Regional Program Performance & Quality Specialist - Amman or Beirut
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 collaborate 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 implements a variety of programming throughout the Middle East and it continues to respond to humanitarian and development needs across Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen by forging meaningful and trusted partnerships and designing impactful programming. The country programs face humanitarian crises and significant development challenges, and operate in fragile and conflict-affected areas, displacement settings, emergency responses, as well as more stable developed settings. Mercy Corps’ focus in the Middle East has been in promoting good governance and conflict resolution, enhancing resilience, supporting market systems development, as well as gender and inclusion, and youth employment. Mercy Corps investment in thought leadership, continual learning, and adaptive programming allows us to make changes that are essential in a fluid context, with significant ambitions to learning and sharing through building an evidence base, investment in program quality, including MEAL and additional specific research, to enhance adaptive and responsive programming in the Middle East.
General Position Summary
Mercy Corps is looking for a highly qualified and dynamic Regional Program Performance and Quality Specialist (PaQ) with particular expertise and extensive work background in Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, and Learning (MEAL) to provide technical oversight and support to the country teams in Program Management, Knowledge Management, Adaptive Management, MEAL, and research. As a member of the regional team, who works across country and HQ teams, the PaQ Specialist requires technical expertise, and skills to comfortably lead in complex and multi-layered processes and structures with teams consisting of senior programmatic, management, and MEL staff, with strong advocacy and technical advice. S/he will have a critical technical leadership role to support country teams to implement Mercy Corps high standards in program quality through the enhanced application of program management standard and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems, Humanitarian Accountability, sharing of best practices, promoting innovation and knowledge management.
The PaQ Specialist will work in five interrelated areas:
- Program quality: Experience in rolling out, mobilizing and leading team implementation of Mercy Corps program quality and MEL standards.
- M&E: Providing technical expertise to implement sound M&E systems, use of MEL technology and integrated platforms for data collection, data analysis, and visualization and promoting data for decision-making and program adaption across the country programs.
- Synergy: Regional integration of country PaQ.
- Knowledge Management and Capacity Building: Strengthening country teams’ capacity in all aspects of PaQ, including MEAL systems through conducting training as needed.
- Self-Reflection and Accountability, i.e., the organization self-reflection on impact and accountability to its MEL minimum standard policy.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Support Deputy Regional Director (DRD) to ensure regional integration of country programs’ PaQ.
- Build capacity around Program Management and MEL policy standards, values, and principles, support the roll out of policy capacity building and quality assurance mechanisms, and other organization level initiatives through technical support to the country teams.
- Ensure the mainstreaming of crosscutting themes (Gender, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), and Youth Empowerment).
- Support the training and capacity development of the country teams in PaQ, including MEL and CARM tools and systems as well as program assessment, design, M&E to ensure country uptake of evidence.
- Conduct, facilitate and develop/roll out resources for program quality reviews, quarterly pause and reflection sessions and the like to meet the minimum standards outlined in the Program Management and MEL Policies.
- Provide technical support to programs for quality MEL processes, including MEL data collection and analysis and utilization of technology, and the responsiveness of feedback mechanism.
- Work with country teams to identify learning loops within and between programs, and help identify key structural changes that optimize a learning environment. Effectively communicate those changes to support organizational growth.
- Participate in initial orientations and on-boarding of new program staff (esp. PaQ, M&E, and program managers) – promote tools like M&E tools, and Program Management @ Mercy Corps (PM@MC) minimum standards
MONITORING, EVALUATION, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND LEARNING (MEAL)
- Provide technical expertise and oversight country teams’ deployment of technology and new tools in data collection and analysis.
- Oversee the planning, collection, analysis, synthesis, translation, and dissemination of data and learning from across country programs.
- Conduct MEAL gap assessments covering specific M&E activities and practices, and a review of tools, technology and data collection systems.
- Based on the assessment findings, establish regional integration systems of the current various tools and systems in close collaborations with the DRD, and Country and HQ MEL teams.
- Based on the assessment findings, begin the development of a long-term rollout/training plan for the recommendations and assessment outcomes to ensure country team uptake of evidence.
- Based on the assessment and the requirements of the MEL Policy standards, working closely with HQ MEL and Program Management policy teams to develop and manage a MEL dashboard to capture country/regional MEL needs, budgets and planning to address those needs.
- Support processes and tools to identify best practice and lessons learned and facilitate the dissemination of promising practices to promote utilization of evidence for program adaptions and contribute to the agency knowledge management agenda.
- Serve as the MEAL technical lead and technical writer to ensure quality proposals and adherence to donor standards.
- Provide technical guidance and oversight across the program lifecycle from identification through to closeout, including project design, theories of change, indicator identifications, and results frameworks.
- Lead the process of developing MEAL sections at the quarterly and annual reports for country projects, ensuring indicators and measurement tools are standardized as well as baselines and evaluations are conducted with minimum quality standards.
- Provide technical guidance for assigned internal and external project evaluations across country programs.
- Develop a reporting system that addresses accountability through providing routine, accurate collection and reporting of information that confirms status of program activities based on theory of change and Mercy Corps M&E frameworks.
- Help country teams develop individualized Action Plans to improve data management practices, and support country teams both remotely and in country on implementing their Action Plan, topics ranging from program logic review, data collection, data quality assessments, data management and analysis.
- Work closely with the HQ MEL team to align regional and organizational MEL Strategies.
- Organize regional Learning events (virtual and in person) where and when needed, to engage and encourage learning and application of knowledge gained from evidence and analysis to improve development outcomes and ensure accountability for the resources used to achieve them.
REGIONAL COHESION AND SYNERGIES
- Contribute to Regional and Country Strategies, as requested.
- Design tools and processes to measure the impact and progress of the Regional Strategy.
- Continue to engage with and grow relevant Communities of Practice (and organize learning/sharing events.)
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 beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Reports Directly To: Deputy Regional Director
Works Directly With: Regional, HQ and Country Office PaQ Teams
Knowledge and Experience
- Master's Degree in International Development, International Relations or in the field of M&E.
- Minimum of 8+ years in relevant field-based project management experience, with preferably at least 5 years working in the area of MEAL.
- Willingness and ability to 45% travel to Mercy Corps project sites in the region.
- Command strong understanding of the Middle East operational and programming context. Prior regional experience is preferred.
- Applied international experience in program management, design, monitoring, and evaluation.
- Demonstrable experience in program cycle management, results framework, theory of change, both around project designing and implementation, development of MEL sections for proposals.
- Prior experience of designing and implementing MEL at program or agency levels.
- Strong understanding of Core Humanitarian Standards, Gender Mainstreaming, Human Rights, Rights Based and Knowledge-Based Approach to sustainable development, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and climate actions.
- Proven ability to foster team inclusiveness, collaboration, and communication to achieve project goals.
- Proven ability to develop, apply, and adapt to technological solutions.
- High level of initiative and problem solving ability.
- Strong verbal and written communication skills.
- Significant experience in facilitating learning and capacity building across teams.
- Fluency in English required, Arabic language skills preferred.
The regional PaQ Specialist will demonstrate a winning record of accomplishment in program development, and bring flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project s/he undertakes. The individual must have change management skills and the ability to multitask, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under deadlines within complex team environments. This position requires strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues in the Middle East and diverse cultures is critical.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position will be based in Amman or Beirut, with periodic visits in the region up to 45% travel.
Independent staff housing is provided and there is access to good medical services.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in 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.
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.