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Job Opening: Director of Practice Engagement and Evolution

Position: Director of Practice Engagement and Evolution
Organization: Equitable Evaluation Initiative
Location: Virtual Initative

Organization Overview

Publicly launched in fall 2018, The Equitable Evaluation Initiative (EEI) is aimed at shifting the evaluation paradigm so that it becomes a tool for and of equity. As the number of foundations and nonprofits naming equity or racial equity as their strategic end continues to grow, they must use every asset, including evaluation, in service of that aim. The EEI team believes it is time to redefine for the 21st century how we conceptualize data, knowledge, and evidence.  
 
EEI engages an ecosystem of organizations and people—foundations, nonprofits, and evaluators and consultants—who are centering equity in their work and who understand that this has implications for evaluative practice. Its infrastructure is designed to develop and disseminate EE principles to be put into practice, promote shared inquiry and learning, catalyze cross-sector thought leadership, and contribute to field-building across the ecosystem. 
 
At the heart of the EEI is co-creation, collaboration and partnerships. The Director of Practice Engagement and Evolution will lead and manage the platform for Practice Partners—those individuals, institutions, and efforts exploring equitable evaluation in practice to support adoption of EE. This platform includes the keystone programs of peer-to-peer and ecosystem Collaboratories, Teaching Cases, orienting and connecting consultants, and co-crafting emerging EE resources for field-wide use. The primary goals of the Practice Partner platform is to provide multiple spaces and modalities to help partners interrogate and evolve their evaluation practices, determine how/if they align with EE principles, identify next steps, and provide strategic tools and resources to advance their work. This work will also promote cross-sectoral learning and build a robust and connected community of practitioners dedicated to advancing EE. There is already an energized and growing number of Practice Partners, many who have already participated in an EE project or who have expressed interest in getting involved. 

Position Overview

The Director of Practice Engagement and Evolution will also work closely with the EEI’s Initiative Director to provide strategic input to the Initiative’s strategy and tactics, seek synergies and opportunities with Investment Partners and Field Partners, and support strategic communications efforts to advance the EEI. 
 
The Initiative is proud to count The Ford Foundation and The California Endowment among its inaugural Investment Partners, who responded to this call to action by supporting strategy development and launch; The Seattle Foundation, who is EEI’s fiscal sponsor; and the Kresge Foundation who has partnered with EEI by offering its FreshLo Initiative as the first EE teaching case.  Current Field Partners—those who are leveraging their visibility, credibility, and resources to advance the case for EE within their spheres of influence—include Grantmakers for Effective Organizations, Center for Evaluation Innovation, and the Johnson Center for Philanthropy, and this community is being strategically built out. 

Position Responsibilities 

Lead and Manage Practice Partner Platform  The primary goals of the Practice Partner platform is to provide multiple spaces and modalities to help partners interrogate and evolve their evaluation practices, determine how/if they align with EE principles, identify next steps, and provide strategic tools and resources to advance their work. This work will promote cross-sectoral learning and build a robust and connected community of practitioners dedicated to advancing EE. This position will co-design, with the Initiative Director, and then build out, lead and manage this work, shaped by these keystone programs: 
 
Collaboratories The EEI will host Peer-2-Peer (for philanthropy, consultants and nonprofits, respectively) and Ecosystem (crosssector) Collaboratories, offering 4-6 month (at minimum) learning opportunities. The Director will design these spaces, engaging design thinking strategies and adult learning expertise, and oversee their execution, managing consultants to facilitate (although the Director will likely take on the direct facilitation of at least one). EEI may host Bi-monthly Clinics (as need demands) offering structured and light facilitation of virtual gatherings where peers offer non-judgmental insights to support adoption of EE principles. 
 
Teaching Cases The Director will oversee the design and management of annual (or as they present themselves) Teaching Cases, providing a 1-2 day learning experience for individuals ready to do a deeper dive into EE.  Our first case it slated for Fall 2019 in partnership with Grantmakers for Effective Organizations.  
 
