Senior Manager MEL

Job Type

Full Time


Details: Salary Commensurate with Education and Experience



Start Date


Application Deadline



Unit 8, The Planet Art
32 Jamieson St.
Cape Town
Western Cape
South Africa


Title:                        Senior Manager, Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL)

Division:                    Research & Curriculum Team

Location:                   Cape Town, South Africa

Reports to:               Director of Research, Curriculum & Innovation

Start Date:                Q1 2019

Grassroot Soccer 

Grassroot Soccer (GRS) is a rapidly growing adolescent health organisation that leverages the power of soccer to educate, inspire, and mobilise at-risk youth in developing countries to overcome their greatest health challenges, live healthier, more productive lives, and be agents for change in their communities. Since 2002, GRS has reached over 2 million young people in 50 countries with life-saving HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive health information and services. Grassroot Soccer is looking to significantly scale its impact via partnerships over the next five years, and reach over 1 million young people annually.

Position Description:

The Senior Manager (SM) is responsible for the monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) strategy and systems for GRS’s adolescent health programmes. The SM sets the strategic direction for GRS’s approach to MEL, and oversees the entire MEL unit. The SM ensures information management systems, data collection processes reporting, analysis, and interpretation are of the highest quality across all business units in the organisation. The SM promotes data-driven decision-making at GRS by ensuring data are usable, practical, and available to inform organisational strategy, decision-making, and programmatic design. The SM is accountable for managing systems to report on GRS’s key performance indicators, ensuring compliance with donors’ grant management requirements, and supporting four GRS Impact Teams (GRS Zimbabwe, GRS South Africa, GRS Zambia, Global Partnerships). Impact Teams deliver impact through programmes and partnerships currently across 10 countries. The SM supervises the Global MEL Team personnel, supports the Impact Teams, and reports to and is accountable to the Director of Research, Curriculum and Innovation.

The SM should be an experienced, team-oriented senior manager, proactive problem-solver, and quantitative thinker, who sees stories through numbers and can communicate confidently internally and externally. The SM should have an ability to identify where systems are not working, implement solutions, and can act as an advocate for data quality and utilisation across the organisation to cultivate a culture of learning and innovation.

The SM should be comfortable working within a matrixed organisation and can coordinate well with Impact Teams and all Global functions: Business Development, Fundraising, Marketing, Partnering Strategy, and Finance and Operations.

Primary Responsibilities:

Oversee Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) Cycle for GRS (40%)

  • Set the strategic direction for MEL at GRS
  • Oversee and ensure the quality of MEL services and staff to ensure processes are standardised to the extent possible and modified as appropriate for local context
  • Ensure GRS Impact Team staff are properly trained and supported in data collection methodology and in the MEL system, in general
  • Support evaluation of MEL staff in Impact Teams
  • Ensure MEL staff, programmatic teams and directors receive timely and accurate data analysis, recommendations, and reports, including but not limited to quarterly strategic data reviews
  • Ensure that MEL services are of appropriate depth and breadth based on grant funding available
  • Work with programme and M&E staff to ensure MEL findings are relevant, as well as routinely and rapidly utilised to inform and improve GRS curriculum, operations, training, and MEL systems 

Ensure the organization has standardized MEL tools, processes, systems & Key Performance Indicators (40%)

  • Oversee the design and implementation of all monitoring and evaluation plans, systems. and processes
  • Supervise GRS's MEL reporting process and lead the development and implementation of the GRS programmatic monitoring and evaluation plan and learning cycle, including externally-validated indicators and targets
  • Ensure GRS has efficient and effective data collection processes, ensure data quality through routine data quality assessments, participatory data collection methods and protocols, among other data quality verification techniques
  • Ensure data quality and on-time analysis for routine project and donor reporting, also ensuring that this informs and improves the organisation’s M&E systems
  • Oversee the design of the organisation’s evaluation methodology, including routine and participatory data collection methods and protocols for both programmatic and impact evaluations; provide input into study designs as needed
  • Lead strategy-level periodic performance reviews to present and discuss findings and inform the organisation’s M&E systems and key performance indicators
  • Review and revise key performance indicators annually, or as prompted
  • Explore a potential transition from paper-based to mobile-based MEL system
  • Potential for management of external research partnerships, depending on skills and bandwidth
  • Chair the newly established GRS Salesforce Governance Committee (Salesforce is the M&E database used by GRS)

Leadership & Communication (20%)

·        Direct the team that manages and maintains GRS's M&E system and database (4 full-time staff based in Cape Town and Johannesburg); and provide functional direction and support for MEL staff in Impact Teams (GRS Zimbabwe, GRS Zambia, GRS South Africa, and Global Partnerships)

  • Oversee the preparation and dissemination of MEL-focused documents including visualisation of data for both internal and external audiences (i.e. for business development proposals, scientific abstracts, peer-reviewed publications, external presentations made by other staff, etc.)
  • Support GRS’s Business Development Team to ensure the organisation’s MEL strategy and capabilities are accurately reflected in proposals; coordinating high quality, accurate, and timely reporting to donors.

  • Accountable for development and management of the organisation’s MEL budget.

Job Specifications:

The ideal candidate should hold qualifications and demonstrate exceptional skills in the following areas:


  • A Master’s Degree or higher in public health, business, social science, or a related field
  • 8–10 years of progressive management responsibility
  • Expertise in qualitative and quantitative programme evaluation methods
  • Expertise in one or more of the following areas preferred: health systems strengthening, implementation science, SRHR, HIV/AIDS, health service delivery, community health, data systems development


●    Inspiring and leading teams while holding teams and individuals accountable for results

●    Managing change in a growing organisation

●    Building relationships with wide range of staff and partners, and operating within diverse social and cultural contexts, often virtually over multiple continents and time zones

●    Thinking strategically yet knowing how and when to dive into the details

●    Communicating effectively, both oral and written, with wide range of external and internal stakeholders (e.g. internal senior leadership, board members, staff, young people, civil society organisation leaders, government officials) – especially to support translation of research into action across the organisation

●    Designing and managing M&E databases and reporting systems and requisite personnel

●    Data management and statistical software (e.g. MS Access, STATA, SAS or SPSS) is preferred

Successful leaders at Grassroot Soccer are bold, yet humble. They are passionate about the mission of Grassroot Soccer, and understand their role on the Grassroot Soccer team to achieve its mission.

Day to day, they are….

·        Proactive: can anticipate both opportunities and obstacles and take action, with a drive towards results

·        Professional: level-headed; ability to de-escalate difficult situations, behave exceptionally, and manage/minimize distractions

·        Problem Solvers: comfortable with ambiguity, can creatively unlock bottlenecks and turn problems into opportunities

…they demonstrate lots of…

·        Common Sense: prioritizing the right things at the right time; making good, quick, informed decisions balancing multiple issues and points of view

·        Self-awareness: know where one’s blind spots are, recognise differences, and build a team to complement one’s skills and weaknesses

…and a strong bias for…

·        Follow-through and outcomes: deliver results, not just create lots of activity

·        Treating people well: empathetic, kind, great listener, yet can make tough decisions and hold oneself/others accountable

To Apply: Please submit a CV, cover letter, and proof of work authorisation in SA to Title the email “Senior Manager MEL”. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Application Deadline: 12 November, 2018.


Health Insurance, Paid Time Off

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply

To Apply: Please submit a CV, cover letter, and proof of work authorisation in SA to Title the email “Senior Manager MEL”. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Application Deadline: 12 November, 2018.