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Monitoring, Evaluations and Information Systems Director

Spark MicroGrants

Product & Project Management

NGO, NPO & Charity KSh Confidential
1 month ago

Job Summary

Spark is seeking an ambitious and impact-driven leader to champion our work in evidence-driven research, monitoring & evaluation and information systems management. This is a dynamic and innovative role sitting across our global portfolio. Key responsibilities are generation of robust evidence of impact through programmatic monitoring and internal and external evaluations, managing our information systems, developing and maintaining strong evidence-program-policy linkages, and supporting technical and technological innovations in program design.

  • Minimum Qualification:Masters
  • Experience Level:Senior level
  • Experience Length:8 years

Job Description/Requirements

We are hiring a Monitoring, Evaluations and Information Systems Director

ABOUT SPARK MICROGRANTS

Spark MicroGrants believes in a world where everyone lives with dignity and determines their own positive future. Spark has pioneered a community-driven development model in East Africa, and works with NGO and Government partners to scale adoption and impacts for rural communities - on their own terms. Our model combines facilitated community meetings with a small, discretionary grant to catalyse local action and institution building. Read more about our Approach, Impact and Values on our website.

Spark is seeking an ambitious and impact-driven leader to champion our work in evidence-driven research, monitoring & evaluation and information systems management. This is a dynamic and innovative role sitting across our global portfolio. Key responsibilities are generation of robust evidence of impact through programmatic monitoring and internal and external evaluations, managing our information systems, developing and maintaining strong evidence-program-policy linkages, and supporting technical and technological innovations in program design.

We are looking for a senior strategic leader who will lead a large and diverse portfolio of work, bring international technical expertise, champion a collaborative working approach and demonstrate excellence in management, mentoring, and leadership.

OUR WORK

Spark currently operates in seven countries in partnership with governments and nonprofits. We aim to reach national scale in five countries over the next five years. Towards this goal Spark has secured a USD Six million World Bank-Comic Relief grant through the Japanese Social Development Fund, for the Advancing Citizen Engagement (ACE) Project in Rwanda. Started in June 2021, the project will improve the livelihoods of 85,000 people across 249 villages in Rwanda, and enhance Local and Central Government capacity for participatory village planning, utilising Spark’s tried and tested model for village development, the Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP). The project includes an external evaluation of the project. Your strategic leadership will guarantee strong evaluation of the program and continuous data-driven decision making contributing to setting on the path to national scale in Rwanda.

Along with our work in Rwanda, Spark is partnering with the Government of Malawi to roll-out the FCAP (modified to context in Malawi) and subsequent expansion to large scale. We are strategically focussing on technology-led delivery of FCAP in Malawi to explore ways to improve impact and reduce cost of delivery. As part of the pilot in Malawi, we are aiming to do a variety of testing on programmatic input areas including grant sizes, length and duration of training and role of technology. Based on the learnings above, we are aiming to run a RCT starting mid-2023. We are preparing for similar testing through our partners in Uganda and Ghana leveraging our government and civil society partnerships. We are also exploring opportunities to layer aligned interventions on FCAP to generate maximum impact for communities and leverage the investment of intensive FCAP delivery over an extended period of time.

WHO YOU ARE
You are a seasoned professional with significant expertise in impact evaluation, program monitoring, passion for leveraging technology and an interest in making research accessible to the layperson. You thrive in bringing order to chaos, understanding a variety of stakeholders, requirements and priorities and bringing them all together into coherent and systematic processes for delivery. You enjoy being part of a team with ambitious ideas and you gain energy from turning those ambiguous ideas into a pragmatic reality. You are a clear communicator, understanding differing styles and backgrounds and you bring things up to your colleagues proactively that need to be discussed.

THE ROLE
In your role you will be part of the leadership team. You will work with a team of 65+ staff, own research and actively contribute to funding partner relationships. You will directly manage a team of 11 people across monitoring and evaluation, MIS, research and learning functions. You will also manage consultants and large research contracts compliant with World Bank, USAID and other large donors’ procurement guidelines.
The right candidate will not want to do ‘development as usual’ but question ‘how’ aid works and ensure that Spark’s program is ultimately accountable to the villages we serve. The Monitoring, Evaluations and Information Systems Director will continue our excellent work in establishing a culture of learning and evidence-based decision-making within Spark and our partners.

