Monitoring, Experimentation and Learning Specialis

United Nations Development Programme, New York, United States

Skill Required:, Monitoring and Evaluation
Preferred Experience: 
3 to 10 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
15th January, 2020

Job Description


The UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021 embraces the complexity of development and commits the organization to helping countries find faster, more durable solutions to achieve Agenda 2030. Important development trends like urbanization, climate change, and inequality pose significant challenges on our path to achieve the 2030 agenda of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNDP is incubating a number of strategic initiatives aimed at ensuring it is ‘fit for purpose’ to deliver a new generation of solutions in line with the challenges the world faces. One such key strategic initiative is the Accelerator Lab Network. The creation of this network of labs is a recognition that increasingly interrelated development challenges require going beyond business as usual and single point, linear and silver bullet responses in development. Instead, they call for interdisciplinary approaches and non-linear solutions that crowd in the collective efforts of variety of partners and tap into local insights and the knowledge of people closest to the problem and the solutions.

About us:

We are building the largest and fastest learning global network (initially set up as 60 Labs covering 78 countries) embedded within UNDP’s global architecture and country platforms. This new offering builds on the latest thinking from the fields of complexity science, lead user innovation and collective intelligence to accelerate development impact.
The labs will tap into a variety of innovation methods to accelerate learning on sustainable development, primarily:

Collective intelligence:

The Labs will use the power of the crowd, machine learning and distributed decision making to support partners to understand problems, develop new solutions, promote more inclusive decision making, and provide better oversight of what is done.

Solutions mapping:

  • The Labs will identify grassroots solutions and stretch their potential to accelerate development.
  • Mapping grassroots innovation in 78 countries will provide a test to our hypotheses that when a problem is mutating rapidly, bottom up innovation is more relevant than innovation driven by a single start up or central authority.


  • The Labs will apply experimentation closely with government partners to grow this as a mode of operating to reduce costs of large-scale public sector reforms.
  • Experimentation will help the network to learn whether particular assumptions are accurate before deploying solutions at scale, especially in the evolving conditions that often dominate development progress.

About you:

You are excited about striking a balance between flexibility and iteration alongside accountability and rigor. You know how to demonstrate data-driven progress to ensure accountability, while you also find ways to experiment to create new models of results-driven management suited for non-linear development paths. You are immersed in the latest developments in public sector innovation such as systems thinking, complexity science and foresight and alternative futures. You master the fundamentals monitoring and evaluation, even as you strive to improve them through increased agility and accessibility. You’re a silo buster, a jargon fighter, a synthesizer and curator capable of leading knowledge creation in innovation for sustainable development.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and deliver a monitoring strategy for the UNDP Accelerator Lab Network
  • Develop, iterate and improve plans and strategies for assessing progress of the UNDP Accelerator Labs- using quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Ensure data collection and evaluation milestones are iterated and delivered upon
  • Develop and promote standard indicators and data collection methods across range of different innovations, that build on common innovation metrics for the public and private sector.
  • Oversee and lead qualitative and quantitative data collection processes and strategies.
  • Ensure the design and rollout of program-level evaluation in line with the approved strategy.
  • Advise on and oversee the use of innovative tools for monitoring and evaluation within the network, including innovation within results-based reporting

Monitor the progress of the UNDP Accelerator Lab Network

  • Lead project monitoring initiatives including tool design and analysis in collaboration with the UNDP Accelerator Lab Network global team.
  • Advise on and improve key performance indicators that match the emergent nature of the lab network and its objectives
  • Monitor and synthesize learning emanating from solutions mapping, exploration and portfolios of experiments within the country labs.
  • Write blogs, design visuals, updates and other distillations to share the progress and learning of the lab network
  • Design and undertake analyses of UNDP results reporting and outreach data to mine for trends within the Accelerator Lab network as part of progress on UNDP’s Strategic plan
  • Ensure the design and rollout of program-level evaluation in line with the approved strategy.
  • Organize, where needed, Accelerator lab network review and scaling for

Network curation and knowledge product development

  • Coordinate connections to expertise within UNDP’s Global Policy Network based on work emanating from lab network
  • Contribute to regular strategy reviews as well as drafting core components of program progress reports to partners.
  • Write and oversee production of knowledge products based on insights emanating from practices within the lab network
  • Follow multiple platforms to extract learning based on innovation methods and their contribution to sustainable development


  • Innovation:Ability to make new and useful ideas work
  • Leadership:Ability to persuade others to follow
  • People Management: Ability to improve performance and satisfaction
  • Communication: Ability to listen, adapt, persuade and transform
  • Delivery: Ability to get things done while exercising good judgement

Required Skills and Experience

Education: Master’s degree in behavioral sciences, development economics, international public policy, business administration, or related fields.


  • 7 years of relevant work experience in social innovation, M&E (public/NGO sector) or organizational performance/R&D/operational research (private sector)
  • Experience working in or with the public sector, ideally in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and/or Middle East and Northern Africa
  • Experience writing blogs and/or coordinating publications in the field of social innovation and/or sustainable development
  • Preferred additional qualifications
  • Experience with qualitative data collection and analysis.
  • Familiarity with SurveyCTO, Open Data Kit or similar survey software
  • Ability to use Stata, R or similar statistical software

Language Requirements: Fluency in English. French or Spanish would be an advantage but is not essential.


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