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MEL Director - Canberra / Manila, Philippines

Abt Associates - Investing in Women

Investing in Women (IW) is a multi-country Australian Government initiative in Southeast Asia that seeks to improve women’s economic participation as employees and as entrepreneurs and influence the enabling environment to promote Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE). It commenced in April 2016 with operations in the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar and is due to run through to June 2023. It is managed out of the Gender Equality Branch (GEB) of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra. The Program is supporting the following outcomes:

  • More businesses achieve improved gender equality in their workplaces
  • Intentional impact investments in women’s small and medium enterprises (WSMEs) increase
  • Positive shifts in gender norms related to workplace gender equality

For more information, see www.investinginwomen.asia.

About the Opportunity

The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Director will implement activities which comprise the IW MEL System; ensure the System is efficiently meeting the program’s information needs, and MEL planning and execution is well coordinated with the component teams.

The job is a backfill position for 4 months to commence in mid-January 2022, and is based in Canberra, Australia or Manila, Philippines with potential travels to other IW locations.

Key Responsibilities

The MEL Director will lead a team of three staff (two Senior Advisors and one Coordinator) and apply inputs from short term advisors. The successful candidate will demonstrate both technical M&E skills and the ability to work flexibly with implementation teams in rapidly changing environments. Specifically, the MEL Director will be responsible for:

  • Managing the MEL team in line with Abt values and ensure MEL team is supported to deliver on annual plan commitments and budget.
  • Ensuring all aspects of MEL System design and delivery are underpinned by robust conceptual frameworks for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment;
  • Ensuring the MEL system’s key questions, performance indicators, and focus of data collection aligns with the (evolving) information needs of the Program;
  • Working with DFAT (Gender Equality Branch) in relation to MEL to ensure that the MEL provides data that is relevant to DFAT’s reporting requirements
  • Working collaboratively with program staff and partners to develop and agree data collection, reporting and dissemination approaches that are technically robust, fit-for purpose and efficient;
  • Guiding, coordinating and providing technical leadership on all MEL designs, methods and outputs – either directly or via oversight of short-term technical specialists;
  • Working collaboratively with partners and ensuring the MEL team supports adaptive learning and capacity building with the IW implementation team and partners;
  • Overseeing reporting and dissemination of MEL results (in collaboration with other parts of IW)

Key Deliverables

During the backfill period, the successful candidate will work collaboratively with IW team members, consultants, and partners to ensure delivery of key scheduled MEL activities in line with agreed milestones and budget, including the following:

  • Learning memos on progress of Business Coalitions in Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Vietnam (February and March)
  • Synthesis report to DFAT on the overall progress of the four Business Coalitions (March)
  • Rapid reviews of policy reform efforts by Business Coalitions in Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam (March)
  • Technical support for advocacy campaign partners’ MEL activities (February to May)
  • Initial case studies of gender norms advocacy campaigns (March to May)
  • Learning notes based on analysis of interviews and reporting from investing partners, entrepreneurs, and market building partners (May)
  • Lead MEL team involvement in annual planning sessions (March) and development of FY23 draft annual MEL plan outlining and scheduling key reports and products for delivery in the final year of the IW program (May)
  • Periodic learning sessions for IW staff and partners as appropriate (February to May)

About You

We are seeking an individual who will bring or possess the following:

  • Masters or Post Graduate studies in social sciences, demonstrating use of M&E methodologies and/or applied research methods
  • Demonstrated technical capacities in quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies such as design and implementation of focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews, survey design, data analysis and reporting, with proven experience using MEL as a tool for social change, advocacy and knowledge building; especially in the issue of gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • Minimum of 7 years of experience demonstrating strong leadership skills as a senior manager in overseeing, managing and/or leading teams in the implementation of MEL systems for complex international development / aid programs (including collection and analysis of large dataset);
  • Strong stakeholder communication and facilitation skills and ability to work flexibly with internal and external stakeholders, including DFAT and private sector entities;
  • Demonstrated flexibility working with implementation teams in rapidly changing environments;
  • Understanding of DFAT’s Monitoring and Evaluation Standards.

How to Apply

Please submit your application via the Apply Now button below. Attach your resume/ CV and a cover letter addressing how you meet the requirements of this role.

We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage applications from experienced and capable women.

About Us

Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader with a proven track record in complex program implementation in the international development sector. We offer bold solutions and technical excellence in Health, Economic Growth, Governance, Research & Evaluation, Environment & Energy, Gender Equality & Social Inclusion. Working with our many partners, we have driven measurable social impact for more than 55 years, to achieve our mission of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide. We operate in remote and challenging environments and employ more than 3,700 staff in over 50 countries. For more information about us and what we do, visit our website at www.abtassociates.com


Abt Associates values individuality and celebrates difference with a strong commitment to diversity, equality, racial equity, gender, and disability inclusion. We strongly encourage people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to apply for this position. We offer flexible work arrangements and a culturally safe environment for staff members from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.


We are deeply committed to safeguarding, to protect and prevent harm and abuse to individuals we work for and who work for us. Our recruitment and selection procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation. We will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, child abuse, sexual abuse or exploitation in any form, and expect everyone to be treated with respect and dignity.

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