Program Officer, Monitoring and Evaluation

Job Summary

Working as a member of the Policy and Evaluation Division (POEV) and under the direction of the Director of the Division, the Program Officer (PO), Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • supports evaluation and monitoring systems at the program and corporate level. The PO participates in strategic monitoring, evaluation, and reporting processes including the on-going refinement of the corporate system by coordinating team activities and synthesizing information. S/he supports senior team members to identify gaps and Centre needs, and assists the development and dissemination of new tools and methodologies for use by Centre staff and partners.
  • champions the utility and data quality of the Centre’s monitoring systems to support learning and reporting. The PO reviews, analyzes, aggregates monitoring data and information, and helps to incorporate this evidence and information into corporate evaluation and reporting processes led by the Division.
  • manages several processes to support evaluation planning and to improve the quality of evaluation. The PO is responsible for an annual evaluation capacity building budget and organizes learning events both locally and internationally. S/he manages a quality assessment process for evaluation reports and track components of IDRCs decentralized evaluation system. This requires working with staff across the Centre to align information systems, process, and products.
  • conducts background research for corporate studies and promotes the communication and dissemination of strategy and evaluation material for internal and external audiences through print and on-line media.
  • occasionally manages projects and contracts, and supervises external consultants.

Primary Duties and/or Responsibilities

Support to IDRC’s Evaluation System

The PO, Monitoring and Evaluation, supports IDRC’s  evaluation system by collecting and synthesizing data, and identifying opportunities for innovation in learning oriented planning, monitoring, and evaluation approaches. Specifically, s/he provides support to corporate assessment and reporting processes. S/he works collaboratively to maintain a balance between learning and accountability.

The PO works with senior team members to identify gaps and Centre needs, and assists the developing, testing and dissemination of new tools and methodologies for use by Centre staff and partners.  S/he supports the design of new, and the improvement of existing systems, policies, and approaches for the Centre.  S/he actively contributes to sharing IDRC practise and tools externally and helps maintain the Centre’s leadership role in the monitoring and evaluation of development research through these contributions.

The PO, Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Keeps up-to-date with, and contributes to, research and current developments in methods and approaches for planning, monitoring, and evaluating the research areas supported by IDRC;
  • Scans the outside world to bring in new ideas, concepts, researchers, or consultants and keeps abreast of monitoring and evaluation activities of other agencies;
  • Supports on-going reflection on the evaluation function within the Centre and on the performance of POEV
  • Organizes, coordinates and assists with the facilitation of learning events in the form of workshops, seminars, and trainings for Centre management, Program staff, external researchers, and consultants;
  • Supports senior staff to conduct research in order to develop new and adapt existing methods for planning, monitoring, and evaluating research for development projects, programs and organizations;
  • Under the guidance of senior team members, prepares drafts, and edits special papers, state-of-the-art reviews, journal articles, manuscripts and other documents for publication;
  • Contributes to the design and delivery of presentations and training for program staff and external audiences.

Support for Project, Program and Corporate Monitoring and Evaluation

The PO, Monitoring and Evaluation is responsible for an annual evaluation capacity building budget and organizes learning events both locally and internationally. S/he is responsible to tracking evaluation plans and practise across the Centre and coordinates quality assessments and cross-evaluation learning opportunities. The PO takes the lead on preparing an Annual Evaluation Plan for IDRC’s Board of Governors.

The PO champions the utility and data quality of the Centre’s monitoring systems to support learning and reporting. S/he is a “super user” who provides support and advice to staff across the Centre on uses and improvements to our data systems. S/he will provide support to the diverse approaches to monitoring and help improve practise across the Centre. The PO reviews, analyzes, aggregates monitoring data and information, and helps to incorporate this evidence and information into corporate evaluation and reporting processes led by the Division.

Under the guidance of senior team members, the PO uses technical knowledge in order to effectively support the design, conduct, and management of evaluations at the project, program and corporate levels.  S/he helps ensure that evaluation processes provide credible and valid findings on which evaluation users (e.g. program staff, Centre management, grantees, funding partners, etc.) can make decisions, change behaviours, or adopt policies.

The PO, Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Keeps track of the diverse approaches to monitoring and evaluation across IDRC programming with a view to coordinating and organizing systematic improvements in process and practice
  • Is an expert in the functioning and utility of IDRC monitoring systems and provides advice, collects aggregate data, and facilitates learning
  • Represents the POEV team in cross-branch working groups to coordinate learning and reporting systems
  • Participates with the POEV team in the ongoing review, analysis and communications of evaluation findings
  • Manages a quality assessment process for evaluation reports; this involves aggregating data and developing strategies for improvement
  • Manages an annual evaluation capacity building budget and organizes and coordinates organizational learning events
  • Provides technical assistance to IDRC program staff and partners on evaluation planning, design and use;
  • Supports evaluation coverage by tracking evaluation plans and preparing an annual report for IDRC’s Board of Governors;
  • Collects, analyzes and manages evidence and findings from monitoring and evaluation across the Centre and facilitates the use of this information by POEV, Centre management, and staff

Support to Project Development & Management  

The PO, Monitoring and Evaluation supports and carries out project development and management by performing research tasks and data analysis and synthesis. The PO assists with the preparation of project development documents including Terms of Reference, judging required resources and contributing to the facilitation of relevant solutions. S/he monitors and provides technical assistance to POEV project and collects and prepares financial and budget information in order to contribute to an effective internal control of project budgets.

The PO also occasionally is the responsible officer for projects, manages contracts, and supervises external consultants to ensure the timeliness and quality of deliverables.

The PO, Monitoring and Evaluation:

  • Participates in the design and implementation of POEV-led evaluation projects through the collection, review and analysis of data from primary and secondary sources concerning the process and outcomes of Centre-funded research;
  • Carries out interviews, surveys, documentary and literature reviews, and statistical and content analyses to support the design and implementation of POEV-led evaluation projects;
  • Prepares draft, and/or edits project approval documents;
  • Manages, in collaboration with Resources Branch staff, the preparation of contracts including drafting Terms of Reference, material purchases, travel arrangements, and contributes to the on-going budget review process;
  • Manages projects and contracts, and supervises consultants;
  • Provides logistical and technical support to project partners, external researchers or consultants for the administration of contracts including collecting project deliverables at the draft stage and providing critical comments; and
  • Reviews final project reports of research and evaluation results, and negotiates revisions and/or additional research and evaluation requirements.

Job Scope

The Centre’s evaluation approach requires both rigour in application and facilitation of use, the Officer has some latitude to determine the appropriate approaches and methodologies, and must exercise judgement and technical knowledge to effectively initiate, design, conduct and manage evaluations at the project, program and corporate levels.

Within the Division lead by the Director, the Officer is expected to:

  • manage a portfolio of 7-12 funded and non-funded projects per year with a degree of independence, latitude and discretion within the policies of the Centre and the plans set out in the Division’s strategic plan
  • provide input into consultant selection and supervise those hired work closely with 2-4 programs providing technical assistance and evaluation support