Collaboration, Learning and Adapting Lead

Near East Foundation
January 9, 2020
Bamako, Mali
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
5-10 Years
Education (minimum)
Travel Required?
Base Salary
Not specified


Near East Foundation (NEF)

Job Announcement


Position: Collaboration, Learning and Adapting Lead

Location:  Bamako, Mali

Travel:  Frequent travel to project sites


Position contingent on funding.  The anticipated start date is October 1, 2020


The Near East Foundation seeks a Collaboration, Learning and Adapting Lead (CLA Lead) candidate for the anticipated USAID Office of Food For Peace Development Food Security Activity in Mali.  The five-year $60M activity has the objective to improve food security and resilience of communities in conflict-affected areas through strengthening local systems and community participation.

For over 100 years, NEF has worked to build a more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through economic development and governance initiatives. NEF’s work is organized around three core program areas: Inclusive Economic Development, Climate-resilient Development, and Stabilization and Peacebuilding.


Position Description

The CLA Lead is a member of NEF’s program team, reporting to the Chief of Party.  S/he will provide technical guidance and support to program design and implementation processes. The CLA will work closely with all staff to ensure collaboration and learning with other activities in (Mopti, Tombouctou & Gao). The CLA will design and administer a system that captures, analyzes and disseminates learning and lead in the collection and regular review of best practices and lessons learned. The CLA will play a key role in incorporating program learning and refining activities throughout implementation.



  • Design and manage the Activity’s CLA strategy, system and related tools to champion the collection, dissemination and application of program knowledge and learning.
  • Ensure the capture and tracking of information related to cross-sectoral collaboration (e.g. other USAID initiatives in Mali), gender and youth inclusion and mainstreaming, social cohesion and social accountability.
  • Provide both technical support and strategic planning related to continuous learning and adaptive management for quality programming.
  • Ensure that clear processes and a strong adaptive management system are in place, allowing new data and experiential learning to be applied consistently throughout the life of the Activity.
  • Ensure the activity includes active, intentional and adaptive learning within and across interventions, and will play a critical role in incorporating ‘refinement’ activities and learning into implementation.
  • Consult with the Chief of Party and other program technical and compliance staff to track risks and impacts related to the dynamic conflict and demographic movement within the areas of implementation.
  • Lead regular, participatory reviews of the Activity’s Theory of Change, including revision exercises where necessary.
  • Develop and manage organizational relationships related to coordination, joint planning, and learning networks (e.g., donors, peer organizations, research bodies).
  • Ensure participation and consultation of partners and beneficiary communities, as well as private sector, local government, civil society, and other stakeholders.
  • Contribute to staff capacity building and improve peer-to-peer learning related to the Activity’s CLA processes and systems both within and beyond initial refinement.


The successful CLA Lead must be a self-directed individual with the following qualifications:

Basic Qualifications: 

  • An advanced degree (PhD or Master’s) plus a minimum of three years of relevant work experience or a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years relevant experience required. Degree in development studies, and/or applied social sciences, preferred.
  • At least 3 years’ experience (5 minimum with a Bachelor’s degree) of progressively increasing responsibility in learning and management of international development projects is required. Previous experience in Mali or other conflict-affected contexts is preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience in facilitating learning and knowledge sharing processes, in establishing and managing dynamic feedback systems to capture experiential learning and unintended consequences, and fostering collaboration across teams or organizations is required.
  • Proven experience in action learning for international development programming.
  • Experience in networking and relationship management with large international donors, peer organizations and civil society.
  • Experience on innovative learning practice including Internal Change Management for CLA, Evaluative thinking and Adaptive management.
  • Skills in analyzing, interpreting and communicating information to a wide range of audiences, including both written and spoken public-facing communications.
  • Experience in mentoring and coaching for professional development.
  • Experience with program monitoring and evaluation, including applying data collection tools and methodologies, data analysis, and data presentation.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and French is required
  • Proficient in MS Office, information and budget management, cultivating knowledge-sharing networks.
  • Cultural sensitivity, patience, flexibility and ability to work well in a multi-sectoral and multi-cultural team and to work closely, understand and support local partners.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s or PhD in development studies and a minimum of 3 years’ experience.
  • Current knowledge of USAID programming and CLA platforms in Mali.
  • Experience contributing to Business Development efforts is preferred.

Position Criteria:

  • Strategic thinking, including identification of collaboration and learning system weaknesses and initiative to address problem(s).
  • Excellent organizational skills, accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to operate both independently and collaboratively as required.


NEF will accept a rolling application until the position is filled.  Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.  Review of applications will begin on Monday, January 20, 2020.


To apply:

Please apply by visiting our careers page at with the following documents:

  1. Cover letter outlining relevant experience and availability
  2. Curriculum Vitae
  3. List of three references (including one from current, or most recent, employer

Applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Near East Foundation by visiting the NEF website at


The Near East Foundation promotes Equal Employment Opportunities for all applicants seeking employment and NEF employees.


This is non dependent/s post.

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