Search For Common Ground, USAID, William Davidson Institute
About Social Impact
Social Impact is a global development management consulting firm. We provide monitoring, evaluation, strategic planning, and capacity building services to advance development effectiveness. We work across all development sectors including democracy and governance, health and education, the environment, and economic growth. Since 1997, we have worked in over 100 countries for clients such as US government agencies, bilateral donors, multilateral development banks, foundations, and nonprofits.
About the Project
The Developmental Evaluation Pilot Activities and MERL Project
Under USAID/Global Development Lab’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Innovations (MERLIN) program, Social Impact (SI), as part of a consortium with Search for Common Ground (“Search”) and the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan (WDI) pilots Developmental Evaluations (DEs) of USAID-funded projects covering a myriad of sectors and geographies under the Developmental Evaluation Pilot Activity (“DEPA-MERL” or “the Consortium”) contract. DE — designed to support innovative, complex programming—supports the continuous adaptation of development interventions by embedding an evaluator into a program throughout its life to continuously provide feedback and inject evaluative thinking into the program’s implementation. The consortium seeks a skilled evaluator to design and implement a DE of the global rollout of USAID’s first ever and worldwide Digital Strategy, and the Strategy’s implementation initiatives.
Program Background (to be evaluated)
As part of The Global Development Lab at the United States Agency for International Development (“USAID” or “the Agency”), the Center for Digital Development (CDD) works to address gaps in digital access, affordability, and advance the use of technology and advanced data analysis in development. With a multi-pronged approach, CDD leverages USAID, implementing partners, and other actors’ resources to catalyze inclusion of digital economies, build Agency capacity, and accelerate Agency programming.
In February 2020, USAID assigned CDD to be the lead implementer of the Agency’s first ever Digital Strategy (“the Strategy”) for 2020-2024. Building on decades of USAID leadership in digital development, the Strategy was created to set an Agency-wide vision for development and humanitarian assistance in the world’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. USAID also established 15 initiatives for achieving the implementation of the Strategic objectives and guiding the implementation of the Strategy as a whole. CDD has chosen four initiatives (and their corresponding staff) around which to structure this DE.
The Evaluator will have overall responsibility for the design and implementation of the DE and ensuring its quality. They will be responsible for the following:
- Facilitate an acculturation workshop for CDD stakeholders that will help to collaboratively conceptualize and develop the DE design and approach (learning framework, methodology, work plans, reporting, etc.);
- Develop a living workplan for the DE, including an agreed upon set of deliverables (which may change over time, depending on CDD’s needs);
- Orient and manage other evaluation or data collection teams as needed;
- Provide quality assurance of all deliverables, including regular intermediate report logs (that track details of DE and document all events that occur i.e. planned and unplanned and associated outcomes) and the final report of the evaluation;
- Facilitate regular meetings with CDD leadership and other USAID staff to collect data;
- Conduct analysis of the data collected and present digestible analysis regularly to the staff of CDD and their key partners through data-review processes and other participatory meetings;
- Track and communicate high quality information to program, USAID staff, and key partners on the program’s progress that can inform timely and data-driven decision-making; regularly record decision-making, program changes and/or changes in the environment in report log; and,
- Collaborate with the DEPA-MERL consortium on performance evaluation of the DE, including regular debriefs with the Consortium to identify key development episodes both prospectively and in real time, and to document lessons learned about DE implementation.
Given the nature of DE, deliverables are expected to evolve throughout implementation and will be both adjusted and negotiated on a rolling basis with the DEPA-MERL consortium and the Evaluator. Preliminary expected deliverables include, but are not limited to:
- Completion of at least one Acculturation Workshop for stakeholders based in Washington DC. A second virtual Acculturation Workshop may be held with stakeholders based in USAID Missions overseas, dependent on need
- Submission of an after action report regarding learnings, key findings, and results of Acculturation Workshop(s)
- Submission of a workplan for the DE within 30 days of kickoff, and updates to said workplan at least once-a-quarter in accordance with the evolution of the DE
- Submission of a monthly report log to Social Impact, and the entire DEPA-MERL consortium
- Weekly calls with the Social Impact Program Manager (the Evaluator’s technical supervisor)
- Regular, multi-formatted learning documents from the DE in advance of and/or following Key Development Episodes jointly identified with the Consortium’s designated learning partner. Learning document formats and reporting must be coordinated with the various stakeholders and submitted in a format that is acceptable, digestible, and geared towards utilization.
- Final Evaluation Report
**PLEASE NOTE: This opportunity is for a one year consultancy contract based full-time in Washington, D.C. To be considered for this opportunity, applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States.**
The Evaluator will be supported by team members from the DEPA-MERL consortium and report to the Program Manager at Social Impact. Initial project onboarding and orientation will be done in Washington, D.C. Local travel will be covered for onboarding processes. The Evaluator will also have technical support from the Consortium throughout the implementation of the DE. Compensation rate will be commensurate with experience and education.
It is intended that one Developmental Evaluator would developmentally evaluate the Strategy implementation for at least 12 months, anticipated July 2020 to June 2021.
Requirements of Consultant
The ideal candidate will have the following experience:
- Graduate degree in STEM, Economics, International Development, or another degree with a strong Monitoring & Evaluation focus;
- Programming, training, and/or evaluation experience in the field of digital technology;
- Programming, training, and/or evaluation experience in the field of International Development and/or International Development Economics;
- Experience in organizational theory, development, and/or communications;
- Experience in multi-stakeholder engagement with complex initiatives;
- Extensive technical knowledge, skills and expertise in both qualitative and quantitative evaluation design, concepts, and approaches;
- Familiarity with Developmental Evaluation, including resources such as:
- The Spark Policy Institute’s DE Guide
- The McConnell Family Foundation’s DE Primer
- The DEPA-MERL Consortium’s “DE: A Practical Guide for Evaluators”
- Familiarity with Developmental Evaluation, including hard skills such as:
- Respect for local stakeholders and partners
- Ethical research (maintains confidentiality and anonymity when required)
- Familiarity with Developmental Evaluation, including soft skills such as:
- Flexibility, enthusiasm, humility, willingness to learn on the go, and conflict resolution
- Facilitation skills, particularly in the design and execution of stakeholder consultations;
- Strong analytical skills to support both qualitative and quantitative research;
- Excellent oral and written communication and report writing skills;
- Keen attention to detail, especially related to documenting data and associated processes;
- Active listening, proactive learning, and time management skills;
- Knowledge of and experience with USAID;
- Leadership and strategic thinking skills;
- Readiness to be in a learning role; and
- Capacity and readiness to work remotely and through variety of online platforms as needed.
How To Apply
Please submit a cover letter and resume. Please be sure to include projected start date and to mention where you found this posting. Preference will be given to applicants who include at least an executive summary from a past evaluation they have conducted along with their cover letter. Applications will be reviewed based on qualifications, strength of evaluation experience using mixed methods approaches, and the aforementioned capacities of an ideal candidate.
Social Impact is an EEO/AA/ADA Veterans Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.
Only selected candidates will be contacted for an interview. Please, no phone calls.
To learn more about Social Impact, please visit our website: http://www.socialimpact.com
To apply, please visit:
Start date: 07/01/2020