Consultant Orientation and Connecting  A key goal of the EEI is to build and connect a robust community of consultants that can advance EE principles through their work. The Director will explore formulating an orientation program to support consultants, and in collaboration and insight from other field field-wide initiatives that are engaged in equity and/or evaluative work including: National Network for Consultants to Grantmakers DEI Initiative, Equity in the Center, ChangePhilanthropy, and the Evaluator and Funder Affinity Network. 
 
Learning Synthesis and Tools Development Critical to the ongoing development and growth of EEI, the Director will seek to understand and synthesize the learning among and from Practice Partners. This position, in collaboration with EEI team and consultants, will systematically capture knowledge to: 

  1. Develop compelling resources that help “Make the Case” for EEI’s work such as webinars, publications, presentations, etc.
  2. Inform the refinement or development of tools and resources to advance EE principles in practice.
  3. Inform content and specific copy for strategic communications efforts. 

 
Contribute to Initiative Goals and Benchmarks  The Director will work in partnership with EEI team and consultants to contribute to the following: 
 
Strategy Development and Evolution In collaboration with the EEI Initiative Director, provide strategic input to the Initiative’s strategy and tactics, particularly in Year One (2019) to meet five-year initiative goals. Alongside Initiative Director, pursue strategy integrity while balancing emergent opportunities to achieve stated goals.  
 
Bi-annual Convenings Collaborate with EEI team, Field, and Investment partners to design and facilitate in-person convenings every two years for the EEI community. 
 
Strategic Communications Participate in communications strategy and execution. 

Qualifications 

  • Significant understanding of and experience in leading change and organizational development efforts within and across organizations and networks. 
  • Strong understanding and appreciation for evaluative practice, measurement, and learning, and how they drive decision-making. An understanding of current evaluation concepts, frameworks, and theories is strongly preferred, but formal education or training in evaluation practice and research is not required. (Note: This position will not be designing evaluations, but instead will be supporting others to interrogate the ways in which evaluation may or may not be in alignment with equity goals.)
  • Strong understanding of how change happens and understands how racism and bias impacts everything we do. (Note: We are not necessarily looking for someone with a track record of diversity, inclusion and equity work but someone who understands how racism has influenced all that we do, see and believe.)
  • Significant experience designing and facilitating convenings and trainings and the development of learning materials and/or publications associated with those collaborations.
  • Experience translating and implementing a conceptual frame including building out an interactive engagement and learning community. 
  • Excellent facilitation skills, with strong working approaches rooted in adult learning and design thinking. Awareness of and appreciation for the different ways in which knowledge manifests in group design, adult learning, and evaluative practice.
  • Proven ability to work closely with multiple constituencies, building and maintaining relationships, and looking across different teams and functions to recognize shared potential and value.
  • Experience working with all ecosystem players (philanthropy, consultant/evaluators, nonprofits), with a preference for someone with strong nonprofit networks (to balance other EEI staff expertise).
  • Experience managing multiple consultants to meet multiple and diverse program needs.
  • Excellent presentation, writing, and communication skills.
  • Experience working in a virtual office environment.
  • An energetic, collaborative, and flexible style; a highly developed emotional intelligence; a sense of humor and collegiality. 

Location, Time Commitment, and Salary

The EEI is a virtual initiative and EEI staff and consultants are located throughout United States. EEI’s fiscal sponsor is the Seattle Foundation.  There will be national travel - heavy at times - to attend national conferences and to work with Practice Partners.  
 
This position is designed as contract-to-hire. Potential for the role to be salaried will be assessed in year two.

How To Apply

Talent Citizen, an executive search firm focused on the pursuit of positive social impact, is leaning in with the Equitable Evaluation Initiative as an Investment Partner. We are working together to identify and engage candidates for this critical recruitment. Additional questions and nominations should be directed to Connor Daley (cdaley@talentcitizen.com). Interested parties should please send an updated resume, cover letter, and how you learned of the position to eei-director@talentcitizen.com

 

 

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