Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Scientist

The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

Pune, Maharashtra, India 🇮🇳


Pune, India

Pune, Maharashtra, India



Since 1951, The Nature Conservancy has been doing work you can believe in protecting the lands and waters that all life depends on. As a science-based organization, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that we can create a world in which people and nature thrive. 

We’re rooted in our Mission and guided by our Values, which includes a Commitment to Diversity and Respect for People, Communities, and Cultures. We know we’ll only achieve our Mission by hiring and engaging a diverse workforce that reflects the communities in which we work. Whether it’s career development, work/life balance, or a rewarding mission, there’s lots of reasons to love life #insideTNC. Our goal is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that all of our colleagues around the globe feel a sense of belonging, and that their unique contributions to our mission are valued.

Our Mission: Our mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Rather than viewing development – including economic growth – and conservation as contradictory goals, we work to demonstrate how nature has value for people and development and how nature can provide enormous economic benefit. We envision a future where people and nature can flourish together.

Our Vision: A world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfil our needs and enrich our lives. 

Our Global Team: We achieve this through the dedicated efforts of our 3,800 diverse staff, including more than 600 scientists. We are striving to develop a workforce as diverse as the places where we work, and we have a deep commitment to diversity.

Although you’ll see requirements in our postings, we recognize that people come with talent and experiences outside of a job. Passion, innovation, and diversity are all key components to advancing our Mission and we encourage you to apply.


The Nature Conservancy has initiated a project titled “Catalyzing Collective Action for Water Security in Maharashtra” under which it is proposed to establish the Ghod River Water Fund to showcase a pragmatic, long-term solution that provides water security, conserves biodiversity, and enables the prosperity of local communities. The water fund is a governance and finance mechanism that improves water security through collective action, allowing downstream water users to invest collectively in upstream water and land conservation. Water funds help to manage the significant complexities associated with water risk and nature-based source water protection and have the potential to bring widespread water security and economic benefits to India’s burgeoning cities and rural communities.

The body of work contributes to the Global Resilient Watersheds strategy, with over 40 watershed investment programs in operation, globally. As such, while the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Scientist will report to the Ghod River Water Fund Lead, they will interact with colleagues working on similar projects in other locations. The position will be based in Pune, Maharashtra, India with significant travel to the Ghod River basin and other domestic and (less frequent) international travel.


  • Supporting the Lead to define the fund’s SMART Objectives in collaboration with the Water Fund Associate and critical stakeholders. 
  • Designing and maintaining a database that aggregates data collected by various project partners to support adaptive management. Database will visually depict progress towards program’s SMART objectives for a diverse coalition of stakeholders including government, corporations, civil society, funders and more. 
  • Organizing, supervising, and executing the data collection of project indicators. Where required, the MEL Scientist will input data into the monitoring database, analyze monitoring data, find explanations for variations in data, and recommend next steps to improve the fund’s adaptive management. 
  • Providing technical support to project staff and partners to develop their MEL plans and collect field data. 
  • Developing relationships with key institutions and organizations, including Universities, as appropriate, to build the evidence base for nature-based solutions. Publish results in peer-reviewed journals and represent the fund’s impact at international fora, as appropriate. 
  • Collaborating with the Associate to engage community support for local conservation efforts and enroll stakeholders in a citizen-science coalition.
  • Producing impact reports and working with the Lead and the Associate to report the project’s contributions to TNC’s 2030 outcomes in the Shared Conservation Agenda Hub as well as, and as required, for portfolio management reviews and donor/client reports.
  • Developing and managing program and project-level budgets and recommending investment in high-return priorities to the Lead and the fund’s decision-making body.
  • Managing contractors – including issuing requests for proposals and terms of reference, screening and selecting contractors, developing contracts, executing payments, evaluating deliverables and outputs – who are conducting MEL activities on behalf of the fund. 
  • Collating best-practice and learnings from the field. The Scientist will share these learnings with the broader Resilient Watersheds strategy, donors/clients, partners, leadership, and with Water Funds Network members. 
  • MEL Scientist will have substantial contact with staff, donors/clients, and external stakeholders. Position will require travel up to 35%.


