MEAL Manager

Application deadline closed.

Job Description

Better Cotton Initiative


Monitoring, Evaluation, Accounting and Learning Manager

Starting Date: ASAP

Contract type: Open ended contract

Salary: Geneva: 93,800 CHF, London: £54,100

Location: Geneva (Switzerland), London (UK)

Application closing date:  9th April 2023, midnight GMT


Better Cotton is the world’s largest cotton sustainability programme. Our mission: to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment. In challenging times, we are meeting the challenge head on. Through our network of field-level partners we have trained over 2.5 million farmers - from the smallest to the largest - in 23 countries in more sustainable farming practices. A quarter of the world’s cotton is now grown under the Better Cotton Standard. We have united the industry’s stakeholders behind our efforts, from ginners and spinners to brand owners, civil society organisations and governments. Everyone who cares about cotton and its sustainable future can now be part of something better.

About this role

The newly created position of MEAL Manager will be accountable for developing and leading on the monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning framework for the Better Cotton Growth and Innovation Foundation.

The Better Cotton Growth and Innovation Foundation (GIF) is an internal Fund set up to support Better Cotton in achieving its goals; it funds projects which promote sustainable farming practices that benefit farmers, farm workers and the farming environment.

Working closely with Better Cotton´s existing MEL Team, the MEAL Manager will be in the exciting position to build a MEAL framework for the Fund from scratch. This position will also be responsible for developing an approach to evaluate the impact of the project portfolio overall to ensure funding is used to the best possible effect.

The role will involve a high level of engagement with, and capacity building of, in-country partner/grantee organisations. This engagement will start at application stage, supporting organisations to develop their MEAL frameworks all the way to involving them in learning from end-of-term reviews.

This is a unique role for an experienced MEAL professional. Positioned between the Foundation and the MEL team, this role will be of standalone nature and will require solid experience in leading MEAL workstreams. We are looking for someone who can set up a robust system while also introducing new and innovative approaches. With ample experience based in country, ideally in a rural and/or agricultural programme setting, the ideal candidate will be comfortable working across different teams and possess the cultural sensitivity to work with organisations in a variety of countries.


MEL System Design & Implementation

  • Develop and lead the implementation of the monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning plan for GIF in alignment with Better Cotton’s MEL systems and approaches.
  • Identify and address shortfalls in monitoring, evaluation and information management that could impact the quality of programme implementation.
  • Drive the development and management of learning systems, share learnings with funded partners and integrate them into the RFP of future funding rounds.
  • Design and implement MEAL tools to assess the results of GIF’s overall activity.
  • Develop capacities of partners in M&E and provide technical assistance to them in developing and implementing project-level M&E systems.
  • Manage commissioning of external research and/or external data collection (development of TORs, supervision of external researchers, revision of deliverables, etc.)

Monitoring Data Management, Analysis and Reporting

  • Support partners to develop good baseline surveys and data collection habits to facilitate project reviews.
  • Monitor whether project outputs are being achieved in full and on time.
  • Analyse all data collected and advise the GIF team and partner management on needed project revisions.
  • In coordination with the MEL team in Better Cotton, explore and pilot ways to improve partner data collection.

Quality Management

  • Support partner applicants with the design of logical frameworks and M&E plans and ensure they are aligned to GIF and Better Cotton M&E guidelines. Advise on the inclusion of M&E resources and activities in new project proposals.
  • Monitor the quality, reliability and relevance of data collected to ascertain the outcome, impact and sustainability of funded projects.
  • Support and build the capacity of programme partners and the GIF team to utilize monitoring, evaluation and learning systems to manage the project data and performance.
  • Ensure that lessons learned, and recommendations related to monitoring, evaluation and accountability are documented, shared and factored into the design of new projects and discussed during periodic programme reviews.


  • Provide information for the preparation of communication materials (both internal and external) and regular GIF activity reporting.


The selected candidate will have the following skills, knowledge, and experience: 

Skills, Knowledge, and Experience
·       Master’s degree in international development, social or economic science, natural resource management, environmental science, agronomy, or equivalent work experience
·       Significant experience in measurement and evaluation of international programmes.
·       Demonstrated ability in logframe design, review and adaptation within a project’s term
·       Prior experience working with donor/funding organisations, in particular with their MEAL frameworks and plans
·       Track record in managing a MEAL system with minimum support, working quickly and effectively
·       Ability to articulate technical information clearly and effectively to both technical and non-technical audiences
·       Strong facilitation skills, with experience of delivering capacity building support both in person and remotely
·       Experience with quantitative, qualitative and participatory surveys at field level; ability to perform and control the quality & reliability of data collection, analysis and reporting
·       Fluency in written and spoken English with excellent communication skills and the ability to work across teams and partners, building relationships with ease
·       Strong IT skills (e.g., proficiency in using statistical analysis programs, data visualization software, managing large databases).
·       An ability to work creatively and flexibly in a small team, supporting other colleagues, and with a strong personal commitment to learning and improvement
·       A commitment to the aims of Better Cotton
·       Experience in smallholder agriculture
·       Experience of rural development, gained through project or grant management of projects in SS Africa or South Asia

Working arrangements

The position is full-time (40 hours per week) and will be based in the Geneva or London office. Better Cotton offers flexible working, with core hours being 10 am – 4 pm and operate on a hybrid model (details vary per office location with office attendance required each week).

The position will require limited travel to countries funded by the GIF. These currently comprise: India, Pakistan, Turkey, China, Mozambique and Mali.


Interested applicants with the required attributes are asked to send a detailed CV (2 pages maximum) and a motivational letter (2 pages maximum), in English, by applying via this link.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and first interviews will take place before the deadline, so early submission is recommended.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Better Cotton is currently unable to provide sponsorship for work permits, and candidates need to have a pre-existing right to work in the location where they will be based.

Better Cotton is an equal opportunities employer committed to good practice and transparency in the management of natural, human and financial resources.

Better Cotton has a zero-tolerance approach to any attitudes or behaviours that put children or adults at risk of harm. Safeguarding incidents are acts of serious misconduct and are grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including, dismissal and referral to relevant authorities for criminal prosecution. Therefore, all offers of employment are subject to satisfactory references and appropriate screening checks.