Lead – Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning for Adaptation to Climate Change

Resilience · Anywhere in the World, Geneva
Department Resilience
Employment Type Full-Time
Minimum Experience Mid-level

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 120 people, plus over 150 associates and consultants, come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.


IISD’s Resilience Program is a multidisciplinary team of policy researchers who work with governments, civil society, communities, and businesses to help them manage climate- and conflict-related risks. Its work on climate change adaptation focuses on planning, people, and nature—preparing for a different or uncertain future, making sure different genders and social groups influence and benefit from adaptation investments, and harnessing the role of ecosystems to help communities manage climate risk. Within this portfolio, the Resilience Program hosts the secretariat for the National Adaptation Plan (NAP) Global Network, an initiative focused on accelerating adaptation planning and action in developing countries.


The Position


The Lead will oversee and guide the IISD’s Resilience Program’s growing portfolio of work related to monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) of climate adaptation. This includes advancing the NAP Global Network’s strategic priority on MEL, which is central to its technical support, peer-learning, and knowledge-generation activities. Other parts of the Resilience Program—working on ecosystem-based adaptation, gender-responsive adaptation, and adaptation in fragile contexts—are also exploring how to design and implement better MEL systems.


Demand for this work is increasing as more and more countries ask themselves questions such as: Is our country on track in delivering on our climate adaptation commitments? Are we investing in the ‘right’ things to reduce vulnerabilities to climate change in the medium and long terms? Who benefits? What do we need to adjust going forward? Answering these questions requires going beyond the traditional monitoring and evaluation of development projects.


The Lead will position IISD and the NAP Global Network to address these questions, needs and opportunities effectively. They will support the Senior Director in all areas of operations: people management, project coordination, outreach, partnership building, fundraising, communications, and research. They will be responsible for identifying opportunities for growth and collaboration, addressing gaps in service, motivating staff, and providing effective stewardship of funds and resources. They will be part of a multidisciplinary team, working closely with IISD staff, affiliates, consultants, and partners in different parts of the world.




The Lead’s key areas of responsibility will include:


Strategy, Vision, and Leadership

  • Serve as the Resilience Program’s most senior expert and thought leader on MEL for climate adaptation, providing guidance on associated technical and political issues—including links between national (and sub-national at times) MEL efforts and the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
  • Further structure the Resilience Program’s offering on MEL, building on our track record to date and rapidly growing portfolio of activities—most of which are linked to providing support to developing countries via the NAP Global Network, but also expanding in other areas of the program.
  • Identify a clear vision and strategic priorities for advancing IISD’s work in MEL for adaptation, devising statements of results to be achieved, decision-makers to be targeted, activities to be undertaken, timeframes, resources needed, external funds to be raised, and criteria used to measure performance.
  • Develop, grow, and manage strategic areas of focus, working with relevant Resilience team members to identify challenges, emerging issues, opportunities, and solutions.
  • Ensure that short-term activities and priorities are in keeping with the long-term strategies and goals of both the Resilience Program and IISD.


Program Management and Operations

  • Implement the Resilience team’s current programs and projects related to MEL of adaptation.
  • Track and report on progress related to IISD’s work on MEL of adaptation, both within IISD and to external partners.
  • Work closely with project managers, as well as other corporate finance and administration functions, to ensure projects and programs are performing as required and actively monitored against risks.
  • Manage and possibly expand a small sub-team (i.e., MEL team) of staff to design, fundraise for, and implement projects on MEL of adaptation.
  • Work with project managers to develop and monitor staff utilization to ensure the appropriate number of staff at different levels are assigned to relevant projects to reduce financial risk and ensure projects are completed successfully.
  • Review outputs for quality control and ensure alignment with project objectives and the program’s strategic priorities.
  • Keep up to date with current IISD policies in areas related to project management/delivery, expenditure management/control, and records management.


Fundraising and Donor Relationships

  • Lead fundraising efforts by identifying new opportunities, cultivating relationships, and submitting proposals for funding related to MEL of adaptation within the Resilience Program.
  • Keep abreast of the funding landscape to identify new funders/funding opportunities for the program and for IISD in general.


