Lead Evaluation Specialist, Synthesis & Reviews Office, UK

Posted on: 11 November 2022 Deadline: (Ongoing)

Background

The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) is an international NGO that promotes evidence-informed equitable, inclusive and sustainable development. We support the generation and effective use of high-quality evidence to inform decision-making and improve the lives of people living in poverty in low- and middle-income countries (L&MICs). We provide guidance and support to produce impact evaluations and associated formative evaluations, systematic reviews and syntheses, evidence gap maps and support for using that evidence in decision-making and capacity development. 3ie is registered as a non-governmental organization in the United States. It has offices in New Delhi, London and Washington, DC.

We do so through evidence programs, production of public goods, professional services, and support for institutional advancement initiatives. The evidence programs include theory-based, mixed-methods impact evaluations, implementation research, systematic reviews, evidence gap maps, and replication studies. Our work encompasses a wide range of topics, sectors and themes, including but not limited to health, nutrition, education, agriculture, governance, microfinance, climate change, humanitarian interventions, and social protection. 

3ie is inviting applications for the post of Lead Evaluation Specialist (LES), a senior-level position to be based at our London office.

Summary

The LES will provide institutional leadership in evidence synthesis. In addition, they may provide technical and management leadership of and support for evidence programs and professional services grants across our portfolio of impact evaluations, formative evaluations, replication and synthesis. This includes leading research activities, as well as supporting the preparation of proposal materials for fundraising, writing program documents, reviewing grant proposals, quality-assuring 3ie-funded studies and managing external reviewers. They are expected to assume full management responsibility for evidence programs and to conduct research, provide technical assistance for capacity building, and write content for publications, social media, and 3ie’s website. They will lead and/or participate in high-level events, conferences, and workshops, and participate in internal and external committees, boards, panels and so on.In various capacities, the LES will communicate and negotiate directly with funders and represent 3ie at meetings with policymakers and researchers.

The successful candidate will have significant and broad-based impact evaluation and/or systematic review research experience and will have demonstrated expertise in implementing research and translating research evidence for decision-makers in L&MICs. They will be working in a matrixed environment and will be expected to establish strong and collaborative relations with staff across 3ie offices, with researchers and other stakeholders in the field, and with 3ie members in L&MICs. We are seeking a highly diplomatic and entrepreneurial individual who is comfortable taking initiative and who thrives in a fast-paced environment.

The LES will report to 3ie’s director of synthesis and reviews office.

The LES will supervise and mentor junior staff and assist the director in various quality assurance and managerial tasks. International and domestic travel is expected at approximately 10 to 20 percent of their time.

Key responsibilities

Synthesis, evaluation and technical assistance

  • Provide technical and management leadership and support for impact evaluations, systematic reviews, evidence gap maps and/or other evidence programs. This includes supporting the preparation of proposal materials for fundraising, writing program documents, reviewing grant proposals, quality-assuring 3ie-funded studies, managing external reviewers and leading in-house research projects.
  • Assume full day-to-day management responsibility for programs of work and conduct research, provide technical assistance for capacity development, and write content for publications, social media, and 3ie’s website.
  • Lead and/or participate in high-level events, conferences, and workshops. In various capacities, communicate and negotiate directly with funders and represent 3ie to policymakers and researchers.

Research, review, and translation for a policy audience

  • Lead methods innovation for evidence synthesis
  • Provide oversight and quality assurance across the synthesis portfolio
  • Act as the lead investigator on in-house research, impact evaluations, systematic reviews and/or evidence gap maps across a range of development sectors, including but not limited to, health, education, climate change, nutrition and related social sector programs, among others
  • Provide peer review and quality assurance for 3ie-funded studies, including systematic reviews, evidence gap maps and impact evaluations
  • Lead technical assistance projects, including writing specifications for professional service contracts, recruiting consultants, standardizing products and reports, and quality assuring products and services
  • Lead on providing technical assistance to key 3ie stakeholders, on topics including but not limited to capacity development, evaluation methods and study design, synthesis and reviews, research transparency initiatives, and evidence uptake and use

