World Vision International

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Design Specialist

Job Description

*Position location to be anywhere in a jurisdiction (country or US state) where WVI is registered to operate.


WVI’s new 2030 strategic direction identifies five strategic imperatives that will optimize the organization’s influence and effectiveness. These include: deepening our commitment to most vulnerable children, focusing ministry for greater effectiveness, collaborating and advocating for broader impact, deepening high quality and sustainable funding and living our Christian faith and calling with boldness and humility. Achieving these imperatives will require strengthening national office strategy development and performance management processes and revamping the quality of program designs across the WV partnership. The senior design specialist is responsible for ensuring that national office strategic plans and program designs optimize quality and enable the organization to achieve its 2030 vision. Specifically, the appoint will provide partnership-wide leadership on developing and enforcing programming standards that will: (a) deepen WV’s commitment to the most vulnerable children – including guidelines to facilitate careful, immediate expansion in fragile contexts and; (b) strengthen ministry focus towards greater impact and sustainability (including development of new sector approaches and project models).

Similarly, the senior design specialist is responsible for writing, refining and supporting national offices to contextualize and apply LEAP 3 and development programming approach (DPA) guidelines (and standards) focused on improving the quality of assessments, designs and redesigns of programs across all WV entities. Furthermore, the design specialist will provide leadership in coordinating DME capacity building efforts related to LEAP 3 designs and baselines (including mobilizing different entities of the WV partnership to provide coordinated technical support to priority national offices).

In addition to having a solid technical background in M&E and research methods, this staff person should have strong communication and leadership skills which will enable him/her to build collaborative support for uptake of strategically relevant new design methods and the use of evidence for decision-making. The design specialist will have extensive experience in leading strategy development, performance management and design of integrated programs (including superb understanding of root-cause analysis, development of theories of change, etc.). The design specialist will also have a proven ability to lead consultative processes and work in teams both internally and externally as well as a track record for working under tight timelines and with minimum supervision. Previous experience leading DME at national office, regional office and support office levels is highly desirable.


Develop and coordinate implementation of guidelines and standards that enhance alignment between NO strategic priorities, program designs and WV’s 2030 strategic priorities:

  • Leads a partnership-wide process (working with all entities) to develop, roll-out and gradually revise/improve guidelines that enhance realignment of WV’s footprint and channelling resources towards priority contexts (where most vulnerable children live).

  • Develops and enforces programming guidelines that facilitate careful and immediate expansion of ministry in fragile contexts (achieving optimal growth that is informed by funding realities and organization capabilities).

  • Provides technical leadership to sector teams across the WV partnership during the process of developing/refining/contextualization of new sector approaches and priority project models that are necessary to enhance operationalization and effectiveness of WV’s 2030 strategic direction.

  • Leads the process of continually assessing effectiveness and strengthening organizational focus on Child Well Being (CWB) aspirations, targets and outcomes (including initiating necessary improvements in guidance and measurements processes of CWB aspirations, targets and outcomes).

  • Leads the process of developing guidelines that strengthen alignment of WV’s global programs and SDGs (including providing support to ROs and NOs to strengthen WV’s partnering and influence in national and regional SDG platforms).

  • Provide DME support to strategy development processes across the partnership (in collaboration with GOSCI).

Lead the process of developing, reviewing and progressively improving of LEAP 3 and development programming approach (DPA) guidelines and standards focused on enhancing WV’s global program effectiveness:

  • Leads the development/adaptation/revision of measurement standards for DPA/LEAP 3 design aspects while ensuring benchmarking against international measurement standards and incorporating internal learnings related to same in collaboration with RO, NO and SO DME teams and GC Ministry Strategy and Policy (MSP).

  • Leads the development/adaptation/revision of Technical Programme design and implementation quality assurance tools and processes in collaboration with GC sector teams, MSP and RO and SO DME teams.

  • Ensures effective adaptation, application, and scaling up DPA in local contexts within RO & NO strategies and priorities through working with RO and NO DME teams.

  • Continuously reviews needs in field offices and develops/refines DPA and LEAP 3 guidance that strengthens community engagement, local partnering, assessments, designs/redesigns of all WV-support programs (across different funding streams).

