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Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Manager

Company Name: The African Visionary Fund
Company Location: Africa
Work Type: Fully-Remote
Employment Status: Full-time
Date Posted: June 11, 2024
Apply By: August 13, 2024

The African Visionary Fund (AVFund) seeks an experienced Monitoring, Evaluation, & Learning (MEL) Manager to work with our team to document impact insights from our first three-year fund and lead the design and implementation of AVFund’s updated MEL framework for our new strategy launching in 2025. Our primary goal is to measure our progress towards 1) unlocking and driving more unrestricted, catalytic funding to African visionaries and 2) creating a more equitable funding ecosystem that allows African visionaries to thrive. We are seeking a MEL Manager who will centre our core values and design MEL approaches that align with our trust-based and equity-centred approach.

We believe that our impact as a funder lies in supporting our partners to achieve their visions and remain resilient amidst major challenges. We recognize that the true impact on the communities they serve is our partners’ achievement and innovative solutions, which we indirectly contribute to through financial and organizational support. Furthermore, AVFund uses our partners’ internal metrics and milestones to measure success instead of imposing our own. This practice stems from the value we place on trust and proximity since our partners are more deeply rooted in and familiar with the contexts and issues of the communities they serve.

The MEL Manager will be the impact & data hub of our team – helping to review and revise our existing MEL frameworks and tools, while also designing new frameworks and tools that enhance our overall breadth of impact data to illustrate all the various outcomes of our work. The MEL Manager will work to embed our values into our MEL processes and tools to ensure we work closely with our partners to understand their data, without prescribing an outside vision of what their impact should be. This is an exciting role for someone who loves the intersection of impact data and human-centered design, has a knack for making sense of a wide variety of data, and is excited to practice equitable evaluation in partnership with African-led organizations. If you’re eager to help reimagine the way philanthropy supports African visionaries, design innovative MEL methodologies, and work alongside a fun & passionate team with lots of opportunities for growth, we encourage you to apply!

About the African Visionary Fund

The African Visionary Fund (AVFund) is unleashing breakthrough impact by driving catalytic funding & resources to African social impact organizations. Our belief is simple—when tackling challenges and improving lives on the continent, proximity matters. Despite their potential for impact, African-led organizations receive less than 5.2% of all US foundation giving across Africa and less than 0.4% of all international funding. We envision a world where African visionaries are recognized and resourced by funders for their ability to accelerate progress and drive systems change on the continent.

When we got started in 2020, our goal was to raise $10M over three years, with a larger goal of driving $50M+ in catalytic resources to African social changemakers by 2030. With a small but mighty team of 8 spread across 5 countries, we’ve raised over $10M, committed $8.4M+ in flexible multi-year funding to 35 African changemakers, and been featured in outlets such as the New York Times and The Guardian. Having successfully raised our first fund, we are now in an exciting phase of growth. We are expanding our funding partnerships, deepening our investment in African changemakers, and ramping up our advocacy work to continue our mission and realize our vision at scale. 

We believe deeply in our core values of Transformative Impact, Equity, Solidarity, Trust and Integrity, and Striving to Learn. We strive to take the path aligned to these values at every decision juncture, even if the less values-aligned path might be faster or easier. We are looking for team members who are passionate and dedicated to these values and will continue to challenge us to live into them at every turn. Learn more about our values here.

What You’ll Do

  • Consolidate learning & impact insights from our first strategy

    • Review & revise current Theory of Change and accompanying indicators to reflect full picture of AVFund’s impact

    • Design evaluation & learning methodologies and consolidate and collect any data needed. This will include quantitative data, as well as case studies from our partners, qualitative data from our funding partner community, etc.

    • Produce a report documenting the initial impact insights from our first strategy, including key learnings that are informing our new strategy.

  • Design & build new MEL frameworks, tools, and systems for our 2024 & Beyond strategy

    • Work collaboratively with AVFund’s team & partners to design an updated MEL framework for our strategy including developing indicators mapped to AVFund’s Theory of Change, and designing monitoring & evaluation frameworks and tools.

