Senior MEL Manager (Mat Cover -12 month FTC)

Comic Relief

Location Our office is in London, and we are a hybrid working organisation
Salary £45,002 - £48,050
Team Funding
  • Closing: 12:00pm, 5th Jun 2023 BST

Perks and benefits

Flexible working hours
Work from home option
Life Insurance
Wellness programs
Employee Assistance Programme
Enhanced maternity and paternity leave
Paid emergency leave
Sabbatical Opportunities
Professional development
Paid volunteer days
Payroll giving
Salary sacrifice
Team social events
Extracurricular clubs
Cycle to work scheme
Free fruit

Candidate happiness

8.54 (8334)

Job Description

Please note this is a hybrid role based on the successful candidate working at least two days a week in our London office. Remote contracts would not be considered for this role.


The role leads on monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) activity and approach across our strategic programmes and funding streams, playing a central role in shaping our organisational approach to MEL, enabling ongoing reflection and adaptation to drive a process of continuous improvement in our funding strategies and practices.

In addition, the role will focus (approx 30%) on the design and implementation of the evidence and learning component of Comic Relief’s Shifting the Power programme: a long-term civil society strengthening programme, co-funded by UK aid. The programme aims to shift greater power to civil society by investing in local philanthropy and organisational development and this role will ensure that learning from the programme informs our wider funding practice in these areas.

Key responsibilities:


  • Lead the development and monitoring of quality improvements in Comic Relief’s MEL approach, ensuring that principles of inclusivity and equity are consistently applied in our systems and processes across all investment portfolios

  • Lead the evidence and learning elements of the Shifting the Power programme, in line with the approved Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Business Case, MoU and budget.

Learning Strategy:

  • Engage with others in the Funding team, to develop and implement learning ambitions and strategies for existing funding programmes

  • Work with the Head of Social Change and Impact to oversee the development of MEL elements of new funding programmes and partnerships through providing technical inputs on MEL opportunities and approaches (e.g., collaborative design and development of Theories of Change, MEL frameworks, grant reporting, etc.)

  • For specific programmes, work collectively with funded partner organisations to support their learning, including organisational strengthening building activities and supporting collective learning processes, and recruitment and oversight of external consultants as required.

  • Working with the Shifting the Power Programme Lead & key delivery partners (‘Anchor Partner(s)’), to develop and implement the learning strategy and logframe for the programme, ensuring that reflection, learning, evidence generation and adaptation are built into the Shifting the Power programme.

  • Work closely with the Shifting the Power Programme team to share learning on how funders can best support African CSOs’ organsiational strengthening and sustainable forms of local income, and to influence our, and other funders’, funding practice.

  • Work with the Shifting the Power Evidence and Learning Manger to prepare inputs to Shifting the Power reporting requirements

Internal Learning:

  • Work with the Head Of Social Change and Impact to establish and facilitate learning and reflection cycles for Comic Relief’s three programmes of work, as well as funding practices (eg organisational strategic learning, shifting power and community philanthropy).

  • Prepare inputs to reports, meetings, strategic planning and partner relationships, ensuring that learning is well documented and made accessible to relevant internal and external audiences

  • Working with Evidence and Learning team to identify and build cross-programmatic learning opportunities.


  • Creatively find ways to unlock the inherent power of communities and organisations by ensuring that people with lived experience are intentionally engaged in how programmes and learning pieces are designed, considering synergy with Communications Strategy where appropriate.

Partnerships and networks:

  • Lead on the development of Terms of Reference and identification of key research and evidence partners to support delivery of learning activities across Comic Relief programmes, as well as in Shifting the Power programme countries. This includes tendering, contracting and partnership inception activities. 

  • Engage in and represent Comic Relief in relevant sector networks and communities, including those engaged in the #ShiftThePower discourse, to ensure the programme contributes to, and benefits from, existing experience, knowledge and perspectives.

Line management:

  • Lead a team of MEL Managers to design and manage activities across a diverse portfolio of investments, including those co-funded with corporate partners, institutional donors, and trusts and foundations

  • Proactively undertake business planning, prioritise activities and set clear and realistic team and individual objectives based on capacity, expertise and aspirations.

  • Provide quality line management and professional development support to line reports, ensuing they have clear objectives in place and are supported to meet them.

  • Maintain regular two-way communication and dialogue with staff, ensuring information is cascaded and escalated as needed.

  • Model an enabling, inclusive and empowering leadership style that builds a values-based culture throughout the charity

  • International travel may be required with this role (dependent on Covid-19 travel restrictions introduced by Comic Relief or governments).


Senior Evidence & Learning Manager Essential Skills and Competencies:

  • Significant technical expertise in processes, approaches, tools and methodologies for formal and informal monitoring, evaluation and organisational learning practice within philanthropy and the social change sector

  • A deep understanding and critical engagement with the politics of evidence and a proven ability to apply analysis of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and power to evidence and learning.

  • Exceptional analysis and sense-making skills, sound judgement under pressure, and the ability to identify solutions to address delivery risks and issues.

  • Experience of working in collaboration and partnership with institutional/bilateral donors, research and academic institutes ideally, or other large institutional funders. 

  • Experience of successfully supporting organisations to plan and implement quality improvements, including through monitoring, evaluation and learning

  • Excellent facilitation skills, ability to promote critical thinking and reflective practice and encourage learning

  • Expertise in conveying conceptual and sometimes complex information to a variety of non- technical audiences.

  • Experience of commissioning and managing external consultants to deliver evidence and learning outputs, including brokering fair and equitable research and evidence partnerships.

  • Effective relationship builder, with strong emotional intelligence and political awareness to proactively challenge and persuade senior stakeholders and partners. 

  • Experience of working in collaborative, multicultural and cross sector environments alongside individuals and organisations with diverse perspectives.

  • Strong planner with outstanding attention to detail and the ability to manage and prioritise a diverse workload

  • Proven leadership skills, with experience of managing high performing teams

 Desirable Skills and Competencies

  • Demonstrable knowledge of, and experience of, organisational development and/or local philanthropy in an African context.

  • Experience of working in any of the programme countries (Malawi, Zambia, Ghana)

  • Experience of working in a grantmaking or funding organisation

  • Experience of working on programmes with a mental health or ‘Sport for Change’ element, or with intermediary funding partners.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of colour are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At Comic Relief we are dedicated to building a diverse, inclusive, and authentic workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyways. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.

Removing bias from the hiring process

Applications closed Mon 5th Jun 2023


Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Applications closed Mon 5th Jun 2023