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Grants Monitoring/Evaluation Specialist

Washington, DC
Competitive Innovations is seeking a Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist to support the State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom (J/IRF and The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), Office of Global Programs. The Office of International Religious Freedom (J/IRF) has the mission of promoting religious freedom as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy.  J/IRF monitors religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, recommends and implements policies in respective regions or countries, and develops programs to promote religious freedom.  The Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL), Office of Global Programs (DRL/GP)provides professional oversight on grants that are awarded to non-profit organizations and other agencies that help secure the peace, deter aggression, promote the rule of law, combat crime and corruption, strengthen democracies, and promote human rights globally. Both offices collaborate on a regular basis to improve programing thorough applied monitoring and evaluations.
The Office of International Religious Freedom (J/IRF) at the U.S. Department of State is looking for a detail-oriented person with experience in performance monitoring, applied research, and/or program evaluation to join our Applied Learning and Evaluation (ALE) team as a monitoring and evaluation specialist III. Candidates should have experience working as an internal or external researcher/evaluator, and the ability to work collaboratively with a team, as well as colleagues across multiple offices and agencies.
The Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist will be responsible for carrying out the office’s applied research and evaluation strategy in collaboration with members of the ALE team, for programs supported by the Human Rights and Democracy Fund (HRDF) and other resources.  The incumbent also provides direction and guidance to office staff, Grant Officer Representatives (GORs), Technical Officers, and DRL grantees on applied research, performance monitoring, and program evaluation of HRDF and other DRL-funded grants, including developing and synthesizing portfolio-wide results frameworks, learning agendas, and assessing the progress of current grants.  S/he incorporates reporting, monitoring, and evaluation requirements into DRL grant agreements and facilitates learning from past DRL programs to help the office design more effective projects. The specialist will work closely with external evaluators to manage DRL-commissioned evaluations, help develop policies and frameworks for use by DRL program officers, and may conduct internal desk reviews and evaluations as time permits.

The incumbent applies internal control measures to protect organizational integrity and prevent unauthorized use or misappropriation of sensitive and classified material; reports instances of security violations/problems to the appropriate supervisory/management official; assumes full responsibility for safeguarding all classified and sensitive (but unclassified) material and equipment in assignment area(s). The position reports to the Deputy Director who reports to the Office Director.
  • Assist in the direction of DRL’s applied research and evaluation priorities, which includes contributing to the bureau evaluation plan and learning agenda
  • Assist in strategic planning and oversight of the ALE team spend plan, which includes funding focused on applied research and evaluation
  • Assist in the management of applied research and evaluation grants
  • Development of goals and objectives of DRL funds including strategic frameworks and indicators
  • Propose, oversee and direct the use of short and long-term performance measures
  • Oversee and manage the drafting of the bureau’s performance planning activities, including developing and updating the planning and performance documents as required for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance (F), and the Department’s Bureau of Resource Management, including the annual Bureau Strategic Resource Plan, Congressional Budget Justification, the Operational Plan and the Performance Plan and Report (PPR)
  • Liaise with offices involved in administration, financial planning and acquisition of funding
  • Skillfully communicate verbally and in writing to provide briefings, status reviews, and advice upon request to internal and external stakeholders
  • Train and advise DRL grantees in the use and implementation of appropriate M&E tools and processes
  • Oversee the administration of a project management database to improve data quality and reporting
  • Develop strategies to promote and share findings from evaluation activities
  • Train staff and pilot innovative, ethical monitoring and evaluation processes within the office
  • Develop plans for internal evaluation and conduct applied and evaluative research on sensitive DRL programming
Additional responsibilities may include:
  • Liaising with U.S. embassies and consulates regarding the award, management, and monitoring of grants
  • Drafting reports and other documents for the team and program staff
  • Drafting and clearing internal papers and memoranda regarding evaluations
  • Working with external evaluators and trainers
  • Organizing meetings and/or events
  • Additional duties as needed
  • Must be eligible to obtain Secret level security clearance
  • PhD with 8 years of experience or Master’s degree with 10 years of experience preferred; or a Bachelors’ degree with 15 years of experience. Candidates will also be considered if enrolled in a graduate program at the time of application.
  • Knowledge of human rights and religious freedom specifically and/or experience with programs that address human rights of religious and ethnic minorities is a plus
  • Experience in working in closed and sensitive environments
  • Experience working as an internal or external researcher/evaluator, and the ability to work collaboratively with a team, as well as colleagues across multiple offices and agencies
  • Performance monitoring, applied research, and/or program evaluation experience
  • Working knowledge of foreign assistance and international human rights and democracy programming
  • Advanced Excel and Excel Macros
Competitive Innovations (CI) is a technology partner and trusted advisor to government and industry customers with critical demand for information technology, program management, cyber security, mission support, and secure high integrity web-based solutions. Founded in July 1999, CI’s dedicated professional team is committed to excellence, persistence, and agility in solving complex challenges and delivering innovative solutions.  CI is a SBA HUBZone certified small business concern, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner/CSP, Kentico Gold Partner, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Federal Supply Schedule Multiple Award Schedule (MAS) prime and Navy SeaPort-NxG prime contractor.  All qualified applicants receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, age, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or military/veteran status.
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