    • Lead rollout of relevant MEL processes and systems aligned to our new strategy, including onboarding and providing ongoing support to our team & partners.

    • Proactively identify & assess strategies to address potential gaps or opportunities to enhance how we measure & evaluate our impact.

  • Lead implementation of MEL systems

    • Manage MEL systems and processes to ensure we are tracking our key indicators and are collecting the right data to understand our progress.

    • Collaborate with the Programs Team to ensure we have a deep understanding of our partners’ data & impact while centering equity and our trust-based relationships with partners.

    • Collaborate with the Grantmaking Technical Team to ensure that the data collection process design allows for a user-friendly grants management system.

    • Develop external facing materials in collaboration with internal teams to communicate our impact and learnings.

    • Capture lessons learned and key insights from our data to facilitate continuous improvement of our MEL systems and inform our ongoing organizational learning.

    • Lead internal team learning sessions on impact, based on insights generated from our MEL processes & data.

  •  Act as an impact & data hub across different teams

    • Support the Programs Team by providing data and insights to inform our grantmaking, portfolio services, and relationships management strategies,

    • Support the Fundraising Team by providing data and insights for our grant applications and reporting,

    • Work with our Communications Team to highlight our impact and our partners’ impact by sharing data and insights to inform social media and website content,

    • Boost our advocacy work by working alongside our Advocacy Team to provide data points and case studies aligned with our systems change strategy.

    • Serve as an internal information hub, supporting data collection, reporting to and from our different teams and audiences:

    • Actively engage in the impact learning landscape, sourcing new learnings, sharing AVFund’s experience and building AVFund’s profile through thought leadership pieces, presentations and participation in relevant industry events.

Who We Are Looking For

  • You know the potency and power of impact when it is driven by local changemakers. You want to be a part of changing philanthropic systems to make that the norm rather than the exception.
  • You have experience navigating the tension grassroots organizations face between the way funders want them to measure their impact and what is realistic & meaningful to the communities they serve.

  • You have 5+ years of MEL experience and a successful track record in designing effective & nimble MEL systems for grassroots organizations and following up with quality implementation.

  • You understand the challenges of founders and can empathize with their struggles when it comes to fundraising and reporting impact to funders.

  • You are passionate about centering equity within MEL practices and have knowledge of tools like the Equitable Evaluation Framework.

  • You have experience utilizing various evaluation methodologies (eg, theory of change, logic models, impact evaluations) across a variety of programs and implementing those methodologies in direct collaboration with programs teams.

  • You have strong analytical skills and love digging into data in various forms to identify key trends, insights, and inform decisions.

  • You are a strategic thinker who is able to quickly grasp a vision and translate ideas and strategies into great execution plans.

  • You are a highly organized self-starter with the ability to deliver results independently and in close collaboration with virtually distributed teams.

  • You have experience preparing clear, concise, actionable reports for internal and external stakeholders.

  • You are willing to learn and adapt to new tools, technologies and methodologies in the field of MEL.

  • You love building user-friendly systems, processes, and tools for collecting data and have experience using human-centered design.

  • You are flexible and agile in your systems design approaches and understand that effective systems and processes require an iterative and collaborative approach.

  • You have strong communications skills, are open-minded and have worked collaboratively across teams and with people from various backgrounds, and demonstrate high intercultural competence. You are not afraid to challenge assumptions and build on others’ ideas to help us innovate.

  • You have excellent verbal and written skills and can present complex information concisely.

  • You are proficient in various data management tools, including strong proficiency in Excel.

  • AVFund believes our team is better and stronger with diverse perspectives and experiences. We welcome applications from candidates historically underrepresented in the nonprofit sector, especially within the international development sector.

Other Information

The anticipated start date is 1st August 2024. The ideal candidate is an African based in Sub-Saharan Africa with pre-existing work authorization. This is a full-time role (an average of 40 hours a week, reporting to the US-based Co-CEO). Working hours will be agreed on based on where the candidate lives.

We will agree on performance and learning objectives during a three-month probationary period. We are looking for candidates who are ready to make a long-term commitment.

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