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Senior Collaboration, Learning, and Adaptation (CLA) Director, Malawi Governance for Solutions (GfS)


  • Organization: DAI - International Development Company
  • Location: Lilongwe
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Operations and Administrations
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • International Relations
    • Environment
    • Democratic Governance
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Public Policy and Administration
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Climate Change
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2024-05-31

Project Background

Governance for Solutions (GfS) is a five-year USAID activity that aims to remove critical bottlenecks to public service delivery and contribute to a broader understanding of effective governance practices in Malawi. To achieve this, GfS applies Problem-Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA) as a core methodology to support local stakeholders to identify and tackle the root causes of service delivery failures through best-fit solutions and offer demonstrative models based on positive deviance. The project uses PDIA to identify bottlenecks and shape solutions related to human resources management (HRM), public financial management (PFM), and policy implementation in the priority sectors of education, health, agriculture, and natural resource management. GfS works in eight rural councils (with the pending add-on approval to expand to five adjacent urban councils and one additional rural council). GfS also collaborates closely with central government institutions, including sector agencies, finance agencies and those facilitating decentralization processes. GfS also works to support Government-to-Government (G2G) assistance in health in two districts (with expansion to two additional districts pending).

Collaborating, learning, and adaptive management (CLA) is fundamental to GfS’ application of PDIA, and to the project overall. The PDIA methodology aims to solve persistent problems through experimentation, and to generate learning about what does and does not work through rapid cycles of testing, assessment, and revision of interventions. As a facilitator of the PDIA process, GfS is responsible for convening the right stakeholders to engage in productive problem-solving, regularly generating evidence to inform decision-making on what solutions to pursue, leading analysis of why interventions succeeded or not, and ensuring lessons are documented and shared with those who can use them.

Position Description:

The Senior CLA Director has primary responsibility for the co-design and implementation of the project’s monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) and CLA systems, with the overall goals of ensuring activities are designed and adapted based on evidence, measuring performance against established goals, and facilitating internal and external knowledge sharing. S/he oversees the MEL and Communications teams and a Learning Specialist, facilitating an integrated process of collecting data, conducting analysis, and publicizing findings.

The Senior CLA Director leads the MEL team to define indicators and sources of data, track delivery against project targets, and provide project leadership with necessary data and analysis for decision-making. With support from the Learning Specialist, s/he analyzes qualitative and quantitative data to identify good practices and lessons learned, facilitates reflection and knowledge-sharing within the GfS team and with counterparts, and leads research and analysis to deliver on the GfS learning agenda. S/he also supervises the Communications team to effectively share learning from GfS with diverse audiences. In addition, the Senior CLA Director oversees the preparation of regular project reports and deliverables for USAID.

Because of the experimental nature of PDIA, the need to integrate it with more traditional capacity building approaches, the number of potential sectors, and the geographically dispersed nature of the GfS activity, this position plays a central and critical role in coordination amongst the MEL, technical and communications teams.

Key Duties & Responsibilities

The Senior CLA Director’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

Collaboration, Learning, and Adaptive Management

· Collaborate with USAID/Malawi and the GfS technical team to identify key CLA priorities and plan relevant CLA activities.

· Lead the development, refinement, and implementation of the GfS CLA Strategy and learning agenda.

· Design qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to answer GfS learning questions.

· Conduct and/or supervise research in support of the GfS learning agenda, including key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and analysis of project-generated and secondary data.

· Analyze and report findings from interviews, focus groups, and other stakeholder engagement to COP, DCOP, GfS technical teams, and relevant stakeholders to guide future activities and evaluate project achievements.

· Manage the documentation and dissemination of learning products, including case studies, best practices, and lessons learned, to inform program design, policy dialogue, and advocacy efforts.

· Use data to systematically and consistently document achievements, success stories, and best practices.

· Develop and facilitate workshops, learning conversations, and other knowledge-sharing opportunities for project staff and external stakeholders.

