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Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Manager - PACS - DRC

Goma | Bunia | Bukavu

  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Goma | Bunia | Bukavu
  • Grade: Mid level - Mid level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: Closed

This position is contingent upon donor funding

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, 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 a long-term impact.

The Programme / Department

Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 500 people and programmes focused on Eastern Congo in North and South Kivu, with the overall country goal to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programmes that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programmes in order to: 1) Improve water service delivery and ensure 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. All Mercy Corps interventions in DRC are implemented in a conflict and gender-sensitive manner.

Mercy Corps is seeking a MEL Manager to lead on the monitoring and evaluation of the expected three-year FCDO-funded Programme d’Appui pour la Consolidation de la Stabilité en RDC (PACS). The proposed programme will deliver area-based stabilisation and reintegration support to conflict-affected communities that are aligned to the PDDRCS provincial operational plans and coordinated with other major stabilisation actors, such as the World Bank, EU, the UN Stabilisation and Coherence Fund, UNDP’s Stabilisation Pillar, USAID and other bilateral donors. The overall objective of the project is that “communities are more resilient to conflict, and trust and accountability between state and society is strengthened. Local actors are supported to address and mitigate drivers of conflict, creating the conditions for improved governance and longer-term development”.

The Position

The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Manager is a key position in the FCDO PACS programme. S/he is responsible for cross-cutting programmatic information management, monitoring, and evaluation, ensuring that information collected is reflected upon, used to improve ongoing programmes, and is incorporated into consistently high-quality reports and proposal development. The MEL Manager will be responsible for developing (in partnership with programme staff), coordinating, maintaining and constantly improving the nationwide MEL system, as well as training MEL team members within the PACS programme and across the partner organisations. In addition, the position holder is responsible for ensuring that the reports generated by each partner organisation are timely and of a high quality and that the data can be validated. This will be achieved through staff capacity building and necessary training.

Essential Responsibilities

STRATEGY & VISION

  • Develop an overarching MEL strategy for the programme, which includes a clear vision and a work plan with targets and deliverables. From the programme master budget develop an MEL-specific budget and ensure that all key MEL activities are appropriately resourced and staffed.
  • Working closely with the MEL HQ and regional teams, ensure compliance against the Mercy Corps MEL policy standards, and best practices.
  • Ensure the programme’s MEL is implemented in compliance with donor requirements.
  • Further, develop and advance the PACS MEL framework, provide leadership to MEL team members, partner organisations, and the safe spaces to advance the implementation of the MEL systems of the programme. Ensure continuity in real-time data collection, uploading, and analysis for reporting and programmatic purposes.
  • Lead continued operation of and improvements to the automated MEL data systems for PACS, ensuring that data flows (from CommCare through Azure and to Power BI) are strategically aligned to the informational needs of the core programme, are understood by and aligned with partners and safe spaces, and feed into the broader nation-wide MEL system on the country level.
  • Lead and develop a strong and connected MEL team, who work closely with partners to develop and maintain a system that improves the programme’s ability to analyse and represent impact to donors, and communities themselves.
  • Drive a culture of learning and evidence-driven decision-making, ensuring that senior and technical leadership of the programme have timely access to programme data and are using it for decision-making. Initiate learning events, engaging the programme and partner leadership and teams.
  • Participate in country management meetings and country-wide strategy sessions. Participate and lead meetings with donors and partners relating to MEL deliverables, working closely with the COP.

MEL SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

  • Develop and build out an adaptive MEL system to monitor programme impact in line with Mercy Corps and FCDO standards and guidance.
  • Serve as a member of the programme’s Senior Management Team, making sure that leadership has access to programme data while driving discussions around data interpretation and adaptive management.
  • Develop and implement action plans to ensure MEL data security, data quality, and responsible data handling processes.
  • Collaborate with Community Accountability and Response Mechanism (CARM) staff members at the mission level to strengthen systems to promote accountability to participants and communities
  • Liaise with HQ MEL and Data Automation teams for system improvement and major updates.

PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT

  • Regularly review MEL system quality and adapt to changing needs/context.
  • Use existing MC resources to train MEL and partner organisation teams in the area of monitoring and evaluation and report writing. Ensure a common understanding of programme outcome goals and measurements.
  • Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain an excellent MEL system, including training on Tola (a digital tool developed by MC) and the periodic reflection and analysis of programme monitoring data to disseminate learning.
  • Develop plans to mentor and coach staff to build their capacity to enable them to develop excellent data-driven reports and other documents.

LEARNING AND ADAPTATION:

  • Develop and oversee the implementation of the learning agenda of the programme, and initiate and oversee the quality of studies, including evaluations, case studies, and research, within the frames of the programme.
  • Lead regular program learning and reflection and develop analysis to inform program decisions for senior leadership members, working closely with the Crisis Analysis Team (CAT) to understand program impact against changing context.
  • Support senior program management to scale and shift programming to ensure impact based on programme evidence and learning.

