Job: Program Director, No Lean Season, Evidence Action

Program Director, No Lean Season

Beta – Nairobi, Nairobi


The Program Director, No Lean Season will lead the growth of what may be the “next big thing” in evidence-based development. The groundbreaking research behind No Lean Season has pointed towards an incredible opportunity to positively and substantially improve the lives of millions of poor, rural families, making this program one of the most promising interventions to emerge from the field of randomized evaluations in the development sector in recent years.

No Lean Season provides a small travel subsidy to poor, rural households so they can send a family member to a nearby city or town to find a temporary job during the period between planting and harvesting. This is the time in many rural areas when jobs are scarce, food is expensive, and people are likely to miss meals. In studies, the induced migration resulted in significant improvements in household welfare (including consumption and nutrition) during the lean season. Evidence Action Beta is now investigating several critical questions — local price effects, impacts on household well-being, and impacts on non-participating households — to pressure-test the hypothesis that this is a cost-effective means of providing seasonal income support in Bangladesh and elsewhere. If successful, No Lean Season has the potential to improve the lives of millions of the world’s poorest rural families.

The Director will execute the global strategy and management of the No Lean Season program and its partnerships; oversee advocacy and communication efforts; coordinate technical inputs and quality controls; ensure quality service delivery of the program itself; and lead the  expansion of the No Lean Season program should it continue to show promise and evidence of impact. The Director will join Evidence Action’s Beta team, which is tasked with identifying and cultivating Evidence Action’s next flagship programs.

About Evidence Action

Evidence Action scales proven development solutions to benefit millions of people around the world. We fill the gap between knowing ‘what works’ and having impact at scale. We implement cost-effective interventions whose efficacy is backed by substantial rigorous evidence. We identify innovative, appropriate financing mechanisms and build best-practice operational models. We voraciously self-evaluate, learn, and improve our models for scaling with a commitment to transparency, impact, and value for money. Our two flagship programs have reached over 200 million people this year, and one of them has been selected by GiveWell four years in a row as one of their Top Charities worldwide.

We invite you to learn more about Evidence Action at

Evidence Action Beta

Evidence Action Beta explores what interventions with initial evidence of impact might be suitable for massive scale up and become our next flagship programs. Similar to beta testing for software, we pressure-test interventions to ensure that they deliver cost-effective impact at scale without unintended consequences. To effectively scale interventions that pass our pressure-testing, Beta seeks to understand the mechanisms at work behind compelling results, runs fit-for-purpose experiments to find appropriate models for scaling, and builds service delivery and financing models suitable for the contexts where there is demand.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Director will oversee the delivery of the following aspects of the program:

Manage program implementation, service-delivery, execution

  • Manage work planning, budgeting, and finances of multi-million dollar program

  • Design and iteratively improve on the program delivery toolkit/implementation protocols for multiple contexts

  • Ensure quality and cost-effective data collection and process and performance monitoring for timely decision making for the program

  • Manage and coordinate multi-cultural program team talent working in across the world

  • Ensure effective communication and collaboration with — and oversight of — implementation partners, including managing MOUs and sub-contracts

Cultivate and manage internal and external-facing relationships

  • Develop and maintain effective partnerships with implementing organizations, evaluation partners, donors, academic collaborators, subject-matter experts, policy-makers, and other stakeholders

Ensure technical quality and evidence-based approach

  • Maintain and update No Lean Season’s Theory of Change, key performance indicators, and monitoring processes

  • Coordinate program’s learning agenda, including evidence generation, assessment and interpretation

  • Coordinate cost-effectiveness calculations, benchmarking, comparisons

Manage program reporting and communication

  • Manage program reporting to donors and internal and external stakeholders; including preparation and presentation of program updates

  • Design and execute communications strategy

  • Oversee knowledge management efforts

  • Engage effectively with academics, think tanks, global institutions, institutional donors, philanthropists, implementing partners, and governments

As Evidence Action is a dynamic organization, perform other duties as assigned.


  • Master’s degree in economics, public policy, business, international development or related field

  • At least 8-10 years of relevant experience

  • Advanced project management and coordination skills required

  • Experience scaling programs and working in multiple countries

  • Demonstrated expertise in directly and indirectly managing diverse teams

  • Knowledge of the effects of seasonality and migration preferred but not necessary

  • Commitment to evidence-based research and program implementation; a love for data, data-driven decision making, and generally geeking out

  • Ability to effectively communicate with researchers, implementers, government partners, and other types of stakeholders

  • Adaptable, self-motivated, inquisitive, and a team player who is interested in being part of a fast-paced, growing and diverse team with a start-up atmosphere

  • Ability to travel for extended periods

  • A sense of humor. Seriously.

Evidence Action is an Equal Opportunity Employer with a commitment to diversity. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply. 

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