Director Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation (MLE)


Role details:

Experience: 8+ years

Location: Nairobi, Kenya (open to remote work)

Reports to: Managing Director

Supervises: 4 MLE Managers

Salary: Commensurate with the candidate’s experience and qualifications.

About TaRL

Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa is a high-profile initiative originally developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and the Indian Education NGO Pratham to promote evidence-informed education programming in Africa. TaRL Africa, now headquartered in Kenya, works to improve basic reading and arithmetic skills of children on the African continent through the TaRL approach.  We aim to reach 3 million children in the next five years. Key countries of operation include Kenya, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Zambia where we work on contextualizing the TaRL approach .

About the Role

The role is envisioned to have high level oversight of the monitoring, measurement and review functions and more hands-on involvement in a number of research projects. To be successful, the MLE Director will need to work closely with the team to understand the program details.

Key Responsibilities

1. Overall leadership

  1. Provide leadership for and strategic guidance to TaRL Africa MLE activities
  2. Develop, update and oversee delivery of an MLE framework and learning agenda
  3. Provide technical leadership to capture and communicate program results for program review and improvement
  4. Lead efforts and work with other functional leads to ensure lessons and best practices are incorporated into ongoing interventions and innovative
  5. Represent TaRL Africa on all matters relating to MLE across platforms and stakeholders
  6. Contribute to MLE ecosystem by drafting and sharing TaRL Africa learnings and best practices externally
  7. Contribute to TaRL Africa strategic planning and decision making as a member of the SMT
  8. Support capacity building of TaRL partners in measurement, evaluation and learning

2. Team leadership

  1. Build and lead the MLE team at central and country level
  2. Directly manage at least 4 Manager level staff, and provide indirect oversight for management of rest of central and country-level MLE team
  3. Oversee and contribute to capacity building and professional development of MLE team members

3. Leadership of the Monitoring and Measurement Function

  1. Ensure quality execution of the MM strategy
  2. Ensure high-quality, timely, valid, and verifiable data collection within and across TaRL country programs
  3. Guide technical assistance efforts to ensure within  program  data  is  used  for decision-making by program partners
  4. Oversee efforts  to  ensure  improved  MM  systems  are  built  into  government systems and NGO partners over time

4. Leadership of Research and Evaluation

  1. Develop and update a learning agenda to answer key questions with appropriate methods such as pilots, qualitative research and impact evaluations in collaboration with other functional areas
  2. Ensure guidelines for research standards and ethics are in place and upheld
  3. Contribute to and in some cases lead the design of process monitoring, qualitative research studies and rigorous impact evaluations
  4. Craft & oversee Calls for Proposals for research studies that are outsourced
  5. Work with the procurement team to recruit service providers and to oversee the management of service providers (academics, survey firms etc) on outsourced research projects

5. Fundraising, donor engagement and budget management

  1. Lead fundraising, donor engagement and management (including relationship management and  reporting)  for  research  and          MLE  projects/  activities  as necessary
  2. Ensure MLE projects are adequately budgeted and finances for the MLE function are managed well

Working Relationships

Internal: (Internal units)

Interacts with the TaRL Africa central team, SMT, Country Managers, Heads of Departments, PRATHAM, and JPAL.

External: (External stakeholders)

Interacts with the national governments, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, donors, specialists/consultants and other stakeholders.

Does this sound like you?


Required minimum Qualifications, Skills and Competencies:

 – Master’s degree in economics, public policy, statistics, education or other relevant quantitative field plus 10 years work experience OR PhD in relevant field plus 8 years work experience

  • Relevant work experience including being the co/principal investigator on qualitative and quantitative research studies and having worked on program monitoring and evaluation systems or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and communicate findings from rigorous quantitative research
  • Strong knowledge of leading MLE design concepts and methodologies
  • Demonstrated knowledge and familiarity with using statistical software like Stata, Excel, or R and qualitative tools such as Nvivo
  • Excellent strategic thinking through to quality programme execution
  • Proven leadership and management track record
  • Ability to build and lead a diverse team across work functions and countries
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills in English and demonstrated ability to foster strong communication across diverse team members, partners and
  • Excellent writing skills to deliver high-quality deliverables to cross country program teams and donors
  • Experience fundraising and writing fundraising proposals
  • Proven ability to handle multiple diverse assignments at one time, successfully complete assigned tasks and meet deadlines while conducting high-quality work
  • Willingness to travel extensively and flexibly on the Africa continent and

Culture fit:

 – Aligned to the Vision and Mission of the organization

  • Must have an entrepreneurial mindset and be ready to get their hands dirty


Shivani Nair: shivani@shortlist.net