Senior Specialist, Learning and Knowledge Management – Sustainable Energy for All
- Duty Station: Vienna, Austria
- Team: Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
- Line Manager: Head of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
- Contract Type: Limited-Term Full-Time
- Grade Level: Specialist 3, overall level 6
- Date Required: As soon as possible
- Duration: One year with possibility to extend
- Closing date: 12 February 2024 at 23:59 CET
Background about SEforALL
Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) is an international organization working with leaders in government, the private sector and civil society to drive further, faster action toward achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), which calls for universal access to sustainable energy by 2030, and the Paris Agreement, which calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to limit climate warming to well below 2° Celsius (and striving for 1.5° Celsius).
Achieving these goals will require a radical rethink of the way we produce, distribute and consume energy. SEforALL is at the heart of this foundational shift to ensure no one is left behind. Drawing on data and evidence, we identify a critical path to success in achieving SDG7.
The 8th UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative in 2011. Now an independent organization, we maintain close links with the UN, including through a relationship agreement, partnerships with UN agencies and with SEforALL’s CEO acting as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative (SRSG) for Sustainable Energy for All and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. These roles include advising the UN Secretary General and his staff on issues relating to sustainable energy and the implementation of SDG7 and supporting the coordination of sustainable energy issues in the United Nations system.
The ambitions of SDG7 are extraordinary. Aiming to achieve them in the context of the Paris Agreement on climate change involves transformation at a scale never undertaken before. Swift action must be taken by leaders in governments, private sector companies, institutions, financiers, development banks, unions, communities, entrepreneurs and civil society. As we enter the final decade to achieve SDG7, SEforALL has strategically chosen to strengthen global agenda-setting while expanding its activities to an engagement model that prioritizes data-driven decision-making, partnerships with high-impact countries and implementation on the ground. SEforALL’s current three-year business plan outlines “results offers” that scope out our planned interventions and demonstrate to our funding partners the impact of their support.
Context and Objective of Assignment
As an agile, dynamic learning organization, SEforALL’s MEL Department activities aim to promote and support accountability, learning and knowledge sharing, and MEL-focused capacity development. The MEL Department has five main objectives:
- Provide strategic and programmatic advice and support to management and to programme leads.
- Provide an effective means of collecting, analyzing, and using monitoring data / key performance indicators to inform and improve programme performance over time both internally and externally.
- Commission and conduct evaluations and [rapid] reviews using OECD-DAC principles and criteria, ensuring relevant stakeholder engagement, and using innovative methods for communication and uptake both internally and across the sector.
- Enhance SEforALL’s performance, delivery, and impact through learning support, global evidence synthesis, and capacity building.
- Provide high-quality databases and data analyses to support all the MEL functions in its rigorous, evidence-based MEL activities.
Purpose/Objective of the Role
MEL Senior Specialist, Learning and Knowledge Management will work as part of the Core MEL department leading our learning workstream, managing relevant cross organizational knowledge and processes; will act as Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning focal point to a number of programmes, and will support all team activities. The role will enhance SEforALL’s performance, delivery, and impact through learning support, translating data into insights, leading learning systems development and capacity building.
The key objectives of the role include
- Designing, implementing and institutionalizing a cross organizational Learning and relevant Knowledge Management Strategy while working with the Head of MEL and Core MEL Team to ensure the strategy is aligned with the overall Organizational MEL Strategy and Framework
- Leading and enhancing the organization’s learning and relevant knowledge management capabilities, ensuring that SEforALL continues to drive impact through evidence-based decision-making and adaptive learning strategies, as well as Management Response Action Plans in response to learnings and recommendations.
- Fostering a culture of learning at SEforALL and strengthening institutional capacity to generate and identify key insights and disseminate knowledge to both internal and external stakeholders.
- Establishing and maintaining a knowledge management strategy and system to capture, store, and disseminate lessons learned, best practices, and research findings, fostering a culture of knowledge sharing within the organization.
- Engaging in relevant professional networks and establish strong relationships with other MEL departments to enhance SEforALL’s position.
- Managing the MEL Framework for a number of SEforALL programmes as focal point implementing the cross-organizational MEL Strategy and Framework.
Main Duties and Tasks of the Role
The main duties and tasks of the role include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Lead the Learning Workstream while collaborating with other MEL Workstreams in support of a cohesive and streamlined MEL department;
- Develop and implement a comprehensive, best-in-class learning and knowledge management strategy that is fit-for-purpose for SEforALL, in alignment with the organizational monitoring and evaluation framework and in collaboration with the Head of MEL and Core MEL Department;
- In coordination with the MEL Department and other SEforALL programmes, lead the further development and implementation of existing learning processes to facilitate adaptive learning, course-correction and accountability;
- Facilitate learning and knowledge management activities and discussions across the organization’s internal and external programmes to build capacity and identify areas for cross organizational learning and course corrections to achieve SEforALL’s impact goals;
- Guide the development and implementation of sectoral, organizational and programmatic learning agendas.
- Work with key stakeholders across the organization to ensure learning evidence and data informs strategic decision making for management including the Head of MEL, Executive Office, Programme Leadership Cmomittee, Executive Management Team, Grants Management Unit and Partnership and Development to develop feedback and course correction systems that prioritize responsiveness to evidence-based learning and accountability;
- Translate data, recommendations and lessons learned emerging from the MEL Workstreams into well documented, action-oriented insights that inform decision-making processes of informal and/or external stakeholders.
