Senior Specialist, Monitoring, Evaluation & Research

  • Anywhere
Organization: Global Communities
Closing date: 30 Nov 2021

Global Communities is an international development non-profit organization. Our mission is to create long-lasting, positive and community-led change that improves the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people across the globe.

Global Communities is seeking a Senior Specialist, Monitoring, Evaluation & Research to join the Measurement & Evidence for Learning & Impact (MELI) team within the Technical Excellence, Learning, Innovation & Impact (TELII) Office. This position may be based at any Global Communities office.

The position will work in close coordination and collaboration with domestic and globally based staff in Global Communities global offices, including staff working in Country based Programming, and HQ-based Technical Leadership (Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Assistance), Global/Program and Field Operations, Strategic Growth and Partnership, Information Technology Department, Marketing and Communications, other OSIIL staff, and other Departments, as relevant.

The position has two key functions. Firstly, the position is considered an organizational subject matter specialist in the area of design, implementation, and utilization of high-quality and ethical research and will contribute significantly or support efforts to define and advance priorities to strengthen systems, tools, approaches, and capacity in this area. As part of this role, this position serves as the organization’s Administrator for the Institutional Review Board (IRB), which is charged with protecting the welfare, rights, and privacy of human subject’s research conducted by Global Communities and is responsible for reviewing, prior to its initiation, all research (whether funded or not) involving human participants. The IRB Administrator is the person designated by the IRB with expertise and authority to oversee and manage the IRB system and its operations, including working in collaboration with the IRB in the development and maintenance of appropriate policy, procedures, processes, and records. The other key function of this position is to provide MELI-related technical support to new, existing and closing programs, in support of organization-wide aims to improve program quality and impact, ensure accountability to stakeholders, and promote learning.


Organizational Leadership – Rigorous and Ethical Research: Lead and/or significantly contribute to the strengthening of organizational systems, processes, tools and capacity around Research

  • Regularly assesses organizational Research needs and contributes significant input into strategies to meet those needs.
  • Leads priority activities and initiatives in Rigorous and Ethical Research at organizational and country levels to systematically advance Global Communities’ programmatic priorities and business capture capabilities. This includes:
  • Serves as Institutional Review Board (IRB) Administrator, responsible for working closely with the IRB Chair. The role of the IRB Administrator has with expertise and authority to make final decisions around what constitutes ethical research requiring IRB approval, run and manage meetings and reviews, and strengthen processes and procedures for ensuring ethical standards are upheld at Global Communities.
  • Participate in organizational initiatives to strengthen research coordination and governance at the organizational level, including ensuring roles and responsibilities for research are clearly documented and understood
  • Defines and/or makes significant contributions to develop and implement organizational-wide systems and tools to improve the design, implementation, and utilization of research
  • Identifies needed resources to implement priority activities
  • Designs and implements technical assistance and capacity building strategies that result in improved skills and capacity in this area
  • Supports organizational (internal) strategic coordination and learning in the area, including related knowledge sharing between teams, departments, projects and countries through peer-to-peer networks and knowledge exchange activities
  • Represent MELI Team on relevant organizational committees and initiatives:
  • Identifies and engages in strategic partnerships with relevant/related (external) organizations and institutions

MELI Support to Projects:

  • Support the development and/or strengthening of project-level MEL frameworks and plans, ensuring that MEL systems and tools produce relevant, timely, quality data that are responsive to the organization and project-level MEL strategies, program beneficiaries, and compliant with reporting requirements
  • With program and field MEL teams, support the analysis and utilization of programmatic data to assess and improve program quality and project performance
  • Develop and support activities to assess and improve quality of routine program data
  • Support the design, coordination, and implementation of selected project quality, relevant studies and assessments, including evaluations, formal and informal research, and targeted analyses, ensuring the findings are of high quality, relevant, and effectively shared with key stakeholders.
  • Strengthen MELI-related capacity of relevant Global Communities internal and partner staff, in areas including data management, analysis, reporting and utilization of findings for data driven decision making, knowledge management, CLA and learning.
  • Participate in the drafting and/or review of technical reports, including donor reports, project or study briefs, or other dissemination products to ensure stakeholder accountability, to promote learning, and enhance visibility of Global Communities efforts
  • Lead/Facilitate stocktaking exercises such as pause and reflect sessions, results utilization activities, before action reviews, after action reviews, critical reflection workshops and others to give and receive stakeholder feedback and identify lessons learned.
  • Coordinate with other technical and MERL members in the field and HQ that support relevant projects (including members of the Project Support team) for effective MERL-related coordination and support to projects
  • Work with Field counterparts to report on organizational (e.g., Strategic Plan) results

