M&E Specialist (Securing Water for Food Technical Assistance Facility)

Washington, DC, US

Background and Context: Securing Water for Food: Grand Challenge for Development

Approximately 2.8 billion people – 40% of the world’s population – live in river basins impacted by water scarcity. Of those impacted, 1.2 billion people live in areas of physical water scarcity, where demand is greater than the available supply. Another 1.6 billion people face economic water scarcity, where institutional, financial and human factors limit access to water despite an available natural supply. Between 2000 and 2050, water demand is projected to increase by 55% globally, meaning that the number of people impacted by water scarcity will continue to rise.

Furthermore, 70% of all global water use occurs in the food value chain. By 2050, 45% of total GDP ($63 trillion) will be at risk due to water scarcity. We are at pivotal moment when we face unprecedented challenges to food security and the preservation of our global environment. Launched at World Water Week in 2013, $32 million Securing Water for Food: Grand Challenge for Development funded by USAID, the Swedish government (Sida), and the Dutch government (MFA-NL).

The overarching goal of Securing Water for Food is to enable the production of more food with less water and/or make more water available for food production, processing, and distribution. The Securing Water for Food Grand Challenge for Development is harnessing the forces of science and technology to develop solutions to water scarcity.

At the same time we’re harnessing the forces of the market – the businesses that can actually implement these solutions – to make sure the solutions get to the people. This is an enormous challenge, and with this challenge comes an enormous opportunity. Securing Water for Food is meant to be additive to ongoing global water initiatives efforts by focusing on prototypes, products, and business models that can promote economic growth and community stability.

We believe that by investing in water technologies and business models, we can stimulate new innovation, reach untapped markets, and get water technologies into the hands of people that need them most – thus offering a unique value proposition. Securing Water for Food is therefore focused on areas in which science and technology can play a key role and is identifying game-changing solutions that will increase water availability and/or promote efficient use of water in agriculture.

Scope and Objectives

The Kaizen Company is seeking a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Specialist to support the Securing Water for Food (SWFF) program. The M&E Specialist will lead both the data collection and co-lead the analysis of USAID awardee’s results, along with USAID and other TA Facility members, allowing the program to make evidence-based decisions about milestone based funding, the allocation of technical assistance, and lessons learned for future challenge funds.

As part of a small, dynamic, and customer-service oriented team, the M&E Specialist will actively engage with 16 current SWFF awardees and 24 SWFF graduates and alumni who are innovating in water and agriculture. The selected candidate will assess the validity of reported results and will assist the leaders of awardee organizations build better monitoring systems and collect better data about their customers. S/he will analyze trends across the portfolio of innovations, aggregate awardee level data into program level data, as well as provide data and analysis for the TA facility metric targets.

Anticipated start date: May 1st,  2018

Roles & Responsibilities

  • Evaluates semi-annual and annual results reporting from awardees, with appropriate skepticism to ensure the integrity, validity, and quality of the reported results
  • Develops statistical and qualitative analyses of program results (with a poverty/gender/resilience focus); includes cost-benefit analyses and social rate of return analyses
  • Participates as a key contributor/technical writer for semi-annual and annual program-level reports
  • Maintains USAID data management platforms (DevResults)
  • Maintains and develops internally-managed database of awardee results (Google spreadsheet base)
  • Participates in regular interaction with USAID counterparts in knowledge-sharing activities
  • Conducts up to 3 international site visits of 10+ days each, per year
  • Attends and helps support one international conference or gathering to collect awardee lessons learned and feedback
  • Manages graduate-level field internship program
  • Conducts various program-level surveys
  • Oversees the data collection and analysis of TA Facility Metrics
  • Provides a customer service-oriented focus in combination with all other roles and responsibilities


  • 7 years of M&E experience, preferably in a development context
  • Strong evidence of technical writing ability
  • Experience with data visualization software (Tableau or other)
  • Fluency in Excel/Google Sheets/pivot tables
  • Strong background with data analysis and data management techniques using SPSS/STATA or R, or similar programs
  • Previous experience publishing journal or academic articles
  • Agriculture and/or water sector experience required