Head of Evidence and Learning Job by Save The Children

Full Time Ethiopia Save the Children
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The Head of Evidence and Learning is responsible to design and implement a system for gathering, interpreting, and managing multiple forms of indicative information and resource documents necessary for learning along with managing the knowledge/evidence base generated necessary for the successful design and implementation of Save the Children programmes. S/he rolls out support for Thematic Areas to meet/exceed the MEAL Minimum Operating Standards in evidence and learning including working with the Director of MEAL and DCD PDQ to ensure SEL leadership by thematic sector leaders or their designates.  Also develop and implement minimum requirements that meet SCI standards related to learning and evidence as part of the overall MEAL strategy and systems, ensuring that such systems are institutionalized at appropriate levels including thematic sectors and geographic areas.  Also, support thematic sectors, the program development unit, and individual or groups of programs with research design and implementation with a focus on the baseline and end-line evaluations as well as operations research and other assessments.
S/he also oversees the quality and standardization of evidence and learning framework and tools and works closely with program implementation and program quality staff to ensure appropriate evidence and learning of each project.  S/he also coordinates evidence and learning systems and works closely with the Regional Office Evidence and Learning staff.

S/he directly supervises two Addis Ababa based learning and knowledge management staff (Knowledge and Learning Coordinator and Senior Knowledge & Learning Specialist). S/he closely works with MEAL Managers/Advisors of National programs, the Hub MEAL Advisors, MEAL staff at FOs, and research fellows/consultants.
Reports to: The Director of MEAL
Staff reporting to this post: Two (2) in total – a Knowledge and Learning Coordinator and a Senior Knowledge & Learning Specialist. In addition, s/he will work closely with research fellows/consultants.
Budget Responsibilities: None
Role Dimensions: Save the Children works in all regions in Ethiopia with a current staff complement of approximately 1600 staff and a 2019 expenditure of approximately US$90m.  All of our 100+ awards in the humanitarian and development context need strong MEAL systems that meet organizational minimum standards.  We are also building the overall research capacity within the CO.
Context: Development and/or Humanitarian
Scope: N/A
Primary Technical area: Evidence and Learning / Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL)
Leadership and Management

Provide overall supervision and leadership on the evidence and learning (EL) functions and strategy in the Ethiopia country office
Provide leadership and supervision to subordinates on EL and research
Provide support and advise the Director of MEAL in leading, design, and implementation of comprehensive MEAL system in the CO

Directly supervise Addis-based Knowledge and Learning Coordinator and Senior Knowledge & Learning Specialist (2 direct reports).  Manage the performance of staff by clearly setting objectives, assessing performance, and providing coaching, mentoring, and training that aligns with SCI’s Global evidence and learning Capacity Building Strategic Workplan.
Provide supervision, mentorship, and professional development to staffs on MEAL/EL system
Ensure MEAL evidence (IPTT, project performance/action trackers, output tracker, etc) are used for management decision making and continuous performance improvement and be part of the Hub level management team members
Synthesizes data and disseminates evidence for programme improvement, advocacy, and campaign purposes
Provide leadership on the EL system of the country office and MEAL evidences are used for programme improvement
Act as a point person for Ethiopia CO in the global Learning and Knowledge Management initiatives and engage as a member of the global learning team
Coordinate CO community of practices and/or other learning platforms for MEAL and other thematic based community of practices/learning platforms ensuring their functioning
Promote all aspects of evidence and learning through training and capacity building for multiple internal and external stakeholders including MEAL staff and PDQ Leadership to support the creation of an organizational culture that prioritizes learning leading to quality programming.
Participate in relevant evidence and learning training opportunities and networks in the country, region, and globally.
Leverage own network to secure high qualified staff/evaluators and strategic partnerships when relevant.

