Senior Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Specialist - NED

PQLC · Washington, District of Columbia
Department PQLC
Employment Type Full-time
Minimum Experience Experienced
Compensation $99,673

Please Note: Solidarity Center staff enjoy a hybrid telework/in-person schedule. We also have a mandatory vaccine policy and safety protocols in all our facilities. All candidates applying for this role will be expected to adhere to these policies and to work in the Washington, D.C. office a minimum of three days per week unless an ADA or health-related exemption is approved.

Location: Washington, DC

Application Deadline: When filled


Solidarity Center seeks a Senior MEL Specialist to join its growing MEL function in its Program Quality, Learning and Compliance (PQLC) department to collaborate with HQ and field staff on the design and monitoring of labor rights programs, and on the design and conduct of research, assessments and evaluations; build staff capacity and contribute to development of MEL toolkit; and promote a MEL culture and advance evidence-based learning.  The Senior MEL Specialist is responsible for providing subject matter expertise for an assigned portfolio of awards, including from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the U.S. Government (e.g., Department of State (DOS). International travel is anticipated for this position.

This position is ideal for a highly analytical thinker with strong interpersonal skills who interact with a diverse range of stakeholders. In addition, the Solidarity Center looks for individuals who have a passion for social justice, experience with labor unions, and/or a background in human rights and democracy programs.


Organizational Lead 

  • Serve as headquarters expert on MEL requirements and their operationalization for awards from the NED, as well as for other assigned programs
  • Conduct trend analysis and collaborate with other MEL staff who support and lead MEL for other portfolios (e.g., U.S. Agency for International Development, Department of Labor and DOS’ Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor) to identify impact and contribute to SC’s organizational evidence-based learning and external messaging for target audiences

Project Design and Performance Monitoring

  • Provide M&E technical assistance to program staff on development of NED projects, ensuring program logic is clear and the evaluation plan is designed to measure progress, particularly for follow-on/multi-year efforts
  • Contribute to the design of new USG competitive opportunities, co-facilitating design sessions, ensuring alignment with organizational theory of change, providing guidance on the development of logic models/results frameworks, performance indicators and appropriate methodologies and tools to collect data and to measure progress and impact, drafting M&E narratives, and ensuring compliance with funder requirements and SC needs, as well as consistency with technical approach in proposal
  • Provide guidance throughout program life cycle on monitoring efforts, including supporting and advising on data collection and quality standards, data security, documentation, reporting and the establishment and/or enhancement of performance monitoring systems in the field
  • Review and provide feedback on M&E data reports (e.g., performance indicator tracking tables) prior to submission to funder, and support quantitative analysis and visualization of data with an eye for highlighting results and impact
  • Review and provide feedback on NED interim assessments, ensuring progress and challenges are clearly articulated and conveyed as they relate to democracy building

Research and Evaluation

  • Provide technical assistance to program teams on the design and conduct of cumulative assessments (evaluations) of multi-year NED projects, determining appropriate methodologies to capture retrospective analysis of program strategy, evidence-based outcomes, unintended results and/or consequences, and lessons learned, and contribute to the overall analysis in the written product
  • Participate in the design and conduct of the annual NED project evaluation under the designated theme (includes the entire cycle from drafting scope of work to conducting research to performing qualitative and quantitative data analysis and report writing), collaborating closely with program teams and Senior MEL Advisor
  • Review and provide feedback on terms of reference for evaluations, and internal and external evaluation reports for USG-funded programs


MEL Resources and Organizational Learning

  • Advise program teams on using evidence for learning and adaptive management, and conduct training on funder-specific MEL requirements
  • In conjunction with MEL colleagues and under the direction of the Senior MEL Advisor, contribute to development of toolkit of MEL resources – creating/refining e.g., standard procedures, templates, quantitative and qualitative data collection tools and quality standards, training manuals and guides – for use throughout project life cycle that can be accessed online
  • Collaborate with program and MEL colleagues to document and share best practices, lessons learned and success stories across programs to capture impact and promote evidence-based learning
  • Collaborate and contribute to creation of standard indicators across programs
  • Participate in and foster organizational learning through SC’s MEL Community of Practice and NED learning events

MEL Community Engagement

  • Represent SC and participate in MEL working groups, community discussions and such venues as the American Evaluation Association
  • Engage with counterparts at funders and peer organizations, particularly with democracy, rights and governance groups


Other duties as assigned, including potential reassignment to other donors and projects based on departmental needs.



