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Mercy Corps recruits 01 Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Director – Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA)

Mercy Corps recruits 01 Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Director – Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA)

The position is contingent upon donor funding

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To create a better world, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives and skills so that we can be stronger and have long-term impact.

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 DRC’s 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; 4) Support peacebuilding and local governance. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo.

Mercy Corps is seeking a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Director for a five-year USAID Resilience Food Security Activity (RFSA). The Activity will contribute to food and nutrition security for households and communities in Eastern DRC.

General Position Summary

The MEL Director is responsible for providing overall leadership, coordination and technical supervision for all MEL aspects of the RFSA. The MEL Director is a technician with demonstrated experience in building or strengthening monitoring systems, designing and overseeing the implementation of quantitative and qualitative data collection instruments and analysis, survey and sample design, developing and designing various studies necessary to capture program learning, and effectively promoting evidence-based adaptive program management. S/he will manage staff, resources, consultants (as needed) and coordinate closely with partners to fulfill the MEL requirements of the program as well as promote evidence-based decision-making, adaptive management, and a culture of learning.

Essential Job Responsibilities

M&E Management and Technical Leadership

  • Design and revise strategic MEL documents, including the M&E Plan, learning agenda, theory of change, performance indicator reference sheets, logframe, indicator performance tracking table, data protection standard operating procedures, and sex and age disaggregation plans.
  • Set up and oversee all principal MEL system components, including protocols and data flows for monitoring and evaluations, data and information management, MEL budgets, staffing, competency building and technology systems.
  • Design and oversee the implementation of participant-based surveys, including the scope of work, sampling strategies, questionnaires, analysis plans, statistical processing and analysis.
  • Promote collaboration, learning and adaptation (CLA) through intentional and routine periodic learning initiatives sessions to share, discuss and use monitoring data, document and disseminate lessons learned and evaluation findings, support program management to conduct program improvements informed by data.
  • Coordinate research and learning initiatives by team or partners to contribute to program’s learning and adaptation needs.
  • Champion the inclusion of qualitative data collection and analysis for both direct and supplemental measurements of program performance.
  • Ensure that the Chief of Party is alerted to any issues that prevent full implementation of the Activity in line with the Theory of Change.
  • Ensure the RFSA adheres to the USAID Policy & Guidance and the Mercy Corps MEL Policy and Record Management & Retention Policy.

Data and Information Management

  • Design and oversee the set-up of an information management system, including processes and technology solutions for data collection, storage, processing, analysis, visualization, and reporting for all activity indicators and additional data needs for learning, adaptation and reporting. Actively seek out opportunities for automatization and efficiency gains in information management.
  • Design and implement data flows that align indicator definitions, tool matrices, databases and sampling frames to ensure traceable, timely, comprehensive, high-quality and demand-responsive data collection and processing in compliance with USAID and Mercy Corps requirements.
  • Ensure data quality in all aspects of MEL, by conducting periodic DQAs, and integrating corrections and remedies as necessary, to align with Mercy Corps’ and USAID data protection and MEL standards.

M&E Team Management and Capacity Building

  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect, accountability and clearly communicated expectations where team members strive and are equipped with the resources to achieve excellence.
  • Develop and oversee the implementation of a career development strategy for M&E and partner staff, that promotes MEL competencies and a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection of program data.
  • Actively provide mentorship and training to program and MEL teams to improve their competencies in quantitative methods, qualitative methods, information management, critical thinking, data communication, problem solving, facilitation and data literacy
  • Train teams in appropriate methods for both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, including surveys, focus group discussion and key informant interviews and lead qualitative data collection in participating communities as needed.

Internal and External Coordination and Representation

  • Represent Mercy Corps in M&E, MEL Tech and research forums with the broader humanitarian and development community.
  • Develop positive working relationships and coordinate/collaborate with partner organizations and international and national agencies active in the target areas.
  • Conduct due diligence of partner MEL systems and processes, including data collection, processing, analysis and reporting, and organize periodic workshops and sharing sessions, ensuring that they are equipped with adequate resources and systems to contribute rigorous data to the overall program.
  • Collaborate closely with the Strategic Learning Lead, HQ- or region-based MEL and research teams and research team, lead and/or collaborate with external evaluators on the design and roll out of the program baseline and evaluations, while setting up effective systems for learning.
  • Contribute to Mercy Corps’ country-wide Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism (CARM) by assisting in the design of a program CARM Plan and supporting functioning of CARM channels..

Supervisory Responsibility

RFSA MEL team

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Chief of Party

Works Directly With: Activity team members, M&E and research teams, Mercy Corps’ Country Performance and Quality (PaQ) team, partner organizations, HQ Regional Program Team, Mercy Corps headquarters including the PaQ/MEL team 

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our projects.

Knowledge and Experience / Qualifications and Transferable Skills

  • MA/S or equivalent experience in a quantitative field (economics, agricultural/development economics, statistics, biostatistics, nutrition, applied sociology, anthropology, or other relevant field) with significant training in quantitative methods.
  • At least seven years of relevant M&E experience with positions of progressively greater responsibilities is required. The candidate must have experience leading an M&E team of a large, integrated program.
  • Strong conceptual knowledge about theories of change, logic models, food and nutrition security indicators, M&E plans, data quality assurance, mobile data collection, data utilization, and resilience, gender and youth integration into M&E.
  • Demonstrated experience and expertise in developing and operationalizing a comprehensive Activity Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan (AMELP).
  • Strong quantitative background and demonstrated expertise in designing annual monitoring surveys including probabilistic sampling strategy and estimating sample size, developing appropriate weights, and analyzing quantitative data.
  • Demonstrated expertise in designing qualitative studies, in-depth knowledge about qualitative sampling, and experienced in using interview and interactive tools to generate qualitative information and analysis.
  • Demonstrated experience in participatory community governance, advocacy, capacity and leadership development, and/or management and use of grassroots level-generated data.
  • Experienced in developing data quality assurance strategies, data management, and data visualization.
  • Demonstrated expertise and experience in data utilization strategies and can creatively think about active data sharing techniques.
  • Preference for experience with USAID M&E frameworks, and in-depth understanding of food security programming.
  • Experience supporting partner organizations to ensure quality of their M&E systems.
  • Prior humanitarian and/or development experience working in a context similar to DRC.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English and French.
  • Excellent skills in software solutions and platforms for data collection, storage, processing, analysis and visualization, such as MS Office, CommCare, Stata, R, and Power BI.
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, be accountable for results, and understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details. S/he will be comfortable working within a complex and sensitive setting and following laws and security protocols. The MEL Director will have a good handle on adaptive management, integration and coordination, stakeholder engagement, capacity strengthening, community-level governance and planning, facilitation, and conflict mitigation and conflict-sensitive approaches. 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.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

This position is an accompanied position in Bukavu, South Kivu (DRC) (based in Cyangugu, Rwanda if accompanied with spouse and/or children). Individual accommodation will be provided according to Mercy Corps DRC housing policy. The position is eligible for R & R. Bukavu is a provincial capital of about 1,200,000 inhabitants and life is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Security conditions are stable in Bukavu and in the program intervention areas. Health services are available, with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods.

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. 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.

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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