System Design and Roll-Out

Working closely with the Director of MEAL, design SCI’s approach to learning and evidence management, setting down the minimum requirements (following SCI MOS) and ensuring that it complements and forms an integral part of the overall MEAL system.
Ensure that a learning culture is fostered within the organisation and EL is an integral element of programming and staff engagement/development
Working with the Knowledge and Learning Coordinator and the Senior Knowledge & Learning Specialist to develop the associated tools required to implement the EL minimum requirements to ensure that roll-out is standardized in Addis and in other operational areas where relevant (e.g. databases, maps, action plans, etc…)
Work closely with PDQ team members to promote understanding of the importance of EL to achieve quality programming
Work with the Director of MEAL and DCD PDQ to ensure that the EL strategy is implemented
At the Addis level, be a key link between the PDQ and Programme Operations teams, to ensure that EL is promoted as a key tool in programme management and strategy development through the MEAL Advisors/Managers/Coordinators, support field offices to prioritise EL and identify entry points
Promote the utilization of learning and evidence for decision making and continuous improvement of program design and implementations.
Lead use of systems that safely and appropriately ensure accountability to children and communities with whom we work by building trusting and collaborative relationships through information sharing and two-way communication, participation, and feedback and reporting mechanisms.
Champion knowledge management through the development and use of platforms that store and display evidence and learning that is made accessible and actively used between countries, regions, and the Centre,
Explore innovative opportunities to pilot approaches that are new or could expand to further areas of programming.

Clearly sets and implement standards for ethical, adaptive, and appropriate evidence and learning systems and provides strategic and technical guidance to address systemic weaknesses in the evidence and learning framework and system.
Champions standards and principles to reduce the risk of bias and the principles of human and child rights, ethics, and gender equality in research, monitoring, and evaluation.
Champions the use of accountability data and community participation analysis to influence strategic decision-making and advocacy.

System Management

Play a leading role in planning and managing research, studies and evaluations of all the programs of the CO
Keep track of all project evaluations and, in coordination with technical / project managers, design evaluation TORs, provide technical guidance on inception reports, provide briefings to consultants and provide logistical support to ensure evaluations happen smoothly
Ensure high quality and systematic synthetization, dissemination (internal and external), and maintenance of research, studies, and evaluation outcomes: evidence and lessons learned
Ensure that learning is accessed and used as an integral part of programme implementation including specifically assisting projects/programs with learning components
As required provide training to raise awareness on the importance of learning to internal and external key stakeholders.
Determine long-term and short-term strategic plans to achieve the objectives of the organization in the area of EL.
Guide subordinates to achieve goals in accordance with established knowledge management policies.
Oversee Research Fellows/ Consultants (to be recruited) to lead the management and coordination of in-house studies as required.

Programme Development

With the Director of MEAL and Hub-MEAL Advisors, feed into programme and proposal design to ensure that new programme design is based on previous learning
Specifically, participating in the development of Operations Research strategies for programs that call for it
Make sure that technical advisors have easy access to learning documents for reference purpose
Ensure cost recovery for the CO Evidence and Learning team.

Communication and Reporting

Coordinate, collaborate, and oversee best practices, success stories, lessons learned consolidation with all thematic sectors, ensure that the knowledgebase is configured appropriately for optimum accessibility and widely adopted use.
Promote the use of technology and digital transformation to best utilize available evidence and learning for programme improvement and iterative course of actions as appropriate.
Promote learning in the country office, particularly on issues of programme quality.
Ensure effective storage of assessment, surveys and evaluations and/or organizational knowledge on the shared folders and/or other systems (such as the intranet or OneNet), and use this knowledge base to promote learning across the organisation
Produce case studies, best practices; success stories, lessons from failures, and lessons learned for internal and external use.


Be proactive in identifying and undertaking action research to test innovations, use of technologies, identifying better opportunities and approaches, and rolling out into Country Office programs.
Participate in relevant Evidence and Learning training opportunities and networks in Ethiopia and globally.
Other duties as requested by the Director of MEAL

SKILLS AND BEHAVIOURS (Values in Practice)

Holds self-accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance, and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved.


Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves and their team takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages their team to do the same
Widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
Future orientated, thinks strategically and on a global scale.


Builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, Members and external partners, and supporters
Values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to.


Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
Willing to take disciplined risks.


Honest, encourages openness and transparency; demonstrates highest levels of integrity

The post holder must commit to working in an international agency that respects racial diversity and fights racism in all forms; and to model positive behaviors and respect to all colleagues, partners, and communities.

Job Requirements


Minimum BA/BSc.; preferably a Master’s degree in relevant areas of social development or equivalent.

