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Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Advisor

Bamako

  • Organization: IRC - International Rescue Committee
  • Location: Bamako
  • Grade: Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closing Date:
The IRC began working in Mali in 2012 in response to the political crisis. The IRC has provided lifesaving assistance to over half a million displaced Malians displaced by conflict and facing severe food shortages. The crisis in Mali has also led to a collapse of basic public services such as health care and education.

To help the country recover, the IRC is focusing our efforts by providing emergency relief; supporting village savings and loan associations and income-generating activities, especially for women; providing clean drinking water, water treatment kits, water-point rehabilitation, and health care supplies; providing vital health care services and training community health workers; providing children and parents with psychosocial support to help them heal from trauma; and training teachers and reopening schools for children affected by conflict.

Scope of work
The IRC seeks a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Advisor, for an anticipated five-year USAID community-based education activity in Mali. The project will improve early-grade reading and math skills of young learners (equivalent to grades 1-4) in the regions of Koulikoro, Sikasso, Segou, and Bamako District with a focus on improving the quality of instruction, boosting community demand, and broadening safe, equitable formal and non-formal education services. The end goal of the $25-$50M project is expanded access to educational pathways and improved reading and math outcomes, especially for girls and marginalized children. 

The MEAL Advisor will be responsible for developing and implementing the project’s monitoring, evaluation, and learning strategy, in accordance with IRC, USAID, and international best practice. S/he will work closely with the Chief of Party, Deputy Chief of Party, technical staff and partners to ensure that relevant data is collected, analyzed, and used to inform management and design decision, and to provide project updates, as required. 

Recruitment is contingent upon successful award of the project, and selection of final applicant is subject to USAID approval.

Job responsibilities 
 
Strategic Leadership and Partnership 
Develop, manage and implement a monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning strategy for the project, including a system across all project components that leverages qualitative and quantitative methods, and draws from a variety of data sources to measure progress and evaluate impact, as well as support collaboration, learning, and adaptation.
Participate and provide input to program strategy, including necessary adjustments or refinements to the work plan.
Develop, coordinate and strengthen capacity sharing partnerships with MEAL counterparts of partner agencies, local organizations and government;   
Represent the project on MEAL at internal and external meetings, forums, and other events; 
Champion design, access and use of data by leaders and partners for shared learning and evidence-based decision-making;
Shape and implement MEAL systems and approaches that meet USAID and IRC standards and practices, that meet project and program needs, enable accountability to clients, partners, and donors, and foster program learning;
Reinforce integration of cross-sectoral priorities in MEAL, including gender, protection, safeguarding, disaster risk reduction, Diversity-Equality-Inclusion and Do No Harm.
Develop and ensure compliance with procedures for collection and reporting of program performance data to provide quality and timely data.  
 
Technical Oversight
Provide technical leadership for a strong monitoring system and processes throughout the project cycle from the design, implementation to close-out and learning including: 
o Using learning and evidence from internal and external sources including previous projects to inform proposal design and Theory of Change; 
o Developing and operationalizing, logical framework, MEAL plan, data collection tools, processes for data management, clients feedback approaches, quality checks and audits, and data visualization;
o Conduct regular visits to project sites to provide on-site technical assistance and ensure proper monitoring of project activities. 
o Develop and advocate for adequate MEAL budget and staffing structure for the project; 
o Producing high-quality data, analysis, reports, presentations, and dashboard of key findings that foster learning and decision-making and share in key meetings such as project cycle meetings and strategic senior management team meetings.
o Communicate information obtained through MEAL activities to program staff, and external stakeholders, including USAID, to enable informed decision making. 
Provide technical leadership for the design, method, and conduct of surveys such as baseline and endline, and the commission of evaluations and surveys as required in coordination with program coordinators, technical advisors, and external partners where vital;
Lead and advocate for the expansion of standard mobile data technology and online dashboard to enhance timeliness and quality of data collection, analysis and visualization;
Provide technical leadership to project efforts in meeting its internal and external accountability commitments through the implementation of sound accountability, client feedback, and response mechanisms.   
 
Human Resources 
Promote the growth and development of others in the project team and partners: Assess proficiencies; develop and lead targeted learning and training strategy. In particular, coach, mentor and support M&E/MEAL staff, provide vital tools and resources, as well as on the job training;
Supervise medium to large sized MEAL team across multiple sectors and geographical areas: Set clear performance objectives; manage staff work plans; establish regular performance reviews; champion a positive working environment for professional development; foster an inclusive and respectful team climate, where all staff are valued and respected and can contribute to their maximum potential;
Lead the recruitment of country MEAL staff, TTA’s, consultants and, support their onboarding.

Requirements
 
Advanced degree (PhD or MA) from an accredited university in social science, international development, evaluation research, statistics, or a related discipline required; equivalent experience may be substituted for graduate degree.
Minimum of seven (7) years of experience in MEAL experience on multi-million-dollar humanitarian or development projects in crisis contexts. 
Significant previous experience carrying out MEAL activities in conflict or crisis situations, preferably for USAID.
Experience with USAID’s collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) approach preferred
Significant previous experience working in conflict or crisis situations, preferably in West Africa and/or Mali.
Leadership experience and proven technical skills in setting up quality M&E/MEAL system that leads to evidence-based decision-making for multi-sectorial and multi-donor funded programs; 
Demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through training, mentoring, and other formal and non-formal methods together with strong presentation and reporting skills;
Strong management and social skills and proven track record to work with diverse groups of people in a multicultural environment;
Self-motivated with excellent organization, planning, and analytical skills - able to work without close supervision, including prioritizing work and multi-tasking;
Proficiency and experience with mobile data collection such as Kobo, CommCare, ODK Collect are crucial as well as proficiency with Microsoft Excel; SPSS, SATA or other similar software;
Knowledge of Tableau, PowerBi or GIS software are additional assets;
(If CR/Accountability is under MEAL) A strong understanding of accountability and proven ability to build Client Feedback Systems is a distinct advantage;
Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain productive working relationships with a wide network of partners and stakeholders.
Experience working to incorporate issues of government accountability, transparency, and equity in education programs, including gender, ethnicity, and disability inclusion. 
Demonstrated experience in policy dialogue and education reform working with government and civil society organizations.
Capacity to work well under pressure, and the ability to communicate appropriately and effectively cross‐culturally is critical.
The candidate must be fluent in English and French.

Standards for Professional Conduct: THE IRC Way:  The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Accountability, Service and Equality. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity Anti-Retaliation and Combating Trafficking in Persons.

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