Provide business development leadership towards strengthening Horizon DPA and LEAP 3 design functionalities:

  • Leads consultative processes across NOs, ROs, SOs and GC sector teams to identify needs, develop the necessary workflows which enable the Horizon design team to develop automated LEAP 3 and DPA design capabilities.

  • Continuously reviews the use of horizon design functionalities across the partnership, collects lessons learned and initiates necessary actions (including mobilizing all entities of the partnership to identify and jointly address performance gaps).

Provide ongoing technical support to ROs/NOs which is informed by strategic needs/opportunities related to DPA and LEAP 3:

  • Collaborates with RO/SO DME leaders to continuously assess DPA/LEAP 3 needs among NOs and and influences SOs/NOs to make necessary investments towards addressing priority DPA/LEAP 3 needs.

  • Leads continuous assessment of staff competencies and coordinates DPA/LEAP 3 design capacity building across the WV partnership.

  • Builds collaborative relationships with DME technical experts within and outside WV and works with E&L leadership team to bring this expertise to bear on special strategy development and LEAP 3 design priorities.

  • Coordinates partnership-wide capacity building priorities focused on strengthening the quality of LEAP 3 program designs, baselines and evaluation and strengthening of field monitoring systems.

Catalyse innovation and learning to improve DPA implementation and design efforts across the partnership:

  • Collaborates with DME specialists across all WV entities to track progress of DPA and LEAP 3 design processes and document key lessons learned and best practices.

  • Coordinates and manages the E&L community of practice which creates a platform for all DME staff across WV to co-create DME solutions and promote/share best practices related to DPA and LEAP 3 design processes.

  • Develops appropriate communication products that showcase WV’s innovations and best practices in programming approaches and DME processes within WV and across the industry.

  • Monitors developments in the DPA/LEAP 3 design processes to scope, assess and propose new methods or projects that have the potential WV’s development effectiveness.

  • Contributes to industry discourse and good practice through effective external engagement.


  • Post graduate degree with emphasis in statistics, economics or any other field related to international development.

  • Professional qualifications in project planning, monitoring and evaluation (with strong emphasis in strategic planning, program designing and other DME approaches).

  • Demonstrated content area expertise pertinent to DME (root cause analysis, development and measurement of theories of change).

  • Basic skills and competencies in data analysis using appropriate software tools (e.g. Excel).

  • Technical writing skills (including ability to craft publishable standards and articles in industry peer review journals.

  • At least 15 years of senior leadership experience involving strategy development, program design and M&E responsibilities (experience leading DME at national offices, regional offices and support offices is highly recommended).

  • Strong experience in coordinating strategic priorities across different sectors and entities (national offices, support offices, GC and regional offices).

  • Demonstrated experience in development and implementation of DME standards and guidelines across INGO headquarters, funding offices, regional offices and field offices.

  • Demonstrated experience applying advanced research principles to produce high quality assessments, program designs and performance management systems.

  • Extensive experience in transferring DME technical knowledge, capacity and skills through face-to-face and virtual training sessions.

  • History of doing results-based work without direct day-to-day supervision.

  • Ability to obtain knowledge and experience with the latest methodologies and developments in M&E through self-directed study and learning (including ability to publish WV’s work in peer reviewed journals).

  • Strong English language communication skills, both oral and written, suitable for both scientific and non-scientific audiences.


  • Formal academic training in social science research methods, advanced statistics and project management or DME.

  • Advanced statistical (quantitative) and/or qualitative analysis skills.

  • Extensive field experience in leading strategy development and program design efforts (preferably national office, regional office and support office experience).

  • Extensive experience in coordinating the development of performance standards, DME guidelines/tools and tracking application of the same across programs implemented in diverse contexts.

  • Solid experience in leading design and of emergency relief projects.

  • Extensive experience in leading design and performance review of advocacy campaigns in diverse contexts.

  • Experience in leading knowledge management and documentation efforts (including preparing papers for peer review publications).

  • Experience in leading DME capacity assessments and coordinated efforts to address capacity needs identified in priority regions/national offices.

Working Environment / Conditions:

  • Position requires ability and willingness to travel, including internationally, up to 30% of the time.

  • Experience and demonstrated ability to work collaboratively in multidisciplinary and multicultural team environment.

  • Demonstrated leadership and communications skills required to facilitate virtual consultative and collaborative processes while maintaining positive working relationship across various regions and countries.

  • Proven ability to foster a positive working environment with different stakeholders.