Global Director of Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning

  • Contract
  • Remote
  • TBD USD / Year
  • Salary: TBD


Location: GMT -5 to +5 time zones (GMT -2 to +2 preferred)

Are you a change maker, excited about data and evidence, who wants to play a pivotal role in correcting the vision of millions of low-income customers so they can work, learn, stay safe, and care for their families?

The pioneering social enterprise, VisionSpring, seeks a global director of monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning (MERL) to lead the development, execution, and quality assurance of the MERL strategy in alignment with VisionSpring’s mission and values. The global director oversees the generation of evidence demonstrating programmatic and organizational impact, and is responsible for developing and implementing VisionSpring’s MERL systems and frameworks to ensure routine and effective use of quality data and information to support program design and decision making. The person in this role ensures that our programs evolve based on evidential learning and adaptation, and supports shared learning across the organization to increase scale and impact.

The global director of MERL represents VisionSpring as a thought leader in the vision sector using evaluation results and data to communicate emerging trends, effective practices, and evidence of impact. The person in this role actively contributes to generating funds for the organization, particularly for research, and forms strategic partnerships with research institutions, universities, and consultants.

The global director leads, develops, and motivates a team of five direct and indirect reports located in India, Nigeria, and Bangladesh. The global director of MERL is a member of VisionSpring’s Global Program Office and reports to the global vice president of programs (based in Accra). The person in this role may be based anywhere in the GMT -5 to +5 time zones, with a preference for candidates located in GMT -2 to +2.


  • Mission-driven, entrepreneurial leader. You build a mission-driven unit to support the delivery of the organization’s long-term outcomes. You foster ideation, iteration, and learning.
  • Curious and passionate about evidence. You love understanding our impact based on the evidence and are curious to understand how to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of our programs through ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and action research.
  • Customer centric. You center MERL process designs around defined value propositions, customer experience, and feedback.
  • Scaling champion. You are motivated transform your small-scale data, evidence, and learning into improved program and sales methods that reach millions of people based on their unit economics, repeatability, customer demand, and market opportunity.
  • Inclusive player-coach. You mentor and develop people. In a diverse, growth-stage organization you create opportunities for participation and increased responsibility. You model vulnerability and accountability, and roll-up your sleeves to deliver when needed.
  • Resource mobilizer. You build cases for financial support rooted in rigorous program design, evidence of impact, a track record of delivery, and multi-stakeholder research partnerships.


  • VisionSpring is creating access to affordable eyewear, everywhere. Clear vision creates opportunities for increased learning, work, safety, civic participation, and quality of life.
  • As a social enterprise, social change motivates us first. Our focus on sales and revenue targets serves and advances our mission objective—to increase functioning, productivity, and income earning potential for our low-income consumers by correcting refractive error with eyeglasses.
  • We are working to transform the systemic dysfunction of an optical market that has failed to deliver eyeglasses—a 700-year-old technology—to 1.1 billion consumers in need of vision correction, most of whom live on less than $4 a day.
  • We serve low-income consumers, not as beneficiaries but as customers. Our customers expect a high-quality and affordable product, and they will spend limited discretionary income for the immediate and tangible benefits of vision correction.
  • By selling eyeglasses, we awaken new demand and seed a viable market. By selling new eyeglasses we are able to serve four times as many people per dollar input than the alternative of donating recycled ones. To efficiently scale, we must deliver each new unit with lower cost.
  • We run our business on both sales metrics and social impact measures. We use a range of organizational forms and practices to get the job done.
  • We believe in scaling our impact, not our organization. We are a lean team of doers.


Global MERL Strategy and Planning

  • Lead the development and implementation of VisionSpring’s MERL strategy and framework, and related policies, guidelines, processes, and standard procedures, aligned with organizational strategic priorities and targeted outcomes.
  • Lead the development and implementation of effective monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) plans, design and implement MEL systems, and provide quality assurance for MEL activities to ensure high-quality design and execution.
  • Oversee and improve quality of paper-based and digital monitoring and evaluation systems.


  • Develop VisionSpring’s research agenda, in coordination with the global senior manager of evaluation and research, comprising assessments, evaluations, operational research, implementation research, randomized controlled trials, etc., to generate evidence of impact resulting from VisionSpring’s business models.
  • Oversee implementation quality of all research and research elements, including terms of references, protocols, questionnaires, analyses, reports, etc.
  • Execute designated research projects in collaboration with the global senior manager of evaluation and research.
  • Ensure research protocols comply with global guidelines and facilitate/guide the submission of research protocols to Institutional Review Board.

