Portfolio of Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning team
Women for Women International (WfWI) has prioritized enhancing monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) as a strategic objective for 2017-2019 in order to improve programs, utilize data and analysis for advocacy, contribute to global knowledge about women’s empowerment, and demonstrate to donors, beneficiaries, and supporters how our work improves women’s lives. The organization’s five-year Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning strategy (2016-2020) lays out major priorities and projects we are undertaking in each of these areas over this period, including initiating targeted randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate the impact of our programs and programmatic components in the priority areas of women’s agency, women’s economic empowerment and men’s engagement. A robust monitoring, data management, and data analysis system exists and all country offices now to collect data electronically. We have concluded a major program evaluation, a longitudinal evaluation of our men’s engagement program, and have been one of the partners in the Goldilocks project run by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) to understand and enhance the MERL strategy and processes of non-profit organizations.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Director of Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning is responsible for leading and managing WfWI’s monitoring system, research projects, and internal and external evaluations. As part of the organization’s senior management, s/he contributes to organizational strategy and management. The MERL team provides support to M&E technical staff in several affiliate and partner organizations. S/he also works closely with the other Global Programs Unit team (including Program Design and Development team, and the Grant Management and Planning team), the WfWI UK office, and the Marketing, Development and Communications Department.
This position reports to the Deputy Vice President of Global Programs. The Director oversees a team of four professionals in the Headquarters Office, and has technical oversight over at least five M&E Managers in Country Offices. While our Headquarters are in Washington, DC we are flexible on location and the possibility of remote work for this position.
MERL Strategy: http://wfwmarketingimages.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/wfwi-merl-strategy-final-2016-2020.pdf
Management and Strategy (approximately 40%):
- Oversee MERL budget, including planning quarterly and annual budgets, ensuring grant spending is on track, and ensuring correct accounting of all MERL expenses.
- Collaborate with the business development team to identify suitable fundraising opportunities for MERL priorities; pitch projects and fundraising needs; contribute to proposal development and donor relationship management.
- Supervise the MERL HQ team, including hiring, tracking time and attendance for HQ, and performance management of the HQ team; provide technical advice to Country Directors, dotted-line management of Country Office M&E Managers and support to Country Officer MERL recruitment processes as needed.
- Contribute to annual and multi-year plans and strategies; including the development of the MERL strategy for 2020 forward, and conceptualize the role of MERL in WfWI’s overall global strategy.
- Develop and standup organization’s Research Advisory Council.
- Collaborate closely with other members of the Global Programs Unit and Country Office teams, and actively identify synergies and areas for improved team efficiency.
- Represent the MERL team at internal meetings for senior staff and Board meetings as needed, including direct engagement with the CEO and Board of Directors.
- Conceptualize, design and deliver (with team) MERL related workshops and capacity building activities for WfWI staff. Lead the integration of monitoring, evaluation, research and learning into program learning, program implementation and decision-making both at HQ and across Country teams and that WfWI data and learning can be used for improving program design, implementation and advocacy
Monitoring System and Data Management/Analysis (approximately 25%):
- Guide team members to manage and refine the monitoring database.
- Conceptualize new ways of analyzing and utilizing existing data.
- Design quantitative and qualitative methods and tools to collect additional data, including for new areas of programming and with partners.
- Conceptualize new and support existing systems to manage and report on monitoring data effectively, across field offices.
- Ensure that team members collect, manage, and analyze data accurately and maintain high quality standards.
- Ensure quality control for donor and other external reports, including review of data-related narratives and charts.
- Support the circulation of and dialogue around monitoring results in a range of formats, including through learning and country results briefs, and to a range of internal and external stakeholders.
Research and Evaluation (approximately 35%):
- Provide support to ongoing implementation of three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and lead dissemination efforts when results become available.
- Provide technical assistance and support in analysis and write-up of RCT results.
- Build WfWI’s profile as a research and learning-focused organization and share WfWI’s research agenda through events, presentations, written pieces such as blogs and learning briefs, and by building relationships within relevant academic, practitioner, and donor communities.
- Help country offices identify areas ripe for research/evaluation and design appropriate methodologies. Innovative participatory data collection methods are encouraged. Conceptualize and execute research and evaluation priorities in the 2016-2020 MERL strategy, and the subsequent MERL strategy
- Serve as team leader for internal evaluations and initiate and oversee/support evaluations conducted with external researchers, partners or consultants.
- Identify partnerships with research organizations and ensure strong management of such collaborations; build relationships with academic experts
- Ensure publication of research results in a range of formats, including academic journals, reports, and learning and policy briefs.
- Collaborate with the program and communications team to identify best methods and opportunities to use MERL data and results for external advocacy and engagement.
Qualifications and Skills
- Master’s Degree in Economics, Social Sciences, International Development or related field required, PhD welcome.
- At least 10 years of experience in qualitative and quantitative research design, data collection, analysis, and reporting in developing countries. Experience in participatory research is preferred.
- Excellent analytical and data analysis skills, (experience with STATA required; experience with additional software such as SQL Server Management Studio, SPSS, SAS, etc. welcome). Experience analyzing and interpreting RCT data preferred.
- Topical experience in women’s economic and social empowerment, gender-based violence. Sound understanding of econometrics preferred.
- Experience with and/or sound understanding of development and management of organization-wide monitoring and evaluation systems
- Experience working on large-scale data management projects involving the development of IT systems to manage and use data strongly preferred.
- Experience working on RCTs (field experiments) preferred.
- Experience in supervising teams, including remote management of team members in different locations.
- Experience writing research proposals; proven success as fundraiser for research agenda.
- Experience participating in research events with academic field experts.
- Enjoy working on and managing multiple tasks effectively and to tight deadlines; excellent project management skills.
- Demonstrated strong verbal and written communication skills, including ability to communicate technical concepts effectively to a non-technical audience through presentations and written deliverables
- Fluency in English required; excellent skills in French and/or Arabic preferred.
- Experience living and working in a developing country required
- Ability to travel to sometimes challenging and remote locations (up to 15% of the time).
Please apply at your earliest convenience as we will review applications on a rolling basis. We are aiming for a November 1, 2018 start date.
About the Organization
Women for Women International (WfWI) works with the most marginalized women in conflict-affected countries to help them move from poverty and isolation to self-sufficiency and empowerment. Through our combined economic and social empowerment program, we aim to provide participants with a combination of knowledge, skills, and resources to increase their self-confidence and capacity to create sustainable change in their lives and those of their families and communities. We have worked with over 479,000 women across eight conflict-affected countries since 1993.
Through the year-long program, women learn about the value of their work in the family and local economy, basic health practices, their role in decision-making, women’s rights, and the benefits of working together in a group for social and economic purposes. The training is delivered to groups of 25 women at a time, and participants receive a monthly stipend. Support is provided to link women to a savings tool, either by opening formal bank savings accounts or by helping them establish savings and lending groups. For women who need it, we provide a limited series of numeracy classes to bring them to the level where they can better benefit from business and vocational skills training. We also provide referral services to women, connecting them to health and other financial services. Through this year-long program, we aim to achieve the following four primary outcomes:
- Women earn and save money;
- Women improve health and wellbeing;
- Women influence decisions in the home and community;
- Women connect to networks for support.
We implement a variety of additional complementary program activities in specific contexts to help strengthen our effectiveness in changing target outcomes for marginalized women, which range from men’s engagement programs, advanced business skills and cooperative management training, leadership training, and advocacy interventions.