Communications, Networking, and Outreach

  • Serve as IISD’s lead voice on MEL of adaptation, regularly communicating key messages from program activities to a range of audiences for maximum policy or implementation impact.
  • Represent and promote IISD’s work on MEL of adaptation through forums, conferences, professional associations, communications, partnerships, and other initiatives.
  • Work with communications staff to develop a communications strategy for the MEL area of work; communicate relevant outputs through a variety of media; and ensure maintenance of relevant areas of website content.
  • Maintain relationships with relevant government and non-government (including private sector) actors to ensure IISD’s work on MEL is appropriately tailored to the needs of different audiences.



  • Undertake and oversee research that assesses and synthesizes experiences and lessons with MEL of climate adaptation, producing reports or other knowledge outputs that capture this analysis.
  • Identifying and exploring new and emerging issues associated with MEL of climate adaptation, positioning IISD and the NAP Global Network at the forefront of the field.



Required Skills


The lead will bring the following set of skills to the position:

  • Detailed understanding of, and extensive practical experience in, MEL related to climate change adaptation.
  • Understanding of the broader policy conversation and efforts around tracking progress in climate adaptation, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and/or disaster risk reduction at aggregated levels (e.g., national, regional, sectoral, program levels).
  • Knowledge of climate change adaptation, climate risk management, and/or resilience building more broadly, particularly as it pertains to developing countries and to policy and planning processes
  • Ability to manage and lead a small, dedicated team of policy researchers, as well as collaborate regularly with other program staff, in designing and executing projects.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit, with a keen interest in identifying and pursuing opportunities, as well ability to secure the human and financial resources necessary to advance IISD’s work in MEL.
  • Excellent writing skills and strong oral communication skills; capacity to clearly and succinctly communicate policy issues and research findings to different audiences via different platforms.
  • Strong research skills and analytical capacity, combined with an ability to become familiar with new topics quickly and draw links between emerging issues and established areas of work.
  • Results focused, with an ability to work quickly and accurately to meet tight deadlines.
  • Demonstrated organizational and planning skills, including ability to coordinate complex, multi-partner projects in multicultural contexts.
  • Strong interpersonal and networking skills.
  • Computer literacy, including Microsoft Office applications, and experience in handling web-based communications and management systems.




The policy advisor should possess the following qualifications:

  • A master’s degree or equivalent in international development, environmental studies, geography, or in another similar area.
  • Minimum 10 years of relevant work experience in the field of climate change adaptation.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in MEL, ideally in climate change adaptation.
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in managing large, multi-year projects or programs, including oversight of staff and contractors, fundraising and donor engagement, partnership building, and outreach and communications.
  • Fluent written and spoken English as well as ability to work (read, write, speak) in French and/or Spanish.
  • Experience working in developing countries, including working directly with national governments.
  • Availability to travel internationally.


Term:                   Full-time

Salary:                 Competitive total rewards package based on experience and skill set

Start Date:          As soon as possible

Closing date:      December 3, 2021

Preference will be given to staff living in countries where IISD employs directly or through the EOR model. Preferred countries are Kenya, Burkina Faso, India, the United Kingdom, Germany, South Africa, Canada, and Switzerland. Candidates must have the authorization to work in these countries with IISD sponsorship.  Other remote locations may be considered for exceptional candidates.

Application Procedure

Applications will be accepted only through Bamboo HR

  • A CV (no longer than two pages)
  • A one-page letter of motivation

All submissions must be in English.

Only those candidates we wish to interview will be contacted.  Resumes will be kept on file for one year.

ISD is committed to fostering a more equitable and sustainable world and welcomes candidates who uphold our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, to correct the conditions of social injustice and disadvantage in employment around the world, we encourage candidates from historically marginalized groups, including women, Indigenous Peoples, people with disabilities, people from different racial and ethnic backgrounds, and those who identify themselves as 2SLGBTQ+ to apply for this position.

Thank You

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  • Location
    Anywhere in the World, Geneva
  • Department
  • Employment Type
  • Minimum Experience