Senior Advisor for Impact

Deadline for application: 2 October 2022

Location: Geneva, Switzerland

Reporting to: Chief of Staff

Location: Geneva, Switzerland. Option to work from home two days per week.

Type of contract: Full-time/Permanent. Applicants must have EU/Swiss citizenship or a valid work permit for Switzerland

Travel: Expected to travel up to 25% of the time.

Salary: Competitive with attractive salary and benefits.


Who we are

Oak Foundation commits its resources to address issues of global, social, and environmental concern, particularly those that have a major impact on the lives of the disadvantaged. With offices in Europe, Africa and North America, Oak Foundation makes grants to organisations located in approximately 40 countries worldwide.



Oak Foundation is seeking a senior advisor for impact to lead and support activities that meet the monitoring, evaluation, and learning needs of the foundation and its various programmes. The senior advisor will work with colleagues across the foundation to improve foundation effectiveness, help Oak programmes better understand the impact of their grant-making, and learn from results to drive future strategy and decision-making.

Oak Foundation has “learn continuously from success and failure”, “achieve high impact” and “being authentic” as three of its core values. Thus, we aim to pursue monitoring, evaluation and learning by:

  • Striving to be purposeful and strategic in our grant-making.
  • Working collectively and in consultation with partners to assess and measure progress.
  • Building honest relationships with partners in which both success and failure offer opportunities for learning.
  • Being respectful listeners and responsive to change, unexpected consequences, and external developments that require shifts in strategy and expectations.
  • Welcoming feedback and believing that learning should improve grant-making in real time; and
  • Striving to support, learn from, and value the contributions of all colleagues.



Responsibilities include the following:

  • Increase the capacity of Oak staff to understand the impact of our work by analysing and applying knowledge and data gained through monitoring and evaluations in planning and grant-making.
  • Support Oak staff to understand and communicate the impact of our work, as well as trends, analyses, and the results of monitoring and evaluation.
  • Support programmes in the development of monitoring, evaluation, and learning processes and systems that are best suited to the needs of individual programmes, while ensuring coherence across Oak.
  • Based on demand, increase the capacity of Oak programmes to develop and test right-sized strategic plans, which include goals, approaches, desired outcomes, and measurement systems.
  • Ensure that Oak MEL practices take into account Trustee priorities for understanding impact and provide regular updates to Oak senior leadership on progress against goals.
  • Co-chair a cross-foundation Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning, and Communications Working Group (MELC WG).
  • Work collaboratively with other cross foundation functions to carry out foundation-wide objectives, such as:
    • Communications team to build the capacity and confidence of Oak staff to use the results of evaluations to influence relevant audiences.
    • MELC WG and Administration teams to ensure coherent systems / technology and data infrastructure to support monitoring, evaluation, and learning processes.
    • HR and the MELC WG to identify the needs and opportunities for professional development of staff in monitoring, evaluation, and learning.
    • Senior Advisor for Capacity Building to promote organisational effectiveness for Oak and for our grantee partners.
  • Support Oak staff in identifying the appropriate moments, methods, and consultants to conduct external evaluations; and support external consultants working for Oak to understand and apply values and approaches of Oak in evaluations.
  • Foster sharing of monitoring, evaluation and learning knowledge, experience, and best practice, across the programmes and with grantee partners, peer foundations, and other stakeholders with an aim of improving the field practice,


Position requirements

  • An advanced degree in public policy, social science, data analytics, or related fields, with a minimum of ten years of experience with monitoring impact, assessing social and environmental change, monitoring and evaluation systems, techniques, and methodologies (both quantitative and qualitative).
  • Sense of curiosity and commitment to continuous learning; entrepreneurial spirit and flexible approach.
  • Previous experience in participating, leading, or facilitating strategic planning processes.
  • Demonstrated experience in managing and developing a wide range of evaluations and programme assessments in one or more of Oak’s programme areas.
  • Willingness and ability to work with a variety of monitoring and evaluation approaches and systems at various stages of development across the foundation.
  • Demonstrated ability to think creatively, solve problems, and motivate action, and adapt to evolving situations.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to cultivate trusting working relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to foster collaboration and work with efficiency and diplomacy as part of a team.
  • Excellent written, verbal, presentation, and communications skills in English (other languages are a plus); ability to articulate complex and technical issues clearly and convincingly.
  • Excellent project management and organisational skills; high degree of attention to detail and accuracy; ability to meet deadlines, ensure follow-up, and pursue multiple projects simultaneously with minimum supervision; administratively self-sufficient.
  • Strong technical skills in interpreting and using data and research findings.
  • Knowledge of existing systems/platforms for data management and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Good sense of humour and ability to work with grace under pressure.
  • A commitment to Oak’s organisational values


How to apply

Please send a letter of application stating the skills and approach that you would bring to the post with your CV/resume (no photos) in strict confidence by email only to Zoe Oldham at

Please ensure that they are sent as Word documents with the titles “your name cover letter” and “your name CV”. Please put “Oak – Senior Advisor for Impact” in the email subject line. Also please let us know where you saw the post advertised.

The deadline for applications is Sunday 2nd October 2022

We encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds, including lived experience or any of the issues related to our work. By submitting your application, you confirm that you have read and understood Oak’s job applicant’s data privacy notice.

Oak Foundation is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, as detailed in our child safeguarding policy. We expect all staff to share this commitment. Please note that the successful candidate will undergo reference checks and be required to provide a police record prior to starting employment.

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