With offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Agincourt, Sonke works globally, and 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 https://genderjustice.org.za/)
About the Position
Action on critical issues of gender equality, social justice, and health cannot be effective without the guidance from a strong base of evidence. As an organisation committed to evidence-based practice, Sonke places a high value on quality research, monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL). Sonke also believes that research and MEL originating from the Global South is essential to effectively addressing problems of the Global South. We therefore affirm the idea that Sonke strengthen s a team focused on generating strategic information. We are hiring an experienced manager and MEL expert to lead the Research, Monitoring and Evaluation (RME) unit.
The Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit Manager has direct responsibility for leading Sonke’s overall research, monitoring, evaluation and learning strategy, managing the unit’s MEL strategic guidance and capacity building across the organisation, and developing innovative approaches to institutionalising MEL systems and standards to improve programme and advocacy quality, implementation, and sustainability. In addition, the RME Unit Manager plays a key role in guiding Sonke’s academic research collaborations.
Key duties and responsibilities
- RME unit management and administration
- Work planning and staff management
- Monitoring and Evaluation
- Training and capacity development
- Strategic networking
- Resource mobilisation
1. RME unit management and administration
- Support the strategic development and growth of Sonke’s RME work nationally, regionally and internationally, in collaboration with colleagues working on relevant projects in other units.
- Support budget management of RME projects in collaboration with relevant project managers, and work closely with Sonke’s finance team to track budgets;
- Support relevant internal audit processes, in conjunction with existing staff and the Programmes Director;
- Manage the development of M&E tools and processes, theories of change, operational plan, linkages to Sonke’s overall strategic plan, and work closely with the organisation’s M&E staff;
- Serve as a member of Sonke’s Full Management Team and participate in scheduled management meetings;
- Supervise and provide oversight for the Research, Monitoring & Evaluation Unit;
- Budget and monitor expenditure; and
- Risk management & mitigation.
2. Work planning and staff management
- Monitor and support implementation of RME activities and projects, ensuring appropriate interconnections between activities and internal organisational collaboration;
- Conduct monthly documented supervision, and periodic appraisals, with RME staff members in collaboration with the Programmes Director to facilitate work planning and follow up;
- Convene RME team meetings, project planning and review meetings;
- Manage staff development plans and other human resource matters for the RME unit and play a key role in building the financial and budget management skills of the team;
- Actively manage the performance and development of staff members through regular one on one meetings; and
- Provide guidance to staff through positive leadership and manage day to day HR issues.
- Develop a sustainable in-house program me of research that will complement and inform Sonke’s programmatic and policy activities;
- Contribute substantively to global scholarships and debates on issues of gender, violence, health and justice, including research to explore and understand effective strategies for achieving gender equality and social justice;
- Ensure Sonke’s research output is disseminated in peer-review academic journals. This will include serving both as lead author on publications, co-authoring publications with senior collaborators at other organisations, and supporting and mentoring junior staff with potential for successful academic writing and/or are pursuing advanced degrees;
- Targets for other articles determined annually based on status of projects in the field and the numb er of staff pursuing academic writing projects;
- Ensure that Sonke’s research output is also disseminated in formats accessible to a wide variety of community stakeholders;
- Conduct and support formative research to inform program development;
- Gather evidence to inform intervention and advocacy work;
- Pursue impact evaluations and disseminating of the findings;
- Provide scientific and management oversight for Sonke’s collaborative research work;
- Pursue strategic opportunities to collaborate with universities, research institutes, and other partners on research that aligns with Sonke’s goals and priorities;
- Ensure Sonke’s work on research collaborations is conducted with the highest standard of scientific integrity and professionalism to build and ma intain a reputation for research excellence; and
- Ensure Sonke acts as full partner in the analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of research findings from
newly agreed to research projects on which Sonke collaborates. This will include ensuring that research contracts incorporate appropriate data access and use agreements, appropriate authorship agreements for eventual outputs, and appropriate opportunities for skills building and professional development of Sonke staff.
