Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) Specialist

Purpose of the Position:

Reporting to a Senior Director, Research, and working in a highly collaborative environment within the Research team, the MEL Specialist will be responsible for managing and executing CIFAR’s Performance Measurement and Evaluation strategy, and coordinating activities in this regard across the organization including providing guidance and support across the organization’s evaluation-related activities.


Manages the design, implementation, and oversight of research and evaluation initiatives across CIFAR as described in the Performance Management and Evaluation Strategy. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Works with CIFAR staff and consultants to assess, evaluate, and disseminate results of CIFAR’s major programs and activities, especially including CIFAR’s research activities.
  • With input from the Research Department Leadership Team, manages the development and monitoring of the Research department’s performance indicators.
  • Working with internal staff, government partners, donors, and other funders to plan, develops and responds to requests for performance data and evaluation results.
  • Collaborates with the identified leads across CIFAR’s various departments for performance monitoring activities.
  • Co-chairs CIFAR’s Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Standing Committee and supports the annual assessment of performance data for the Corporate Plan process.
  • Drafts preliminary performance monitoring and evaluation report summaries, develops internal recommendations for improvements, and contributes to summaries for annual reporting.
  • Develops and manages IT and other technical requirements for collecting, storing and analyzing data (particularly integrating into Salesforce Lightning).
  • Serves as a liaison across CIFAR ensuring best practices in evaluation are widely used.
Working closely with the Senior Director, Research and the Research Department Leadership Team in addition to members of CIFAR’s Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Standing Committee, contributes to the establishment and refinement of monitoring and evaluation frameworks:

  • Identifies relevant and appropriate metrics, tracking, and reporting mechanisms related to core program activities.
  • Tracks and catalogues metrics for evaluation, as well as develops and refines evaluation questions that align with CIFAR’s evaluation criteria.
  • Drafts performance monitoring and evaluation reports, and suggests improvements based on findings.
  • Actively participates in team activities designed to improve team functioning, including compliance with norms and providing support and back-up for team members.

Foundation and Field Contributions:

  • Contributes to and participates in internal CIFAR groups and teams and carries out other responsibilities assigned by the Research Department Leadership Team.
  • Supports the Senior Director, Research, in accomplishing annual Research-department wide goals and priorities.
  • Initiates, develops and participates in efforts of CIFAR to evaluate itself, across all our areas of accountability, including in the dissemination of evaluation-related research findings.
  • Participates in CIFAR-wide projects related to interest and program areas.
  • Performs other projects and responsibilities, as assigned. 


Education/Experience required:

  • A degree in social sciences or data sciences required, graduate degree preferred.
  • Three years of experience working in performance measurement and evaluation.
  • French-English bilingualism and international experience considered an asset.

Core Professional/Technical Knowledge & Skills required for the position:

  • Strong skills in research and evaluation methods and strong analytical skills.
  • Knowledge of evaluation practices and familiarity with the development of logic models.
  • Experience designing, conducting and analyzing data from both quantitative and qualitative research efforts.
  • Strong written, verbal and presentation skills.
  • Strong project management skills
  • Computer skills, including G-Suite, FluidReview, Salesforce/Lighting, and other database management tools. Familiarity with SPSS, social network analysis, data visualization software (e.g. Tableau) would be an additional asset.
  • Relationship management: to work with CIFAR staff across departments, CIFAR’s fellows, and the external research community; to be courteous with others at all times and treat with tact, respect and diplomacy.
  • Independence and judgment: to successfully navigate through large amounts of information and select which forms are best suited for CIFAR’s purposes and audiences.

Position reports to: Senior Director, Research

Term of position: Full-time, permanent              

Start date: As soon as possible

Contact: Please send resume and cover letter in confidence to quoting Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (Mel) Specialist in the Subject Line.  The deadline for submitting your application is June 23, 2019 at 11:59 pm

One of CIFAR's core cultural values is Diversity - we value diversity and aspire to be inclusive in all aspects of our work.  CIFAR is an equal employment opportunity employer and is strongly committed to removing systemic barriers and biases, and by promoting the practice of inclusivity, so that all individuals have equal access to and benefit from the work we do.  We encourage applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to diversity within our organization.

ACCESSIBILITY FOR APPLICANTS WITH DISABILITIES - CIFAR is committed to providing accommodations throughout the recruitment and selection process to applicants with disabilities, in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code. To request a reasonable accommodation, please email and include the term 'Accessibility' in the Subject Line, or call 416-971-4251. Please provide your name, preferred contact method, and a detailed description of the nature of any accommodation that you may require. Please include any materials or processes that may be used to ensure your equal participation.

CIFAR frequently communicates in both official languages and our preference is to hire employees who are fluent in both English and French where possible.  Other languages are also considered an asset.

We thank you for your interest in working at CIFAR. All applications will be reviewed however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.