Job Description

Title: Director of Research, Learning and Impact
Location: Kenya
Reports to: Co-CEO
Start date: Open until filled


Lwala is implementing our successful community-led health model and is deeply committed to rigorous research, continuous organizational learning, and the generation of evidence as we scale. We have a deep commitment to data, measurement, and impact evaluation - we are building strong in-house capacity and have partnered with world-class academics on research activities to understand how to design and implement better health services. We are undertaking a wide array of research, from experimental design impact evaluation and implementation science to pilot program learning and qualitative data collection. And we have a robust M&E system that allows real-time data for learning and program quality.

As we continue to scale our programs together with the Ministry of Health and community partners, we are increasing our research capabilities and initiatives. We are seeking an ambitious Director of Research, Learning, and Impact to impeccably manage and implement our fast-growing research portfolio and partnerships; institute best-in-class data systems for program monitoring and quality outcomes; and support the translation of research into policy and action. You have a passion for rigorous research implementation and management, are committed to generating knowledge about community health that drives real program design and impact, and answer questions that will influence practices globally.

This role will report to Lwala’s Co-CEO based in Nashville, TN (USA), and work closely with Lwala’s Co-CEO based in Nairobi, the Director of Digital Systems, and Program leads. You will supervise a Research & Learning team based in Migori County.

Key Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the Director of Research, Learning and Impact include, but are not limited to, the following:

Shape our research and learning strategy in a leadership capacity.

  • Refine Lwala’s 2025 learning agenda and research roadmap in support of our community-led health model theory of change, to constantly drive greater impact and learning as we scale
  • Identify how the organization can leverage research outputs to influence the global agenda on improving community health, and lead plans for implementation.
  • Lead the development of an organization-wide M&E framework including the design of relevant KPIs that monitor and measure program impact in line with Lwala’s 2025 strategic plan and theory of change.
  • Develop and manage the capacity of the Research & Learning team to execute projects that are high quality, impeccably organized, fit within budget and scope, and are completed in time.
  • Set up effective coordination across different workstreams, cross-functional teams, consultants, and geographies for effective shared team outcomes.

Lead research, learning and evaluation study design and deployment.

  • Design studies and provide technical expertise to ensure rigorous methodologies are undertaken for new research studies and program evaluations, ranging from RCTs and quasi-experimental designs to implementation science and qualitative data collection.
  • Provide technical oversight - this includes ensuring programs are implemented with fidelity to the research design, strategic decision-making, as well as analyzing large datasets and generating policy-relevant recommendations.

Implement a high-quality and dynamic monitoring, evaluation and learning system.

  • Innovate and build efficiencies into Lwala’s reporting system across the organization to improve linkage between performance management dashboards, targets, and data visualization.
  • Ensure effective integration of M&C activities into all programs and projects.
  • Institute data quality process and minimum standards across the organization.
  • Drive efficient program review mechanisms and feedback loops between program implementation teams, the research and learning team, and Lwala leadership to foster an adaptive, continuous learning approach across the organization.
  • Support high-quality, deep-dive analytics that are disseminated effectively to strengthen program impact and design.

Be an effective collaborator for partnership, advocacy, and fundraising.

  • Develop and manage Lwala’s strong network of academic, government, and implementing partner relationships to ensure a healthy and productive collaborative atmosphere.
  • Create, publish, and disseminate Lwala research and policy products to drive the organization’s role as a thought leader in the global health community and with relevant external stakeholders.
  • Respond to relevant RFPs, communicate with donors, and provide thought leadership as a technical lead on research and M&E content for high-quality proposals and budgets.
  • Drive the development of high-quality program reports and analytics to support grant reporting and communication and advocacy efforts, effectively translating to a non-technical audience.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Advanced degree (Masters or PhD) in public health, social sciences research, economics, or related field
  • Minimum 10 years post-graduate work experience leading quantitative and/or qualitative evaluations, with experience in East Africa and community health preferred.
  • Strong technical ability in a variety of evaluative science methodologies, including mixed methods research, implementation science and RCTs.
  • Exceptional communication and project management skills - you will be serving as a consultant and liaison with outside research, implementation and government partners, and managing complex research studies and budgets
  • A history of publishing journal article in peer reviewed journals, policy briefs and similar knowledge outputs
  • Experience developing research protocols for IRB review and managing IRB requirements.
  • Strong knowledge of planning and implementing program monitoring and evaluation methodologies and frameworks, including logframes, KPIs, and results-based management
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and engage effectively with a range of stakeholders including senior managers/leadership, Boards, public and private sector partners, academics.
  • Proficiency in quantitative statistical analysis, with demonstrated experience in one or more of these software: Stata (preferred), R, or SPSS. MySQL is an added bonus.
  • Based in Kenya, with the ability to travel between Nairobi and Migori County


  • Intellectual curiosity and vision - The individual should be energized by asking key questions and testing assumptions to drive meaningful research questions and promote highest-quality scientific inquiry for continuous learning.
  • Commitment to impact – The individual should be passionate about Lwala’s mission and the population we serve, and relentless in pursuit of generating evidence and learning to understand our impact as we test our community-based innovations and scale with government and partners.
  • Communication skills – Strong written and verbal communications skills are essential, in particular, the ability to communicate complex thoughts and ideas simply and effectively and tailor communications to the audience. Experience in scientific writing is a must.
  • Ability to create “structure out of nothing” – Strong ability to turn an idea or imagined outcome into a codified set of steps, actions and goals on paper.
  • Detail-oriented – Can process, record and react to details relating to effective implementation and produce written work which captures detailed scientific concepts succinctly.
  • Self-starter – The individual must be a highly motivated self-starter who can creatively ensure that the engagement between different teams (mainly Programs, Digital Systems, and Research & Learning) is cohesive, while ensuring that the main decisions are evidence-based.
  • Energy, motivation and stamina - The role can be demanding and, at times, subject to external pressures for timely completion. The candidate must be adaptive, creative, organized, and highly motivated.

Organizational Background

Lwala unlocks the potential of communities to advance their own comprehensive well-being and improve health outcomes. In order to address systemic inequities in health outcomes–and a health system that often leaves communities out of decision-making–Lwala deploys a community-led health model that has 4 pillars: professionalized community health workers (CHWs), community committees, health facilities, and data.

To Apply

Please apply by following the link here >>Director -Research, Learning & Impact

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis but will officially close on 5th February 2024.


Agency, health, and wholeness of life.

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