Program Development and Quality Director - Nigeria
About Mercy Corps
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
Mercy Corps has been present in Nigeria since 2012, focusing its interventions on humanitarian assistance, economic development, and conflict mitigation. With the ongoing insurgency in Northeast Nigeria causing the displacement of millions of individuals, Mercy Corps started its humanitarian response in 2014 to address the rising humanitarian needs. As the crisis has persisted, Mercy Corps’ strategy has also expanded to address the root causes of the conflict and seek to build the long term resilience of communities with integrated programs focusing on governance, the recovery of markets and livelihoods, social cohesion and social protection, youth empowerment, and local conflict management. The Nigeria country program has grown considerably over the last few years, and is now the fifth largest Mercy Corps country program, with a mixed grant & programming portfolio.
General Position Summary
The Program Development and Quality Director is a key position for Mercy Corps Nigeria, responsible for providing oversight of country and program level MEL systems and staff, ensuring the quality of the portfolio’s monitoring and evaluation, information management and knowledge/ communication. The Program Development and Quality Director’s role is to oversee and ensure coordination of these technical areas across the M&E, communications and reporting staff.
One of the Program Development and Quality Director’s key tasks will be to support the implementation of consistent standards, processes and practices of program management and to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of Mercy Corps’ programs. This includes PM@MC standards and training, ensuring gender integration, development of effective monitoring, learning and evaluation processes, oversight of capacity development strategy and process, providing support to programs at critical points in the development and implementation process while checking on program quality and impact.
He/she is also responsible for the capacity building and mentoring strategy for Mercy Corps Nigeria staff through support to the onboarding process that includes Adaptive Management and Community Mobilization. He/she will support all efforts to manage and share information and learnings across programming, ensuring reflection on research and assessments and incorporation into current and future program design.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Lead the development and implementation of the country-level MEL strategy, in alignment with Mercy Corps M&E standards and best practices. Ensure the MEL system and strategy feeds into broader country strategy.
- Lead the MEL country team in developing and maintaining a system that improves the country’s ability to analyze and represent impact to donors, government, colleague agencies, and communities themselves.
- Provide in-country program design, MEL and research planning as well as guide the incorporation of all best practices of MEL in proposal design stage for effective program management during implementation and up until award ends. High quality, utility focused evaluations must feed into program design, planning and strategy.
- Lead the development and implementation of a mission-level M&E recruitment, retention and capacity building strategy.
- Support the development of an Adaptive Management culture at mission-level, providing training and guidance in adaptive management techniques and decision-making.
- Provide leadership in ensuring the culture of learning in program management is understood by staff and part of impact, influence and innovation
Influence & Representation
- Represent Mercy Corps Nigeria in meetings and discussions on M&E and reporting issues with donors and partners.
- Communicate effectively to ensure overall program targets and donor obligations are accurately depicted and achieved.
- Identify and lead on high level fundraising opportunities for sustainable growth of country programs, including proposal development that fosters and/or improves the strategic objectives of the country strategy.
- Identify and seize opportunities to position Mercy Corps Nigeria as a lead agency in M&E practices.
- Ensure close coordination with the Implementing partners on M&E system development, ongoing monitoring, formative research and planning for baseline, midterm and final evaluations.
- Take on representation role on specific coordination forums.
- Manage country and program-level M&E staff to ensure that appropriate and timely technical support in monitoring, evaluation, program design, learning, accountability, quality assurance, and information management is provided to program teams.
- Provide leadership and oversight in designing individual, program-level logical frameworks and M&E systems that inform and improve each program, as well as provide feedback into the country-level log frame and strategy to ensure adherence to Mercy Corps’ standards, including the use of standardized indicators and documentation methodologies.
- Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain a robust MEL system, including training on Tola (digital tool developed by MC) and CommCare (ODK-based mobile data collection tool) and the periodic reflection and analysis of program monitoring data to disseminate learning.
- Serve as a resource for program staff, advising them on activity design, gathering of baseline data, evidence-based programming, developing and implementing M&E plans, and impact assessments.
- Develops high-impact data visualization applications to facilitate analysis and organizational learning.
- Coordinates high-level reporting on country-level indicators such as beneficiary numbers, design for impact indicators, cluster data and other information as needed.
- Coordinate with Mercy Corps’ HQ-based Technical Support Unit (TSU) to guide process of ex-ante, ex-post and midterm evaluation, from the design, implementation and documentation phases.
- Coordinate internal and external reviews and support/lead the analysis of findings, with a strong emphasis on learning.
- Identify, elaborate plans for, and lead opportunities for research initiatives and impact evaluations, feeding into program design and adaptive management strategies.
- Lead the development and implementation of a mission-level lessons learned mechanism, feeding into program design and adaptive management strategies.
- Lead the development and implementation of a mission-level quality checking system, based on regular field visits from M&E staff to program activities, and providing feedback and recommendations to relevant parties to improve program implementation.
- Ensure global standards for quality program monitoring and evaluation are followed and adopted by program teams.
- Lead logical framework design and M&E plan development for proposal development, and work with proposal writing teams to ensure that new program logic aligns with the country strategy as well as the global Mercy Corps M&E guidelines, including the Design for Impact Guide.
- Support communications and information sharing with staff by ensuring the production of updates, guidelines, briefings, and providing feedback on communications outputs – internally and externally.
- Design, create, and maintain briefings portfolio, program, sector, and cross-cutting theme factsheets targeting external stakeholders
MEL Systems Development & Design
- Lead on the development and/or roll-out of mobile data collection and data management tools, including TOLA.
- Ensure the set-up/implementation of harmonized MEL systems to more accurately collect, monitor, verify and document program activities.
- Collaborate closely with Program Directors/Managers and M&E staff in developing and establishing M&E systems that serve the needs of the Mercy Corps Nigeria portfolio of programming
- Identify and address shortfalls in monitoring, evaluation and information management that impact quality and affect program implementation.
- Support the development of M&E Plans, M&E tools, survey design, methodology, data analysis, and other services as may be required for program monitoring and evaluation.
- Ensure that monitoring systems meet the requirements of the donor and that performance results can be used for continuous improvement.
- In collaboration with TSU, develop/revise M&E tools and systems at mission-level with a protection and gender sensitive lens.
- Lead and oversee the quality of assessments in support of the design of new projects/programs.
- Build a cohesive team spirit and culture among staff and clearly delegate functions and responsibilities.
- Supervise, provide leadership, mentor and build the capacity of staff in program/project design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and management that creates a working atmosphere conducive to professional growth and development of excellence at all levels.
- Promote a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection of program data.
- Maintain effective and positive internal communication with Mercy Corps staff in all field offices, this includes ensuring open and harmonious communication all of the different departments, offices, and programs.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Contributes to the knowledge management repository with best practices in M&E and ensure that it is accessible to all staff and partners.
- Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
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 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.
Directly: MEL Managers, Grants & Reporting Manager, Knowledge & Communication Specialist, PM@MC Manager.
Reports Directly To: Country Director
Works Directly With: HQ TSU, Operations Director, Program Directors, Program Managers, HR Manager, Program Advisors, Consortium Partners, and support teams
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, or international development preferred.
- 5 to 7 years’ experience managing M&E operations, with a preference for field experience in Africa.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required.
- Fluent written and oral communication in English is required.
- Experience with theoretical and practical background in research or MEL and knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methodologies and techniques required.
- Experience with community participation in mapping and other M&E processes.
- Successful experience with the adoption of mobile data collections tools like Open Data Kit and Ona including XLSForm authoring, and GIS systems.
- Knowledge of major aspects of program development, implementation and documentation and excellent verbal and written communication skills required.
- Excellent quantitative skills and experience with Excel, Access, and statistical packages including Stata, R and GIS tools like QGIS, ArcGIS, and Google Earth Engine.
- Experience working with USAID, EC and DFID preferred.
- Experience with and commitment to capacity building required.
A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead a team and communicate effectively with team members and colleagues 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, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws and security protocols. 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. In Nigeria, patience, diplomacy, tenacity, compassion, determination and a sense of humor are all success factors.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The Program Development and Quality Director is based in the capital city Abuja. Housing, health care, water, electricity and consumer goods are all reasonably accessible and there are good international and domestic travel options from Abuja Airport. Air travel is necessary to reach some field locations. Mobile phones services are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices and Guest Houses with some inconsistencies in the most remote sites. This position requires travel by air and road to field offices.
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.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.