Work at Sonke

Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Specialist

About Sonke

With a full-time staff of 100 people working from offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Bushbuckridge, Sonke works globally, and especially across Africa, to strengthen government, civil society and citizen capacity to take action to promote gender equality, prevent domestic and sexual violence and reduce the spread and impact of HIV and AIDS. In this way the organisation contributes to the development of societies in which men, women, youth and children can enjoy equitable, healthy and happy relationships that contribute to the development of just and democratic societies (see

About this position

The Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Specialist (MEL Specialist) is responsible for leading Sonke’s MEL activities for the organisation’s Policy Development & Advocacy Unit (PDA). The MEL Specialist will primarily focus on the prisons advocacy programme within PDA, but will play a critical role in increasing Sonke’s internal capacity to conduct ongoing MEL on policy activities. Based in either Cape Town or Johannesburg, the Specialist will work under the direction of the Research, Monitoring & Evaluation Unit Manager, together with the M&E Manager, and in coordination with the national and regional prisons policy advocacy team and partners working to address sexual violence in prisons in southern Africa.

Key Functions:

  1. Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
  2. Data capturing and Reporting
  3. Training and Capacity Development
  4. Strategic Networking

1. Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning

  • Develop an MEL strategy for the PDA unit, focusing especially on the national and regional prisons advocacy project. The strategy will take into account Sonke’s own policy advocacy efforts, as well as the activities and approach of the organisation’s key implementing partners in South Africa and the region. The MEL strategy will be iterative, and devised to pick up the nuanced mechanisms through which policy change occurs through the work of the PDA Unit.
  • Coordinate the data collection of quarterly and annual reports from sub-grantees.
  • Be responsible for data analysis, reporting and data dissemination to various stakeholders.
  • Assist with data management processes and management of MEL system.
  • Contribute to the development of the MEL standard operation procedures for the PDA Unit.
  • Review and recommend further improvement of logical/MEL frameworks including the theory of change.
  • Assist with the development of indicators, as well as results based management frameworks.
  • Monitor and evaluate overall progress on achievement of results, as well as identify ongoing lessons learnt to inform recalibration of project approaches if necessary.
  • Monitor the sustainability of the projects’ results.
  • Provide feedback to project managers on project strategies and activities, within Sonke and across implementing partners and sub-grantees.
  • Report monthly, quarterly, bi-annually and annually, progress on all project activities to the Research and M&E Manager, and to the PDA Unit Manager and Regional Prisons Advocacy Specialist.
  • Participate in annual project reviews and planning workshops and assist the PDA Unit Manager and Regional Prisons Advocacy Specialist in preparing relevant reports.
  • Assist project personnel with MEL tools and support sub-grantees in the utilization of these tools, and;
  • Perform other duties that may be required.

2. Training and Capacity Development

In this function, the MEL Specialist will focus on skills building both within Sonke, the PDA Unit specifically, and across the Unit’s implementing partners for its regional prisons projects. Several different tasks and constituencies are of potential interest. As appropriate and agreed to by PDA and Research and M&E unit, the incumbent will:

  • Develop tools and resources in MEL for use by Sonke and its implementing partners;
  • Be part of the regional Technical Support Team based in the PDA Unit and responsible for the regional prisons project, and;
  • Conduct regular capacity and technical assessments, and manage close out function among implementing partners for the regional prisons project.

3. Strategic networking

  • Attend key research and knowledge dissemination meetings and international conferences to represent Sonke’s national and regional PDA work, especially the regional prisons project, and;
  • Identify and collaborate with strategic partners and institutions in MEL.

Qualifications and Experience:

Education: Bachelors degree and preferably policy-related graduate studies.

Experience Required:

  • At least 5+ years of experience in the design and implementation of MEL in policy development and advocacy projects implemented by NGOs/international organisations/government;
  • Experience working in collaborative and team research projects on gender, violence, and HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa, preferably including criminal justice and penal systems;
  • Experience in training and facilitating MEL with diverse communities in Southern Africa;
  • Experience in designing tools and strategies for data collection, analysis and production of reports for policy development and advocacy projects;
  • Proven ICT skills, especially in the use of various MIS software using database software;
  • Expertise in analyzing data using qualitative and statistical data analysis software; and
  • Strong training & facilitation skills.
  • Record of publications in academic journals, newspapers, etc.
  • Experience in presentations and disseminating knowledge in conferences, seminars and other fora.

Skills Required:

  • Ability to develop MEL frameworks for new projects;
  • Ability to present MEL findings in formats relevant to communities and partners;
  • Exceptional public speaking and formal presentation skills;
  • Strong problem solving skills;
  • In-depth knowledge on MEL, policy development and advocacy, gender and criminal justice / penal issues;
  • Excellent knowledge of monitoring and the application of methodology; Good understanding of capacity assessment methodologies and excellent ability to identify significant capacity building opportunities;
  • Self-Management and the ability to focus on results for the team
  • Consistently approaches work with energy and a positive constructive attitude;
  • Remains calm, in control and good humored even under pressure;
  • Demonstrates openness to change and ability to manage complexities;
  • Responds positively to critical feedback and differing points of view; and
  • Has excellent communication skills (written and oral); Sensitive and responsive to all partners;
  • is respectful and helpful with donors and project staff.


  • Willingness to travel up to 40% of the time within Southern Africa.
  • Promotes the vision, mission, and strategic goals of Sonke.
  • Demonstrates integrity by Sonke’s values and ethical standards.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality and age sensitivity and adaptability.
  • Organises and accurately completes multiple tasks by establishing priorities while taking into consideration special assignments, frequent interruptions, deadlines, available resources and multiple reporting relationships;
  • Plans, coordinates and organises workload while remaining aware of changing priorities and competing deadlines;
  • Establishes, builds and maintains effective working relationships with staff and partners to facilitate the provision of support; and
  • Knowledge Management and Learning.


Cape Town or Johannesburg


Negotiable dependent on experience & qualifications

Closing Date

4 December 2015