Sesame Workshop South Africa: Gender Advisor

Sesame Workshop South Africa
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Friday, 13 December, 2019
Opportunity type: 

Gender Advisor, consultant role based in Rosebank, Johannesburg, 12-month appointment
Reports to: Senior Manager, Education/Early Childhood Development

Sesame Workshop South Africa is embarking on a 12-month planning process to develop and design a multi-year intervention to equip primary male caregivers with skills and actionable tips that reinforce gender-equitable practices in the home. We will undertake a series of activities that will enable us to understand the current gap in parental practices in the home from a “gender lens” chief among them: 1) sharing of child care responsibilities between male and female caregivers and, 2) engagement with children through play. This planning phase will enable us to determine how best Sesame Workshop can address gender equity through its various platforms, including digital channels, and community engagement. We will also explore additional programmatic options/partnerships to complement Sesame Workshop’s core strengths.

We have an exciting short-term opportunity for a Gender Advisor to provide technical leadership and coordinate the planning phase of this project. We are looking for an experienced gender specialist who brings strong knowledge and experience of the gender landscape in South Africa. In return, we offer a unique opportunity to help set the foundation for a groundbreaking intervention with male caregivers, while making a significant difference with Takalani Sesame - one of the most loved children’s early learning brands in South Africa.

Main Responsibilities:

  • Gender Equity Subject Matter Expertise:
    • Provide technical leadership to ensure integration of gender equity in project plans and intervention design, focusing on male caregiver involvement in child care.
  • Project conceptualization and development:
    • Coordinate the 12-month project conceptualization process including in-depth analysis to understand the main factors to consider in promoting male caregiver engagement in young children’s development.
  • Needs Assessment:
    • Contribute to the Needs Assessment including review and use findings from the Needs Assessment to contribute to the design of an initiative to help promote positive parenting practices and nurturing interactions with children.
  • Stakeholder Consultation:
    • Identify potential partner organisations and stakeholders that are working in this field in South Africa. Plan and facilitate a consultation workshop to engage various stakeholders on possible key messages and content development for the programme.
  • Educational Framework:
    • Use outcomes from the stakeholders’ workshop to advise on possible updates to the existing educational framework, which will guide the development of gender equity related content and integration into community engagement efforts.
  • Content Development:
    • Provide technical (gender equity) guidance and work closely with Sesame Workshop teams in South Africa and New York. Lead content development as necessary, such as training manuals, storybooks, classroom materials for children, curation of video assets, etc. and ensure infusion of gender equity, particularly fathers’ engagement in their children’s play.
  • Coordination:
    • Work closely with Senior Education Manager, Senior Digital Manager and Senior Producer as well as New York based education, digital, research and other staff to ensure seamless coordination of activities across different channels.
  • Reporting:
    • Prepare monthly reports to measure, analyze and communicate progress/ outcomes against agreed deliverables; Identify successful practices in the project that can be showcased in publications, communication materials and conferences; prepare communications materials that highlight the Project’s gender equality programming, successes and lessons learnt. Represent Sesame Workshop at selected events.


  • Master’s degree or higher in social sciences, gender studies, social work, international development or another relevant discipline.
  • +8 years’ experience and demonstrated ability to integrate gender in project design and implementation.
  • Knowledge of design and implementation of initiatives for male involvement in social impact programmes.
  • In-depth understanding of the gender context, cultural and other socio-economic factors in South Africa.
  • An affinity for philanthropic work and making a difference in the lives of children.
  • Highly analytical with ability to think strategically and provide insightful technical advice.
  • Good user level proficiency in MS Office packages and web-based communication tools.
  • Highly developed interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills.  
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively as part of a team.
  • Excellent written, verbal and presentation skills in English.
  • Willingness to travel and work outside normal office hours.


Please submit CV and Cover Letter to with the heading ‘Gender Advisor’. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Only South African citizens and permanent residents will be considered. We will correspond with shortlisted candidates only. If you have not been contacted within one month of applying, you should consider your application as unsuccessful. Sesame Workshop reserves the right to not fill this position. We are an equal opportunities employer and encourage people with disabilities to apply.


Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit organization behind Sesame Street, Takalani Sesame and so much more. Sesame Street is our pioneering television show that has been helping kids grow smarter, stronger and kinder since 1969. Through its international social impact strategy, the Workshop now reaches millions of the world’s most vulnerable children in 160 countries through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. Sesame is a beloved household name in dozens of languages, and it means learning - and fun - in all of them. 

Takalani Sesame is the groundbreaking South African program that has been reaching millions of children with high quality, engaging educational content for 20 years. Broadcasting on SABC, Takalani addresses a range of early childhood development needs from literacy, numeracy, and life skills to instilling a greater sense of self in children and nurturing their readiness for lifelong learning. Using a curriculum supported by the Department of Basic Education, we deliver content to children in several of the country’s official languages through television, digital media, and community outreach in classrooms and homes.
In pursuit of our goal of helping South African parents and caregivers, households and communities provide caring environments for kids, Takalani Sesame is poised for a new dawn of exciting growth through a significant creative refresh of the iconic television show and an expanded community engagement program.

This strategy is anchored on the uBuntu value system that binds African societies and communities together. From championing the patent principle of ‘umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu’ (You Are because We Are) to addressing critical topics such as diversity and inclusion, and instilling in children the values of sharing, respect and kindness, while nurturing the spirit of living and working together, uBuntu will be at the center of what Takalani stands for and aims to achieve.
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