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MEL-Senior Scientific Officer


  • Organization: ICRISAT - The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics
  • Location: Lilongwe
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Scientist and Researcher
  • Closing Date:

Key skills



Additional/Preferred Skills

Participatory res.

Preferred Qualifications


ICRISAT seeks applications from dynamic Malawian Nationals for CIMMYT for the position of AIDI Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Specialist for the USAID funded Accelerated Intervention Delivery Initiative (AID-I) implemented in Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia from October 2022 to September 2024. The goal of the AID-I project is to ensure smallholder farmers in important food production regions in Sub Saharan Africa have the information and innovations needed, using market-based approaches, to maintain or increase food production to mitigate the impacts of the global food, fuel, and fertilizer price increases resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This Country MEL Specialist position is for Malawi and the staff will be based in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Position Description:

The MEL Specialist contribute to monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) and provide strategic guidance and technical backstopping to the project teams who are responsible for reporting and monitoring progress in achieving the goals and expected outcomes of the AID-I project. Working with a multi-disciplinary team, MEL Specialist will plan, operationalize, and implement the project’s MEL system with partners and in accordance with USAID requirements, while following CIMMYT MEL protocols. MEL Specialist will work closely with Project Leaders, CIMMYT Head office MEL team and AID-I Project Partners’ MEL point of contacts to oversee the MEL activities.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Work and coordinate the team to refine the integrated Monitoring and Evaluation Plan and Data Collection Tools for measurement against the project indicators and targets and identifying lessons learnt.
  • Responsible for ensuring consistency of the monitoring & evaluation system and tools. 
  • Build capacity of project staff & AID-I Project Partners (both in country and abroad) on using in the use and content of the Monitoring and Evaluation tools. Mentor and oversee field team to increase their skill on MEL issues.
  • Plan, operationalize, and implement the project MEL system in collaboration with the MEL Lead, Project Manager, Project teams, AID-I Partners, and the MEL team.
  • Ensure flow of quality information for an analytical report preparation and presentation ensuring donor compliances
  • Responsible for updating Field Office team on latest update against the indicators and act as Malawi CIMMYT office MEL focal point.
  • Support MEL Lead and Portfolio/Project Managers in data analysis, presentation preparation and updating MEL Plan
  • Assist in the development and revision of annual work plan, budgeting, and strategies for the project.
  • Frequently undertake field visit to interact with the AID-I Partners, local service provider, NGO staff, Government and Private Sector to verify the MEL data.
  • Liaises with project partners and other stakeholders in Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania on an ongoing basis to coordinate efforts to strengthen a results-based culture within the AID-I project and to build the capacity of staff and consultants, national counterparts, implementing partners in strategic planning, results-based monitoring, evaluation, and reporting, applying relevant USAID and CIMMYT tools and systems.
  • Be part of the project teams while preparing bi-weekly, quarterly, and semi-annual and annual reports to USAID and other donors. Plan, support and execute the project learning document preparation and present where requires as per guidance by CIMMYT Headquarters MEL Unit.
  • Represent the MEL findings where required as spokesman of MEL Lead and coordinate donor reporting and communications. 
  • Collaborate with the Project and CIMMYT MEL team to ensure alignment between the project and USAID Monitoring and Evaluation Frameworks.
  • Assist to develop regular reports based on the systematic collection and analysis of monitoring information; and contribute to periodic evaluations of progress in project implementation.
  • Support Project Management and implementation teams in analysis of M&E data.
  • Coach field scientists on the proper management and archiving of research information according to CIMMYT protocols.
  • Contribute to the development of practical tools / support materials to empower scientists and partners to use and mainstream good MEL principles.
  • Support project management team in formulation of Detail Implementation Plans (DIP) that allows systematic monitoring of progress.
  • Facilitate and contribute to the development of monitoring indicators, monitoring calendars, and field monitoring plans, monitoring plan and joint annual work plans for the AID-I project.
  • Conduct Data Quality Assessment (DQA) as regular basis. 
  • Contribute to regular Monitoring and Result Measurement (MRM) reports based on the systematic collection of qualitative information and analysis of monitoring information.  
  • Perform other tasks as assigned by supervisor.
Professional and Academic, Attributes and Competencies:
  • MSc in Agricultural or Rural Development, Data Management, Project Management, Monitoring and Evaluation, Agri-economics/ Science/ Statistics/ Geography/ Development Studies, or related field, with particular interest in Monitoring & Evaluation of planned interventions or equivalent.
  • At least 8 years MEL working experience, preferable at least 3 years in USAID funded projects focusing on MEL. Strong understanding of, and experience with, USAID M&E requirements evaluation indicators & MIS preferred.
  • At least 3 years’ experience in project management in an international organization working in the context of large bi-lateral donor funded projects, preferably for USAID funded projects.
  • Demonstrated experience with use of participatory and gender sensitive methods for rural appraisals and data collection.
  • Practical in-depth knowledge of MEL system, Survey designing, analysis and interpretation and FtF indicators. Knowledge of Stata, R, CSpro, Kobo, Survey Solutions (or any other data capturing software) or any other standard statistical software package is preferred. In addition, thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office Package, SPPS and GIS

  • Familiarity and experience with project management concepts (Logical Frameworks, Theory of Change, or similar approaches)
  • Familiarity with data archiving systems, databases, and experience training researchers or M&E specialists in their use
  • Good communicator, excellent spoken and written English. 
  • Exhibit the following competencies: Proactivity, Problem Solving, Decision-making, Critical thinking, and Teamwork.
  • Class 4 Drivers license is a must. 
The position reports to the AID-I Chief of Party/ Project Lead, with dotted reporting line to the CIMMITY’s Headquarters based Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Specialist for SAS.


Apply by 09 June 2023. Shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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.