GRANTS/ REPORTS MANAGEMENT

  • Regularly conduct programme site visits to provide hands-on training to partner staff on how to capture and organise information for accurate documentation and reporting.
  • Assist the programme implementation team in timely and accurate reporting to donors.
  • Coordinate with a variety of teams, PACS Team Lead, Country Deputy Director, MEL Country Manager, HQ, Finance, and Programme Directors and Country Director to ensure that reports are timely, high-quality, and responsive to donors.
  • Lead a national team capacity building through coaching in report writing and quality control of final written products.

MONITORING AND EVALUATION/ ASSESSMENTS

  • Assist in designing programmes that incorporate Mercy Corps’ standards on design, monitoring, and evaluation.
  • Develop Scopes of Work for various evaluations, and studies, and oversee their implementation. This may entail recruiting consultants, or leading and implementing those studies internally with the programme’s and partners’ MEL team members (including baseline, mid-term, final evaluations, topic-specific studies and others).
  • Periodically synthesise learning from MEL and other programme datasets, document and share at relevant country, regional and agency meetings, ensuring that knowledge is adequately documented and distributed.
  • Create intentional learning opportunities as well as ad-hoc learning gatherings to leverage and promote cross-team learning with partners and other relevant counterparts. May also include programme participants where and as relevant .
  • Ensure quality of data in compliance with MEL Policy, including leading on coordination for quarterly programme review meetings, regular Data Quality Assessments, record retention, and a final internal performance review.
  • Collaborate with the Finance PACS team and the MEL team at the HQ to set up and implement a VfM framework to generate cost data and inform programme adaptation
  • Coordinate and play a role in assessments as requested.
  • Play a central role in all evaluation, design and implementation of outcome studies, reports, and learning agenda activities.

TEAM MANAGEMENT

  • Develop the capacity of the MEL PACS team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
  • Assist team members with information, tools, and resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one one-on-ones and performance reviews.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Play an active role in hiring, orienting and leading team members as necessary.

SECURITY

  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

Supervisory Responsibility

MEL Programme Advisors/Specialists/Officers; Mentorship and support to local partner MEL teams

Accountability

Reports Directly To: PACS Team Lead

Works Directly With: Country Director, Country MEL Manager, Director of Programmes, PACS Deputy Team Lead, HQ MEL Team

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our programme participants, community partners, and 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 field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • BA/S or equivalent, preferable in social work, MEL, business administration, public administration or international development. MA/S in similar relevant fields preferred.
  • At least 5 years of experience in the areas of monitoring and evaluation, including relevant experience building and managing an M&E system and team, relevant experience supervising data collection and data validation exercises, and building staff capacity.
  • Proven experience building local capacity and supporting local organisations in MEL.
  • Proven experience implementing MEL systems in conflict and fragile affected contexts, practising remote management/data collection and an ability to adapt to changing contexts.
  • Understanding and experience in stabilisation, peace and conflict are highly preferred.
  • Must have extensive training skills and experience working with a variety of donors, including FCDO.
  • Prior experience in leading MEL studies, including baselines, endline, evaluations, and others. Familiarity with study methodologies and data collection techniques
  • A high degree of computer literacy; Excel and Word skills are essential.
  • Familiarity with and understanding of digital data collection tools (especially using CommCare), data visualisation (especially using Power BI) and cloud data management/ETL pipelines is strongly preferred.
  • Ability to manage and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to work independently on a multi-task load.
  • Excellent communication and organisational skills.
  • French fluency required; Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English
  • An internationally recognized qualification in project or programme management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
  • Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response is preferred.

Success Factors

The ideal candidate will have a strong curiosity for understanding and working effectively within the complex cultural, political, security and social environment of the DRC. They will be an excellent communicator, multi-taskers, and able to work in ambiguous situations. They will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures. The successful candidate will be focused on team building and capacity-building of national staff; be a strategic thinker, and have strong skills in design monitoring and evaluation of development programmes.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Goma, Bukavu or Bunia DRC and it requires up to 40% travel to various locations within North and South Kivu, and Ituri. While conditions in the country are improving, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity and petty crime is present. Mercy Corps' offices experience variable levels of insecurity. Years of conflict and corruption have badly damaged the country's infrastructure. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular services are widely available. The Internet is limited, but available in all Mercy Corps’ offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are several health services available with several evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods.

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 organisation 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 a 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 based on race, colour, 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, programme participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary-General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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 professionally, 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 e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

https://jobs.jobvite.com/mercycorps/job/oKxUqfwl

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