Director for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

Rare Published: October 25, 2023
Arlington, VA
Skill Level
Senior Level
Job Type
Analyst / Research / Scientific / Climate Change
(Number of Job Posting Views: 2)

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Rare inspires change so people and nature thrive. For over 45 years, across 60 countries, we have inspired and empowered millions of people and their communities to shift their behaviors and practices to protect our shared planet. We are a global leader in driving social change for people and nature. We facilitate solutions that help individuals, their communities, and their local leaders tackle global environmental challenges, manage their resources, and take charge of their futures. And we believe that the cumulative power of individual and community action is a vital pathway to safeguarding and restoring our shared waters, lands, and climate. 

Fish Forever is Rare’s global initiative to restore near-shore fisheries in the tropics. Fish Forever is helping improve fishery productivity, profitability and sustainability while also boosting livelihoods, protecting habitats and enhancing coastal resilience to climate change. Fish Forever is currently entering the third phase of the program and is looking to significantly scale its impact around the world.

Position Overview

Rare is committed to evidence-based practice; ensuring that our program implementation both draws on and adds to the existing body of evidence connecting behavior change with lasting conservation. We are also committed to using the results from research, data collection and experience in the design of our conservation interventions integrating scientific principles with local information and community knowledge.

The Director for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) position will lead the MEL unit of the Fish Forever (FF) program. This position is part of the Program Operations team of FF, and reports to the Vice President of Strategy and Operations.


The Director will have primary responsibility and exercise independent judgment regarding the following areas of significance:

Strategic Leadership

  • Provide strategic direction and MEL technical expertise in designing, strengthening and implementing program-wide MEL systems to provide evidence and interpretation of outcomes and impact for improved learning and decision-making, and to ensure accountability to partners and other stakeholders
  • Responsible for strengthening/setting up of MEL systems across the program and ensuring effective integration of MEL practices and activities into critical aspects of the program
  • Lead design and implementation of MEL policies, processes and practices that institutionalize organization-wide assessment of program outcomes, quantitative and qualitative measurement of impact and global-level program learning
  • Lead the MEL workstream to identify and design MEL systems and processes to support new and innovative delivery pathways, and advance FF’s scale goals
  • Serve as the primary point person for FF components of the organizational Balanced Score Card and the program specific Departmental Balanced Score card, including designing and monitoring metrics, discussing progress with program leadership and incorporating learnings into program design
  • Streamline MEL related efforts across the program to strengthen efficiency around MEL practices
  • In collaboration with other teams across the program, lead the design, strengthening and execution of a monitoring and evaluation plan that includes key impact and safeguards related metrics. Provide guidance on the implementation of the plan including country level sampling design, data collection protocol execution, and contractor selection
  • Provide guidance on ecological resilience to climate change and marine reserve design as they relate to monitoring and evaluation
  • Review data analyses and write-ups produced by M&E consultants
  • Author or co-author reports, briefs, presentations, papers, and other knowledge products to share and publicize findings
  • Support management of partnerships with academic institutions and other organizations collaborating on research to refine the monitoring and evaluation strategy, as appropriate
  • Support other organization-wide MEL efforts as needed
    Program Implementation and Capacity Building
  • Serve as the main technical support to Fish Forever country teams for monitoring and evaluation
  • Strengthen staff capacity to understand and perform MEL activities. This includes developing and delivering targeted training, and developing MEL guides, templates, and tools
  • Coordinate with country and program leads to ensure effective implementation of data collection activities and assist in data transmission, storage, visualization and dissemination
  • Support the Science team with managing partnerships with academic institutions collaborating on research of shared interest and serve as the primary contact for all MEL related partnerships
  • Help the Data team manage external partners and contractor relationships to deliver data requirements, as needed
  • Support the development of data collection tools/templates, forms, and/or protocols
  • Support the setting up and management of databases to: (1) support the development, advancement, and evaluation of conservation strategies and fisheries management, including development of fisheries management plans, and (2) fulfill reporting requirements to a variety of audiences including donors, country partners as well as internal and external audiences
  • Working with the data team, provide guidance on an M&E dashboard to visualize and understand data
  • Support data analyses using appropriate statistical approaches necessary to evaluate Fish Forever program outcomes and goals.

Support for External Communications

  • Working closely with the VP, Strategy and Operations, to support the organization’s executive leadership, communications and fundraising functions in making accurate, evidence-based claims about Rare’s work
  • Support designing MEL related components of Fish Forever grant proposals
  • Conduct quick turnaround, one-off analyses to support communications with donors, media, and supporters, turning data or existing analyses into high-level messages
  • Support routine reporting and communications (e.g., donor reporting, website updates, etc.)
  • Facilitate a learning culture and create an enabling environment for high-quality, cross-sectoral learning across Fish Forever and Rare
  • Help foster an organizational culture of understanding and respect for evidence-based stories using data
  • Help maintain the organizational culture of respect for data and evidence as a basis for decisions and communications

Data Sharing Practices

  • Maintain current knowledge of scientific issues and emerging topic of relevance to Fish Forever or topics of relevance in the conservation, social and development areas
  • Maintain current knowledge of evaluation approaches and design techniques to the extent that they influence the types of data collected for monitoring and evaluation, and use of this knowledge to help shape decisions on data collection
  • Represent the organization at conferences, meetings and other events, including supporting the preparation of materials for distribution to internal and external audiences, as needed
  • Represent the organization with professional associations, partnerships, and alliances, as needed


Experience & Education

  • Master’s degree in marine science, ecology, fisheries biology, marine spatial planning, M&E or similar area required. PhD in relevant area preferred
  • Minimum 8 years of work experience with increasing levels of responsibility. At least six years’ experience in Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning in international conservation projects focused on at least one of the following areas: fisheries, marine ecology, behavior adoption and/or climate change
  • Demonstrated understanding of project lifecycle, logical frameworks, monitoring and evaluation methodologies, and reporting requirements. Knowledge of and experience applying MEL best practices and emerging trends
  • Demonstrated excellent research design skills making extensive use of quantitative and qualitative data in tropical marine environments
  • Demonstrated superior data management and data analysis skills including the use of complex data sets and ecological modeling
  • Extensive familiarity with large data sources relevant to environmental conservation, livelihoods, resilience and natural resource management that can be integrated into decision frameworks during conservation planning
  • Demonstrated understanding of global safeguards standards and best practices in the context of conservation projects
  • Familiarity with data pipelines, or the ability to develop a working proficiency, with other relevant software that Rare uses for the purposes of extracting data and transferring them to an analysis software, a plus
  • Ability to envision and sketch out data visualizations based on analyses, and work with others on visualization
  • Ability to integrate scientific data with participatory information from communities
  • Strong familiarity with mixed methods and qualitative methods and data handling
  • Familiarity with issues pertaining to long-term data management, e.g. data-sharing policies of academic journals and funding agencies
  • Experience representing organizations at professional conferences and delivering presentations, including preparing papers, posters and other materials for conferences and panels
  • Capacity to thrive in a practitioner-oriented, fast-paced organization, and to respond effectively to changing needs and priorities
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, adjust own timelines with sensitivity to priorities, and deliver a quality product on time
  • Experience in supervising consultants
  • Demonstrated ability in managing client relationships across departments of the organization and with partner organizations
  • Ability to work well and communicate effectively cross-culturally
  • Excellent project management and writing skills
  • Fluency in English is essential; Fluency in a Fish Forever country program language would be a plus (Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish)
  • Ability to travel, including to implementation sites where primary data collection is carried out, up to 20% of the time
  • Experience living or working in a Fish Forever country is a plus

Rare is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes all to apply; EOE/M/F/D/V

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