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MONITORING, EVALUATION & LEARNING (MEL) DIRECTOR - LIFT - Bukavu

Bukavu (Congo Democratic)

  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Bukavu (Congo Democratic)
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Managerial positions
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
  • Closing Date: 2021-01-30

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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 around 400 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal being to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo.

Beginning in October 2020, Mercy Corps is implementing the five-year, $32 million USAID-funded Leveraging Investment for Transformational Water and Sanitation Systems (LIFT) program in Eastern DR Congo. Building on the successes of Mercy Corps’ IMAGINE programme, and those of other WASH actors in Eastern DRC, LIFT will use a facilitative approach to strengthen the sustainability of water and sanitation service delivery in the Kivus. The program brings together combined expertise from Mercy Corps and partners London School of Economics, Sanergy, and TetraTech. Learning is at the heart of the program, which will take an adaptive management approach to implementation. In partnership with USAID and in line with Development Objective 2 of USAID’s DRC Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), LIFT aims to show that it is possible to achieve genuinely sustainable increases in access to clean water by implementing contextually relevant, performance-based contractual models for water service delivery in collaboration with state and local entities including ETDs and Provincial Administrations.

General Position Summary

The LIFT MEL Director is responsible for providing overall leadership, coordination and technical supervision of the monitoring, evaluation and learning activities for the LIFT Program. S/he will be expected to connect and convert program data and research to inform the program’s strategic approach.

The MEL Director will provide oversight of program/project-level monitoring and evaluation activities within LIFT, ensuring the quality of the MEL activities, information management via the programs reporting system and geographic information systems (GIS), where applicable. The MEL Director is responsible for the capacity building and mentoring strategy for program staff and partners on themes related to monitoring, evaluation, accountability, reporting and learning. The MEL Director will be responsible for the development and ongoing implementation of the Activity Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan (A-MELP).

In addition to setting up and managing the M&E team and M&E systems, the MEL Director will play a critical role in operationalizing LIFT’s Adaptive Management approach, with a culture of evidence-based decision-making. Working closely with the COP, the MEL Director will guide the program in operationalizing an adaptive, iterative management approach with a culture of evidence-based decision-making. Central to this approach will be the analysis and use of program data within the program for learning and adaptation of program activities.

The MEL Director will be expected to critically and strategically manage all research partnerships, ensuring that research projects are planned and implemented in line with the Theory of Change, relevant project and programme objectives, and internal guidelines. S/he will be responsible for keeping track of progress and delays on assignments, coordinating and collaborating with partners and relevant stakeholders.

Essential Job Responsibilities

TECHNICAL OVERSIGHT

● Design and implement the Activity Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan (A-MELP) inclusive of Results Framework, indicators and baselines, annual targets and data collection plans. The data should be gender disaggregated as much as possible

● Develop, set-up, and oversee the MEL system for LIFT including M&E Plans, M&E tools, survey design, methodology, data collection processes, and data analysis to assess the impact of the programs.

● Ensure program uses the necessary M&E systems and tools, to inform and improve, as well as feed into the broader country-level M&E system and country strategy

● Integrate technology solutions to the data cycle where appropriate to increase the efficiency and accuracy of monitoring and research

● Responsible for ensuring that gender considerations are effectively integrated at design, implementation, analysis and report writing stage for all produced MEL products and that data collected is sex and age disaggregated in line with Mercy Corps minimum standards and donor requirements.

● Oversee the data collection process

● Take the lead in aligning, collecting, analyzing and reporting on performance indicators to the program’s M&E systems, and other external systems as relevant, ensuring team has timely access to relevant data in appropriate formats for consumption

● Ensure that the LIFT Program Director is alerted to any issues that prevents full implementation of the methodology in line with the agreed Theory of Change

● Ensure compliance with all internal Mercy Corps and external donor policies and regulations.

RESEARCH

● Key focal point for Research Partners, responsible for ensuring their coordination with the program.