  • Design, through consultation, a monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) strategy for the fund. Develop indicators, dashboards, tools, and templates to inform adaptive management. 
  • Develop and manage the annual work plan and budget for a robust MEL program, that will require multi-stakeholder collaboration and relationships.
  • Plan and execute data collection campaigns for biophysical and social data. 
  • Maintain M&E databases, including data input and quality control. Elevate inconsistencies or unintended consequences; provide recommendations based on evidence collected.
  • Develop and apply standards to maintain technical quality of data. Ensure integrity of both data collection and data management relating to project progress reporting. 
  • Develop strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders to support the objectives of the water fund and India’s Resilient Watersheds program. 
  • Build capacity of field staff and partners. Serves as the technical point of contact for the MEL program. 
  • Collaborate with geospatial science colleagues to integrate spatial technology for MEL; drive development of local-to-global GIS and other enterprise-scale spatial and relational databases.
  • Report progress towards SMART Objectives to TNC and fund leadership, funders, and stakeholders. 
  • Write requests for proposals and terms of references, manage and execute contracts, and ensure quality of outputs.
  • Support third-party project evaluations.
  • Under limited supervision, acts independently, resolves complex issues within the program area and acts as a resource to others.
  • May work in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult and hazardous terrain, and under physically demanding circumstances when safe to do so.
  • Requires willingness and ability to travel up to 35%. 


  • Master’s Degree in science related field and 2 years of experience or equivalent combination of education and experience in a related field (environmental or natural resources management, ecology, freshwater science, social sciences, economics, statistics, or other relevant subjects).
  • Experience managing staff, project, workloads, and finances under deadlines.                                     
  • Experience synthesizing, interpreting, and communicating scientific information to diverse audiences.       
  • Experience preparing reports of findings. 
  • Record of peer reviewed publications in scientific journals.
  • Experience working and communicating with a wide range of people.
  • Experience designing and operationalizing comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and learning programs to track indicators and integrating adaptive management and strategic recommendations.
  • Experience in environmental, biological, or ecological data collection, management, and visualization, including proficiency in SPSS, Stata, EPI-Info, Access, Excel, Tableau, and/or Power BI. 
  • Proficient in English and Hindi.
  • Reside in the region/country of the position (this position is not eligible for immigration, visa sponsorship or relocation support).


  • Multi-lingual and multi-cultural or cross-cultural experience appreciated. Fluency in Marathi highly desired. 
  • Deep technical knowledge of nature-based solutions and how they can achieve climate, water security, biodiversity and good security goals.
  • Experience leading complex projects including budgets and coordinating the work of peers and partners, including contractors. 
  • Supervisory experience, including the ability to motivate, lead, set objectives and manage the performance of others.
  • Experience with the ecology, hydrogeology and characteristics of smallholder agriculture and livelihoods in the Ghod River basin, including the dynamics of community engagement. 
  • Experience developing citizen science coalitions and systems for members to report. 
  • Experience developing curricula and organizing workshops to train partners and staff. 
  • Developing practical applications of scientific concepts and technical innovations for conservation purposes.
  • Politically savvy.
  • Self-starter with ability to generate work plans with limited support in line with the overall conservation strategies.
  • Experience contributing to business plans or major strategy assessments.
  • A strong commitment to own professional development and a desire to grow and learn.
  • Knowledge of methods and standards of biodiversity information systems and initiatives and experience conceiving and implementing strategic initiatives.
  • Communicating clearly via written, spoken, and graphical means in English and other relevant languages.
  • 5 years of experience considered. 


The successful candidate for this position will be hired as an employee of Nature Conservancy India Solutions Private Limited (NCIS). NCIS is a private limited company incorporated under the Companies Act 2013 and It is a wholly owned Indian subsidiary of The Nature Conservancy. The company currently provides technical consultancy, monitoring & evaluation support and other related services in the domain of conservation and environment to its various clients. The company under Indian laws can also provide fee-based service to clients (development organizations, Corporates and Govt. Agencies) within and outside of India. The company has all the required registrations under the relevant laws to provide such fee-based services in India.


To apply for job ID 50776, submit your materials online by using the Apply Now button at by 10:29 AM IST on 27th January 2022. Need help applying? Visit our recruitment page or contact [email protected].

The Nature Conservancy is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our commitment to diversity includes the recognition that our conservation mission is best advanced by the leadership and contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, beliefs and culture. Recruiting and mentoring staff to create an inclusive organization that reflects our global character is a priority and we encourage applicants from all cultures, races, colors, religions, sexes, national or regional origins, ages, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military, protected veteran status or other status protected by law.

TNC is committed to offering accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application process. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, please send a note to [email protected] with Request for Accommodation in the subject line.






IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development