Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Director - Iraq

Sulimaniyah | Baghdad


Mercy Corps works in places of transition, where conflict, disaster, political upheaval, or economic collapse present opportunities to build more secure, productive, and just communities. Providing emergency relief in times of crisis, we move quickly to help communities recover and build resilience to future shocks, and promote sustainable change by supporting community-led and market-driven initiatives. Recognizing both the great potential and the complex challenges faced by the Middle East, since 1989 Mercy Corps has been implementing a range of humanitarian assistance and development programs tailored to the specific needs of the region and of those communities where we work.

Mercy Corps has worked across Iraq's 18 governorates since 2003, implementing relief and development programming, more than a third of which has focused on the specific needs of refugees and displaced persons. Mercy Corps Iraq current goal is to work with new and existing civil society, public and private sector partners to meet immediate and long-term needs by strengthening communities' ability to rebuild amidst increasing crisis. Mercy Corps Iraq focuses on (1) a relief-to-resilience pathway to meet the needs of conflict-affected communities leveraging agency expertise in conflict management and civil society development (2) a humanitarian response that empowers conflict-affected populations to meet their own needs (3) partnering with conflict-affected adolescents to address their diverse needs, promoting leadership and linkages with civil society.**GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY:**

The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Director is a key position in Mercy Corps Iraq, one that contributes to the strategic vision, promotes excellence in country programming and provides leadership in designing and implementing an effective monitoring, evaluation and learning system. The MEL Director will be responsible for developing systems and training staff to ensure program data is collected in an efficient and effective manner and is measured against impact. S/he will be responsible for cross-cutting programmatic information management and analysis through harmonized monitoring and evaluation. Information collected is to be incorporated into consistently highly quality reports and proposals; impact reports that inform effective program management and course correction; external documentation that raise the profile of MC Iraq within various stakeholder circles (HQ, Donors, NGO Community etc.). In coordination with the Country Director, Directors or Programs and Program Sector Leads, and MEL team, s/he will be responsible for developing, coordinating, implementing and constantly improving a countrywide MEL system, as well as training MEL staff – particularly to integrate qualitative thinking into existing processes.**ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:**

Technical Leadership

  • Understand the individual programs and their existing MEL systems to design and facilitate the move to a countrywide MEL system.
  • Develop a data collection toolkit to ensure qualitative and quantitative information is captured in a systematic order across programs.
  • Ensure data analysis is conducted on regular basis and technical findings are shared with the programs department.
  • Lead the development of written external products that are evidence based such as Impact Reports, Country Fact Sheet and Program Sector Briefs.
  • Contribute to program design and roll out to ensure adherence to Mercy Corps' program management (PM@MC) standards.
  • Build capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain a robust countrywide MEL system.
    Strategic Leadership

  • As a custodian of the Country Strategy and Annual Plan, ensure the MEL system informs their updates and changes as needed.

  • Ensure collaboration with Mercy Corps Regional Team regarding evidence based programming and impact.

  • Instill a culture of learning and reflection in all MEL and program plans and activities.

  • Actively participate in Senior Leadership Team meetings to shape and inform the strategic direction of the country office.

Provide Oversight and Management of Data and Information Systems

  • Assist MEL team to develop a countrywide MEL system to support data collection, analysis and learning.
  • Assist in the processing, analysis and reporting of program data where needed.
  • Ensure countrywide MEL database captures program-level impact data aligned with country strategic and annual plan.

Team Management and Development

  • Create a MEL structure that will support program MEL needs and uphold the countrywide MEL system.
  • Lead the recruitment of MEL staff and mentor them to build their confidence and creativity, and expand their technical skill set.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback with team.
  • Contribute to country team-building efforts, help team members identify problem-solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
    Internal and External Coordination

  • Strengthen linkages with other internal resources, including Digital Library, Hub, and Connect.

  • Provide support to and coordinate between all offices and programs in all aspects of MEL and information management in country.

  • Coordinate with Mercy Corps' HQ-based and regional Technical Support Unit (TSU) and Regional team to guide process of ex-ante, ex-post and midterm evaluation, from the design, implementation and documentation phases.

  • Participate in MEL related working groups and maintain close working relationships with MEL counterparts in other relevant international NGOs, and local NGOs and associations in Iraq.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY: MEL Managers, Information Managers, Reporting and Communication Officers and indirectly, Field Monitors.

Organizational Learning:

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 Program Participants:

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


Reports Directly to: Country Director

Works Directly With: Director of Programs, Director of Finance, Director of Operations and Country Safety and Security Manager as well as Program Sector Leads. Coordinate with HQ and Regional technical support units in relevant sectors – particularly the New Initiatives and MEL teams.


  • BA/S or equivalent in International Development or a related field required; coursework in research and evaluation methodologies and statistical analysis required. Masters preferred.
  • 7 years of active MEL work experience in humanitarian and/or development programming required; ideal candidate will have both theoretical and practical background in M&E and skilled in qualitative and quantitative M&E methodologies and techniques including rapid appraisal techniques, remote monitoring of projects in environments with limited to no access, as well as qualitative approaches to capturing outcomes (e.g. most significant change, outcome harvesting) in complex settings.
  • Strong analytical abilities and demonstrated capacity to draw programmatic recommendations from data.
  • Proven experience in developing and working with data management systems, including databases, web-based tools or other MIS solutions; experience with mobile data collection technology and GIS a plus.
  • Proven ability to work productively with a variety of stakeholders to run participatory processes and meet tight deadlines with an emphasis on producing quality products.
  • Experience with a range of institutional donors such USAID, OFDA, ECHO, DFID and UN.
  • Excellent computer skills, including experience with: Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, SPSS, Access, SQL, and any other statistical packages.
  • Commitment to local capacity building and the ability to engage local stakeholders in the project design and implementation.
  • Previous experience living and working in challenging or insecure environments.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English. Kurdish or Arabic skills are a plus.
    SUCCESS FACTORS: The successful candidate will enjoy the process of learning and turning lessons into action. S/he will be process oriented and respect compliance regulations and yet work with a team in a flexible manner to reach the common goal of impactful programs. S/he will appreciate working with a diverse team in terms of nationality and technical expertise/capacity. The successful candidate will be able to multi-task and meet deadlines with impeccable quality. S/he will enjoy collective problem solving as well as enjoy independent work.

The successful candidate will find a sense of purpose and joy in the work s/he will be undertaking. The Mercy Corps Iraq team likes to laugh and a sense of humor will go a long way.**LIVING CONDITIONS/ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS:**

This position is based in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq and is unaccompanied. This location is eligible for hardship allowance and R&R breaks. Travel within Iraq is required to support Mercy Corps Iraq's offices and programs. This will include the Iraqi Kurdish Region, Center and South Iraq. Living conditions are in group housing: water, electricity and internet are present with some cuts.Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps' policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Apply Here


Apply Here

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.
  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Sulimaniyah | Baghdad
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Accounting (Audit, Controlling)
    • Accounting (Audit, Controlling)
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Management, Administration and Finance
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Closing Date: 2016-06-30

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