RESPONSIBILITIES

1. Strategic Leadership & Department Management
Responsibilities include:

● Championing a culture of feedback, learning and iteration to ensure Spark’s M&E and learning systems continue to adapt, improve, and feed into program decisions.
● Drive departmental strategy including setting and achieving departmental and organizational goals.
● Manage, develop and retain the team setting clear responsibility domains, deliverables, growth opportunities, and support to achieve their goals.
● Establish and sustain critical productive relationships with donors, partners, and industry stakeholders (e.g. researchers, academics) to advance Spark’s ability to draw on and influence a wide range of advisers and industry partners in our work.

2. Monitoring and Evaluation: Lead Spark’s monitoring and evaluation functions across our global portfolio.
● Ensure M&E teams work closely with other Spark teams such as the training and learning departments to support roll-out of and training on these systems across all partners. Model a service mentality of adapting and designing M&E systems that make it easy for our partners to track and improve the quality of their programs.
● Data consolidation and analysis, linked to program quality and organisational learning objectives, and to support partner-driven learning and program management.
● Database management
● Ensure smooth functioning of data systems and provision of timely reports to internal and external stakeholders.
● Oversee development and implementation of monitoring tools, analyses and learning projects that are robust, iterative and effective at capturing the impact of the Spark process within partner communities, including tools to garner rapid end-user feedback about program quality (‘citizen feedback’).
● Leading the design and implementation of internal and external impact evaluations. Lead the relationship with external researchers and institutions.

● Monitoring the effectiveness and quality of safeguards systems in Rwanda, including ensuring spot-checks on the use of Microgrant project risk screening tools, and monitoring the performance of the grievance redress mechanism.

3. Research and Learning: Lead Spark’s research and learning functions across our global portfolio.
● Developing and researching key ‘learning questions’ annually, contributing to address internal and industry-wide learning and evidence gaps, and aligned with the organisation's strategy and vision.
● Ensure learnings and data are contributing to Spark’s organisational strategy & goals as we scale our model through partners.
● Develop partnerships with relevant partners to push Spark to continuously test new ways of measuring and further understanding our impact - and share these results with the sector.
● Map out existing research, network within the sector and gather learnings and evidence to inform the development of standards for facilitation and community-driven development and align Spark’s learning agenda and exchange with these standards.

REQUIREMENTS:
Qualifications, experience & skills:

● 8-10 years of relevant experience in M&E, designing and delivering high quality research and managing information systems
● Masters Degree in the field of Economics, International Development, or related fields;
● Demonstrated experience in management and a record of leading and developing diverse teams;
● Ability to operate independently and strong in working as part of a larger team;
● Strong project management skills and attention to detail are required;
● Experience in strategy development is desirable;
● Excellent English written and oral communication;
● Remains calm and positive under pressure and in difficult situations;
● Experience of working with academics, governments and donor institutions required;
● Experience working with the World Bank would be advantageous.

Safeguarding
Our safeguarding follows a do no harm principle. All Spark staff are expected to respect and uphold the safeguarding procedures and principles to minimise harm to stakeholders, program participants, and the environment, in compliance with the World Bank Environmental and Social Framework and Rwandan Legislation.

OTHER INFORMATION
Job Location: Flexible in locations in East Africa, preferred in Kigali, Rwanda
Estimated start date: As soon as possible
Application closing Date: On a rolling basis, we reserve the right to close this recruitment process at any time.
How to Apply: Follow this link to apply http://sparkmicrogrants.bamboohr.com/job or click the "Apply Now Button"


Please note that we are able to sponsor visa applications for this position.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
Spark Microgrants provides equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals. Employment decisions at Spark are based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. Spark does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, gender identity, age, disability, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by the law. Spark will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in undue hardship to daily operations.

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