Declaration into action. A retreat to inaugurate the network will take place immediately ahead of the Conference.

The Coordinator will support the Nigerian National Organizing Committee (NOC) and represent GCPEA on the NOC. The Coordinator will work closely with key national ministries (Education, Defence, and Foreign Affairs), the champion states of the Safe Schools Declaration – Norway and Argentina, GCPEA members, and other partners, and ensure synergies and effective communication between the national and global level activities related to the Conference.  The Coordinator will also facilitate an International Organizing Committee (IOC) comprised of champion states, GCPEA members, and partner organisations, and be a conduit of information between the NOC and IOC.

The Coordinator will be based in Abuja, Nigeria, for up to one year and report to the GCPEA Executive Director based in Washington DC.

GCPEA is an advocacy organization comprised of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations seeking to protect schools and universities, their students and staff, from attack during armed conflict. GCPEA is chaired by Human Rights Watch and Save the Children. Please see www.protectingeducation.org for more details.

Responsibilities of the Coordinator

  • Represent GCPEA in NOC meetings, facilitate communication between the NOC and the IOC, including GCPEA members, and provide substantive and logistical support in planning and implementing the Conference.
  • Provide substantive expertise on the Safe Schools Declaration and the Guidelines to inform and develop the conference concept note and agenda, including by identifying themes, selecting speakers and facilitators, and developing practical exercises for participants. 
  • Contribute to developing and managing a comprehensive budget for the Conference.
  • Provide logistical support in coordination with the relevant sub-committees of the NOC, including follow-up on invitations, liaising closely with GCPEA members, providing support with visas, and coordinating technical support such as organizing translators.
  • Support follow-up to the Conference, including conducting evaluations and preparing a final report.
  • Advocate with states that participated in the Conference to implement the lessons learned and build on the momentum of the Conference to encourage further endorsement and implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration and Guidelines, particularly with African Union member states.
  • Support GCPEA in all areas of work related to the Safe Schools Declaration as necessary.

Core and Functional Competencies

  • Effective communication and diplomatic skills, and ability to successfully navigate in different fora, from civil society to high-level ministerial engagement.
  • Strong conference/event management capabilities.
  • Advocacy expertise, ideally in the field of human rights, protection, or education in emergencies
  • Proven ability to work with coalitions, alliances, and civil society in diverse contexts, including in Nigeria and at the global level.
  • Proven ability to work with governments, including at a senior level.
  • Excellent writing, editing, and presentation skills.
  • Strong teamwork and team leadership skills, and the ability to approach work in a professional and positive manner.


  • Masters degree or equivalent in international relations, international human rights and humanitarian law or other relevant fields


  • At least 3 years of experience working on education in emergencies, protection, or human rights issues in Nigeria and at the international level.
  • Experience working with civil society, and broad-based alliances and partnerships.
  • Experience working with national governments, particularly in the Nigerian and African Union context, and at a senior level.
  • Experience in event management and conference program development.
  • Knowledge of the Safe Schools Declaration and the Guidelines for Protecting Schools and Universities from Military Use during Armed Conflict in Nigeria and at the international level is preferred.
  • Familiarity with the work and priorities of the Nigerian Education in Emergencies Working Group is preferred.

Language Requirements

  • Written and oral fluency in English is required.
  • Knowledge of French is desirable.

Salary is commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Applicants should submit the following via email to gcpea@protectingeducation.org under the subject heading: “Nigeria Consultant Application”

  • Cover letter
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  • Short unedited writing sample of not more than 5 pages
  • Names and contact details of three professional references

We thank everyone for their application, but only complete applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

GCPEA is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit. Our policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity and gender expression), religion (all aspects of religious beliefs, observance or practice, including religious dress or grooming practices), marital status, registered domestic partner status or civil union status, age, national origin or ancestry, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, medical condition (including cancer or a record or history of cancer and genetic characteristics, or HIV/AIDS related), sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, military status, or veteran status, as well as any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state, or local laws.