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Evaluation and Adaptive Learning Director

Are you interested in questioning the status quo of traditional monitoring and evaluation approaches? Are you committed to taking a learning partnership approach with local change agents to create improved and sustained impact? Are you energized by activities that scrutinize and validate underlying assumptions to maximize impact?

Results for Development (R4D) is looking for a Director to play a key leadership role in its Evaluation and Adaptive Learning (EAL) Practice. R4D is a leading non-profit global development partner. We collaborate with change agents around the world to create strong systems that support healthy, educated people. We help our partners move from knowing their goal to knowing how to reach it. We combine global expertise in health, education and nutrition with analytic rigor, practical support for decision-making and implementation and access to peer problem-solving networks. Together with our partners, we build self-sustaining systems that serve everyone and deliver lasting results. Then we share what we learn so others can achieve results for development, too.

Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the heart of our work environment and help advance our mission. Diversity—of ideas, identities, perspectives and backgrounds—is vital to who we are and what we do. We seek people who embrace these values and will help reinforce them. Our work culture is collaborative, creative, and entrepreneurial. We operate based on trust and respect.

 Practice

The EAL practice at R4D works with partners to devise new strategies to address problems in health, education, and nutrition, and to generate evidence as they design, test, and iterate on potential solutions. In addition, our team is increasingly expanding its scope of our work to support internal learning opportunities – including measuring what works with our own approaches and adapting. We tailor our best methods to partner needs and constraints to fuse evidence with action. And we work in partnership with internal and external stakeholders with the goal of using monitoring, evaluation, and learning approaches to inform decisions that can improve performance and accelerate impact.

Our approach is built on these five tenants:

  1. We are committed to right-fit rigor. Our team is experienced in a range of rigorous technical skills, but evaluates each opportunity to assess the methods that are relevant, cost-effective, and feasible. We think creatively about ways to build in mixed methods and innovative approach to M&E to generate evidence for the questions at hand.
  2. We aim to deliver timely evidence. We build in intentional feedback loops throughout the life cycle of each engagement to ensure that there are opportunities to review the evidence generated, learn, and adapt accordingly. Our goal is to generate evidence that can be used to inform decision-making.
  3. We believe in co-creation. We design solutions tailored to partner contexts and based on the learning questions they are prioritizing. We work hand-in-hand with our partners to identify entry points for engagement, generate evidence on what’s working and why, and to take action based on the evidence. We are committed to having our partners’ voices in setting the learning agenda.
  4. We embrace uncertainty. Poverty, poor health, low quality of education, and undernutrition are all tough problems to solve. Uncertainty about the best way forward is the only thing that’s certain. Our practice is committed to embracing the uncertainty so that we can use feedback to replace that with new knowledge, and as a result iterate and adapt.
  5. We are committed to adapting and learning. Our team takes a demand-driven approach to our work, and we are committed to evolving our work as the questions, methods, and solutions needed to address tough development challenges. This includes looking at how our approach can evolve and ways we can improve the impact of R4D activities.

Opportunity:

The EAL Director will lead innovative monitoring, evaluation, research and learning approaches to improve the performance of health, education, and nutrition systems. This person will be based on the EAL team but will work in close partnership with other teams and projects across R4D. The Director must have experience in designing and implementing monitoring and evaluation systems, whether at the project level or local solution level; in leading processes to review and analyze evidence to inform priorities for action; and in facilitating processes in partnership with local change agents, funders, and other partners to take a collaborative approach to monitoring and evaluation.

The Director will serve as a key leader on the team, advising on overall strategy and program design, contributing technical expertise to a broad array of projects, and leading project-specific evaluation and learning efforts. Our projects vary in approach from managing a collective impact approach to unify a wide range of partners around a common agenda, applying the principles of Problem Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA), to supporting a national initiative in partnership with grassroot and policy actors to co-design and test solutions to a tough development challenge, or to playing an adaptive management role on a cutting-edge new model being tested and applied through R4D.

Our current portfolio largely involves direct engagements with internal and external partners. Our role as a “learning partner” can involve facilitating co-design workshops (using a range methods/approaches such as theory of change thinking, systems thinking, problem identification, etc.); designing the specific monitoring, evaluation, and research activities that would help inform decision making; conducting data analysis; and/or facilitating participatory “Learning Checks” where partners take stock of results and adapt their strategies accordingly. The Director will support this current work as well as efforts to expand future offerings from the practice.

The role is preferably based in Washington, DC, but open to other locations, and will report to the Evaluation and Adaptive Learning Practice Lead. This position is contingent on receiving funding.

Responsibilities:

We are seeking an additional senior team member on the following activities:

  • Serve as a technical and managerial leader on a portfolio of existing work: Responsibilities will vary across the individual’s portfolio and may include directing the full scope of an engagement (leading the technical design and partner management, managing the funding, and leading the program management) and/or serving as a technical lead on a program lead by a colleague. Activities may involve serving as the MELA Director at a project/program level or working on the adaptive learning design for specific interventions within existing projects.
  • Undertake internally and externally facing business development and new program design work aligned with the priorities of the EAL practice and R4D: Senior leaders on the EAL team are entre- and intrapreneurs.As a program-funded team and organization, being able to identify high-impact, strategic, funded opportunities to use EAL methods and capabilities is key to our success and financial sustainability. This will involve partnering with other teams to jointly develop programs, co-creating new initiatives with donors, leading proposals in response to strategic RFPs, or developing new opportunities under R4D-led buy-in mechanisms.
  • Build the team: To succeed, we need a great team. EAL Directors work with each other, the EAL practice lead, and operations officer, to build a team with the right skills and talents to deliver on our work. This begins with designing roles, hiring and recruiting, and mentoring and managing others.
  • Share the work and influence others: Senior leaders on the team are also thought leaders, who identify opportunities to share our work and influence our field, whether through public speaking, participating in relevant communities of practice, or publishing and writing.

Qualifications:

  • Advanced degree, preferably in economics, public policy, public administration, systems, social sciences, health or education, or other relevant disciplines
  • 10+ years experience in evaluation, research and/or policy design
  • Demonstrated interest in the use of evidence, rigorous impact measurement, and data to improve international development policies and programs
  • Experience designing and implementing monitoring and evaluation systems
  • Outstanding critical thinking skills, with nuanced understanding of econometric, data, and field experiment tools
  • Experience working in low-to-middle-income countries required; experience working with government and civil society stakeholders strongly preferred
  • Experience in capacity development/training, facilitation and stakeholder management
  • Enthusiastic about joining a diverse and inclusive work environment
  •  Strategic and creative problem solver who is adept at developing efficient systems and decision-making processes
  • Experience developing budgets, tracking and managing resources, and/or supporting recruitment and program management efforts
  • Highly collaborative and approachable team member who is enthusiastic about supporting the team and working closely with others at R4D 
  • Excellent oral and verbal communication skills, including the ability to present complicated and detailed data to team leads
  • High level of organization, attention to detail, professionalism, and reliability
  • Ability to prioritize and manage work in a fast-paced environment across multiple projects and work streams with competing time/resource demands
  •  Ability to work both independently and as part of a team
  •  Enthusiasm, energy, good judgement, and humor
  •  Self-starter who is motivated to learn, grow, contribute and produce
  •  Willingness to travel up to 20% once COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted
  •  Previous experience managing small teams and mentoring staff


 

 

Results for Development is an EOE/M/F/Vet/Disabled/Affirmative Action Employer committed to fostering

and nurturing an energetic, collaborative and diverse workforce. R4D provides market-competitive salaries and comprehensive employee benefits.