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United States of America: Director of Evaluation, Research and Learning

NGO/UN Job Vacancy

Organization: The Boma Project
Country: United States of America
Closing date: 15 Aug 2017

About the BOMA Project:

The BOMA Project (BOMA) is a US nonprofit and Kenyan NGO with a proven track record, measurable results, and a transformative approach to alleviating poverty and building resiliency in the drylands of Africa (40% of the continent). BOMA implements a high-impact, data-driven poverty graduation program in the arid and semi-arid lands of Eastern Africa that provides ultra-poor women with seed capital and financial and life skills training, enabling them to start a business and establish savings to pay for food and school fees, and obtain medical care for their families.

BOMA is working to solve one of Africa’s toughest problems in an extraordinarily challenging region, and is demonstrating significant impact through measurable results. BOMA is a leader in the development of digital platforms for monitoring and evaluation of program impacts and organizational performance.

To date, we have impacted more than 86,000 women and children, helping them break the generational cycle of extreme poverty and achieve a sustainable pathway to increased household resilience. Our goal is to reach 100,000 women and children by 2018, and 1,000,000 by 2021. We are poised for significant expansion in scale and impact, and are seeking a dynamic, skilled, and passionate Director for Research, Evaluation and Learning to help us achieve our goals.

What we do:

Our REAP program replaces aid with sustainable income and helps women to “graduate” from extreme poverty by giving them the tools they need to start small businesses in their communities. With this new and diversified source of income, they can feed their families, pay for school fees and medical care, accumulate savings for long-term stability, survive drought, and adapt to a changing climate.

REAP helps women to build a pathway out of extreme poverty by addressing three elements that contribute to the cycle of aid dependency in the arid lands of Africa: low incomes, inconsistent cash flows, and inadequate financial services for the rural poor. Profits from each REAP business provide a diversified income, while BOMA savings associations help women to manage cash flow (for daily needs), plan for future expenses (such as school fees and medical care), and respond to shocks (such as drought or family emergencies).

Position Summary:

The Director of Research, Evaluation and Learning (DREL provides leadership and expertise to develop and ensure best in class Research, Evaluation and Learning practice at the BOMA Project. The DREL is an active member of the Leadership Team and coordinates closely with the Deputy Director, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Director of Programs & Innovation, the East Africa Regional Director and the Manager of Monitoring & Evaluation in Kenya, to promote BOMA’s mission. While BOMA is based in Manchester, VT, working remotely from another location in the United States is possible if s/he will be willing to make periodic travel to VT in addition to quarterly travel to Kenya. Key responsibilities include:

Research, Evaluation and Learning:

  • Refine and lead BOMA’s program research and learning strategy.
  • Oversee and mentor Kenya-based Monitoring & Evaluation Manager.
  • Provide strategic and technical guidance to the Kenya-based M&E Unit, reviewing and analyzing M&E activities and outputs, troubleshooting and advising on course corrections as needed.
  • In collaboration with the Kenya M&E Manager, coordinate and provide oversight of the activities of external evaluation firms and researchers. This includes activities related to a quasi-experimental evaluation conducted by an outside firm and a randomized control trial developed in partnership with the University of California Davis and the International Livestock Research Institute.
  • Be responsible for the collaborative development of BOMA’s learning agenda and lead efforts to disseminate knowledge both internally and externally.
  • Design research projects, their methodology and metrics, and learning initiatives to fill knowledge gaps in BOMA’s approach and in the field.
  • Ensure learning improves program design and implementation and feeds into adaptive management.
  • Lead ongoing efforts to build monitoring, evaluation and research capacities of key staff.
  • Steward the ongoing development and implementation of BOMA’s Salesforce-based Performance Insights system.
  • Lead software and database design efforts with staff and vendors.
  • Analyze primary and secondary quantitative and qualitative data using software such as Stata.
  • Produce clear, compelling, and methodologically robust reports, journal articles and policy briefs.

Program Design and Development:

  • Lead or support the development of BOMA’s theories of change, results frameworks, log frames, indicators, monitor, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) plans, etc. in both project design and proposal development processes.
  • Develop and deepen long-term partnerships with academics and researchers.
  • Represent BOMA before strategic partners and in relevant networks including the World Bank Graduation group, the Gates Foundation’s Women and Girls at the Center of Development learning cluster and Mercy Corps.
  • Disseminate organizational research and learning through publications and conference presentations.

Key Performance Metrics include:

· Number and performance of active research projects

· Number and quality of learning products produced

· Improvements in M&E team capacity

· Number and quality of publications and presentations

Internal Relationships:

· DREL will report to the Director of Programs & Innovation.

· DREL will supervise the Kenya-based Monitoring & Evaluation Manager and is expected to develop a high value partnership with the Kenya-based M&E team.

· DREL will coordinate and collaborate extensively with the East Africa Regional Director, Kenya Program Manager, Regional Technical Advisor (all based in Kenya) as well as the Director of Programs & Innovation (based in Vermont) and the Deputy Director (based in Washington, DC).

Candidate Profile:

· Value commitment to the mission of The BOMA Project.

· Strong foundation in experimental design, statistical methods, qualitative and quantitative methods.

· Ability to lead the design of experimental and quasi-experimental evaluations.

· Strong data analysis skills with experience in at least one statistical package software for quantitative data analysis (SPSS, STATA).

· Strong writing skills.

· Strong technology competencies and the ability to manage projects with software development partners. Salesforce experience is a plus.

· Ability to work and lead in a globally distributed, multi-cultural environment.

· Willingness to travel to remote and difficult contexts in Kenya and East Africa.

· Ability to work remotely and with others that work remotely.

Education and Experience:

  • Graduate degree with a strong foundation in statistical methods;
  • At least five years of progressively responsible experience designing evaluations and research projects;
  • Experience carrying out rural development work in cross-cultural settings preferred. Experience in Africa is a plus.

How to apply:

Please send CV, with cover letter and salary requirements to No phone calls please. Only qualified candidates will be contacted.