Mercy Corps recruits 01 Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Technical Advisor

Mercy Corps recruits 01 Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Technical Advisor

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of approximately 400 people working in Eastern DRC. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to: 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo with multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH support to displaced and host populations. The current annual budget includes resources from FCDO, USAID, ECHO, UN donors, the Government of Netherlands, OFDA, FFP, SDC and others.

General Position Summary

The country-level Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Technical Advisor is a key position for Mercy Corps DRC, responsible for providing oversight and strategic orientation of country- and program-level MEL systems, tools and strategies, ensuring the quality of the portfolio’s monitoring and evaluation, information management systems (IMS), and geographic information systems (GIS). As part of the DRC Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Unit, the MEL Technical Specialist’s role is to oversee and ensure coordination of these technical areas across the M&E staff and programs. The MEL Technical Advisor is also responsible for the capacity building and mentoring strategy for Mercy Corps DRC staff on themes related to monitoring, evaluation and learning, and when applicable, research. He/she will support efforts to manage and share information and learning across programming, providing critical linkages between Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian and development portfolio and ensuring that information collected is reflected upon, used in ongoing programs and incorporated into future program design.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategic Leadership
  • Lead the development and implementation of the mission-level MEL strategy, in alignment with Mercy Corps MEL standards and best practices as well as Technology for Development (T4D) best practices.
  • Provide strategic inputs to offices and programs in all aspects of MEL and information management.
  • Ensure programs use the necessary MEL systems and tools to inform and improve each individual program as well as feed into the broader country-level MEL system and country strategy.
  • As a strategic leader, actively participate in management meetings and country-wide strategy sessions. Lead the development and implementation of a mission-level MEL recruitment, onboarding, retention and capacity building strategy in collaboration with Human Resources.
  • Identify and seize opportunities to position Mercy Corps DRC as a lead agency in MEL practices at national and regional levels.
  • Support Program departments whenever there is a MEL gap, or when MEL Managers are off duty.
Design
  • Work closely with the PaQ Director, Director of Programs, Grants Managers and related teams in the development of the theory of change for new funding opportunities/proposal development
  • Contribute to logical framework design and MEL plan development for proposal development, and work with proposal writing teams to ensure that new program logic aligns with the country strategy as well as the global Mercy Corps MEL Policy.
  • Support the conduct of assessments in support of the design of new projects/programs.
  • Provide leadership and oversight in designing individual, program-level logical frameworks and MEL systems that inform and improve each program, as well as provide feedback into the country-level strategy to ensure adherence to Mercy Corps’ standards, including the use of standardized indicators and documentation methodologies.
  • Lead and engage teams in country-wide strategy around the “Triple Nexus” to develop tools, systems and indicators to link humanitarian programming with development programming, ensuring the integration of resilience throughout.
MEL System Development & Maintenance
  • Lead the set-up/implementation of harmonized MEL systems that use open source software and flexible cloud solutions to more accurately collect, monitor, verify and document program activities.
  • Collaborate closely with Program Directors/Managers and MEL staff in developing and establishing MEL systems that serve the needs of the Mercy Corps DRC portfolio of programming
  • Lead on the development and/or roll-out of mobile data collection and data management tools, including TolaData.
  • Identify and address shortfalls in monitoring, evaluation and information management that impact quality and affect program implementation.
  • Support the development of MEL Plans, MEL tools, survey design, methodology, data analysis, and other services as may be required for program monitoring and evaluation.
  • Ensure that monitoring systems meet the requirements of the donor and that performance results can be used for continuous improvement.
  • Lead the development of Mercy Corps DRC GIS capacities and ensure integration of GIS in program design, implementation and MEL.
  • Coordinate with Mercy Corps’ HQ-based Technical Support Unit (TSU) to guide process of ex-ante, ex-post and midterm evaluation, from the design, implementation and documentation phases.
  • Coordinate internal and external reviews and support/lead the analysis of findings, with a strong emphasis on learning.
  • In collaboration with Gender and Protection advisers, develop/revise M&E tools and systems at mission-level with a protection and gender sensitive lens.
Technical Oversight, Management and Support
  • Support country and program-level MEL staff to ensure that appropriate and timely technical inputs and orientations in monitoring, evaluation, program design, learning, accountability, quality assurance, and information management is given to the program teams.
  • Serve as a resource for program staff, advising them on activity design, gathering of baseline data, evidence-based programming, developing and implementing M&E plans, and impact assessment.
  • Support the PaQ Director, Director of Programs and relevant teams in the development of an adaptive management culture at mission-level, providing training and guidance in adaptive management techniques and decision-making.
  • Identify, elaborate plans for, and lead opportunities for research initiatives and impact evaluations, feeding into program design and adaptive management strategies.
  • Support teams in conducting data-driven workshops and learning and reflection sessions.
  • Develop high-impact data visualization applications to facilitate analysis and organizational learning.
  • Coordinate high-level reporting on country-level indicators such as beneficiary numbers, design for impact indicators, cluster data and other information as needed.
  • Lead and manage a team of several technical officers (T4D, GIS and Data Quality) that support the country-wide MEL systems, dashboards and strategy, providing leadership support, capacity building, performance evaluations and regular directions in their scope of work.
Country-wide IMS Strengthening
  • Collaborating with the mission’s different departments, lead the review of opportunities for increased information management efficiency within the mission’s procedures, where appropriate.
  • Propose information management solutions for enhanced efficiency through streamlined processes, automation, and electronic forms.
  • Develop a country-wide, [email protected] IMS strategy to ensure that data (programmatic and non-programmatic) is not susceptible to loss or manipulation and adheres to Mercy Corps’ Record Retention and Archiving policy.
  • Identify opportunities for country-wide capacity building on key IMS tools (such as Google Team Drive, Google Forms, and others).
  • Ensure adherence to Mercy Corps, donor and industry best practices in responsible data management, including compliance with relevant regulation.
Team Capacity Building
  • Develop and oversees implementation of the MEL staff and partner capacity building strategy that promotes a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection of program data.
  • Provide training and mentoring in the development of MEL plans, MEL tools as well as survey design, methodology, data collection and analysis and other skills as required for assessing the impact of programs. Work closely with Program Managers and Human Resources to ensure that MEL and T4D skills are incorporated in program position descriptions.
  • Contribute to the knowledge management repository with best practices in MEL and T4D and ensure that it is accessible to all staff and partners.
Representation
  • Represent Mercy Corps DRC in meetings and discussions on MEL and reporting issues with donors and partners.
  • Ensure close coordination with the Implementing partners on MEL system development, ongoing monitoring, formative research and planning for midterm and final evaluations.
Organizational Learning
  • As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.
Accountability to Participants
  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility

