Evaluation Procurement and Technical Quality Assurance Manager
Country / Territory
Based in UK: Location negotiable
Based in UK: Location negotiable
Chief operating officer
Job Category
Administration, PA & Secretarial
Pay Band
Pay Band 8
Vacancy Description
Payband: 8 Location: UK Flexible Contract type: Indefinite contract Business Unit: COO Closing date 18th August 2019 at 23:59 UK Time. Candidates must have the right to in the UK to be considered for the role.


Please note that in December 2020, the British Council will relocate its new global headquarters to: International Quarter, Stratford, London E20.






The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to the UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body



Evaluation is a high corporate priority. The corporate plan and annual report outline the importance and commitment to strengthening our evidence base to underpin the British Council’s strategic narrative, to learn and strengthen delivery of our programmes and to provide evidence of impact and value for money as required by our clients including HMG, EU and ICAI for ODA expenditure.


The Evaluation Procurement and Technical Quality Assurance Manager will work in a new team – the Evidence, Evaluation and Learning Unit - which will have responsibility for providing the professional and strategic leadership to deliver a step change in how we manage evaluation and evidence and build organisational capability and capacity

This role is new Evidence, Evaluation and Learning Unit is to raise evaluation standards across the British Council through the strategic provision of technical advice and effective and efficient tendering of evaluation services, supplemented by a strong evaluation quality assurance function.  The postholder will support higher level objectives by maintaining an overview of the range and nature of evaluations being procured, and using this knowledge to work with the Director Evidence, Evaluation and Learning, the team and the regional evaluation advisers to ensure that evaluation effort is focused on our corporate objectives and priorities, and that evidence of key objectives is gathered systematically.   


The role is a central one in the new Evaluation Unit:  it will be critical to the role which the Evaluation and Evidence Unit plays across the British Council, including evaluation capacity development; results / impact  monitoring as required by the FCO following the 2018 Tailored Review; and the development and maintenance of quality standards and VFM in British Council programming.  The postholder will manage (and work closely with) a Band 7 project manager.

 The main responsibilities are: 

  •  The Evidence, Evaluation and Learning Unit leads and supports the design and delivery of evaluative evidence across the British Council, in support of our Charter and corporate objectives.  The Global Evaluation Framework Agreement was established in 2018 as a central procurement facility, to ensure better procurement, but also to strengthen the quality and coherence of British Council evaluation.  It comprises three components: (1) provision of evaluation services; (2) provision of training services; and (3) provision of technical advice, including evaluability assessments and quality assurance services.  The Evaluation Framework is a key mechanism for linking the corporate centre with the regions and SBUs, and it provides opportunity to influence what is evaluated and how, and to strengthen the quality of evaluations – and to ensure that all evaluations serve both to strengthen programming and provide good evidence.  It is also a source of guidance over what should be evaluated, and whether programmes and regional priorities are genuinely ‘evaluable’.    

  • Through oversight of the management of this facility the postholder will work strategically and collaboratively with the regional senior evaluation advisers to support a rapid increase in the volume and quality of evaluative work.  The postholder will co-ordinate evaluative work across the regions, and will contribute to the embedding of robust evaluation approaches in programme-based planning and core ODA-uplift programmes.  The postholder will also work within the team to ensure effective design and delivery of major strategic evaluations (for example Country Level Evaluative work and other thematic evaluations relating to our strategic objectives). 


  • The Global Evaluation Framework will be a central resource for staff across the British Council, and is one which relates closely to our approach to capacity building: it will be an instrument to facilitate embedding stronger programme and M&E design and delivery.  Careful oversight and analysis of how the Framework functions is essential.  The postholder will do this by providing technical support to staff across the organisation in partnership with the regional and central evaluation advisers; oversight of a high volume of evaluation management; managing relationships with key stakeholders, including the Procurement department and commissioners; and analysing the overall effectiveness of the facility.  It will require a strategic approach to the oversight and development of the 2018-21 Global Evaluation Framework Agreement, and the vision and analysis to relate this to corporate priorities.  


  • Key to the development and management of the Framework will be: (1) the knowledge, experience and critical appraisal skills necessary to provide preliminary technical advice on evaluation scope, evaluability and design (whether from technical evaluation skills or from deep programme management experience); (2) the ability to build strong networks and relationships across the organisation through tactful provision of advice and the core services of evaluation design / procurement, and in doing so to raise the profile, reputation and use of the evaluation function; (3) the vision and implementation skills necessary to build a strategic approach to evaluation, helping to link evaluation procurement to the impact frameworks which will be developed following the 2018 Tailored Review; and (4) excellent and informed relationship management with suppliers, so that we build our track record as an evaluation procurer and attract the best proposals and evaluation suppliers. 


  • The interest and ability to build knowledge, understanding and experience of developments and techniques in the professional evaluation field will be essential.  The postholder will score bids, and work with commissioning departments to ensure that the evaluation suppliers / partner organisations are delivering monitoring and evaluation services to the agreed level, so that British Council evaluations provide the highest level of quality and value-for-money. 


  • The postholder will monitor and assess the extent to which arrangements are meeting organisational needs and are serving to generate robust evaluation evidence on a continuous basis; and will provide advice when changes may need to be introduced in light of analysis and experience, and will follow through to ensure that change is implemented as necessary 

  • Strong background in programme management – at least 6 years’ experience in managing delivery of complex programmes in different country contexts; managing several major pieces of work simultaneously, and building the networks and alliances necessary for delivery. 
  • Staff management, to ensure delivery at pace and completion of critical tasks.
  • Depth of experience of financial management and planning.
  • Experience of procurement and of managing suppliers and working with procurement professionals, ideally with some experience of evaluation procurement, as well as procurement of country/sector programmes, including design of high quality Terms of Reference. 
  • Some relevant background in commissioning / management of evaluation of development or other programmes, and knowledge of the complexities of evaluation design
Interviews likely to take place week of the 10th September 

If you would like to understand more about this post then please see the documents below:

Role Profile.docx
British Council Behaviours.pdf 



Our Equality Commitment:






Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies.    The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation.