Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Advisor

Position Summary

AKFC is seeking an experienced Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Advisor to oversee monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and knowledge management and learning systems across the portfolio, including significant new and existing projects in Africa and Asia. Partner countries include Afghanistan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Mozambique, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Within projects, gender-sensitive MERL strategies focus on (i) establishing sound, utilization-focused systems that incorporate gender equality targeted and sensitive MERL approaches, (ii) generating quality data, (iii) using results and learnings to inform decision making and improve program performance and (iv) disseminating knowledge and learning with key stakeholders in partner countries and Canada.

The MERL Advisor will provide oversight, leadership, and technical support to AKFC colleagues and implementing partners to ensure project MERL activities are designed and implemented effectively.  S/he will work on both new proposals as well as new and existing projects.

S/he will work closely with the AKFC MERL Manager and liaise with the AKF Global Program Team, ensuring global AKF MERL practices and core indicators are included within MERL system design.

The MERL Advisor is based in Ottawa, Canada.  The position will likely include travel up to 40% per year to project countries.



Specifically, the MERL Advisor will:

  1. Collaborate with AKFC, project implementation and possibly academic partners to establish and implement gender sensitive MEL systems for routine project monitoring and evaluation of its programs. This includes the development of project logic models and performance measurement frameworks (PMFs), establishing and supporting the use of data collection tools and systems, facilitating field level processes to ensure data quality, and monitoring risks. Ensuring the use of gender sensitive and gender equality targeted results, indicators, data collection approaches and analysis are key elements of this work.
  2. Work collaboratively with other program team members in developing proposals.
  3. Support, liaise, and coordinate with global, regional and country-level MERL staff. This includes providing remote and on-site technical support to project implementation partners in relation to the development and maintenance of gender sensitive M&E systems in partner countries.
  4. Oversee the implementation of quantitative and/or qualitative project baselines, mid-lines, and end-line surveys/assessments.
  5. Contribute to and support the implementation of gender analysis and gender assessments as part of project design and implementation.
  6. Contribute to the definition of and oversee the implementation of the research agenda, in collaboration with technical specialists in AKDN as well as other research partners.
  7. Assist in the identification and recruitment of MERL technical experts, as necessary.
  8. Ensure that key project learnings are being captured and used to feed into ongoing program management and development.
  9. Facilitate the use of evidence and data to inform decision-making by AKFC, project partners, local and national governments and other stakeholders.
  10. Work closely with program and communications colleagues within and beyond AKFC to create knowledge products that demonstrate the effectiveness of programming, and develop strategies to disseminate those learning resources with different audiences, including the Canadian public, AKFC’s donors, and development practitioners within and outside the AKDN.
  11. Participate in M&E communities of practice, and represent AKFC at M&E related conferences and forums.


Required Qualifications and Experience

  • A post-graduate degree, preferably in international development or social sciences, ideally with a focus on measurement, evaluation and research.
  • Minimum of five years of relevant practical experience designing, implementing and managing gender sensitive MERL systems for donor-funded development projects across various sectors, including health, education, economic development, including at least two years of experience based in a developing country.
  • Training in M&E systems development and implementation.
  • Extensive knowledge of results-based management (RBM), including how to design and analyse logic models and how to develop and use appropriate (“SMART”) indicators, including gender sensitive and gender targeted indicators.
  • Knowledge of global standard indicators.
  • Proven knowledge and experience with Global Affairs Canada’s (GAC’s) results-based management tools, donor requirements and reporting processes, including monitoring and evaluating gender equality results.
  • Knowledge and experience of research design and implementation, including qualitative and quantitative gender sensitive data collection methodologies.
  • Experience with the development of data collection methods and tools (forms, formats, questionnaires) as well as systems for the entry, analysis and storage of quantitative data.
  • Experience in using data analysis tools (e.g. SPSS, NVIVO, etc.) is an asset.
  • Demonstrated capacity to respect and safeguard vulnerable populations.
  • Experience with developing successful knowledge translation strategies and tools to capture project learning and impact, and use and communicate results and learnings to inform and strengthen strategies, program design and practices.
  • Experience in the development context of many of AKFC’s partner countries (Afghanistan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Mozambique, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Tanzania and Uganda) is an asset.
  • Experience working with GAC and other bilateral donors is an asset.


Essential Skills and Attributes

  • A high level of motivation with an open and curious mind and high standards of integrity.
  • Detail-oriented.
  • Ability to work well in teams and particularly teams that span across multiple geographies.
  • Exceptional relationship-management skills, including the ability to build consensus and respectfully engage and influence multiple and diverse global stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge through training, capacity building and mentoring.
  • Capacity to work independently, take initiative and manage a variety of activities simultaneously while meeting strict reporting deadlines and keeping colleagues and senior managers well informed.
  • Ability to facilitate collaborative and participatory processes with partners and stakeholders.
  • Ability to communicate technical issues effectively.
  • Excellent analytical, interpersonal and problem-solving skills in a cross-cultural context.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills in English and French; ability to work in Portuguese, Russian, Tajik and other local languages is an asset.
  • Willingness to undertake regular field visits to program countries in Africa and Asia.




How to Apply

Qualified applicants should submit a cover letter, resume and the names and contact information of three professional references by 26 June 2020 via email to [email protected].


Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Please note that applicants must be eligible to work in Canada.

AKFC is committed to advancing gender equality and inclusion through our programming and operations in Canada and overseas. AKFC requires all employees to review and abide by the AKFC Gender Equality Policy.

AKFC welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

AKFC recognizes the importance of safeguarding and is committed to ensuring it manages a wide range of risks such that beneficiaries, staff, other associates, and the organization as a whole are kept safe from harm.


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