  • Minimum of 10 years of relevant experience preferred, including supporting the development of program logic, designing M&E results frameworks and plans for USG funders, developing MEL resources, providing training and guidance throughout program life cycle, and fostering organizational learning
  • Experience working in an international organization and/or in monitoring and evaluating labor/social justice/human rights/civil society programs; familiarity with programs related to worker rights, equality and inclusion, labor migration, safety and health, trade union strengthening and/or informal economy preferred
  • Master’s degree in social science, social justice, human rights, international relations or related field
  • Fluency in English (verbal and written), with proficiency in a second language preferred; excellent writing skills in English to effectively create clear and concise documents, and strong oral communication skills to effectively present information, respond to inquiries and conduct training
  • Working knowledge of mixed methods ex post and ex ante research designs, including quasi-experimental designs, research bias and mitigation strategies
  • Demonstrated experience in creating qualitative and quantitative methods and instruments (surveys, semi-structured questionnaires, focus group protocols, key informant interviews, etc.), particularly for monitoring and evaluating programs in challenging contexts
  • Experience in qualitative and quantitative data collection, management, analysis, triangulation and visualization methods, and ability to promote and guide program staff in using evidence-based data and findings to inform program management
  • Commitment to ethical and professional standards of research and evaluation
  • Excellent problem-solving, critical thinking and analysis skills, and ability to draw evidence-based conclusions
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to prioritize and work on multiple tasks under tight deadlines
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment, and to perform detailed work with a high level of accuracy
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact and collaborate with host country-based, HQ and funder staff
  • Experience and presence necessary to represent the SC effectively in public fora and in private meetings with funders, partner organizations, and national and international organizations
  • Willingness and ability to travel overseas to conduct training or assessments, or participate in program monitoring and evaluation efforts

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.

This is a collective bargaining unit position, generously compensated with a gross annual salary starting at approximately $99,673 USD with a range up to more than $110,956 based on experience. A robust benefits package includes fully paid health insurance, a retirement plan and pension, life insurance, and ample paid time off for holidays, vacation, and medical leave. Pre-tax deduction programs are also available for commuting, dependent care, and health care expenses. In addition, we offer opportunities and funds for professional development.

The Solidarity Center cultivates the values of diversity, equality, and inclusion among its staff and partners. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, disability, veteran status, or any other status protected under applicable law. Candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. If you are a candidate with a disability and require reasonable accommodations to apply for this position, please contact us at

For Candidates Applying from the AFL-CIO: Solidarity Center works in partnership with the AFL-CIO on recruiting and filling positions. Our policy is to notify the AFL-CIO prior to interviewing any of its current employees.

About Us

The Solidarity Center is the largest U.S.-based international worker rights organization helping workers attain safe and healthy workplaces, family-supporting wages, dignity on the job and greater equity at work and in their community. Its programs are based on the fundamental principle that working people can, by exercising their right to freedom of association and forming trade unions and democratic worker rights organizations, collectively improve their jobs and workplaces, call on their governments to uphold laws and protect human rights, and be a force for democracy, social justice and inclusive economic development.  Founded in 1997 and allied with the U.S. labor movement, its programs in more than 60 countries focus on human and worker rights awareness, union skills, occupational safety and health, economic literacy, human trafficking, women’s empowerment and bolstering workers in an increasingly informal economy.

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