Impact, Research and Learning Lead (Manager)

Closing date:


Chief Executive Officer


Monitoring and Evaluation Officer; Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist


Permanent position ideally based in Johannesburg.

For the right candidate the Trust is open to exploring other country bases.


The Graça Machel Trust (the Trust) was established in 2010 as a Pan-African institution, whose mission is to amplify women’s movements, influence governance, and promote women’s contributions and leadership in the economic, social, and political development of Africa, and advocate for the promotion and protection of children’s rights and dignity.

Drawing on our Founder, Mrs. Machel’s life’s work as a liberation fighter for political freedom in Africa, advocate, and global activist for the rights of children and women, and Sustainable Development Goals Global Advocate, the Trust’s mandate is to elevate women, adolescents and children’s issues at the national, regional, and continental levels.

Our work is underpinned by the conviction that the development of the African continent hinges on I) the sustained and equitable participation of women in socio economic spheres at all levels and II) Africa’s human capital lies in its children and adolescents who need to be holistically nurtured to build a strong foundation for them to thrive to become active and engaged citizens in the continent’s development.

The Trust is in a pivotal and exciting point in its journey. Over the next few months, we will launch a bold new strategy that will focus on deepening impact across priority areas, strengthening institutional capability to deliver on this new strategy, and positioning us for sustainable growth.

The Impact, Research and Learning Lead will:

a) Provide strategic and operational leadership around impact, research, and learning at the programmatic and institutional levels.

b) Act as a thought partner to the Chief Executive Officer and Director of Programs on impact, research, and learning.

c) Drive the institutionalization of a culture of learning both internally and with the Trust’s primary external stakeholders.

Duties and responsibilities:

1. Strategic Planning

· In context of the Trust’s new strategy, lead on the development of an M&E plan.

· As part of the organization’s change management process, support Human Resources and the CEO in defining organizational development Key Performance Indicators, including around performance management.

· Provide leadership for an ambitious initiative to document the personal legacy of the Founder and trailblazing women in Africa, to promote African feminism.

· Critically review existing frameworks, and develop an Impact, Research and Learning Strategy.

2. Capacity Strengthening

· Implement capacity strengthening strategies to promote the institutionalization of impact, research and learning across all levels of the institution.

· Implement strategies to support and strengthen the research and learning outcomes of the Trust’s primary external stakeholders (networks and implementation partners).

· Keep abreast of new approaches and tools within the impact, research and learning space.

· Ensure that all team members within the Impact, Research and Learning Unit are motivated, accountable, properly trained and effectively mentored.

3. Systems Strengthening and Knowledge Management

· Lead, design and implement systems and processes for evaluating the impact and effectiveness of our work.

· Oversee the institutionalization of an integrated database of the organization’s projects, programs and research, and ensure accountability through regular data updates, data integrity and working in collaboration with the data processors. **

4. Monitoring and Reporting

· Introduce innovative but credible methods to gauge changes effected by our work.

· Oversee the development and implementation of M&E and performance management plans for all projects and proposals.

· Work with program team members to ensure the collection of data to be utilised in monitoring strengths, weaknesses and gaps in existing projects/ programs.

· Produce regular reports and/or dashboards to facilitate data-driven inquiry across the organization.

· Provide quality assurance for program reporting (including for donors), specifically supporting the preparation of impact, research and learning components.

5. Assessments and Evaluation

· Continuously evaluate our impact, identifying opportunities to improve the effectiveness of our programming.

· Initiate and supervise project/program baseline surveys, midterm and endline evaluations, and organisational assessments and evaluations.

6. Research and Learning

· Provide technical oversight in the design of and project-management of research projects, working closely with the Director of Programs.

· In collaboration with programs team members, inbuild into each project and program, research and learning agendas to ensure activities are evidence based and that principles of iterative and adaptive implementation are embedded in our work.

· Critically analyse activity results, and research impact ‘bright spots’ to identify which approaches demonstrate potential for meaningful change.

· In collaboration with communications and program team members, enable I) the production of audience friendly communication on impact data through analytics and information/knowledge products, II) the development of research studies, position, and policy papers.

· In collaboration with the Director of Programs, facilitate the production of the organization’s Annual Technical and Impact Report.

7. Be an effective collaborator for Partnership Building, Advocacy, and Resource Mobilization

· Position your Unit as thought leader in the research and learning space, by authoring blogs and papers and representing the Trust on strategic panels and fora.

· Develop and manage the Trust’s network of research and learning partners.

· Participate in proposal development and donor engagement, providing thought leadership as a technical lead on impact, research, learning.



A post-graduate degree in a development field, social science, economics, or relevant discipline.


  • At least seven (7) years of relevant experience.
  • Demonstrated experience with M&E methods, tools and approaches including knowledge of the logical framework approach, and other strategic planning approaches; quantitative and qualitative methods; use of statistical and analytical software.
  • Demonstrated experience leading impact studies, evaluations, assessments and conducing social science-based research.
  • Experience managing and growing high impact teams.
  • Thematic experience in the women’s economic development, child rights or advocacy sectors desirable.
  • Experience working in the Sub-Saharan context desirable.
  • Ability and willingness to travel to project sites in the Continent and as required.


· You possess excellent analytical skills and the ability to summarize disparate information in a clear and concise manner.

· You are an agile thinker with the ability to shift from strategic to operational tasks daily.

· You have high Emotional Intelligence, and can easily interact a range of personality types, to build productive working relationships within and outside the organization.

· You can deftly ‘manage up’ with your CEO, Board, and others.

· You are a confident communicator with strong writing abilities in English.

· You have good organizational skills and can balance competing priorities, distilling what’s urgent from what’s important.

· You know when to delegate and recognize the importance of empowering your team.

· You enjoy working in a team setting but can equally work independently to efficiently meet deadlines.

· You are a self-starter and excited to create and strengthen systems.

· You thrive in an environment of organizational change, seeing opportunities where others may see uncertainties.

· You are reliable and values driven.

· You are passionate about improving outcomes for women and children on the continent.

How to apply

Please submit a CV (maximum 3 pages) and cover letter, 3 contactable references to with the job title in the subject line. Deadline for applications is 15th April 2022.

Late applications and candidates who do not comply with the above requirements will automatically be disqualified. The Trust reserves the right not fill the position. Correspondence will be limited to shortlisted candidates only. If you do not receive correspondence from us within one month of the closing date, please consider your application as unsuccessful.

For more about the Graça Machel Trust, please refer to

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