Quality and Learning Specialist, T4D Coordinator, and dotted line support to MEL Directors/Managers from each program.

Accountability

Reports Directly To:  PaQ Director

Works Directly With: Director of Programs,  Program Directors/COPs, Program Managers and their MEL teams within Mercy Corps, TSU advisors and consortium partners

Knowledge and Experience

  • MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, or international development preferred. 5 – 7 years’ experience managing M&E operations, with a preference for field experience in rural sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Experience with theoretical and practical background in research or MEL and knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methodologies and techniques required.
  • Experience with community participation in mapping and other MEL processes.
  • Successful experience with the adoption of mobile data collections tools like Open Data Kit and Ona including XLSForm authoring, and GIS systems.
  • Excellent quantitative skills and experience with Excel, Access, and statistical packages including Stata, R and GIS tools like QGIS, ArcGIS, and Google Earth Engine.
  • Knowledge of major aspects of program development, implementation and documentation and excellent verbal and written communication skills required.
  • Experience working with USAID, and experience with other major donors (e.g. UN agencies, FCDO) preferred.
  • Experience with and commitment to capacity building required.
  • Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required;
  • Fluent written and oral communication in English is required; intermediate to fluent French required. Familiarity with Swahili is a plus.

Success Factors

A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead technical strategies and communicate effectively with team members and colleagues of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures, and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving. S/he will have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take initiative, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws and security protocols. The most successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations. In DRC, patience, diplomacy, tenacity, compassion, determination and a sense of humor are all success factors.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is an accompanied position. Housing will be provided in Goma/Gisenyi according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy. Goma is a provincial capital of over 700,000 inhabitants. Travel may be required up to 25% of the time to program areas within North Kivu. Living in Goma is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity.

While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Goma, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps’ sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC’s policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Diversity is powerful. To achieve transformational change, we seek out team members with different origins, beliefs, backgrounds and ways of thinking. Diversity helps us unlock complexity

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to  Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies  and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

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