Work at Sonke

Research, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Unit Manager

About Sonke 

Founded in 2006, Sonke is a women’s rights organisation that is committed to feminist principles, using a rights-based and gender transformative approach to achieve human rights and gender justice. Our vision is a poverty-free world in which women, children, men and gender non-conforming individuals enjoy equitable, caring, healthy and happy relationships that contribute to the development of gender just and democratic societies. Sonke strengthens governments, civil society and citizen’s capacity to advance gender justice and women’s rights, prevent gender-based violence and reduce the spread of HIV and the impact of AIDS, and in this way contribute to social justice and the elimination of poverty.

About this position

The Research, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (RMEL) Unit Manager has direct responsibility for leading on Sonke’s overall research, monitoring, evaluation and learning strategy, developing innovative approaches for monitoring, evaluation and learning systems and standards to improve on the quality of  programme and advocacy work within the organisation.

In addition, the RMEL Unit Manager plays a key role in guiding Sonke’s participation in the broader field of related research, including academic research collaboration and the publication of research results. 

Key duties and responsibilities

1.     RMEL portfolio management and administration

  • Supervise and provide oversight for the RMEL Unit;
  • Assist in the strategic development and growth of Sonke’s RMEL work nationally, regionally and internationally, in collaboration with colleagues working on relevant projects in other units;
  • Support budget management of RMEL projects in collaboration with relevant project managers, and work closely with Sonke’s finance team to track budgets, in comparison to programme targets;
  • Support relevant internal audit processes;
  • Manage the development of RM&E tools and processes;  
  • Develop the template for Sonke operational plan that is linked to Sonke’s overall strategic plan;  
  • Budget and monitor expenditure that is linked to the unit’s work;
  • Serve as a member of Sonke’s Full Management Team (FMT) and participate in scheduled management meetings;
  • Responsible for RMEL  risk management & mitigation.

2.     Work planning and staff management

  • Monitor and support the implementation of RMEL activities and projects, ensuring appropriate interconnections between activities and internal organisational collaboration;
  • Convene RMEL team meetings, project planning and review meetings;
  • Actively manage the performance and development of staff members, manage HR issues and assist staff with work-life balance;  
  • Facilitate team building, team identity and strengthen working relations between individuals;
  • Provide guidance to staff through positive leadership,

3.     Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Monitor the effectiveness in reaching programmatic goals and suggest corrective action when needed;
  • Ensure that M&E activities are an effective tool to demonstrate impact to communities, partner organisations & donors;   
  • Ensure all relevant parties and key collaborating partners are aware of donor M&E requirements and meet the requirements timeously;
  • Assist projects/units in setting measurable and  achievable targets within appropriate  timeframes whilst developing relevant  metrics to assess progress;
  • Ensure appropriate data management systems are in place to collect and collate accurate and reliable M&E data;  
  • Ensure timely dissemination of M&E findings within the organisation, partners and donors;
  • Assist with the development and evaluation of plans for all projects;
  • Ensure there is alignment of all M&E project plans and results-based framework plans to Sonke’s strategic framework, goals and targets;
  • Develop sound quality assurance systems and manage the organisational accreditation process in relation to training materials, staff training and Sonke’s accreditation as a training institution.

4.     Research Management

  • 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;
  • Conduct and support formative research to inform programme development as well as intervention and advocacy work; 
  • Define leading long-term research questions for the organisation;
  • 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; 
  • Conduct research on Sonke’s work with the highest standard of scientific integrity and professionalism to build and maintain a reputation for research excellence;
  • Ensure Sonke acts as full partner in the analysis, interpretation, and propagation of research findings from research projects on which Sonke collaborates;  
  • Ensure Sonke’s research output is published in high-quality peer-review academic journals.  
  • Develop an online presence for Sonke as thought leaders in evidence on gender justice and human rights.

5.     Research training and capacity strengthening

  • Develop appropriate educational and skills-building opportunities, offering training in research methods, and/or structured mentorship and coaching of staff who are interested in research or writing of academic publications;
  • Advise on selection of potential research projects for thesis and dissertation writing and help facilitate incorporation of advanced degree projects;
  • Support and mentor Sonke staff with demonstrated potential who wish to pursue publication of peer-review research articles;
  • Structure and oversee Sonke’s program for interns including designating projects appropriate for interns and select students to match;
  • Pair interns with Sonke staff members and facilitate exchange of skills and knowledge between them;
  • Help Sonke staff prepare and submit abstracts participation in key research meetings, international conferences as well as presentations for meetings through mentorship and coaching.

6.     Knowledge Management and Strategic Networking

  • Cultivate a culture of evidence based critical thinking in Sonke & incorporate lessons learnt from research into implementation;
  • Provide quality assurance (validation) of materials;
  • Develop and maintain a management system for all materials;
  • Support and facilitate relevant knowledge sharing through appropriate knowledge networks;
  • Attend key research meetings and international conferences to represent Sonke’s research portfolio;
  • Serve as a peer reviewer for journals and research funders and engage in other academic activities to maintain visibility as a senior scholar; 
  • Establish project-based research partnerships;
  • Developing a community of academic advisors for Sonke;
  • Facilitating inter-country knowledge exchange and
  • Facilitate community-driven participatory research practices, embedded in projects.

7.     Resource mobilisation

  • Actively contribute to efforts to secure ongoing funding for the RMEL unit and participate actively in efforts to mobilise resources by reviewing relevant proposals and donor reports; 
  • Mobilise resources for research projects.

Educational requirements:

  • Minimum of Master’s degree in Public Health, Social Science or equivalent.  
  • In addition to the Master’s Degree, a post-graduate diploma in M&E will be advantageous.

Experience required:

  • Minimum of five to eight years post-Master’s experience;
  • Experience in 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;
  • Understanding of designing and implementing monitoring and evaluation tools and frameworks for projects related to the topics above; 
  • 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 in teaching basic research methods in public health and/or social sciences desirable;
  • Knowledge in conducting qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis;
  • Capability in using data management system (like SalesForce for NGOs) advantageous;
  • Track record of successful mentoring relationships with junior staff and/or students. 

Skills required:

  • Capacity 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);
  • Competent in basic statistical analysis;
  • Proficiency in qualitative data methodologies;
  • Capability in presenting research findings in formats relevant to academia, communities and partners; 
  • Good public speaking and formal presentation skills; 
  • Strong problem-solving skills;
  • Budgeting and financial management skills;
  • Excellent organisational and planning skills with the ability to prioritise time and work effectively;
  • Competency in results-based frameworks for project implementation;
  • Developing M&E plans, guidelines/SOPs for all levels within the organisation;
  • Written and spoken English and preferably ability in another SA language.

Personal qualities required:

  • Demonstrates integrity and subscribes to Sonke’s values and ethical standards;
  • Ability to work independently and in a multicultural 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.

To Apply

  • Interested applicants should submit their CV, a motivational letter that details your experience, the contact details of three referees, to Sonke’s Human Resource Unit at Closing date 29 September 2022.
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. 
  • Non-South African nationals have the responsibility to obtain a work permit from the Department of Home Affairs, and employment will depend on a valid work permit being in place.
  • Sonke is committed to racial and gender transformation and encourages previously disadvantaged individuals and those with disabilities to apply. 
  • If you do not hear from us by 31 October 2022, please consider your application unsuccessful. 
  • The organisation reserves the right not to make an appointment.


Cape Town or Johannesburg


R691 676 - R919 800.00 (total cost to company per annum)

Closing Date

29 September 2022