Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Specialist

Terms of Reference

Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Specialist

Location: Hanoi

Assignment duration: 1 year with possibility for one-year extension

Level of Effort: Full-time

Start date: February 2020

Reporting to: Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Research Manager

Deadline to apply: 17 January 2019


With more than 30 years of experience, Cowater International is Canada’s global leader in management consulting services specializing in international development. We have managed the implementation of over 800 projects in more than 80 countries around the globe for clients such as DFID, DFAT Australia, the World Bank and Global Affairs Canada. We work with governments, partner organizations, communities and civil society to design and implement sustainable solutions that generate lasting social, economic and environmental impacts. Our adaptive approach to management has led to our award-winning work and recognition as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies in 2017 and 2018.


Cowater International is seeking to recruit a highly qualified professional as Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Specialist to support the Aus4Equality|Gender Responsive Equitable Agriculture and Tourism (GREAT) Program.

The GREAT Program is a flagship initiative of the Australian aid program in Vietnam – it commenced in November 2017 and will run for five years (2017 to 2021). The Program seeks to promote women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in the ethnically diverse north-west region of Vietnam. The primary beneficiaries are women living in the provinces of Son La and Lao Cai, while an overarching emphasis is placed on the inclusion of women from ethnic minority communities as these provinces are home to twelve and twenty-six ethnic groups respectively.

The objectives of the Aus4Equality|GREAT Program are:

  • Objective 1 – Empowering local women: Women living in local communities have increased capacity, space and choices to beneficially engage with agriculture and tourism businesses.
  • Objective 2 – Inclusive businesses partnerships: Selected private sector actors within the agriculture and tourism sectors innovate to profitably and sustainably trade with more women entrepreneurs and operate in gender sensitive ways.
  • Objective 3 – Improving sector governance and policy: Government agencies reinforce policies, and enact plans, regulations and services that enable more inclusive socio-economic development.

Key approaches applied by the program include: Market System Development (MSD), Partnership, Adaptive Management, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Innovation and Women’s Economic Empowerment.

The program will work with approximately 50 partners to deliver results, including private sector actors, governmental and non-governmental organisations, and research institutions.


The position will contribute to the implementation of the MERL Framework with a focus on the collaborative learning for adaptation for the program. This will include data synthesis, data review, studies, and assessments to generate evidence for the Program’s learning. The position will support knowledge dissemination internally and externally. The position require a high level of critical and strategic thinking, rigour in research methodologies and data analysis plus good experience in collaborative learning for adaptation. The position will serve as a CLA specialist, under the guidance of the MERL Manager.


Collaborative learning for adaptation

  • Identify and synthesise issues at both the GREAT Program level and within individual projects to be the focus for collaborative learning
  • Develop a “knowledge tank’ and keep it updated to capture relevant global studies and reports that can inform the Program.
  • Conduct reviews/assessments to document the lessons learned gained through the Program and project implementation as necessary.
  • Organise and/or facilitate interactive collaborative learning for adaptation activities, including internal sessions and partner forums.
  • Document systematically the Program’s and projects’ lessons learned and good practices.
  • Work with the Communications Specialist to package and publish knowledge products.

Data Collection, Analysis, and Management

  • Contribute to the development and maintenance of the GREAT Program database to ensure that information is accurate and current.
  • Undertake monitoring visits to partners to identify projects’ and/or program’s issues.
  • Support the MERL Manager in ensuring the quality, accuracy, and completeness of information and data collected.
  • Contribute to development of necessary tools for data collection, analysis and management.
  • Contribute to analysis of larger trends by linking and analysing data from a variety of sources, including other projects and studies in the region.
  • Work with consultants in project level and GREAT level assessment activities as required.

Program Reporting, Evaluations and Quality Assurance

  • Prepare data for internal and external reporting including 6 monthly progress reports.
  • Support the MERL Manager, Team Leader and Deputy Team Leader to provide necessary collaborative learning for adaptation data for Program reviews and evaluations and support findings from those reviews and evaluations to be effectively incorporated into Program activities and policies.
  • Work with partners and relevant GREAT staff and coach them in MERL activities to ensure quality of collected data.
  • Work with the MERL team to develop a data quality assurance system and conduct data quality assessments with implementing partners.
  • Work with the MERL team to facilitate the semi-annual aid quality check (AQC) process and reflect and refocus activities.


The CLA specialist will have the following skills, knowledge and experience:

  • Tertiary qualifications in a relevant area such as public health, economics, or social and development studies.
  • At least 7 years of experience in the field of monitoring and evaluation or social research in the international development sector.
  • A good level of critical and strategic thinking.
  • Rigour in research methodologies and data analysis.
  • Strong experience and skills in collaborative learning for adaptation activities.
  • Strong experience and skills in research, data collection, analysis, and evaluation of social interventions.
  • Strong knowledge of data visualisation tools and graphics software.
  • Ability to manage multiple demands and prioritise tasks, work effectively and collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, and support other team members as needed.
  • Strong communications skills in Vietnamese and English.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of inclusive system development and women’s economic empowerment concepts is highly preferable.


Interested candidates are invited to send an application to [email protected]. Please indicate in the subject “Application for Aus4Equality CLA Specialist”.

Applications should include:

  • A cover letter directly addressing the job requirements.
  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae
  • Contact details of three referees

Deadline of submission: 5pm, 17 January 2019

For more opportunities, please visit our website at or facebook page at

Women, and people of minority groups, are encouraged to apply.

Job Details
Organisation Name: 
Aus4Equality|GREAT Program
Application Deadline: 
Fri, 2020-01-17