Senior Evaluation Advisor at The British Council

The British Council is the world's leading cultural relations organization and creates opportunities for people in the UK and worldwide to understand each other, to work together and learn from one another. We see this as crucial to building secure, more prosperous and sustainable futures for us all. We build trust and understanding between different countries and cultures and develop strong international links that are of benefit to people in Britain and the rest of the world.Job Title: Senior Evaluation Advisor - Sub Saharan Africa (SSA)Department: Education & SocietyJob Category: Senior ManagementPay Band: Senior Leadership Band Role PurposeTo ensure that the SSA region has and can demonstrate robust evidence of impact and value for money across its portfolio of grant and client funded projects.To develop and lead on implementation of M&E strategy for the SSA region, ensuring that evaluation undertaken within the SSA region meets the standards required for accountability for UK ODA expenditure.To support Results and Evidence Framework (REF) reporting and provide robust evidence for regional management to base decisions on.To lead and support M&E capacity development across the region, in line with corporate standards.Geopolitical/SBU/Function overviewSSA Political Context and Market Developments:Despite recent improvements in economic performance, strengthening democracy and a positive trend towards greater political stability Sub Saharan Africa remains the poorest region in the world.Countries remain vulnerable to economic shocks, climate change and the increasing threat from international terrorism.Recent economic growth has been buoyant. Income per capita has doubled and foreign debt levels have halved since 2000. Aspirations to become middle income countries as written in national development plans in the next 10 years are optimistic. The World Bank longer view forecasts that ‘almost all’ African countries will be middle income by 2050. However the risk ofunequal economic growth within societies remains significant. Gender inequality remains a major challenge across the continent while prejudiced positions on religious, ethnic affiliations and sexual orientation are evident in some countries.Generally the region is becoming more politically stable. There are on average 50 elections each year, many of which are more open and transparent than before. However, we have seen recently how the situation can deteriorate quickly in previously thought stable countries.As a region SSA is recording the highest population growth in the world. By 2050 the population of Sub-Saharan Africa will be 2 billion people, with the majority living in an urban environment. 70% of the population is under 25 and growing. It is projected that by 2030, the number of youth (15 to 24 yrs.) will increase by 42% and more than double to 2055 (UN).The growing youth population is one of the most significant factors for the future prosperity of sub- Saharan Africa. 77 per cent of the population in Sub Saharan Africa is below 35 years; 34 per cent is between 15-35 years. The potential benefits of sub-Saharan Africa’s youth population are, as yet, unrealized - two thirds of non-student youth are unemployed, or vulnerably employed. Women are particularly impacted, often facing even greater barriers to accessing opportunities and earning equal pay. This means that the true economic and cultural potential of sub-Saharan Africa has yet to be fully unleashed.Migration, driven my multiple and often inter-related drivers e.g., economic necessity, flight from instability or the effects of climate change is a predominant theme across Africa. According to IOM, internal (including rural to urban), regional and intercontinental migration is occurring on a larger scale in Africa than any other region. Further, more than 26% of the world’s refugees live in SSA.Across SSA, government priorities are the interconnected agendas of economic growth, education and youth employment. The opportunity and challenge is to meet the needs of emerging societies and economies and the aspirations of the burgeoning youth population. Within this context, many governments seek to invest in education systems to raise standards. However, with the gains made in universal access to basic education and growing demand for secondary education, governments are struggling to finance education. Whilst massive increases are needed in education funding to catch up with other developing regions, aid for education in the region is in fact declining. Across the region countries are grappling with competing demands for limited resources.British Council SSA Portfolio:In SSA the British Council’s work spans across a number of strategic business units (SBUs):Education and Society (E&S); English & Exams; Arts.The E&S SSA SBU purpose is to deliver a profitable portfolio of high impact grant, partnership and client funded projects that further the aims and embody the spirit British Council mission. The E&S vision statement is: ‘By 2020, through building lasting people to people, institutional and state level relationships with the UK, we will provide opportunities:For young Africans to become productive and engaged in their communities,To increase the effectiveness of institutions, andTo enable civil society and the state to work together more effectively.Currently about 40% of our portfolio is in the area of justice, security and conflict resolution, 30% in the area of governance and civil society and 20% in school education and 10% in skills, social enterprise, youth and entrepreneurship. The E&S total portfolio is expected to achieve a turnover (sum of contract disbursements and earned income) of £47m. The commercial contracts business is expected to achieve a turnover of £40m and operates at a surplus of £1.96 m.E&S SSA seeks to retain its market share and strong reputation. However to do this it recognizes it to achieve this it must better demonstrate both impact and value for money, and meet international standards in Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, as well as VFM analysis.Main priorities, opportunities and challenges for this role:Reporting to the Head of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning, the role will lead M&E strategy and implementation for the SSA region, ensuring that the region’s strategic priorities are at the centre of evaluation effort (for external fundraising and/or regional reporting).The postholder will seek to ensure that all SSA projects, programmes and portfolios are equipped with the systems to be able to provide credible evidence of both impact and value for money both in terms of client requirements and British Council’s overall Research and Evidence Framework (REF). The evidence provided will facilitate management decision-taking based on good evidence.The role will provide strategic and practical support to the Head of Evaluation in embedding a culture of high quality monitoring and evaluation across the organisation. Evaluation effort must reflect the specific priorities of the region, and the postholder will therefore work closely with the SSA Director and Deputy Director, E&S director, regional