Mastercard Foundation is a global foundation based in Toronto, Canada with several offices in Africa. Our programs promote financial inclusion and advance education and learning in Africa, primarily for young people, and in Canada for Indigenous youth. The Foundation was established in 2006 through the generosity of Mastercard when it became a public company. From inception, the Foundation was designed to be a separate entity and independent from Mastercard. Our policies, operations, and funding decisions are made by our President and Board of Directors.
The Foundation believes that youth employment is key to unlocking prosperity, both for youth and their societies. Enabling young women and men from disadvantaged communities to secure dignified and fulfilling work will ensure inclusive development and economic growth in Africa.
Values are timeless, they transcend and rise above all. They guide everything we do, as employees of the Foundation. We share a common vision of a world where everyone has the opportunity to learn and prosper. We make mistakes, we reflect, and we grow so that we can impact our world – it’s why we are here. We are ambitious and driven. We encourage you to bring your bold ideas, curiosity, and expertise to your work. We laugh at ourselves and with each other. We are a team. Our journey together makes our impact even more meaningful.
Job Title: Manager or Senior Manager, Research & Evaluation
THE WORK AT THE FOUNDATION – STRATEGY & LEARNING
The Foundation believes building knowledge will play a key part of unlocking new ideas and solutions to difficult problems. We believe in the catalytic, lasting impact that effective research and evaluation can have in identifying and enabling pathways out of poverty.
We will contribute to global knowledge bases about effective approaches and impact for youth employment, channeling new ideas both into our own programs as well as informing other key actors. We also seek to work more directly with African researchers and research organizations, believing that local leadership and organizations are best placed to contribute knowledge and learning to development discussions. Our values and principles around research are further articulated in our Research and Evaluation Policy.
Reporting to the Associate Director, Research, the goal of each Manager / Senior Manager is to catalyze learning and evidenced-based decision-making across the Foundation and within our network of stakeholders. Working within the Strategy & Learning team, and closely with Programs and Communications, these individuals will drive execution of our Research Framework through strategic partnership development and sector engagement. The successful candidates will be proactive and collaborative self-starters who demonstrate flexibility and ownership for finding new opportunities and for leveraging knowledge.
Location: Nairobi, Kenya or Accra, Ghana preferred
WAYS YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE
Knowledge Development & Subject Matter Expertise
- Lead the implementation of core areas of the Foundation-wide research framework.
- Develop and manage strategic research partnerships that generate evidence and insights in our priority areas.
- Provide subject matter expertise regarding the state of evidence and knowledge in key area(s).
- Lead and/or guide regular updates of the evidence map informing our work, scanning the emerging literature and practice for relevant evidence to guide our programs and investments.
- Lead the planning, design and implementation of mixed-method approaches of independent evaluations, including but not limited to, impact evaluations.
Partner and Project Management
- Commission research projects and partners, including drafting Request for Proposals, managing proposal and partner selection, and contracting processes.
- Support and/or lead institutional strengthening initiatives that advance the further development of African research organizations and networks.
- Manage ongoing projects with a wide variety of research partners with a wide range of experience, expertise, and capacity.
- Ensure research compliance with relevant ethical guidelines and policies, including local regulations and Foundation policies and guidelines.
- Contribute to the active management of the Research & Evaluation Database and promote its usage amongst Foundation colleagues.
- Lead and/or support the revision and implementation of Foundation Research & Evaluation policy and approach, including internal guidance, tools, processes, and information management.
- Lead the effective internal and external use of research-related evidence, including the uptake of research results by Foundation teams, both in Toronto and Africa.
- Contribute to a learning culture within the Foundation that is reflective, people-focused, and rooted in evidence.
- Actively engage in writing and dissemination of thought pieces that convey Foundation learning and positions on a range of topics.
- Engage with Communications and Thought Leadership teams to creatively highlight research findings in non-traditional means that target our core audiences.
- Represent the Foundation at relevant sector events, including relevant research conferences, convenings and program-related events.
- Network and liaise with a range of internal and external stakeholders regarding the Foundation’s research approach and priorities, including colleagues, implementation partners, research partners, young people, other donors, and other development sector organizations.
- One position will focus on building partnerships and networks, addressing the Changing Nature of Work. Prior experience/knowledge of issues related to the future of work, including technology, climate change, and scenario planning would be an asset.
- One position will focus on strengthening research institutions and networks. Prior experience/knowledge of institutional strengthening initiatives and approaches is required.
WHO YOU ARE
- Graduate degree in a related discipline such as Development Studies, Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science, International Affairs, etc. PhD degree is an asset.
- Extensive knowledge and experience in one or more core areas of the Foundation’s work, including private sector development, employment creation, financial inclusion, education systems and policy, digital economy, and/or youth development.
- Five – ten years of experience in research and/or evaluation.
- Excellent analytical and interpretive skills with the ability to synthesize large amounts of information and communicate effectively.
- Knowledge and experience in research methods, including qualitative and/or quantitative approaches. Experience with mixed methods approaches and new technologies in data collection, synthesis and analysis is highly valued.
- Knowledge of research ethics, including institutional review boards, government ethics approvals, and integrating ethics considerations in research and evaluation practices.
- Excellent project management skills with a high tolerance for ambiguity, with a proven ability to manage multiple activities in a fast-paced environment.
- Astute ability to adapt to changing priorities within a fast-paced and results-driven work environment with a “roll up the sleeves” attitude.
- Excellent listening and interpersonal skills with demonstrated experience collaborating effectively across multiple functions/geographies with both internal/external partners.
- Deep sense of curiosity with an interest in learning and ability to turn learnings into actionable strategies.
- Exceptional cross-cultural skills and demonstrated commitment to gender inclusion and youth engagement.
- Strong service orientation with experience understanding and addressing user needs.
- Strong written and verbal communications skills in English; French is an asset.
- Conscientious and methodical with impeccable attention to detail.
- High level of proficiency with MS Suite (Office 365, SharePoint)
- Knowledge of tools and software programs for quantitative and qualitative analysis.
- Professional maturity and sensitivity to working within different cultures.
- Impeccable integrity.
- Willingness and ability to travel, up to 20%.
- Senior Managers: the proven capability to lead a team of direct reports.
- You are flexible, adaptable, and able to execute a range of job duties and changing priorities.
- You possess excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills with the ability to articulate information to a variety of constituents across cultures.
- You possess professional maturity, sensitivity with different cultures, and impeccable integrity that exemplify the Foundation’s values.
Mastercard Foundation values the unique skills and experiences each individual brings to the organization and we are committed to creating and maintaining an inclusive and accessible environment for everyone.