The Office of Evaluation focuses on designing, facilitating, and supporting the Foundation’s efforts to proactively measure, assess, and learn from its grantmaking programs.
The Evaluation Officer works with the Managing Director and program colleagues on all aspects of the Foundation’s evaluation, working with Program teams to develop Terms of Reference for all evaluations for any area of work; external evaluation contracts; and internal evaluation teams to engage with external contracts; and with Evaluation partners/Program teams to develop Evaluation Design/Framework for each area of work. In addition, s/he will manage external evaluation contracts and consultants, working with Evaluation partners/Program teams to develop internal and external communications, data visualizations, information sharing protocols and processes around theories of change, assumptions, risks, unknowns, what will it take, measures of progress and evaluation learnings. He/she will provide technical assistance to Program teams, assist Program staff as requested in the evaluation of individual grants, and provide technical assistance with grants that have a research or evaluation component; and provide support in other aspects of Program staff’s strategy development as needed. The Evaluation Officer also will apply his/her expertise in relevant field(s) in developing and implementing evaluation design, implementation and reporting.
The Evaluation Officer will be called upon to deliver under pressure and consistently produce high-quality work; build effective peer relationships throughout the Foundation; proactively work with other departments; anticipate potential issues and propose solutions; offer assistance and service to team members; and present ideas for improvement and be able to create a project plan to execute these improvements.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Participate in the design, implementation, refinement and adaptation of evaluation designs, in managing evaluations and in planning future evaluations
- Identify prospective evaluation partners to develop evaluation proposals that advance evaluation strategies and address program’s information needs
- Manage the selection process for evaluators
- Conduct background research and due diligence, prepare recommendations for selecting evaluation and learning partners, and respond to unsuccessful evaluation proposals
- Manage a caseload of active evaluation partners, review reports and maintain accurate records and constructive contact with evaluation partners (and subcontractors as necessary/appropriate)
- Organize meetings between Program team and evaluation and learning partners
- Keep abreast of current events, developments and issues in the field to maintain a balanced and objective perspective and approach to evaluation
- Write extensively for internal purposes
- Build and sustain relationships with colleagues across the Foundation, and with leaders, actors and organizations in relevant fields, including the public and commercial sectors
- Represent the Foundation at conferences and other public events, including as speaker or panel participant
Other Duties and Responsibilities
- Serve on internal Foundation committees as appropriate
- Perform other duties as assigned
- Graduate training and at least five years’ experience working as an evaluator, policy professional, researcher or practitioner in a relevant field
- Solid grounding in the theory, methods and trends in evaluation; a strong grasp of relevant empirical research and theoretical literature; and a good understanding of the substance and dynamics of public policies relevant to the work of the team
- Able to make effective connections among research, policy and practice as it relates to understanding and measuring complex systems and systems change
- Excellent analytical and communications skills, including writing and public speaking
- Experience in strategic communications and project management
- Self-confident, collegial, and diplomatic, with an appreciation of the role of a grantmaking institution
- Computer literate, with a high level of comfort with new applications
- Other essential skills include: effectiveness in interpersonal relations with a proven ability to work as part of a team; the ability to organize and convey problems and issues clearly and succinctly; ease with and openness to people who hold diverse views; and a talent for managing multiple tasks with significant initiative
The position is based in Chicago, Illinois. The Evaluation Officer must be willing to travel occasionally.