We are an international development organisation putting ingenious ideas to work so people in poverty can change their world.
We help people find solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems. Challenges made worse by catastrophic climate change and persistent gender inequality. We work with communities to develop ingenious, lasting and locally owned solutions for agriculture, water and waste management, climate resilience and clean energy. We share what works with others, so answers that start small can grow big.
We’re a global change-making group. The group consists of a UK registered charity with community projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, an independent development publishing company and a technical consulting service. We combine these specialisms to multiply our impact and help shape a world that works better for everyone.
We help people find solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems, made worse by catastrophic climate change and persistent gender inequality. Our aims are to:
- Make agriculture work better for smallholder farmers, many of them women, so they can adapt to climate change and achieve a good standard of living
- Help more people harness the transformational effects of clean affordable energy and reduce avoidable deaths caused by smoke from indoor stoves and fires.
- Make cities in poorer countries cleaner, healthier places to live and work.
- Build disaster resilience into the lives of people threatened by hazards – reducing the risk of hazards and minimising their impact on lives and livelihoods.
HOW WE WORK
We work on holistic solutions that change systems and have a framework to help us achieve our aims:
- Analyse the root causes of poverty and vulnerability
- Define the change at scale we need to make
- Develop activities along three complementary paths: Demonstrate, Learn and Inspire.
- Demonstrate that our solutions are sustainable in the real world
- Learn by capturing evidence and adapting our approach
- Inspire wider support to multiply our impact.
Practical Action is an unconventional, multi-disciplinary change-making organisation.
- A highly innovative community development charity operating in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Practical Action community projects use ingenious ideas to design, test, refine and prove new ways to overcome poverty and disadvantage and then ‘open-source’ knowledge of what works so that it can be implemented at a greater scale by others.
- A world-class consulting operation that helps socially responsible business, government policy makers and other development organisations. This draws on learnings from our own development work as well as the combined brainpower of a roster of over 2,000 expert consultants. Practical Action Consulting helps to extend the reach of our influence by providing the best advice to others, whose work can make a bigger difference.
- A well respected specialist development publisher. Practical Action Publishing brings together development practitioners, researchers and thought leaders to create publications that stimulate discussion, strengthen peoples’ capabilities and inspire sustainable change
Practical Action’s vision is of a world that works better for everyone.
ABOUT THE ROLE
Reporting to the Head of Impact and Learning, the post holder will support Practical Action’s Regional and Country Offices (RCOs) to mainstream quality for impact through its programming approaches. The role will focus on supporting the organisation to achieve greater impact via good MEAL processes as well as the capturing of evidence and promoting of learning. In particular this will involve leading, facilitating, and building capacity on the following:
- Gather global evidence on the impact of our work.
- Lead learning reviews of specific aspects of our work to help us see what technical approaches are working and why.
- Impact planning in strategy and systems mapping.
- Project design processes, including community and stakeholder engagement, and building the link to those in business development who apply for funding.
- Applying suitable and engaging good practices in monitoring and evaluation at project level, as well as country-level impact reporting.
- Embedding learning and adapting approaches through all aspects of programming including community and stakeholder accountability approaches.
- Ensuring gender is embedded throughout the strategy, programming and impact reporting processes.
- Supporting country offices to plan effective methods to do external influencing with a variety of audiences.
- Build capacity of offices by facilitating cross-country learning as well as directly running trainings and jointly as a team developing supportive guidance on various aspects of MEAL.
As both MEAL and evidence gathering approaches develop in the sector and as Practical Action’s work adapts to the changing local and global context, the particular tasks required by this role may change. By working in a team of other Impact Advisors, experiences and learnings on these approaches will be shared and strengthened.
Title: Impact and Evidence Advisor
Directorate: Influence and Impact
Reporting to: Head, Impact and Learning
Direct reports: None
Groups: MEL and Gender & Inclusion groups
Relationships: RCO SMTs, MEL, Change Ambition and Business Development staff With UK Teams with special focus on Change Ambition Leads, Operations and Fundraising.
Financial scope: None
Location: Warwickshire (UK), Nepal or Kenya. Note that the post holder would require Right to Work in the country for which they apply.
Duration: Long term / permanent (contract lengths could vary if based in a location outside of the UK in accordance with local practice)
Grade: Grade and salary will be in accordance with the country which the role is recruited.
