Monitoring, Evaluation, Assessment and Learning (MEAL) Associate

Monitoring, Evaluation, Assessment and Learning (MEAL) Associate

Deadline: 27 May 2022

The Tea Leaf Center Co., Ltd. is a social enterprise research and training consulting firm based in Thailand and working throughout Southeast Asia. We seek to shift the balance of power in international development and research toward local organizations, communities and individuals directly impacted by the issues they are working on. We do this through three work areas: 1) mentorship and training to local groups, organizations, and communities to improve their research skills and increase the impact of their research; 2) support to early-career researchers from Southeast Asia working in civil society; and 3) MEAL services focused on creating more effective empowerment and more equitable partnerships.

The Tea Leaf Center provides MEAL services to international and local non-profit organizations, focused on projects that support empowerment, capacity-building and equitable partnerships. Through this work, we seek to give evidence-based, practical recommendations for partners to improve their relationships and the effectiveness of their empowerment and capacity-building work.

The Tea Leaf Center was registered as a company limited in Thailand in 2019. Since its formation, the Tea Leaf Center and its directors have conducted evaluations and other research for international and local NGOs and conducted trainings on writing and research for local organizations working in environmental conservation, land rights, public health, migrant education, human rights and other area.  Our MEAL work includes evaluations of projects to empower and build capacity of indigenous communities and human rights defenders in Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam; and empowerment and capacity-building of civil society organizations in Myanmar, Thailand and the Thai-Myanmar border working on issues including migration, natural resource management, hate speech, digital literacy and access to justice.

The Position

The Tea Leaf Center is hiring a long-term MEAL Associate to lead and support MEAL consultancies, focusing on projects that seek to empower and build capacity of activists, human rights defenders, vulnerable/at-risk communities and other local civil society networks/organizations. This position will build on the Tea Leaf Center’s past experience with these types of evaluations, assessments and other learning-focused research, and expand our expertise and positioning in this area. This may include writing or contributing to blog entries, academic articles and reports on MEAL methods and practices, as well as current debates in international development including localization and equitable partnerships between institutions and organizations from the Global South and Global North. The MEAL Associate will also support trainings to the Tea Leaf Center’s clients, to assist them to improve their own MEAL practices.

The position will offer many opportunities for learning and growth, including learning new research methods and taking increasing amounts of responsibility (along with respective increases in pay). Since the Tea Leaf Center is still in the start-up phase, this position gives the opportunity to contribute to the development of this program and the organization. The position will involve a one-year contract with a three-month probation period, renewable upon mutual agreement.

The Tea Leaf Center is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This position may be based in another city in Thailand (including Mae Sot or Bangkok), with regular travel to Chiang Mai and upon further discussion and agreement.


  • Lead or co-lead MEAL projects for international and local civil society organizations in Southeast Asia, including working with one or more research and/or training assistant; (under the supervision of the Tea Leaf Center’s Directors);
  • Author or co-author publications, including blogs, reports and academic articles, on MEAL methods and practices that support localization, empowerment and equitable partnerships in international development;
  • Lead, co-lead and contribute to MEAL and other research training projects (online and in-person) for civil society organizations in Southeast Asia, using the Tea Leaf Center’s existing curriculum;
  • Identify opportunities for the Tea Leaf Center to expand its reach, including representing the Tea Leaf Center at conferences, on panels and in other relevant events; and
  • Help build and maintain relationships with local and international non-profit organizations in Thailand, along the Thai-Burma border and in other countries in Southeast Asia.

Qualifications (required)

  • At least a bachelor’s degree and relevant 3-5 years’ experience in MEAL (internal or external) for local and/or international organizations in Southeast Asia, or comparable research experience;
  • Experience with qualitative and/or quantitative research methods, including surveys, interviews, focus group discussions and/or participatory research.
  • Fluent Thai and proficient working English (spoken and written).
  • Self-motivated and willing to learn diverse skills.
  • Able to work independently and as a team.
  • Commitment to empowering local communities and civil society organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to work respectfully and inclusively with people of diverse backgrounds, including ethnic and religious minorities and other marginalized populations.

Qualifications (preferred, one or more)

  • Experience with participatory methods of assessment and evaluation, including Most Significant Change, Outcome Harvesting and/or other similar methods;
  • Experience conducting trainings or facilitating workshops, especially related to MEAL; and/or
  • Proficient in another ethnic or regional language, including Karen, Shan, Lao or other


The Research and Training Associate will receive a monthly salary based on experience and qualifications, plus an additional amount based on the days per month worked on paid research projects (according to our Bonus Policy).

How to Apply

Send the following materials to with the subject line “MEAL Associate” by 27 May 2022:

  • CV/resume;
  • Cover letter explaining relevant experience and reasons for applying; and
  • The names and contact information of two references, including at least one with direct knowledge of the applicant’s MEAL or other research experience/skills.

Applications will be reviewed when received and a decision may be made before the deadline. Short-listed candidates will be asked to provide a writing sample.