Backbone Lead – Djibouti

Headlight Organization Overview

Founded in 2018, Headlight Consulting Services, LLC delivers data-driven decision-making to its partners through robust strategy design support, in-depth monitoring, evaluation, and learning technical services, and facilitated organizational change processes. Headlight brings expertise in qualitative methods, systems-thinking, utilization-focused MEL, emergent methods such as developmental evaluation, evaluation policy design, organizational development, and much more. Headlight offers fit-for-purpose, agile solutions to improve the efficiency and efficacy of development programs around the globe, focusing on the structures and systems that enable sustainable solutions.

Summary of Position

Headlight seeks a skilled local lead administrator and evaluator to provide backbone support and manage the implementation of a Developmental Evaluation (DE) for the USAID/Djibouti Country Program. This position is expected to help maintain the Country Program’s Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) plan and learning agenda and provide overarching CLA and M&E technical support across the portfolio. The Backbone Lead will also be responsible for the administration of a DE within the country program, which is intended to facilitate active learning, iterative program design, and adaptive management of an expansive, integrated portfolio. The DE will help stakeholders evaluate and learn in real-time and capture that learning into use-focused, actionable deliverables and discussions about the effectiveness of their efforts and what refinements are necessary. This will guide both current and future programming priorities, and contribute useful evidence to the broader USAID/Djibouti portfolio.

This position requires technical knowledge to support the design, implementation, and finalization of various evaluative efforts under senior leadership direction as well as leading the project management of specific projects as needed by the Country Program, including budgeting, timely delivery of services and products, and quality assurance and quality control. This role will also be responsible for facilitating processes and workshops focused on learning, collaboration, and adaptive management for the Country Program and their stakeholders. Finally, the Backbone lead will oversee and provide technical support to a team of local Developmental Evaluators embedded in the Country Program.

This is a proposal opportunity that will be awarded in fall 2022, which means the position will only be officially available upon contract award. But Headlight intends to identify staff ahead of time to demonstrate to the Country Program the local talent that would lead the implementation.


The Backbone Lead will have overall responsibility for supporting the Country Program’s CLA and M&E needs as well as managing the implementation of the DE and for ensuring its quality. The Backbone Lead will be responsible for the following:

  • Develop a living work plan for the ongoing embedded support and evaluation, including an agreed set of deliverables (which may change over time, depending on the needs of the program);
  • Identify and manage contributing or new evaluative or data collection needs and associated teams as they arise;
  • Provide quality assurance of all deliverables, including regular intermediate report logs (that track details of DE and document all events that occur — i.e., planned, unplanned, and associated outcomes) and the final report of the evaluation;
  • Facilitate regular meetings with program leadership, relevant stakeholders at all levels, and monitoring and evaluation staff as needed to collect data and facilitate adaptation;
  • Conduct analysis of the data collected and present engaging, use-focused feedback regularly to program staff and key partners and facilitate uptake of recommendations and associated adaption tracking; 
  • CLA and M&E tool development and testing; and,
  • Track and communicate high-quality information to stakeholders to inform timely and data-driven decision-making; regularly record decision-making, program changes, and/or changes in the environment in a report log.

Required Qualifications

  • 10+ years of professional project management and evaluation experience in the international development field in Djibouti;
  • Extensive technical knowledge, skills, and expertise in evaluation design, concepts, and approaches, and evaluating complexity in particular;
  • Multifaceted facilitation skills, including with multicultural audiences, particularly related to programmatic and organizational learning;
  • Familiarity with USAID’s organizational structure, program cycle, and operating context; 
  • Familiarity with DE, including skills such as:
    • Active engagement and respect for local stakeholders and partners, ethical research (maintains confidentiality and anonymity when required), flexibility, energy, humility, willingness to learn on the go, and proactive conflict management;
  • Strong analytical skills to support both qualitative and quantitative research;
  • Excellent oral and written communication and report-writing skills in English;
  • Keen attention to detail, especially related to documenting data and associated processes; and
  • Graduate degree in social science, organizational theory/behavior/communications, international development, or related focus;
  • Leadership and strategic thinking skills;
  • Active listening, proactive learning, and time management skills, with readiness to be in a learning role; and,
  • Previous experience and comfort with working for multiple stakeholders with competing priorities/interests.

Qualified Female applicants are encouraged to apply

Please note that this vacancy is only for Nationals of Djibouti.


Headlight offers full-time employees a competitive salary package, vacation, holiday, and sick leave, health insurance coverage, and much more.

How to Apply

Interested persons should send a CV and Cover Letter that highlights experience aligned with the requirements above to Please include in the subject line of your email “Backbone Lead – Djibouti” 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis so apply as soon as possible! Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Headlight Consulting Services, LLP complies with all employment and labor policies, laws, and regulations in Djibouti. Headlight provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by law. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.