Back Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) - FSNR Activities

Tags: finance English Environment

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

Since 2002, Mercy Corps has worked alongside Liberians to build pathways out of poverty, poor governance, and economic hardship. Mercy Corps’ interventions have evolved based on the context and needs of the Liberian people. Today, we are focused on the following areas: good governance, youth employment and market systems development, renewable energy, financial inclusion, and health and nutrition. We work closely with the Government of Liberia, the private sector, civil society, international and local NGOs to implement our programs in 10 of the 15 counties of Liberia. Mercy Corps is one of the foremost development actors in Liberia implementing strategic and systems driven programming.

Mercy Corps is planning to submit a bid in response to a USAID opportunity for Food Security, Nutrition and Resilience. This will be a $20 million, five-year activity with three objectives: 1) strengthening agricultural practices and on-farm processing capacity of targeted beneficiary groups; 2) diversifying livelihoods and increasing incomes, savings, access to financial services, land and agricultural equipment; and 3) improving market access and year-round availability, accessibility and the utilization of nutritious food by households in targeted communities.

The objectives of the activity will be achieved through increased sustainable agricultural production and productivity by smallholder farmers, subsistence farmers, agriculture cooperatives, and women and youth groups. Potential value chains for this activity include vegetables, fruits, mini-livestock, poultry, small ruminant, rice, cassava, integrated rice-fish and vegetables, aquaculture, and a variety of high-value crops (e.g. cocoa, coffee, oil palm, etc.). The Activity will be implemented in rural and peri-urban communities within USAID/Liberia's zone of influence (Lofa, Bong, Nimba, Margibi, Grand Bassa, and Montserrado).

The Position

Mercy Corps is seeking a Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Manager to provide overall leadership, coordination, and technical supervision for all MEL aspects of the FSNR Activity. This key personnel position is expected to start around October 2022 and is expected to last through the life of the project (5 years).

Essential Responsibilities

TECHNICAL LEADERSHIP

Develop, set-up, and oversee the program MEL system, including Activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan (AMELP) and research plans, MEL tools and technology, instrument design, data collection methodology and processes, data and information management systems, and data analysis to assess and share the impact of the program. Align the AMELP with Mercy Corps’ Global MEL Policy and Program Management Policy. Ensure the program uses the necessary MEL systems and tools to inform, improve, and feed into broader country-level MEL systems and strategy. Take the lead in aligning, collecting, analyzing, and reporting on program indicators (e.g., performance, operational, context, etc.) and community accountability and response mechanisms through the program’s MEL systems, including consortium partner systems, and other external systems as relevant. Support teams in collecting sex and age disaggregated data and using gender sensitive, socially inclusive, and digital data collection methods to understand and respond to program results with diverse audiences, decision makers, and stakeholders. Lead development and operationalization of the program’s collaboration, learning, and adaptation strategy. Strengthen team capacity for collaboration, learning, and adaptation (CLA) including creating a culture of learning and systems thinking to stimulate an adaptive, iterative management approach. Lead the integration of community accountability and reporting mechanisms into the MEL system design. Design and facilitate regular, strategic planning sessions and learning events, assisting FSNR in a learning journey as well as development of its annual plans. Present program M&E results, research, and learning to external stakeholders and the program team in a way that influences decision-makers and promotes adaptations from learning.

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT

Ensure that the MEL systems meet the data, evidence, and learning needs of the program and help address shortfalls in MEL, CLA, and data management that affect program implementation. Ensure adherence to Mercy Corps’ MEL Policy, including the use of TolaData, adherence to Mercy Corps’ Program Record Retention Policy and Responsible Data Policy, and regular Data Quality Assessments. Develop program and operational reporting templates that facilitate the acquisition, aggregation and flow of information and learning within the program as well as externally. Maintain a comprehensive reporting and accountability schedule as well as review program reports to ensure that reports contain accurate, clear, and high-quality data and presented in the proper format.

TEAM MANAGEMENT AND CAPACITY

Oversee program MEL staff and subcontractors, such as external evaluators and enumerators. Build the capacity of all relevant program and partner team members to develop and maintain an excellent MEL system and CLA practices, including regular reflection and analysis of program quantitative and qualitative data. Strengthen linkages with other internal resources, including the Digital Library, Hub, and Workplace, to enhance organizational learning where relevant to MEL. Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

ACCOUNTABILITY TO BENEFICIARIES

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

Supervisory Responsibility

MEL staff, Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanism (CARM) Officer, and contractors

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Chief of Party

Works Directly With: DCOPs/Technical leads, other program staff, finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit, and consortium partners.

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 field projects.

Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

5-7 years of work experience managing MEL work at a program or country level, including supervising staff. BA/S degree in degree in statistics, economics, monitoring and evaluation, development studies or other relevant fields required. Postgraduate degree preferred. Direct experience working on MEL for agriculture, food security, nutrition, and/or resilience programs is required. Prior experience working on MEL in alignment with the U.S. Feed the Future (FtF) monitoring requirements is strongly preferred. Demonstrated ability to develop, manage and implement project M&E systems, including relevant performance indicators, baselines, and annual targets and ensure compliance to USAID and FtF requirements. Demonstrated ability to supervise the collection and analysis of data and reporting on performance indicators by other team members and project counterparts. Demonstrated ability to oversee project reporting, data collection and management, and indicator documentation in alignments with the activities approved Annual Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan. Experience of working on USAID programs and working in West Africa, preferably in Liberia. Professional proficiency in written and spoken English.

Success Factors

The successful MEL Manager will combine exceptional management skills, high technical capacity and experience in maintaining donor and partner relationships. They will have an outstanding ability to develop, implement and manage innovative programs within the current and future program structure of Mercy Corps in the region. They will also have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to outstanding program performance, 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

The MEL Manager is based in Monrovia. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. Staff have good access to services such as regular electricity, and water, etc., but medical care in the country is limited. International schools are available. This position requires up to 40% of travel to field offices in secure environments. This position is not eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside 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.

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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