4. Monitoring and Evaluation
- Ensure Sonke monitors effectiveness in meeting programmatic goals and motivate for course-correcting action as needed;
- Ensure that M&E activities are an effective tool to demonstrate impact to communities, partner organisations, donors, and to the public;
- Provide ongoing support and supervision to the RM&E Unit;
- Ensure all relevant parties – including Sonke staff, and key collaborating partners – are aware of donor M&E requirements and prepared to meet those requirements;
- Assist projects/units in setting measurable, meaningful, and achievable targets and timeframes and developing appropriate metrics to assess progress;
- Ensure appropriate data management systems are in place to collect and collate accurate and reliable M&E data;
- Ensure that M&E findings are disseminated within the organisation, to partners, and to donors in a timely and appropriate manner;
- As necessary and appropriate, mobilise resources to support these M&E activities;
- Develop and implement evaluation plans for all projects;
- Manage evaluation processes, including liaising with external stakeholders and service providers, creating terms of reference and evaluation guidelines, and ensure that baseline studies are conducted for all projects and that information is stored for future use;
- Ensure that all project M&E plans and results based frameworks align with the organisation’s strategic framework, Theory of Change, goals and targets; and
- Develop strong quality assurance systems.
5. Training and capacity development
- Develop appropriate educational and skills-building opportunities, including topic-specific knowledge sharing, offering training in research methods, and/or structured mentorship and coaching of staff and partners who are pursuing pilot projects, preliminary research, or writing of academic publications;
- Support Sonke staff who wish to pursue advanced training in relevant disciplines;
- Advise on selection of training programs and seeking funds for bursaries;
- Advise on selection of potential research projects for thesis and dissertation writing, and help facilitate incorporation of advanced degree projects with Sonke duties;
- Serve as an academic supervisor or co-supervisor for Sonke staff where appropriate;
- Support and mentor Sonke staff who wish to pursue publication of peer-review research articles;
- Structure and oversee Sonke’s program for interns in collaboration with other Unit Managers and the HR Unit Manager; and
- Help Sonke staff prepare and submit abstracts for participation in key research meetings and international conferences and to prepare presentations for meetings through mentorship and coaching.
6. Strategic networking
- Support and facilitate relevant knowledge sharing through appropriate knowledge networks;
- Attend key research meetings and international conferences to represent Sonke’s research portfolio, network, and seek additional funding;
- As requested and deemed strategically advisable, serve as a consultant or advisor to international agencies, policy makers, advisory groups, or other organisations;
- Maintain membership in relevant professional organisations, and take on leadership roles as appropriate and strategically advisable; and
- Serve as a peer reviewer for journals and research funders (when requested) and engage in other academic
service activities as appropriate to maintain Unit Manager’s profile and visibility as a senior scholar.
7. Resource mobilisation
- Actively contribute to efforts to secure ongoing funding for Sonke’s Research and M&E unit and participate actively in Sonke’s efforts to mobilise resources by reviewing relevant proposals and donor reports.
A minimum of a Master’s degree in public health, social science or similar field.
- Minimum of five to eight years post-Masters experience;
- Experience developing results based frameworks and developing theories of change for large scale projects;
- Experience working as a partner in collaborative and team research projects on gender-based violence and HIV and AIDS in Southern Africa, preferably including work with men;
- Experience designing and implementing monitoring and evaluation tools and frameworks for projects;
- Track record of peer-reviewed academic publications and/or other scholarly output relating to gender equality, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and HIV/AIDS – preferably including work with men – in Southern Africa desirable;
- Experience teaching basic research methods in public health and/or social sciences desirable;
- Experience in conducting qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis;
- Experience using SalesForce for NGOs, advantageous; and a
- Track record of successful mentoring relationships with junior staff and/or students
- Skills required
- Ability to design and conduct original research in public health and/or social sciences;
- Ability to write funding proposals and reports;
- Skilled in developing high quality data collection tools (e.g. questionnaires, key informant and focus group discussion guides);
- Skilled in basic statistical analysis (descriptive statistics);
- Skilled in qualitative data methodologies;
- Ability to present research findings in formats relevant to academia, communities and partners;
- Good public speaking and formal presentation skills;
- Strong problem-solving and thought leadership skills;
- Budgeting and financial management skills;
- Developing results-based frameworks for project implementation;
- Developing M&E plans, guidelines/SOPs for al l levels within the organisation; and
- Fluency in written and spoken English and preferably one other South African language.
Personal qualities required
- Excellent organisational and planning skills with the ability to prioritise time and work effectively;
- Demonstrates integrity and subscribes to Sonke’s values and ethical standards;
- Ability to work independently and in a team;
- Establishes, builds and maintains effective working relationships with staff and partners to facilitate the provision of support; Knowledge Management and Learning;
- Ability to work on both operational and strategic levels;
- Track record of professional mentoring relationships;
- Willingness to travel within South Africa and internationally;
- Experience teaching basic and advanced research methods; and
- Demonstrated experience in raising funds for research, monitoring, evaluation and learning.