About The Role

Are you passionate about social justice and transforming the lives of children and their families? Have you experience of managing multiple, complex knowledge, research or evaluation programmes, which could help bring about real and lasting change for children, families and communities in Southend?  

If so, we are seeking to recruit a Research and Evaluation Manager for the A Better Start Southend (ABSS) programme and you might be the person we need.

In 2015, the Early Years Alliance, in partnership with Southend Borough Council, was awarded £40m by the Big Lottery Fund’s Fulfilling Lives: A Better Start initiative, to innovate and develop interventions to improve the life chances of over 13,000 babies and young children across Southend over a 10-year period.

Fulfilling Lives: A Better Start is a ground breaking ‘test and learn’ initiative, involving five sites across England, and a national evaluation programme.  The aim of the initiative is to identify the best methods for laying the foundations for 0-3 year olds to improve their future health, communication and social and emotional outcomes; and to put evidence based early intervention and prevention at the centre of service delivery and practice. 

The outcomes of the programme will only be delivered through the transformational change in systems across services for very young children and their families and by building community resilience.  Effecting this change requires the active collaboration of all the strategic partners in Southend (Southend Borough Council - including Education, Early Years, Children’s Services, and Public Health; Southend CCG; Southend University Hospital Foundation Trust; Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust; Essex Police; Public Health England; Southend Association of Voluntary Services) and through the active engagement of, and co-production with, local people, the workforce and systems leaders. 

As Research and Evaluation Manager you will provide post-doctorate level leadership and project management capability for the ABSS Knowledge, Research and Evaluation projects and programmes.  You will lead the design, development, procurement and oversight of projects, through co-production with all stakeholders, ensuring accuracy and synergy with the organisation’s approach to research, evaluation, data and impact assessment, knowledge management and dissemination.


  • 26 days annual leave plus 8 bank holidays, pro rata for part time employees
  • Additional annual leave for long service
  • Enhanced sickness pay
  • Employer and employee contribution pension scheme
  • Regular access to internal and external learning and development opportunities
  • The Alliance operates a Team Recognition Scheme to recognise the outstanding work of the staff across the Charity
  • Can save up to 25% on 02 Refresh Airtime Plan if getting a new phone or tablet on 02
  • Recruitment Referral Payment Scheme - an introduction payment of up to £100

Main duties:

  • Develop, review and implement key ABSS policy frameworks.
  • Ensure ABSS Knowledge, Research and Evaluation project activities are delivered on time, on budget and meet contracted outputs/outcomes.
  • Support the service design, procurement and implementation of new ABSS Knowledge, Research and Evaluation projects and ensure KPIs, milestones, ethics approvals, financial arrangements are agreed and regularly reviewed.
  • Ensure effective quality assurance and the overall integrity of the Knowledge, Research and Evaluation work - focusing inwardly on the internal consistency of research and evaluation activity, and outwardly on its coherence with ABS partner sites and the National Lottery Community Fund, ensuring appropriate national/international research standards are met.

Essential criteria: 

  • Educated to Doctorate Degree Level/HFEQ Level 8 or equivalent.
  • Experience in a managing or delivering multiple, complex, high value academic research and evaluation projects and experience of project management including monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
  • Practical and detailed understanding of the way that the public, private and voluntary sectors interlink when delivering services.
  • Experience of strategy development.
  • Demonstrable experience of both qualitative and quantitative social research techniques in a work environment.
Hours per week: 37.5
Weeks per year: 52
Interview date:  Thursday 17th September 2020
In your application, please specifically demonstrate how you meet each of the essential and any of the desirable criteria.
About The Service
The Early Years Alliance is the largest early years membership organisation and voluntary sector provider of quality affordable childcare and education in England. An educational charity, the Alliance represents the interests of over 14,000 member settings who deliver care and learning to over 800,000 families every year.

The Alliance is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. It is a requirement of all staff that they share this commitment and follow the prescribed policy and procedures to continuously promote a culture of safeguarding across the whole organisation. 
The charity is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and equal opportunities in employment.