Project management and grant administration

  • Provide program management leadership and support for research and professional services grants and contracts to ensure the strategic, programmatic, technical, financial, and contractual integrity from project start-up through implementation and completion
  • Ensure – in collaboration with 3ie staff who are managing programs – that grant and contract implementation and spending are aligned with approved budgets, workplans and 3ie policies and practices
  • Undertake technical review of colleagues’ work and draft reports
  • Recruit, on-board, manage and supervise staff and consultants, as required, and mentor junior staff, as needed

Institutional advancement and communications

  • Lead on the development of innovative methods, technical guidelines, the development and implementation of research-related policies, and change projects in how we do things
  • Represent 3ie in evaluation and development fora, including technical working groups and donor, bilateral, and multilateral consultative groups and meetings
  • Strengthen and build relationships with 3ie’s key stakeholders, including members, donors, policymakers and researchers
  • Lead and contribute to technical reports, publications, briefs, blogs, website content, and other social media on evidence programs and professional services
  • Lead business development activities and undertake a substantial role in reaching out to donors and representing 3ie
  • Engage in strategic growth and diversification of 3ie initiatives to cultivate donors, develop partnerships, write technical proposals, and support innovations in program development

Qualifications, experience and skills

Education and work experience

  • Doctorate degree (or equivalent level of advanced research experience) in evaluation, public health, economics, demography, or other relevant social science field that includes statistical training and experimental methods
  • Demonstrated experience in research and in-depth knowledge of replication methods, and experimental and quasi-experimental methods applied in impact evaluation (RCT, IV, propensity score matching, and interrupted time series)
  • Knowledge of issues and debates surrounding the research transparency movement globally, with a publication record in this area highly desirable
  • Experience designing and implementing one or more of the following: implementation research, process evaluations, formative research, qualitative research
  • Program management experience outside of research study management, with grants management experience strongly preferred
  • Experience working with high-level officials in funding agencies, international organizations, private foundations and government ministries
  • Academic knowledge of and direct field experience with health, nutrition, and other social sector programming in L&MICs
  • Experience in L&MIC policy development and/or policy implementation at either the national or sub-national level preferred
  • Project management experience
  • Experience supporting new business activities, donor cultivation and demonstrated ability to write technical proposals across one or more development sectors preferred

Skills

  • Ability to carry out data analysis using Stata and/or other statistical software packages such as R and Python
  • Excellent oral and written communication as well as presentation skills in English; with professional proficiency in additional languages highly preferred
  • Excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and the flexibility and willingness to adapt to shifting priorities and deadlines
  • Experience working and managing staff
  • Excellent cross-cultural skills, diplomacy, and a reputation for being a strategic thinker, innovator, networker, and “field person”
  • Technical expertise in one or more of the following is desired:
    • data science methods, including data wrangling, exploratory analysis of large-scale data sets, statistical analysis, predictive analytics
    • geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and spatial analysis
    • costing and economic evaluation (e.g., cost-effectiveness analysis, cost-benefit analysis)"

Eligibility

We will recruit one individual with the right to work in the UK, and preferably based in London. 3ie is an equal-opportunity employer committed to equality and diversity. We do not discriminate based on sex, age, religion, ethnicity, caste, sexual orientation or for being differently abled. We particularly encourage ethnic minorities and differently-abled persons to apply.

Terms of employment

The candidate should be available to start January-February 2023.

3ie offers competitive remuneration based on experience and qualifications. Our policies and procedures reflect our commitment to safeguarding children and vulnerable adults from abuse. We follow a zero-tolerance policy for any form of bullying or harassment in the workplace.

How to apply

Please apply by e-mail to jobs@3ieimpact.org, and include ‘3ie Lead Evaluation Specialist’ in the subject line. The applicant must provide, at a minimum*, the following information:

  • A cover letter, not exceeding one page, highlighting your qualifications and experience relevant to the terms of reference
  • Curriculum vitae (not to exceed four pages)
  • Writing sample (preferably a sample of a proposal, research paper, or other technical document that you alone authored)
  • Contact information for three professional references

*Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Only the shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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