leadership team, country directors, SBUleads and programme/project managers to improve the quality of impact and value for money measurement across the region. Regional priorities should be reflected in M&E prioritisation and planning, developed in the first instance through a regional M&E Strategy.Success will be defined by good evaluation design in key regional projects and programmes; the quality of evidence available for REF implementation; and the degree to which quality monitoring and evaluation is integrated into programme and project design and used in project implementation, client management and used effectively for communications.Across all of our work priorities are to:Strengthen our reputation for consistent high quality delivery, impact and value for money and demonstrate this with robust and credible evidence.Better understand stakeholders, customers and contexts in order to focus resources efficiently and effectively.Better use evidence to focus our resources on a smaller number of projects and programmes, making decisions on the basis of analysis and measurement.Improve communications internally and externally about the work we do. We have strong programmes across the region make a difference to people’s lives but impact evidence, stories, and the benefits of positive learning experiences are not always shared. We are looking to ensure the work we do is better known.Consequent challenges and opportunities for the role:To strengthen accountability and quality of portfolio management by measuring, demonstrating and describing success using varied metrics and analyticsImproved base-lining and building monitoring and evaluation and value for money metrics into programme design.Alignment of monitoring and evaluation to broader corporate and regional objectives and, as they are developed, to REF priorities.Articulating to major stakeholders, including government departments and ministers, the value for money provided by the British Council.Main AccountabilitiesStrategic leadership and regional coordination of monitoring and evaluation (50%)The postholder will:Draw on depth of expertise and experience to lead a strategic approach to evaluation evidence generation and value for money across the regional portfolio, assessing feasibility and proportionality, making links between evidence gaps and opportunities for stronger evidence generation, including where additional operational research may add value; and ensuring consistency with the corporate approach (including the REF and Evidence Strategies) and resourcing possibilities.Design monitoring and evaluation activities for (i) client funded projects and be sold into these projects as a named member of staff (ii) British Council ODA funded projects (drawing on associates and other expertise where necessary).Undertake M&E audits, to ensure all SSA programmes and portfolios have proportionate and appropriately designed evidence strategies which stands up to external scrutiny, and includes appropriate gender disaggregation/analysis and VFM analysis.Contribute to the British Council M&E Community of Practice, and support broader strategic planning of evidence generation, both within the region and with colleagues in the region, and with other regions, demonstrating a strong commitment to quality and standards. Including input on broader research strategies.Establish governance, management and reporting processes to ensure evidence is delivered in a timely manner and affected to corporate and client/partner standards. This to include analysis and aggregation of evidence from SSA programmes for submission to corporate performance submissions and communication documents.Advise, commission and contract external evaluation, tailored M&E and research support as required. Build the contacts and networks necessary for good evaluation design, procurement and management.Assess quality of data and analyse results from monitoring and survey outputs.Represent the British Council’s approach to evidence and research at a high level.Ensure monitoring and evaluation evidence feeds into programme/project improvements, planning and future design.Extract monitoring and evaluation data, ensuring it is relevant to the target audience, to demonstrate impact.Communicate technical monitoring, evaluation and research concepts in ways that nonexperts can understand.Advise, mentor and train colleagues on monitoring, evaluation, research and value for money.Stakeholder engagement and collaboration on monitoring, evaluation, research and value for money.Applying developments in monitoring, evaluation, research and value for money theory and best practice to inform our thinking and methodologies.Providing regular reports to the Head of Evaluation and regional senior managers on evaluation strategy and findings.Manage the regional monitoring and evaluation budget.Demonstrating impact (20%):Being sold into client funded work as a named expert with a target of 20% in the first year moving to 50% in the longer term.Involvement in the setting of impact targets and in-year monitoring and regular review of progress.Working with senior management to present impact data effectively.Ensuring monitoring, evaluation, research and value for money processes contribute to REF data collection and/or measurement of other key performance indicators.Support delivery of SSA contribution to the regional REF process (15%):Providing leadership and support to the network of country REF providers ensuring regionalREF Level 2 data is collated according to corporate/regional deadlines and to standards required by the National Audit Office and Internal Audit.Providing technical advice and expertise to internal stakeholders on the Results and Evidence Framework processEnsuring quality assessments of in-year data and regular review against plan targets, and reporting progress to colleagues responsible and preparing regular analysis and progress reports on impact and value for moneyInvolvement in annual target settingRegional Capacity Building (10%):Assess evaluation capacity within the region and provide advice on best approaches to professional development, in conjunction with the British Council approach to professional evaluation capacity development (and in line with use of the Evaluation CompetencyFramework). Identify training needs and provide relevant training to improve monitoring and evaluation skills, and adherence to REF data collection processes and standards.Support delivery and management of training provision.Professional Development (5%):Maintaining external monitoring and evaluation networks and keeping abreast of the latest developments in monitoring and evaluation theory and practice, including new innovative approaches and methods.Participate in Evaluation Community of Practice.Expanding own knowledge, expertise and understanding.Key RelationshipsBC Head of EvaluationSSA Regional Leadership Team, especially Director and Deputy DirectorBC evaluation advisers, UK and globalSenior responsible officers for client and ODA funded programme deliveryClientsSSA Country DirectorsSSA press officerSSA REF data collection managersStrategy, Performance and Insight teamSBU leadsDonors.

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