Support to Resource Mobilization/New Business Development: Support the development of new and/or expanded programs

  • Work with other programmatic teams to identify, pursue, and secure new growth opportunities both with existing donors, and new and non-traditional donors and investors, including the private sector.
  • As part of proposal preparation teams, lead in the writing, developing, and/or reviewing of relevant components of project proposals, including the drafting of monitoring, evaluation, research and learning components and MERL implementation plans. As part of proposal preparation teams, lead in the identification and/or formation of strategic partnerships to support MERL Tech, research, CLA, and other relevant areas.

Technical Thought Leadership / Portfolio Support:

  • Facilitate / support the development of portfolio-level research learning and research agendas
  • Support the identification and optimization of use of internal program and research data and knowledge across programs, with a focus on facilitating utilization of data and knowledge for technical learning, to improve programs, and enhance visibility of Global Communities programs at the portfolio level
  • Support learning and knowledge capture within and across programs through applied learning workshops and development of knowledge management collection and dissemination platforms


  • Contribute to efforts to effectively plan, coordinate, and communicate and coordinate OSIIL- and MELI-related strategic Priority areas and activities with other relevant actors at Global Communities.
  • Contribute to and advances the strengthening of systems, capacity, processes & tools for monitoring and evaluation, information systems, research, learning, and knowledge management across the organization.

MELI Visibility and Thought Leadership:

  • Promote and advance a culture of learning within the organization through advancing personal learning and subject matter expertise in relevant MERL-related areas and actively promoting and contributing to internal learning in MELI related areas, with an emphasis on ethical and robust research and learning.
  • Participate in relevant external working groups for networking and visibility
  • Contribute to Global Communities’ technical expertise and reputation in relevant areas to improve visibility of MELI work within Global Communities and the broader development sector through
    a) Staying up to date on industry best practices
    b) Presenting Global Communities’ work, methods and tools at conferences positioning the organization as thought leaders.


  • Ability to travel, including to remote and/or resource-limited areas within GC’s country portfolio
  • Supports MELI related mentoring and professional development other staff members
  • Participate in Global Communities organizational initiatives.
  • Other duties as assigned

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge and demonstrated skills in program planning, monitoring and evaluation, research and/or learning related to international development programs
  • Knowledge and demonstrated skills in developing, implementing, or providing technical support to high quality, relevant, ethical research
  • Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research techniques, including planning of studies, determining variables, selecting appropriate sampling methodologies, developing bibliographical and other sources of data, and statistical principles and procedures
  • Strong knowledge of ethical and legal principles governing research involving human subjects, including IRB procedures and 45 CFR part 46 (Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, or “Common Rule”)
  • Understanding and experience with program and/or MERL requirements of US Government donors (i.e. USAID, USDA, PEPFAR, CDC, State Department, Department of Defense) strongly preferred
  • Experience communicating effectively and working with a diverse set of technical and non-technical counterparts and stakeholders, including global headquarter staff, country stakeholders, host government, non-governmental organizations, health care providers and community representatives
  • Strong writing skills to support proposal development, prepare and review reports and to contribute to publications and promotional materials
  • Proven project coordination skills and ability to work independently and as part of a team while coordinating and collaborating with diverse field counterparts across multiple countries.
  • Skills to mentor staff with various levels of technical capacity and experience.
  • Highly motivated, organized, and able to produce results fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment.
  • Familiarity with and sensitivity to diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as gender issues.
  • Excellent computer skills including Microsoft Office Suite
  • A passion for the mission and values of Global Communities.
  • Second language abilities in Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, etc. a plus.


  • Undergraduate degree in a related discipline and a minimum of four years of related work experience or a minimum of eight years of related work experience.
  • At least two years of professional experience in program planning, monitoring and evaluation, research and/or learning related to international development programs
  • At least two years of experience leading or supporting efforts to strengthen research, evaluation, and learning initiatives
  • Maintain or achieve status as a Certified IRB Professional
  • Experience and capacity in institutionalizing organization-wide research and learning systems and coordination structures

Global Communities is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.

How to apply:

Senior Specialist, Monitoring, Evaluation & Research in Silver Spring, Maryland | Careers at US, Headquarters (