● Lead in strategic development of operational research activities linked to program outcomes

● Keep track of progress and delays with all research activities throughout the research cycle. Ensure that delays or identified challenges for specific assessments are reported in writing and orally in a timely manner

● Review and provide feedback to all research products, maintaining Mercy Corps communication standards and quality

MEL TEAM MANAGEMENT

● Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

● Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.

● Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.

● Contribute to country MEL team-building efforts, help team members identify problem-solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.

● Support country MEL capacity-building strategy with the aim of promoting a culture of learning and adaption through systematic analysis of program data.

● Provide training and monitoring in the development of M&E plans, M&E tools as well as survey design, methodology, data collection and analysis and other skills as required for assessing the impact of programs.

● Contribute to the knowledge management repository with best practices in MEL and ICT and ensure accessibility.

● Actively provide mentorship for all LIFT MEL staff including transparency and flexibility.

REPORTING

● Identify opportunities to utilize existing data in the production of key programme documents and resources, effectively demonstrating the impact of the program towards its objectives

● Lead on the analysis and report writing elements of the LIFT regular surveys (quant and qualitative) which represent the key data sources for bi-annual reporting to the donor

● Coordinate with a variety of teams to ensure that program teams have the necessary capacity and resources to produce timely and high-quality reports that are responsive to donors. **

● Provide a biannual results update for USAID, and all other required data collection and reports.

COORDINATION AND REPRESENTATION

● Actively participate in LIFT Coordination Meetings.

● Represent LIFT MEL to USAID.

● Participate in cross component MEL meetings to share and document best-practice.

● Participate in external MEL forums to share best practices when applicable.

● Focal point for all research partnerships and the conduit between partners and Programme Director

● Develop positive working relationships and coordinate/collaborate with partner organizations and international and national agencies active in the target areas.**

ACCOUNTABILITY

● Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our participants and to international standards guiding international relief and development work while actively engaging participant communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

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 participants and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging participant communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility

Directly supervises: M&E Coordinators NK & SK, GIS Specialist

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Mercy Corps LIFT Program and Quality Director

Works Directly With: LIFT MEL Team, LIFT Component Managers, MEL specialists from other programs, Chief of Party, other programme staff and Research Partners as relevant

Knowledge and Experience

● BA/S degree in development studies, research methods, statistics, economics, social sciences, monitoring and evaluation, project management or other relevant field required. Postgraduate degree preferred.

● 5-7 years of managing M&E work at a program or country level, including supervising staff. Proven use of program technology in an M&E function required.

● Experience with CLA approaches and promoting a culture of CLA including an understanding of organizational culture, learning, and change management.

● Experience with theoretical and practical background in M&E and skilled in participatory qualitative and quantitative M&E methodologies and techniques.

● Ability to effectively convey programmatic goals, enlist partnerships, and work with a range of internal and external stakeholders, inclusive of Consortium partners.

● Ability to translate data into effective communication documents, demonstrating strategic impact.

● Excellent quantitative skills and power user with Excel; Experience with CommCare, Tableau, ONA, power BI, Access, and statistical packages including Stata, R or SPSS and GIS tools like QGIS, ArcGIS or Google Earth Pro is preferred.

● Experience with data management including the ability to structure and collate data sets for ease of analysis.

● Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required.

● Demonstrated understanding of what gender sensitive programming is and why it is important.

● Demonstrated understanding of intermediate statistics and ability to summarize and make predictions from multiple data sets.

● Previous experience of managing a team and working on a USAID program much preferred.

● Experience of working on USAID programs preferred.

● Fluent written and oral communication in English and French is required. Familiarity with Swahili is a plus.

● Experience working in Africa is preferred

Success Factors

A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members 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, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws, security and gender integration protocols. As a key technical position, this person should have a strong understanding of program logic and should be able to express and document his/her ideas clearly and convincingly. 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 unaccompanied post based in Bukavu (DRC).

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’s 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. Staff are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

To apply please send your CV and Cover letter to: https://app.jobvite.com/j?cj=oAoeefwa&s=email

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
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