- Engage with the Data & Intelligence Unit on learning processes and activities that the MEL Department and the Data & Intelligence Unit collaborate on.
- Ensure SEforALL remains at the forefront of strategic and innovative learning practices as a thought leader in the sector;
- Highlight strategic implications of findings and raise strategic insights for further consideration by the SEforALL CEO and Leadership team;
- Work with the Head of MEL to build and maintain a global network that leverages the work of the MEL Department, and thereby SEforALL, through professional documentation, dissemination and facilitated reflections of learnings from the MEL Workstreams;
- Support capacity building across the organization by leading and facilitating Management Response and Action Plans that embed relevant evidence, learnings and recommendations from Monitoring and Evaluation into policies, strategies, operations, and programme design;
- Act as MEL focal point for a number of SEforALL programmes (focused on advocacy and knowledge sharing) supporting and guiding them with their monitoring, evaluation and learning needs and activities.
- Other tasks and duties as may be required.
Specific Competencies for the Role
- A minimum of 7-10 years of demonstrated experience supporting the design and implementation of monitoring, evaluation and learning strategies and frameworks across international development programmes and organizations, specifically focused on learning throughout this track record.
- Master’s degree in international relations, management, development economics, sustainable development, international development, energy, MEL – monitoring, evaluation and learning, or a closely related field.
- Demonstrated track record in institutionalizing learning across international organizations from a design and implementation perspective, including understanding and negotiating needs of multiple stakeholders, course corrections of the strategy in response to the institution’s strategic priorities and organizational learnings.
- Long standing track record in facilitation of MEL processes, specifically Theory of Change, Learning Workshops, facilitating negotiations amongst management and executives, ex-post evaluation and impact assessment learning exercises.
- Extremely high emotional intelligence, demonstrating ability to balance a high level of expertise while also showing a strong commitment and openness to learning from others, actively listening and facilitating conversations that respectfully and professionally bring out perspectives of all levels of an organization or a team.
- Experience in managing knowledge products focused on learning through international development projects and programmes, specifically on energy a strong asset; from drafting and review to copy editing, leading discussions with graphic designers, publishing, disseminating and facilitating learning discussions from those products.
- Demonstrated experience in creating a community of practice around international development knowledge products (including digital products) to different target groups to promote uptake.
- Demonstrated experience in managing and implementing international development projects and / or programmes as a MEL expert, management and or part of a project team; such experience on the ground in developing countries a strong asset.
- Strong project management and analytical skills, specifically including analysis and synthesis across international programmes or multiple projects.
- Professional level command of written and spoken English, particularly in learning synthesis writing for both general and executive audiences.
- Prior experience working within the UN system, international organizations and with broad partnerships is highly desirable.
- Experience working with energy sector stakeholders is an asset.
- Ability to perform under pressure in a fast-paced environment and demonstrated ability to prioritize in an ever-changing environment that requires high flexibility and a commitment to high-quality results.
- Strong IT skills including Outlook, Word, Excel (including reports/macros/graphs, advanced formulas, and pivot tables) and PowerPoint (including conveying complex information to general and specialist audiences).
- Demonstrated ability to conduct research on MEL practices and tools; specific experience applying this to MEL of projects and programmes in the energy sector an asset.
- Demonstrated experience in country-specific support; MEL support is an asset.
- Prior experience in writing and summarizing information for donor reports; experience in reporting to varied donors and funders (sovereign donors, international organizations, NGOs, foundations) considered an asset.
General Competences for the Role
- Innovation and Adaptability: Has expert skills and commitment to search for and produce innovative and creative approaches to activities. Is flexible to evolving circumstances, as well as helps others in doing so.
- Resilience and Emotional Intelligence: Has expert knowledge in the concepts of resilience and emotional intelligence. Is able to remain calm in challenging situations, to cope with setbacks, is responsive to the emotions of others and maintains a high level of performance.
- Analytical and Strategic Thinking: Has an expert level of analytical and strategic thinking skills. Gathers and processes demanding information, develops innovative solutions and contributes by representing topics/approaches in internal and cross-functional working groups/teams.
- Collaboration and Partnership: Demonstrates expert initiative and abilities to collaborate and form partnerships in own area of responsibility, across teams and externally. Builds and maintains effective relationships at all levels inside and outside the organisation.Displays team-oriented attitude contributing to creating a positive team spirit.
- Lead and Empower: Demonstrates initiative and role model behaviour in leading and empowering others. Takes responsibility for own work activities and personal actions and carries out the commitments agreed upon.
- Political and diplomatic understanding: Has an expert level of political and diplomatic understanding.
- Communicating information: Has expert skills in communicating information and uses the skills effectively in own scope of work and in others’ work.
- Research and Analytics: Has expert skills in project management. Plans and organises their own work using project management tools in support of achieving the team’s objectives.
- Project Management: Has expert skills in research and analytics. Promotes the use of data within the team and to contribute to wider decision making.
- Client Orientation / Striving for Excellence: Has expert skills in client orientation and achieving excellency in work delivery
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