Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with disability.
The main function of the Director of Research and Learning is to develop and direct the organization’s research and learning agenda with the design and supervision of innovative large and smaller scale studies, both quantitative and qualitative in nature, which contributes to Heifer’s thought leadership, positioning in the global context, and answers key programmatic questions that affect investments.
ESSENTIAL CHARACTER TRAITS:
The ideal candidate is detailed oriented, self-driven and has strong leadership skills with the ability to work with a diverse group of people across various departments within the organization.
- Develop strategic research and learning agenda with input from cross-divisional teams that will contribute to programmatic learning and organizational strategy and thought leadership.
- Identify evaluation expertise to conduct high quality industry standard research.
- Cultivate relationships with research universities and others investing in research in our industry including membership groups to leverage funds and research knowledge to position Heifer on the leading edge of community-led, social capital, market-driven approaches to sustainable livelihoods.
- Ensure results of research is made available to both internal and external audiences packaged to ensure optimum use and learning from such research investments.
RESPONSIBILITIES & DELIVERABLES
Develop strategic research and learning agenda with input from cross-divisional teams that will contribute to programmatic learning and organizational strategy and thought leadership.
- Complete and present for approval yearly research agenda with resources clearly defined to conduct such research.
- Complete draft agendas for 2-years in advance to ensure proper planning and strategic direction for Heifer's research approach.
Identify evaluation expertise to conduct high quality industry standard research.
- Complete two (2) full request for proposal processes yearly at a minimum to identify qualified vendors/candidates who meet scope, schedule, and cost requirements.
- Ensure that final deliverables are of high quality, rigor, and integrity that Heifer can use for sharing with internal and external audiences
Cultivate relationships with research universities and others investing in research in our industry including membership groups to leverage funds and research knowledge to position Heifer on the leading edge of community-led, social capital, market-driven approaches to sustainable livelihoods
- Cultivate five (5) new relationships with potential research partners within the industry on a yearly basis at a minimum.
- Leverage funds and/or expertise with at least 1 new research partner on a yearly basis.
Ensure results of research is made available to both internal and external audiences packaged to ensure optimum use and learning results from such research investments.
- Package research results and present to heifer staff at a minimum 3 times during the fiscal year including the fundraising teams, programs, monitoring and evaluation, and senior leadership.
- Present at a minimum of two (2) workshops/platforms/conferences during the year to highlight Heifer’s presence in industry wide led research initiatives and contributions.
- Intentionally integrate research findings into project design and rigor for project metrics by meeting with programs teams and monitoring, evaluation, and learning teams on a frequent basis to discuss findings and opportunities.
May perform other duties as assigned.
Most Critical Proficiencies:
- Demonstrated leadership in designing research and learning agendas in an organization.
- Innovative, analytical, curious, proactive, customer oriented, and solutions oriented;
- Versatility in all aspects of the research and evaluation process: identify research questions, develop rigorous evaluation methodology, draft requests for proposals and terms of reference; manage procurement processes, manage external vendors/consultants to conduct rigorous evaluation work with identified deliverables; incorporate learnings across the organization and share widely with external audiences.
- Experience in a wide range of industry specific research and evaluation methodologies;
- An evident understanding of and sensitivity to issues associated with poverty, hunger, agriculture and the environment, and knowledge of the context in which non-profit organizations operate;
- Ability to work cross-departmentally to gather data and information for best use of research and evaluation resources and tools keeping diverse audiences in mind;
- Excellent organizational skills, including strong attention to detail;
- Proven experience in building the capacity of staff to document and share organizational information;
- Proficient knowledge of collaboration systems and tools, word processing, spreadsheets, presentation tools, electronic mail (Microsoft Office preferred) and Internet;
- Demonstrated proficiency in English, both oral and written;
- Experience with ICT; and
- Ability to work in a team.
Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands:
- Demonstrated leadership in managing complex research and evaluation protocols.
- Ability to understand, appreciate and drive Heifers research agenda to ending hunger and reaching a living income for families;
- Demonstrated creativity, ability to think systematically, willingness and ability to incorporate innovative solutions to work effectively;
- Ability to disseminate knowledge by writing clearly, cohesively to document and sell approach and tools to internal and external audiences;
- Ability to create Scopes of Work and manage external consultants to assist with documentation of lessons learned, approaches used with best practices integrating data and learning agendas;
Proven ability to work as a team and inspire staff to embrace and engage with knowledge documentation and sharing across the organization;
Master’s degree in relevant area of expertise pertaining to evaluation design and methodology or the equivalent.
Minimum of eight (8) years of direct relevant experience in the international development field with specific experience related to designing research methodologies, oversight of external evaluations, and directly designing and conducting evaluations.
Directed large research initiatives within the international development field in the areas of agriculture, nutrition, women’s empowerment, social inclusion, inclusive business growth.
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