Every organization relies upon competent and dedicated individuals in order to carry out its mission and meet the expectations of stakeholders and donor partners. ECDD is no different. However, ECDD has an organizational commitment to disability inclusion and gender balance in its hiring and program activities. The employment of qualified young persons with disabilities, especially women, is proving increasingly difficult as the organization grows, and more trained and experienced personnel are required to manage ECDD projects and implement project activities.

Experience has shown that there are very few persons with disabilities in Ethiopia who already have project management experience or have been exposed to the concept of disability-inclusive development. Moreover, most bright, young university graduates with disabilities have inadequate knowledge of English at the level required to manage ECDD projects. Repeated efforts to recruit required personnel have failed to identify enough persons with disabilities with the required skills and experience. In order to tackle this challenge and increase the number of young women and men with disabilities ready for future ECDD service, ECDD decided it needs to train them itself, and has created an ECDD training “Academy”.

The ECDD Academy

The ECDD Academy is an ongoing ECDD staff development program, financed by each project being implemented by ECDD. Each donor-funded ECDD project has a budget line “Staff Development” earmarked for the Academy (2% of the total project budget). The Academy operates under the supervision of the ECDD Training Director. University graduates with disabilities (3 men, 3 women) are picked from among recent university graduates and other interested persons on a competitive basis and enrolled in the Academy for a 3-month period. They are not employed by ECDD but are “intern trainees” and provided with an adequate monthly training stipend to cover local transportation and living expenses. ECDD meets the cost of all disability adjustments and reasonable accommodations required by the interns.

Be a Person With Disability

Be between 21-35 years of age

Be a university graduate, with a degree in law, social science, or related field

Be interested in the field of disability-inclusive development

Be able to commit to participate in a 3-month, full-time training program

Be a resident of Addis Ababa, or able to make living arrangements with friends or relatives in Addis Ababa and to move at your own expense

Be interested in ECDD and in eventual full-time employment with ECDD

Academy Program

An annual application announcement for participation in the Academy is circulated, in print and audio formats, to universities and organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs), and via public media and the Ethiojobs and ECDD websites. Following application, a written examination, interview and selection, each Intern Trainee undergoes an intensive two-week basic orientation to ECDD and to inclusive development. During this period, each Intern learns about ongoing ECDD projects, their objectives and activities, and is attached to an ECDD Project Coordinator as an “Understudy”. The Project Coordinator assigns his/her Understudy with specific tasks to undertake during their “attachment” to the Project. Theoretical knowledge is matched with hands-on project experience.

During the 3-month period, the Program organizes specific training on selected topics related to the six ECDD priority development areas: disability rights, inclusive health services, inclusive education, inclusive livelihoods, social inclusion and protection, and inclusive humanitarian aid/emergency response. At the end of the 3-month period, the Intern Trainees undergo a personal assessment by the ECDD Senior Management Team, including a written and oral examination. Only the best Intern Trainees qualify to continue in the Academy program.

ECDD Employment

Individuals selected to continue in the ECDD Academy are then given a 3-month renewable ECDD contract to work as a Project Facilitator, assigned to work with a Project Coordinator according to project needs and his/her specific professional interests. The contract is financed by the ECDD Training Program – not the project budget. Project Facilitators undergo a formal performance assessment at the completion of the 3-month contract – those with outstanding performance are offered continued formal ECDD employment, depending upon project resources.

Unless offered a contract under a specific ECDD Project budget, an Intern Trainee graduates from the Academy and joins a pool of prospective candidates for future ECDD employment.

Further information about the ECDD Academy, schedule, and how to apply may be obtained from:
Demekech Erbelo
ECDD Training Officer
Tel. +251 912 14 1480

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