MEL Advisor

Job Reference: tbigc/TP/22858/283
Number of Positions: 1
Contract Type: Permanent/Full Time
Contract Details: Ongoing
Salary: Competitive
Working Hours: 40
Closing Date: 19/05/2021
Job Category: Advisory
Business Area / Division: Advisory - Africa
Business Unit: United Kingdom
Location: London

Focus of the Role

The Africa Advisory Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team, located in London, supports project teams to design, develop, and implement monitoring and evaluation strategies that capture the impact of our advisory work in Africa. The current programme portfolio includes 15 projects in Africa and a series of institutionally-funded programmes and projects.

We are currently searching for an experienced Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor to lead the implementation and strengthening of our monitoring and evaluation systems and reporting across our institutionally- funded programmes in Africa, including multi-country USAID and Gates Foundation-funded programmes. As MEL Advisor you will be expected to provide strong technical guidance on evaluation methodologies and deliver high quality evaluation reports and outputs.

You will work across a wide range of projects and sectors, including inclusive economic growth, health and education. You build a strong understanding of the different needs and requirement of our stakeholders and donors and develop content that allows for internal and external learning and reflection. You are responsible for building a strong relationship with the Fundraising team and provide ongoing support to deliver relevant content for donor reporting, business development and fundraising.  This role oversees a MEL analyst and a small team of external consultants, working closely with country teams and reporting to the MEL Lead for Africa Advisory.

The successful applicant will have a proven track record in designing and delivering high quality outputs and evaluations as well as providing high quality technical advice. The ideal candidate will have:

  • significant experience in MEL advisory work, ideally including designing and undertaking evaluations of capacity development programming aiming to drive socioeconomic transformation in Africa;
  • substantial experience in developing and fragile contexts and should demonstrate an excellent understanding of the need for evidence-based policymaking and programming; and
  • should be flexible and adaptable, always open to changing approaches in response to changing situations on the ground and able to work at pace to juggle competing priorities.

Key Responsibilities

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­The role is responsible for ensuring the development and implementation of robust MEL practices across the donor-funded grants and projects within the Africa Advisory country programmes and sectoral practices, including design of tools, quality assurance of data collection processes and capacity building of programme teams and partners.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Deliver high quality evaluations for our donor-funded projects and programmes
  • Provide high quality technical support to country teams and sector leads on evaluation methodologies and MEL frameworks in line with donors requirements.
  • Work with Country teams and Sector Leads to develop and implement MEL frameworks in line with donors’ requirements and ensuring appropriate and timely input into project cycles
  • Assess varied MEL capabilities across our Africa projects and build in-house technical MEL capacity across our Country Teams, and the capacity of government counterparts where relevant/requested
  • Independently undertake projects reviews, share and disseminate insights and learning to support decision-making and strategy adaptation
  • Provide advisory support to the project teams, including designing MEL frameworks, theories of change and evaluation methodologies for new and existing projects, quality assurance of data collection, analysis, leading on technical proposals and bids
  • Collaborate with the Fundraising Team to delivery high quality MEL plans and reports for our institutional donor funded programmes.
  • Work with the central TBI Evidence and Impact team to develop our Institute-wide approach to MEL, in particular for donor-funded programmes, including commissioning and managing research, developing MEL approaches and strategies and representing the Institute externally

The role will require overseas travel, subject to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.  

Person Specification

The successful candidate for the role should be able to display most of the following:

  • A master’s degree qualification or higher in a relevant discipline and research methods, preferably in development studies, political science, social science, or related areas; or equivalent practical experience
  • 7+ years’ experience in research, evaluation and monitoring of international donor-funded and multi-country development projects, particularly related to governance reform, economic development, and capacity strengthening interventions
  • Substantial experience with impact studies & evaluations and reporting on institutional funding (e.g., from DFID, USAID, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, etc.)
  • Experience with creative reporting solutions, data management and presentation, infographics, and report design
  • A strategic mindset and experience in adaptive management, PDIA, and complexity-aware MEL methods
  • Experience in workshop facilitation and leading collective reflection and learning processes
  • Experience in providing high quality technical MEL assistance to clients and supporting business development
  • Experience commissioning and managing external consultancy contracts, including evaluations
  • Strong understanding of and experience implementing MEL methodologies, including Theory of Change, logical frameworks, and approaches to measuring capacity building in challenging environments. 
  • Strong analytical and management skills, including sound knowledge of strategic planning and project management tools 
  • Effective inter-personal and leadership skills with an ability to develop and foster relationships across a large and diverse organization, including with senior management
  • Drive, motivation, and ability to consistently achieve results in a fast-paced environment
  • Fluent in English. Additional language skills advantageous (French especially)

Early applications are encouraged

About The Institute

The Tony Blair Institute (TBI) is a mission-driven not for profit organisation. We exist to equip political leaders and governments to build open, inclusive and prosperous societies. We work hard, every day, to make a difference. When governments work well they are able to create economic and social change in a way that promotes fairness, social justice and opportunity. We work relentlessly to support leader and governments with the challenges they face. Giving them practical solutions and actionable insights, that once implemented, can be transformative for their people  

We do this within two connected divisions: 

 Government Advisory 

Our Advisory Practice works directly with political leaders and governments around the world to implement reforms that improve the lives of their citizens. It has both non-profit partners and a client base and its outputs cover a range of disciplines and projects across countries in Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia. We are currently in a rapid expansion phase from c. 18 countries at present, to 30 by December 2022.

 Policy Futures 

Our Policy Futures work encompasses three broad areas: 

  • Renewing the Centre: developing a bold and innovative domestic policy programme to help renew the centre ground of British politics; 
  • Tech and Public Policy: exploring the policy challenges and opportunities presented by the technological revolution; and 
  • Extremism Policy Unit: creating solutions designed to tackle the threat of extremist ideologies in the UK and around the world. 

As an organisation, the core beliefs we all embrace are: 

  • Open and Progressive: you’ll believe in the value of teamwork 
  • Bold and Pragmatic: you’ll approach everything you do with integrity and authenticity 
  • Optimistic Changemaker: you’ll be focused on results 

TBI believes embracing diversity and inclusion make us a better place to work.  It’s our goal to reflect everyone in society and we actively welcome applications from individuals and groups who are under-represented in the workplace. We celebrate difference be it ethnicity, religion, age, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. We will only ever assess you on your abilities and fit for a role. We’re happy to discuss any adjustments you need to ensure a level playing field during recruitment and, if you\'re successful, discuss any adjustments you might need to thrive in your role.