Monitoring, Evaluation, Research & Learning Advisor

Date of Publication: 
December 1, 2017
Application Deadline: 
December 14, 2017
Brief Description: 


World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a leading Canadian international development organization focusing in three programmatic areas: Economic Opportunities, Education, and Empowerment. Our vision is a better world for youth - a world where all young people, especially women, are empowered to secure a good quality of life for stronger families and communities. WUSC currently works in 25 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, with an annual budget of approximately CAD $45 million. We have a staff of over 90 people in our Ottawa office, and over 200 people overseas implementing 16 development projects in collaboration with donors such as Global Affairs Canada (GAC), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank. Globally, we work with a network of higher education institutions, civil society organizations, private sector partners, professionals, students, volunteers, faculty and community leaders that work with us to achieve our mission.


Nature and Scope:


WUSC is seeking a Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Advisor to play a leading role in implementing WUSC’s MERL Policy and Strategy; developing innovative Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems that contribute to WUSC’s ability to measure impact and results; track performance; and integrate lessons from programming to improve the quality, scope, sustainability and impact of our work. The MERL Advisor will also ensure high quality monitoring and evaluation across WUSC’s programs and projects, supporting the incorporation of continuous learning into programmatic thinking and practice. The advisor will be responsible for strengthening MERL capacity within the organization and for helping position WUSC as an evidence-based and learning-oriented organization among peers, partners and donors.

The MERL Advisor manages a MERL Officer in Ottawa and is part of a growing and vibrant team of Ottawa-based technical advisors and will work closely with a diverse and committed group of project-based MERL officers, Program Managers, Program Officers and Project Directors in the field and in Canada.


Key Responsibilities:


Organizational Performance & Thought Leadership


• Lead the development of systems and processes to generate program data and research that will facilitate evidence-based learning, adaptive management, reflection and informed decision making at the organizational level; 
• Design and support systems and process to track organizational performance, such as the WUSC Global Reach and Global Results Framework, and Corporate Key Performance Indicators (KPIs);
• Keep abreast of best and innovative practices related to MERL, participate in MERL-related working groups and maintain close working relationships with M&E counterparts in other relevant international NGOs;
• Promote innovative thinking within our program teams and facilitate ways to capture and scale up innovations;
• Lead the development and implementation of tools and processes for regular tracking and analysis of program data;
• Lead WUSC’s MERL Community of Practice in Canada and overseas to promote cross-pollination, peer-support, knowledge-sharing and learning;
• Set up and maintain knowledge management systems to allow for easy access and sharing of MERL resources; 
• Actively participate in relevant conferences and support the development of conference abstracts and presentations; 
• Seek opportunities to involve WUSC’s University and College members in MERL initiatives; 
• Participate in WUSC’s communications work by providing data, information and other material for use with WUSC’s Canadian and International constituency and assist in implementing constituency building, communication strategies, and fundraising activities.


Technical advice to WUSC Programs and Projects


• Lead M&E capacity building efforts with WUSC Ottawa and field staff, including training and coaching to WUSC staff and partners and developing guidelines, tip sheets, and templates;
• Advise program staff in the development or revisions of high quality Logic Models, Performance Measurement Frameworks, theories of change and M&E plans for new and existing program and projects; 
• Advise program staff in clarifying project information needs and propose strategies to increase data use and demand;
• Advise program staff on ways to properly document, organize and capture program progress in a gender and youth responsive manner;
• Identify strengths and weaknesses in existing data collection and management systems, leading the development of improved systems, processes, and tools for tracking programmatic performance;
• Advise program staff in designing and implementing studies, research, surveys and evaluations;
• Support programs in recruiting MERL staff and consultants; 
• Advise program managers in reviewing donor reports to ensure the submission of high quality reports that clearly articulate results and lessons learned;
• Supervise and mentor the MERL officer in Ottawa.


Qualifications and Competencies:


• Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in social sciences, international development or related field; 
• A minimum of 7 years of experience working for international development organizations, preferably in developing countries and in Canada;
• Excellent working knowledge of Results Based Management (RBM) approaches including Logic Model and Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) development;
• Strong analytical and research skills, including the ability to process large amounts of information, extract critical analysis and distribute it appropriately;
• Proven experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods; 
• Experience in the development of data collection tools and data collection protocols;
• Proven ability to work productively with a variety of stakeholders to run participatory processes and meet tight deadlines with an emphasis on producing quality products;
• Excellent knowledge of software such as Excel and SPSS, STATA or other statistical packages;
• Experience with a range of institutional donors such as Global Affairs Canada, DFID, USAID among others;
• Effective interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills;
• Detail oriented and strong commitment to ethical standards in monitoring and evaluation;
• Flexibility, with a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit to accommodate high levels of responsibility and multiple priorities;
• Flexibility to work both in a team and independently and ability to work well with others;
• Commitment to local capacity building and the ability to engage local stakeholders in the M&E system design and implementation;
• Demonstrated commitment to gender equality and youth empowerment;
• Ability to travel in and out of Canada (up to 20%) and occasionally work irregular hours and weekends.



Fluent in English and ability to work in French (bilingualism preferred). Capacity to work in Spanish is an asset.


Why work with us?

WUSC offers a dynamic international work environment with a diverse workforce. Employees have exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference for youth around the world. We offer an environment that encourages continuous learning and professional development. Technical Advisors at WUSC have the capacity and access to influence corporate decisions and contribute to the development of key organizational strategies, plan and policies.

The WUSC office is centrally-located in Hintonburg, Ottawa. We offer competitive benefits, four weeks of annual leave (for full-time employees), safe and healthy working conditions, and fair compensation.


WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

Only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please.


Job Description: 
Ottawa Ottawa , ON