· Identify external literature, data, best practices, and lessons learned relevant to GfS activities and provide guidance to project teams to design and adapt interventions based on evidence.

· Support project teams in applying adaptive management principles to respond to emerging challenges, test assumptions, and adjust strategies in real time based on evidence and learning.

· Provide technical assistance and capacity building to project teams and partners on CLA approaches, tools, and methodologies, including participatory approaches to learning and adaptation.

· Collaborate with internal team members, external partners, and consultants to leverage expertise and resources for learning initiatives.

· Supervise, coach, and mentor the Learning Specialist and Technical Specialists to effectively contribute to all CLA activities.

· Ensure coordination between the CLA team, Result Area Leads, regional implementation teams, and other technical staff.

· Provide input into the Annual Work Plan and ensure activities reflect evidence and lessons learned.

· Help create and maintain a culture of learning and adaptive management within the project.

Monitoring and Evaluation

· Supervise the MEL Manager (and indirectly, the MEL Officer and Data Management Officer) to continuously strengthen and institutionalize monitoring and evaluation systems and approaches that provide useful data for reporting, communications, and organizational learning.

· Ensure the MEL Plan and Performance Indicator Reference Sheets are updated as needed.

· Oversee implementation of data quality assessment processes and procedures.

· Supervise the development/adaptation of tools for data collection and implementation of surveys and other data collection tasks, including annual and quarterly collection of monitoring data and the project’s midline and end-of-project surveys.

· Design methods for analysis of quantitative and qualitative data, including use of statistical methods as appropriate, and supervise staff and consultants to apply them.

· Manage analysis of M&E data to assess project performance and inform technical teams about the project’s outcomes and impacts on a regular basis, providing necessary recommendations for meeting targets where needed.

· Ensure that required gender, youth, and other disaggregated data are tracked, recorded, and reported properly.

· Provide overall guidance and oversight of all M&E related efforts, communicating and coordinating as needed with DAI home office headquarters staff.

· Lead collaboration with USAID assigned external evaluators and provide documentation/verification of data as requested.

· Supervise, coach, and mentor the MEL team to ensure timely and high-quality reporting of M&E data and sound analysis of data for decision-making.


· Oversee the Communications team to develop, refine, and implement the project communications plan, ensuring the visibility of GfS activities and sharing of lessons learned.

· Identify key messages, develop, and disseminate knowledge and learning products through diverse communication channels.

· Ensure the project documents, and makes available in useful form, evidence, and analytic results from MEL and CLA studies and evaluation reports, meeting notes, decisions made, and follow ups from learning engagements.

· Support the Communications team to update the project activity factsheet on a quarterly basis and report the updates to USAID/Malawi.

· Manage the development of the Quarterly Performance Reports, Annual Reports and Final Report.


This role is contingent on donor funding.

· Bachelor’s degree in international development, social sciences, economics, communications, public relations or a related field. Master’s degree or higher in international development, public administration, or a related field, preferred, but not required.

· Minimum ten (10) years of experience managing monitoring, evaluation, collaboration, and learning, with knowledge of USAID’s CLA approach.

· Prior supervisory experience of MEL and CLA professionals working on USAID projects.

· Practical experience with applying USAID CLA Framework, tools, and approaches.

· Demonstrated expertise and an in-depth understanding of qualitative and quantitative research design, data collection, and data analysis. Expertise in statistical analysis and qualitative methods such as process tracing, outcome harvesting, and most significant change preferred.

· Prior experience leading, designing, managing, and/or commissioning research.

· Ability to communicate complex findings verbally and in writing to a range of external and internal stakeholders.

· Demonstrated ability to apply MEL results and learning to planning and project implementation.

· Understanding of USAID regulations and policies, including but not limited to the Automated Directives System 201 and Evaluation Policy.

· Strong track record of working on projects of similar scope, complexity, and size.

· Fluency in English is required. Excellent English writing skills required.

Please apply at:

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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