Head of Evidence and Learning, Ethiopia Country Office

Country: Ethiopia
Organization: Save the Children
Closing date: 14 Jan 2021


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

  1. Provide overall supervision and leadership on the evidence and learning (EL) functions and strategy in the Ethiopia country office

  2. Provide leadership and supervision to subordinates on EL and research

  3. Provide support and advise the Director of MEAL in leading, design, and implementation of comprehensive MEAL system in the CO

  4. 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.

  5. Provide supervision, mentorship, and professional development to staffs on MEAL/EL system

  6. 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

  7. Synthesizes data and disseminates evidence for programme improvement, advocacy, and campaign purposes

  8. Provide leadership on the EL system of the country office and MEAL evidences are used for programme improvement

  9. 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

  10. Coordinate CO community of practices and/or other learning platforms for MEAL and other thematic based community of practices/learning platforms ensuring their functioning

  11. 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.

  12. Participate in relevant evidence and learning training opportunities and networks in the country, region, and globally.

  13. Leverage own network to secure high qualified staff/evaluators and strategic partnerships when relevant.

System Design and Roll-Out

  1. 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.

  2. Ensure that a learning culture is fostered within the organisation and EL is an integral element of programming and staff engagement/development

  3. 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…)

  4. Work closely with PDQ team members to promote understanding of the importance of EL to achieve quality programming

  5. Work with the Director of MEAL and DCD PDQ to ensure that the EL strategy is implemented

  6. 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

  7. Promote the utilization of learning and evidence for decision making and continuous improvement of program design and implementations.

  8. 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.

  9. 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,

  10. Explore innovative opportunities to pilot approaches that are new or could expand to further areas of programming.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Champions the use of accountability data and community participation analysis to influence strategic decision-making and advocacy.

System Management

  1. Play a leading role in planning and managing research, studies and evaluations of all the programs of the CO

  2. 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

  3. Ensure high quality and systematic synthetization, dissemination (internal and external), and maintenance of research, studies, and evaluation outcomes: evidence and lessons learned

  4. Ensure that learning is accessed and used as an integral part of programme implementation including specifically assisting projects/programs with learning components

  5. As required provide training to raise awareness on the importance of learning to internal and external key stakeholders.

  6. Determine long-term and short-term strategic plans to achieve the objectives of the organization in the area of EL.

  7. Guide subordinates to achieve goals in accordance with established knowledge management policies.

  8. Oversee Research Fellows/ Consultants (to be recruited) to lead the management and coordination of in-house studies as required.

Programme Development

  1. 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

  2. Specifically, participating in the development of Operations Research strategies for programs that call for it

  3. Make sure that technical advisors have easy access to learning documents for reference purpose

  4. Ensure cost recovery for the CO Evidence and Learning team.

Communication and Reporting

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Promote learning in the country office, particularly on issues of programme quality.

  4. 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

  5. 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.


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



    · Minimum of 10 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.**

How to apply:

Application Information:

Please attach a copy of your CV and cover letter with your application, and include details of your current remuneration and salary expectations. A copy of the full role profile can be found at

https://stcuk.taleo.net/careersection/ex/jobsearch.ftl for External

We need to keep children safe so our selection process, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.

All employees are expected to carry out their duties in accordance with our global anti-harassment policy.


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