Research, Evidence and Learning Design Lead

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Country: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Organization: Comic Relief
Closing date: 24 Mar 2021

Research, Evidence and Learning Design Lead

12 Month Fixed Term Contract

£41,500 - £45,000

London and Currently Remote

As part of the Learning and Fund Design team, the Research, Evidence and Learning Design Lead is a one-year fixed term contract to lead the design of the evidence and learning component of Comic Relief’s new long-term civil society strengthening programme, co-funded by UK aid. This exciting, strategic programme with the overarching aim of shifting greater power to civil society will invest in the organisational development of civil society organisations in Ghana, Zambia and Malawi and offer training and support in local resource mobilisation. Reflection, learning, evidence generation and adaptation are core features that will need to be built into the programme. With oversight and support from the Head of Learning and Fund Design, the Research, Evidence and Learning Design Lead will ensure all evidence and learning deliverables for the design phase of the programme are completed on time, to a high quality, and driven by the programme’s values. The postholder will also working closely with the Programme Design Lead for this programme and with a diversity of stakeholders within and outside of Comic Relief.

Key responsibilities:

· Leadership: Provide leadership of the research, evidence and learning elements of the design phase of Comic Relief’s new civil society strengthening programme, co-funded by UK aid, in line with the approved Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Business Case, MoU and budget.

· Learning Strategy: Working with the Programme Design Lead & key delivery partners (‘Anchor Partner(s)’), develop the learning strategy for the programme, with a focus on generating evidence on how funders (particularly those based in the Global North) can best support African CSOs to strengthen their organisations & generate more sustainable forms of income locally. Develop community-led storytelling approaches and ensure synergy with Communications Strategy.

· Approach: Creatively find ways to unlock the inherent power of communities and organisations by ensuring that people with lived experience are intentionally engaged in how the programme is designed.

· Technical partnerships: Utilising Comic Relief’s experience and learning, lead on the development of Terms of Reference and identification of key research and evidence partners to support us in delivering the Learning Strategy in programme countries (beginning in Ghana). This includes tendering, contracting and partnership inception activities.

· Organisational Strengthening Framework: Working in partnership with the Programme Design Lead, identified Anchor Partner(s) and other technical partners, and building on foundational work already completed, support the design of the framework to define, track, measure and understand the process of organisational change and strengthening (the ‘Organisational Strengthening Framework’).

· Logframe: Working with the Programme Design Lead, and Anchor Partner(s), develop the programme logframe to be agreed with FCDO and form the basis of Comic Relief’s reporting to them.

· Network building and sector learning: Connect with existing networks and fora engaged in the #ShiftThePower discourse, as well as other funders who share Comic Relief’s intention to shift greater power to those closest to the issues we fund, in order to ensure the programme contributes to, and benefits from, existing rich experience, knowledge and perspectives.

· Alignment with existing internal practice: Work closely with the Senior Manager: Evidence and Learning to develop quality improvements to Comic Relief’s MEL approach, ensuring that learning from this programme contributes to equitable, inclusive and consistent principles, systems and processes.

· Advisory support: Provide technical input to existing FCDO jointly funded programmes with an organisational strengthening component, supporting the Evidence and Learning team to meaningfully measure and evidence changes in organisational strength in a way which reinforces ownership, learning and adaptation.

· Line management: Be ready to provide quality line management and professional development support to potential line reports joining the team, ensuing they have clear objectives in place and are supported to meet them.

· International travel is required with this role (dependent on Covid-19 travel restrictions introduced by Comic Relief or governments).

Essential Skills and Competencies:

· Significant and demonstrable technical expertise in processes, approaches, tools and methodologies that facilitate formal and informal monitoring, evaluation and learning of complex and high value organisational strengthening initiatives in different contexts.

· Demonstrable knowledge of, and experience of, organisational development and/or local philanthropy in an African context. Experience working on these issues in Ghana, Malawi or Zambia is a plus.

· A deep understanding and critical engagement with the politics of evidence and a proven ability to apply analysis of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and power to evidence and learning.

· Experience of designing and delivering interventions using at least two of the following: collective intelligence and learning; people centred design; behavioural insights; adaptive management; user participation and co-design.

· Experience of commissioning and managing external consultants and brokering fair and equitable research and evidence partnerships.

· Excellent facilitation skills, ability to promote critical thinking and reflective practice and encourage learning

· Experience of working in partnership with a bilateral donor, ideally, or other large institutional funders.

· Effective relationship builder with strong emotional intelligence and political awareness to proactively challenge and persuade senior stakeholders and partners. Experience of working in partnership at a distance / remotely.

· Strategic and analytical thinker with the ability to see the bigger picture, adopt a positive and solution-orientated approach and make appropriate and effective decisions.

· Strong communicator and planner with a flexible, engaging and inspirational style.

How to apply:

To apply please visit our website via the link and apply online at:

Role closes - 12:00pm, 24th Mar 2021 GMT (Europe/London

Inclusivity at Comic Relief

We recognise diversity and inclusion are a source of strength in achieving our mission. We therefore welcome everyone, trusting what makes us different brings creativity, styles and experiences to help us collectively do our best work. That’s regardless of your gender, age, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and cultural identity. We especially welcome those from under-represented groups in modern grant-making and fundraising. We are on a journey, but if you join our team you will be part of a community that is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment where we want you to:

· Be valued for being yourself

· Do your best work, and be supported to break down barriers so you can succeed

· Be heard, respected, and treated as an equal, whatever your level, experience or background

· Be part of a team that is committed to making this happen – with our colleagues, partners, and contributors.

Comic Relief is committed to preventing and protecting all people from harm in their interactions with us. We expect all those that act in our name to uphold our approach to doing no harm.

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