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Technical Manager

Company Overview

Palladium develops and delivers solutions that create positive impact for communities, businesses, societies and economies. We transform lives and create enduring value by working with governments, corporations and non-profit organisations. Palladium is built on the idea that progress will be supported by four key pillars:
  • International Development
  • Strategy Execution Consulting
  • Impact Investment
  • Training and Events
We create positive impact through more than 100 current projects with more than 2000 employees operating in over 90 countries.

Palladium is a child-safe organisation, and screens applicants for suitability to work with children. We also provide equal employment to all participants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.

Project Overview and Role

Summary of Project

The E3 Analytics and Evaluation Project is a five-year contract running from September 2013 to September 2018. The purpose of the contract is to support technical sectors in USAID's Economic Growth, Education, and Environment Bureau (E3) and provide a vehicle for rigorous evaluation and analytic services in order to support Mission accountability and the needs of Mission Technical Offices. Approximately 30 evaluations, mostly rigorous impact evaluations, are anticipated to be conducted under the project. In addition, evaluation design support including consultations, concept paper development and/or 'in country' scoping is anticipated for a somewhat larger number of evaluations, some of which may be performance evaluations. Not all of the evaluations assisted will necessarily be carried through to the implementation stage under this contract. The project also envisions around 30 project design activities that may include literature reviews, logistics pilots, needs assessments, uptake surveys, and other studies to support USAID project or program design efforts. A limited number of training and dissemination activities are also anticipated.

Summary of Job

The Technical Manager's primary role on the E3 Analytics and Evaluation Project is to ensure high-quality, rigorous, and timely design and implementation activities to meet, and exceed, the standards of USAID and the Project partner organizations. To that end, the Technical Manager's primary responsibilities will be to provide technical oversight, team management, quality assurance, and project management support on assigned evaluations and other analytic activities under the Project, within the Palladium Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Practice but working collaboratively with the full Project team (Palladium along with Project partners Management Systems International [MSI] and NORC at the University of Chicago). The position will be located full-time at the offices of MSI in Arlington, Virginia.

Responsibilities

Technical Oversight and Quality Assurance

The Technical Manager is expected to serve as the home office manager and main point of contact for activity teams on approximately two to four activities (at any given time) under the E3 Analytics and Evaluation Project. Every activity under the Project that involves an evaluation or similar analytic effort will also have a Principal Investigator/Team Leader (PI/TL) who plays a central, conceptual role in the design and execution of the activity. The Technical Manager often helps identify PI/TL candidates and works closely with the PI/TL to ensure that implementation of the activity is consistent with design and quality standards. For the home office, the Technical Manager represents the PI/TL view where needed, as a PI/TL may be based anywhere in the world. Technical Managers provide technical oversight to ensure that all processes and required products for a given evaluation/analytic activity (at both the design and implementation stages) are consistent with Project guidelines, are completed on-time, and meet - and preferably exceed - the standards of the client and Project team. This will include managing the teams that are assembled to complete the activities as well as taking a direct role in supporting the development of these products, where necessary.

Specific tasks may include:
  • Conducting background research to inform the design process
  • Overseeing and providing inputs for the drafting of key design documents (scopes of work, concept papers, data collection instruments, scoping research, evaluation designs, work plans, protocols, etc.)
  • Identifying potential candidates for the evaluation/research team by researching the relevant literature, academic and professional networks, etc.
  • Work closely with selected PL/TL and/or subject matter experts
  • Supervising, in coordination with the PI/TL for a given activity, the collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data required to inform the selected design in order to answer USAID's evaluation/research questions
  • Reviewing all technical materials developed for an activity to ensure compliance with the approved design and USAID and Project team standards (including technical rigor, quality and clarity of writing and logical flow, etc.)
  • As appropriate, participate in in-country or remote data collection and analysis to support the needs of the activity

Team Management

Provide management oversight and technical support for evaluation/research teams, to ensure that team members prepare timely and high-quality products. The Technical Manager will work in close collaboration with the Project home office management team to ensure that team members are fully aware about their roles, responsibilities, required products, quality standards, and timelines.

Specific tasks may include:
  • Facilitating team planning, on-boarding and debriefing sessions and providing technical guidance for evaluation/research team members
  • Serving as the primary point of contact for evaluation/research team on technical matters
  • Serve as liaison between Project home office management team, evaluation team and client on technical matters for assigned activities
  • Supporting teams and ensuring that logistical preparations are sufficient to meet the requirements of the research needs
  • In coordination with the home office Project Management team, monitor LOE usage of team members to ensure that activities stay within budget

Requirements

Required:
  • Master's degree in a relevant social science field;
  • Five to ten years of professional experience, preferably with evaluation and other analytic research of international development activities; planning/design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of such activities; and/or quantitative and qualitative methods, data collection and analysis
  • Familiarity with relevant literature in respective technical area
  • Demonstrated capacity to conduct field experiments
  • Previous exposure to the concerns and priorities of development experts and policy-makers in low-income countries
  • Demonstrated excellence in written and verbal communication in the English language
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively as a member of a fast-moving and multicultural team while maintaining a client-centered focus
  • Willingness to contribute at different levels required to achieve success
  • Self-motivated and ability to work independently as well as in team settings
  • Highly detail-oriented and deadline-driven with strong organizational skills
Preferred:
  • At least 5 years of experience managing and overseeing evaluation mechanisms and teams for international development projects- strongly preferred
  • Demonstrated experience with statistical analysis software (preferably SPSS or Stata), including independently organizing, implementing and overseeing statistical analyses of data using these types of programs
  • Demonstrated experience with qualitative analysis software (such as MaxQDA or NVIVO) and qualitative data analysis techniques to process and organize large amounts of data, including content analysis of qualitative data (open-ended questions) and/or document searches for pre-specified type of information for pattern analysis
  • Prior experience working with USAID and familiarity with USAID program cycle, policies, guidance and regulations specific to monitoring, evaluation and learning
  • Demonstrated knowledge of a range of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods, including their application, limitations, and implementation (i.e., instruments/protocols)
  • Technical familiarity with subject matter relevant to the E3 Bureau (Economic Growth, Education and/or Environment)
  • Willingness to travel internationally for brief periods (1-3 weeks) on short notice
  • Fluency in Spanish, French or Russian