Senior Program Officer, Measurement, Learning and Evaluation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Location
    New Delhi, India
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Nov 08

Position description

Position Summary & Responsibilities

The India Office Measurement, Learning and Evaluation (MLE) team generates, synthesizes and mobilizes insights from a rigorous theory-driven program of research and evaluation to inform and improve policies and programs to achieve the foundation’s mission of enabling all individuals to have a healthy and productive life. The team’s portfolio encompasses three inter-related workstreams: evaluation and frontier research; knowledge mobilization; and data and evidence ecosystem strengthening.

Based in New Delhi, the Senior Program Officer (SPO), an experienced researcher and communicator with substantive expertise in an area of the foundation’s focus, will be responsible for making and managing investments spanning the three workstreams. The role also includes defining and developing investments, facilitating the mobilization of evidence for strategic and programmatic decisions, collaborating with and supporting program teams to achieve programmatic and strategic goals, nurturing partnerships, and nurturing and expanding research and evaluation networks. The SPO will also provide technical review and inputs to research and evaluations that are embedded in programmatic initiatives.

Areas of deep involvement will include:

  • Developing and managing one more portfolios of investments (grants and contracts) in defined bodies of MLE work: The MLE strategy comprises defined bodies of work that will be executed over the next 4-5 years. As a key member of the MLE team, the SPO will ensure that appropriate investments are made and managed to meet that execution plan. This includes contributing to refine the bodies of work, define appropriate investments, identify possible grantees (including through requests for proposals), and make and manage investments with the selected grantees. For existing or new grants, the incumbent will monitor their implementation and support grantees to execute with quality. Specific duties include:
    • Contribute to the design of new strategies, collaborations and implementation plans to ensure long-term sustainability and impact.
    • Develop, manage, resource, and implement bodies of work that align with foundation strategy and are operationally integrated with other foundation programs.
    • Negotiate, execute, and manage portfolio of grants or contracts. Develop investment concepts and RFPs. Review letters of inquiry and grant proposals and provide clear, concise and insightful written analyses and recommendations for funding.
    • Support and consult with grantees and other partners to maximize impact of investments and ensure investments are meeting strategy goals. This may include: site visits, providing operational guidance and convening meetings of key stakeholders.
  • Leading evaluation and frontier research: The incumbent will follow major trends in the evolution of key domain areas of focus for the India office and identify and pursue opportunities for evaluation and frontier research. Interest and expertise in a minimum of three of the following areas is essential: health systems research, health service quality, coverage and delivery (immunization, nutrition, reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health), poverty reduction, digital financial inclusion, agriculture and/or water and sanitation. The SPO is expected to engage in professional networking, actively follow the scientific literature, and on-going contacts with both the scientific field and communities of practice.
  • Promoting knowledge mobilization and research uptake: The incumbent will actively promote the translation and use of evidence to inform strategy, program planning and implementation. A mix of supportive and strategic efforts may be needed such as: consolidating evaluation findings for sharing with senior leadership; drawing out strategic insights; synthesizing research and evidence; landscaping and reviewing evidence; leading writing and communication efforts; and other ongoing support involving internal and external communication of the MLE bodies of work. The incumbent may represent the foundation to key program-related external constituencies, including committees related to specific areas of expertise and responsibilities of the position.
  • Enhancing research and evaluation capacities: The incumbent will help coordinate a program of learning focused on building the capacities of foundation staff and grantees in research and evaluation. The SPO will also contribute to efforts to strengthen the data and evidence ecosystem in one or more sectors.


  • Advanced degree (preferably doctorate) in a field related to development economics, public health, data science or evaluation.
  • Minimum of seven years of experience in research and/or evaluation.
  • Recognized as an expert within a specialized field nationally and globally.
  • Proven ability to lead and influence others in a constructive manner and to build and sustain collaborative relationships.
  • Strong methodological and analytical skills spanning quantitative and qualitative research.
  • Robust understanding of sampling designs and methods; experience in modelling is an asset but not required.
  • Sound understanding of development challenges, systems, and programs.
  • Knowledge of the development research and evidence landscape in India essential.
  • Experience working in a dynamic environment and proven ability to be flexible in a team-oriented approach with diverse groups of people.
  • Excellent multi-tasking skills and ability to work quickly, efficiently, and manage and move a portfolio of both short and longer-term outputs.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail, deadlines and policy compliance.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills (a publication history strongly preferred).
  • Adept at and interested in working independently, as part of a small (4) person MLE team, and as part of a large integrated and diverse foundation team.
  • Comfortable working in a matrixed organization.
  • Efficient and effective in varied and ambiguous settings, with tight deadlines, and with different work and communication styles.
  • Able to manage multiple and competing demands and establish priorities.
  • Grant-making experience preferred; desire to work in and with nonprofit sector is essential.
  • Non-judgmental, mature and balanced.
  • Willing to travel.
  • Fluency in Hindi desirable.

Application instructions

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