Travel: Expected approximately 6 – 8 weeks per annum
Accountabilities – Focus on selected Regional and Country Offices (50%)
Impact Planning in Strategy
Support The Regional and Country Offices (RCOs) when developing strategy to include a focus on how to achieve impact. This includes helping them integrate good practice approaches, systems thinking, system mapping of key change ambitions, stakeholder mapping, and influencing plans.
Building capacity of RCOs to carry out quality project design processes and giving guidance and input to planned assessment and design processes. The processes should follow global good practice including participatory design processes, stakeholder analysis and engagement, development of project Theory of Change maps and then the development of M&E frameworks. The role also involves building linkages with the Business Development teams to strengthen the alignment of project design work with proposal development. It also involves giving input to key project designs.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Building capacity of the RCOs to develop strong monitoring and evaluation processes, inputting to projects around M&E approaches and tools. For larger grants the Impact Advisor will advise the RCOs on the evaluation design as well as be involved in recruiting and advising external evaluators. They may also occasionally leading internal evaluations themselves. This role will also involve helping the selected RCOs to gather evidence and indicators to report impact at a country level, including via global indicators.
As a member of the Impact and Learning team, provide global direction to Practical Action to assess programming impact evidence and then either apply the learnings internally or use to influence external audiences by:
- Manage the processes of gathering evidence of progress and impact and learnings. These may include for specific Change Ambition reviews, thematic cross-country assessments, global gender assessments, or systems change impact assessments.
- Lead on Practical Action’s Global Indicators, and take responsibility for compiling, checking and reporting on the Global Indicators, and how they help us in articulating the impact we are having.
- Facilitate cross-sharing of learnings between country offices and to UK teams and leadership including learnings generated from impact evidence gathering and analysis. And support country offices to use engaging cross-project learning approaches.
- Engage with external forums to both improve Practical Action’s understanding on good programming approaches (including MEAL and gender) as well as sharing our approaches with external audiences, to promote up-scaling of good practice.
To be successful in the role, the ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate:
Experience & Knowledge
- Professional experience in the field of international development, preferably with a good portion of that gained in various overseas contexts.
- Strong understanding of MEAL systems and latest good practice thinking. This includes an understanding and experience of the whole cycle from strategy, through project design processes, reflection and learning in implementation, M&E systems, and global impact evidence.
- Strong experience of working on organisational global evidence gathering and measurement processes including thematic assessments and global indicators.
- Experience of leading country and cross-country learning reviews to explore what approaches are working and why and why not.
- Strong understanding and experience of both leading and building the capacity of others to carry out quality project design processes with communities and stakeholders.
- Strong understanding and experience of both leading and building the capacity of others to develop project M&E systems as well as designing project evaluations.
- Strong understanding and passion around the need to consider all programming from a gender lens, integrating it through all the processes and impact measurements.
- Excellent facilitation skills with the ability to listen, and to lead, and also experienced in delivering training, in-person, remotely and through mentorship.
- Proven ability to work with others to build capacities in a cooperative way. Good persuasion skills.
- Ability to work in differing cultural contexts, using the most appropriate methodologies for adoption of change in each context.
- Ability to travel up to 8 weeks per year.
- Undergraduate or post-graduate degree in relevant subject.
- Excellent written and oral communications skills in English.
- Empathy with Practical Action’s vision, mission and values.
- Experience of leading project evaluations, including developing the approach, leading an evaluation team, and writing the report.
- Strong understanding and experience of both leading and building the capacity of others to develop theory of change / systems maps, using them for strategy and project development.
- An understanding and experience of implementing formal feedback and response mechanisms with communities and stakeholders. Understanding and experience of strategy development processes including how to integrate system strengthening and influencing approaches.
- Knowledge of and experience in safety & security management.
- Communication skills in French, Spanish, or Arabic.
How to Apply
If you want to work for a charity with significant people ambitions, then we would like to hear from you. To apply go to https://practicalaction.org/careers/ and follow the links to submit a copy of your CV and a supporting statement that describes your suitability for the role.
Closing date for applications: 4th August 2021
Interview dates: W/C16th August 2021
Please note that should we recruit a suitable candidate before the closing date, we will close applications earlier than the specified date.
We treat all applications for employment on their merits and do not take into consideration any factors that are not relevant to the job such as disability, race, age, religion, gender, gender reassignment or sexual orientation.
Practical Action is committed to safeguarding and protecting children and vulnerable adults and as such candidates will be subject to pre-employment checks including criminal checks and terrorist financing.