Minimum of 12 years for BA/B. Sc. Holders or 8 years for MA holders of programming experience within the aid sector, working in program management, technical, and/or MEAL roles including in managerial/ leadership responsibilities, preferably linked to one of Save the Children’s priority technical sectors (Child Poverty, Child Protection, Child Rights Governance, Education, Health & Nutrition, Livelihoods/resilience, and WASH), and with the majority of that time focused on overseeing comprehensive MEAL systems that ensure programme effectiveness and quality.
Understanding of both emergency/humanitarian and development contexts, with a preference for experience in both contexts.
Demonstrated commitment to creating a learning culture
Solid and relevant experience adhering to international quality standards (Red Cross Code of Conduct, Sphere, CHS) or equivalent.
Ability and willingness to dramatically change work practices and hours, and work with incoming surge teams, in the event of emergencies or proposal development
Experience and knowledge of evidence generation and learning on what works (and doesn’t work) for children, including designing/commissioning, implementing and applying: needs assessments, baseline studies, evaluations and research, learning workshops, and learning agendas.
Direct experience of working with communities in participatory activities. Experience and knowledge of systems for accountability to children and communities, including information sharing, the participation of adults and children, and feedback and reporting mechanisms. Ability to prepare and facilitate technical MEAL training and workshops across countries in the region (including remotely). Direct experience working with communities in participatory activities.
Proven success in building and managing a team and dedication to developing staff capacity through training, supervising, coaching, and mentoring.
Experience in securing resources from donors.
Experience in participating in/leading organizational improvement processes.
Skilled at communicating and influencing across relevant teams and offices.
Strong results orientation, with the ability to challenge existing mindsets
Demonstrable analytical and problem-solving skills.
Experience in solving complex issues through analysis, defining, and planning a clear way forward and ensuring buy-in.
Ability to present complex information clearly and concisely.
Highly developed cultural awareness and ability to work well in an international environment with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
Ability and willingness to be flexible and accommodating in difficult and sometimes insecure contexts, including flexibility to work with incoming emergency response teams.
Proficiency in relevant data collection and analysis software; including both qualitative and quantitative data analysis software.
Ability to work independently and as part of teams/groups
Strong remote-working abilities and self-motivated.
Willingness to travel to field sites.
Fluency in a national language required
Proficient in speaking and writing English.
Commitment to Save the Children values


Experience or knowledge of working and living in relevant region/context
Experience in promoting quality and impact through at least one cross-cutting area: gender equality and inclusion, adaptive and safer programming; child rights; disability; migration, and displacement.
Experience and knowledge of Save the Children’s structure, mandate, and child focus

Technical competencies:

Ensures linkages across portfolio ensuring quality and coherence of MEAL systems and evidence gathering
Manages resources and capacities to develop and maintain quality MEAL systems
Facilitates strategic alignment of data to global priorities

Generic Competencies

Child Rights: Promotes an enabling environment for participation, and accountability to children
Be the Innovator: Promotes innovation to find new and better approaches to driving progress for children
Deliver Results at Scale: Promotes a clear focus on impact in a project and programme design, management, and oversight

SC Values:
SC Values are Accountability, Ambition, Collaboration, Creativity, and Integrity. To meet the value system, the post holder is expected to demonstrate the following Competencies on an ongoing basis:
Leading (align with Ambition, Integrity collaboration, and creativity)
Leading and Inspiring Others: Demonstrate leadership in all our work, role models our values, and articulates a compiling vision to inspire to achieve our goals for children
Delivering result: Takes personal responsibility and holds others to account to deliver our ambitious goals for children, continually improving own performance or that of the team/ organisation.
Developing Self and Others: Invest time and energy to actively develop self and others to help realize their full potential and to build the organization’s capability for further.
Thinking (align with Ambition, creativity, Collaboration, and Creativity)
Problem-solving and decision making Takes effective, considered, and timely decisions by gathering and evaluating relevant information from within or outside the organisation and making appropriate judgments.
Innovating and Adapting: Develop and implement innovative solutions to adapt and succeed in an ever-changing uncertain work and global environment.
Applying technical and professional expertise: Applies the required technical and professional expertise to the highest standards; promotes and shares best practices within and outside the organisation.
Engaging (align with Collaboration, Creativity)
Working effectively with others Works collaboratively to achieve shared goals and thrives on the diversity of people and perspectives; knows when to lead and when to follow and how to ensure effective cross-boundary working.
Communicating with Impact: Communicates clearly and confidently with others to engage and influence; promotes dialogue and ensures timely and appropriate messages, building confidence, and trust with others

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