ESSA job offer: Evidence, Impact and Learning Manager

Job type: Initially one-year fixed contract, from June 2020
Location: London, UK or Accra, Ghana (other countries in sub-Saharan Africa considered)
Salary: Competitive
Hours of work: Full time
Travel: 25%
Reporting to: Head of Research and Insight
Direct Reports: None

Job details

Please note the deadline for this role has been extended from 30th March to 6th April, and the first round interviews will now be held during the first week of May.

ESSA - Education Sub Saharan Africa is a charity established in May 2016. Our vision is to transform education: increasing employment for young people in sub-Saharan Africa.

We bring together a network of young people, educators and decision-makers. Together we use evidence to improve the tertiary education system, equipping millions of young people in sub-Saharan Africa with the skills for work.

Our team is small but driven, working remotely in sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. To find out more about our work, read our Impact Report.

The Evidence, Impact and Learning Manager is an exciting new position within the ESSA team, driving our commitment to evidence-based practice and understanding our impact.

The successful candidate will drive a learning culture within ESSA, using evidence from our own programmes and other sources to improve our impact. They will support the development of new projects, collection of impact data during projects and collation and implementation of lessons learned. The Evidence, Impact and Learning Manager will also provide research to ongoing projects, using their expertise in understanding and translating academic research.

Main Responsibilities

  • Provide thought leadership on: develop and implement monitoring, evaluation and learning systems and processes that meaningfully grasp programme outputs and outcomes.

  • Continue the development of ESSA’s overall theory of change and the theories of change for individual workstreams.

  • Build ESSA’s knowledge of the evidence underpinning its theory of change and identify priority areas for further research.

  • Drive a learning culture within ESSA.

  • Contribute to the production of evidence-based funding proposals.

  • Ensure that each workstream has a plan for assessing its impact and support the team to implement the plan.

  • Collaborate with teams across ESSA and within partner organisations.

  • Conduct primary/secondary quantitative and qualitative data analysis.

  • Provide reports to donors.

Person Specification


  • Significant (5 years) experience of using evidence-based learning to improve project implementation and design, and inform strategy.

  • Significant experience developing and testing theories of change.

  • Strong analytical and research skills, including the ability to process large amounts of information, extract critical analysis and distribute it appropriately.

  • Demonstrated ability to translate academic research for a non-specialist audience.

  • Excellent communication skills, to diplomatically engage with a range of stakeholders on key activities, while still meeting tight deadlines.

  • Practical experience in the field of international development.

  • Passionate about the role of education in development.

  • Trained to Masters-level in a relevant subject e.g. international development, economics, education or other social science.

  • Experience working with research institutions and on proposals for institutional donors

  • Experience of working in the non-profit sector.

  • Most importantly as a representative of ESSA, the person should be a team player with a pleasant disposition and hands-on, the ability to strike conversations and be respectful of diversities. You should be independent, creative, sincere and possess a powerful drive to pursue responsible data management systems.


  • Previous experience working in the field of international education.

  • Ability to speak French.

  • Normally resident in sub-Saharan Africa.



This position is on a one-year fixed contract with the option to be renewed. The contract of employment will be based on the requirements of Section 1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996. There will be a probationary period of three months.

Reporting and communication lines

The position reports to the Head of Research, working collaboratively with the entire ESSA team.

Where is the workplace?

ESSA currently operates from a collaborative working space in London. In other locations, staff members work from home, from other collaborative working spaces, or are hosted by a partnering institution. Communication relies on telephone, video conferencing and e-mail, supplemented by physical meetings as required.

ESSA will provide all essential devices such as a laptop. Depending on the personal situation of the person appointed there is the option to use their own devices, with reimbursement of expenditure. ESSA will reimburse all reasonable expenses on a pre-agreed basis. Details will be agreed on appointment.

Start date

June 2020.

Recruitment process

Candidates will be informed if their interest is being progressed. 

If you are interested in this opportunity, please submit a cover letter explaining your suitability for the role along with a CV by 9 am GMT on 6th April 2020 to:

First-round interviews will be held weeks commencing May 4th.

You can also download a PDF of the job description here:

Evidence, Impact and learning Manager Job Description