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Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Director
Young African Leaders' Initiative (YALI) 

at Arizona State University

Location: Nairobi, Kenya




Arizona State University seeks qualified candidates to serve as Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Director on an anticipated USAID project supporting the next-generation expression of the Regional Leadership Centers (RLC) component of the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI), the United States’ premier investment in young African leaders. As the on-continent component of the YALI program, in 2015 USAID launched four YALI RLCs at higher education institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, and South Africa. The RLCs have provided access to leadership and functional training to 22,000 young leaders aged 18–35 from 49 sub-Saharan countries in three tracks: business and entrepreneurship, public management, and civic leadership. YALI 2030 will build on the RLC foundation to create an expanded pan-African youth development model that will harmonize training curriculum, serve underrepresented/underserved youth, build alumni network capacity and professional development opportunities, and develop new program-related partnerships with the private sector and other stakeholders and donors. The MEL Director of YALI 2030 will be based in an African country and provide overall leadership and oversight of MEL activities. ASU has hosted YALI Mandela Washington Fellows annually since 2014, led public management cohorts at the East Africa Regional Leadership Center, collaborates with the Mastercard Foundation on an eLearning Initiative with African universities, implemented higher education projects for USAID with multiple universities on the continent, and maintains an African hub and a network of alumni through ASU-Thunderbird School of Global Management


This position is based in Nairobi, Kenya and is contingent upon award funding.



  • Lead the design, creation and implementation of the program’s comprehensive MEL framework and information systems, including project monitoring, evaluation, and learning plan, to track delivery against program targets, outcomes, and impacts, including clearly defined objectives, indicators, learning mechanisms, and the implementation of appropriate MEL procedures.

  • Provide technical leadership to the timely capture and communication of program results and ensure high-quality, timely, valid, and verifiable data collection, reporting, analysis, and learning.

  • Design, test, and assure quality of data collection instruments as required by the program.

  • Oversee a rigorous system of data collection and management that supports the activity’s senior management to assess performance and make evidence-based decisions about technical direction.

  • Support the development and test the efficacy of data visualization tools, methods, and analytics to foster learning and adaptive management

  • Leverage informational sources and innovative and well-established research methods including observations, assessments, surveys, and reports to drive learning and adaptive management

  • Oversee local and regional organizations’ preparation and implementation of learning events, forums, platforms, conferences, and workshops

  • Oversee learning and adaptive management and organizational capacity building initiatives

  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with institutional and private-sector partners and stakeholders.

  • Lead internal and external learning processes, including activity implementation (and events) debriefing, identifying, and analyzing lessons learned from technical activities

  • Manage short-term technical assistance in the areas of learning, instructional design, and institutional behavior change

  • Build staff and partner capacity by training others in MEL skills.



  • Advanced degree preferred in international relations and/or development, economics, statistics, data analytics, or a related field of study.

  • Ten years of experience in monitoring and evaluating youth, higher education and/or capacity strengthening activities preferably with USAID funded projects.

  • Demonstrated expertise in qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis, and management methods using technology and known software packages, such as SPSS, STAT, NVIVO or others;

  • Knowledge of USAID Evaluation Policy and requirements

  • Progressive professional experience in MEL positions.

  • Experience working with and supporting government counterparts.

  • Experience training partner organizations and/or staff in MEL concepts and activities.

  • Strong data analysis and report writing skills.

  • Fluency in written and spoken English, additional fluency in French is preferred.


Arizona State University is a public learning enterprise, and our mission is to collaborate with higher education and youth development systems around the world to transform the model for preparing learners to create solutions for global challenges. ASU began its own intentional redesign for access, excellence, and impact in 2002. Six years later, Newsweek hailed ASU as “one of the most radical redesigns in higher learning since the modern research university took shape.” By 2016 and again for the following seven years, U.S. News and World Report has named ASU the #1 innovative U.S. university. ASU ranks #1 in the U.S. and #2 globally for university impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (Times Higher Education, 2022). ASU is eager to collaborate with and learn alongside youth development enterprises in emerging economies to meet shared and escalating challenges young people face globally. Since 2010, ASU has successfully implemented projects in the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean for USAID, the State Department, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, the Inter-American Development Bank, and private sector donors including foundations such as Mastercard and Gates. Through its University Design Institute, ASU is partnering with 90 institutions in 20 countries to assist universities that seek to catalyze lifelong learning and professional development for young leaders. Deriving from our call to “measure us not by whom we exclude but by whom we include and how they succeed,” positive youth development is core to everything ASU does to prepare young people to impact the equitable governance, prosperity, and resilience of their societies.


This job description summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. ASU reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.

ASU is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.


How To Apply: Qualified applicants should submit a CV and cover letter highlighting fit for the position to with the subject line "ASU YALI MEL Director”

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