Learning, Capacity Building, and Knowledge Management

  • Embrace transparency and reveal hard truths, living daily into VisionSpring’s values, to create a culture of learning together which includes learning from both success and failure. Ensure fact-based evidence contributes to constant adaptation and relentless improvement.
  • Work with program teams to document program results and lessons learned. Contribute to program knowledge management, including development and dissemination of tools, materials, reports, papers, and intervention-linked research.
  • Develop a knowledge management strategy, address knowledge-related challenges, and draw on internal and external knowledge.
  • Ensure team members have easy access to VisionSpring’s knowledge base. Assist program teams to develop learning agendas as appropriate.
  • Suggest effective ways to achieve greater programmatic impact and innovation based on evidential learnings.
  • Oversee the publication and dissemination of information on successful and promising approaches, lessons learned, and other program results to program partners, donors and CSR clients, country governments, and other key stakeholders. Collaborate with development and communications teams to share findings with key audiences.

Team Leadership and Development

  • Recruit, manage, develop, and motivate MERL team members and the consultants and external research partners who support VisionSpring’s MERL agenda.
  • Provide support for learning and ongoing career development for team members.

External Engagement and Thought Leadership

  • Work with strategic partners and thought leaders in the vision and development sectors such as research institutions, universities, consultants, and international alliances.
  • Seek opportunities to present research findings in relevant forums.
  • Manage abstract submissions and represent VisionSpring in industry groups.

Business Development

  • Actively contribute to generating funds for the organization, particularly for research, and form strategic partnerships with research institutions, universities, and consultants.
  • Support the development of VisionSpring’s business by contributing to donor and CSR proposals with evidence and data.


  • Minimum of 15 years of progressive experience in monitoring and evaluating public health programs, health systems, and/or social research.
  • Master’s degree in public health, a social science, statistics, development studies, or other relevant field.
  • Minimum of five years of team and project leadership experience.
  • Knowledge of mixed methods research with advanced knowledge in quantitative research methods and statistical analysis.
  • Experience conducting action research in sub-Saharan Africa, India, Bangladesh, and/or Vietnam.
  • Superior skills using MS Excel and overall strong competency using MS Office applications.
  • Advanced proficiency in one or more statistical and data analytics software package such as SPSS.
  • Prior success publishing journal articles and other communications documents to disseminate research findings.
  • Extraordinary follow-through, attention to detail and deadlines, and a strong personal sense of accountability.
  • Must meet the highest standards of ethics, with a demonstrated capacity for discretion and for handling sensitive information with care.
  • Strong commitment to respectful collaboration with multi-lingual team members from diverse backgrounds.
  • Fluency in English, written and spoken.
  • Ability to travel 25% of time. Willingness to travel internationally and work in locations with limited infrastructure.
  • Preferred experience and skills: (1) Ph.D. in public health, a social science, statistics, development studies, or other relevant field; (2) Experience with Institutional Review Board processes; (3) Working in a high-growth or start-up environment; (4) Working in an international organization operating in low- and middle-income countries.


  • Salary range will be disclosed to candidates invited for a preliminary interview.
  • Annual performance-based bonus.
  • VisionSpring offers competitive benefits, including health insurance, gratuity funds, and generous vacation/personal time.

How to apply

  • We want to know more than just what you have done. We want to know who you are. What are the passions and talents that draw you to this role?
  • Please update your CV/résumé to include a phrase or sentence describing the business of each organization where you have worked. Applications without this information are disadvantaged in the process.
  • Please submit a complete application, including a thoughtful cover letter and CV/résumé, to
  • Please note, only candidates invited to interview will be contacted.
  • At VisionSpring, diversity, equity, and inclusion are directly aligned with our core value to advance equity. Our mission is predicated on removing a fundamental barrier to full economic and social participation—uncorrected blurry vision. The values that underpin our mission energize our commitment to a diverse and inclusive team. A diverse team also allows VisionSpring to approach problems with nuance and develop unique insights that drive an outsized positive impact in the world. We actively recruit, develop, and retain talented people from diverse backgrounds and support everyone in being exactly who they are. VisionSpring is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes people from all experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply.

*Closing date: 3-Nov-22