Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Specialist - Ein Issa ,Syria
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
Syria is in the midst a major humanitarian crisis impacting the entire country as well as a number of neighboring countries. OCHA estimates that in 2019 11,7 million people continue to be in need of humanitarian assistance across the country, including 5 million acutely in need. The main thrust of the work of Mercy Corps along with its national and international partners for the foreseeable future will be primarily focused on meeting urgent humanitarian needs across the country while building resilience and social cohesion elements in its programming strategy With a large and complex portfolio of work across the country, including a large footprint and team operating in the North East of Syria, Mercy Corps has established itself as an analytical, strategic and flexible responder, adapting continually to shifting front lines and operational realities to respond effectively and efficiently through multiple modalities with teams inside Syria and working cross-border from neighboring countries.
GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY
Pending funding, the Monitoring Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Specialist will lead the MEL activities under Mercy Corps’ potential new multimillion grant funded by FFP/OFDA. The main role of MEL specialist is to provide overall leadership to the design and implementation of the MEL system for this grant. This primarily includes strong support for the development of effective monitoring, learning and evaluation processes, providing support to programs during key project development, implementation and learning moments, assessing program quality and impact through a variety of different techniques as well as accountability to beneficiaries. S/he will support on MEL related reporting by preparing well-structured comprehensive and analytical reports, including the evaluations, PDMs and assessment reports etc. The MEL Specialist will generate quantitative and qualitative analysis of the program performance and will coordinate with the programs team to ensure best practices and lesson learnt are captured and implemented properly.
ESSENTIAL JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
MEL System Design and Innovation
- Understand, maintain and innovate a MEL system for FFP/OFDA grant that ensures program team’s ability to inform program implementation, analyses data, and represent impact to donors, government, colleague agencies, and communities themselves.
- Design, adapt and update logframe, indicator, MEL plans, and indicator tracking tables to match strategic program priorities and reporting requirements.
- Ensure baseline, midline and end line for the program are structured with clear ToR and methodology. Develop necessary quantitative and qualitative tools and sampling strategies, lead on data analysis and reports write up.
- Develop evaluation ToR.
- Ensure all relevant program staff are able to utilize the system to analyze program information and results, including Mercy Corps’ data management system (TOLA data).
- Document MEL system contents, ToRs and update manuals for smooth functioning.
- Support in revising MEL Strategy for the grant.
- Conduct Data Quality Assessments (DQAs) and review information being collected in the MEL system regularly in order to locate and fix problems with information collection or integrity.
Implement MEL System and Tools
- Work as part of a team to facilitate and support MEL operations including planning, baseline and end line surveys, regular monitoring, data collection and analysis, feedback and weekly reporting according to the MEL work plan.
- Coordinate with field team and program management to implement MEL system and tools effectively, ensuring adequate resource and work planning.
- Build capacity of the team on data collection tools and supervise data collection process for the program.
- Follow-up with relevant stakeholders on agreed upon system corrections, adjustments and actions, informing and strategizing with the PaQ Manager. Updating the MEL work plan as necessary.
- Ensure field teams always have the most recent version of all MEL tools and documents.
- Lead the MEL reporting by preparing well-structured comprehensive and analytical reports, including the evaluations, PDMs and assessment reports.
- Lead on writing the MEL section updates in all monthly/quarterly donor reports.
- Ensure all programs are reporting accurate beneficiaries’ numbers as per provided guidelines and establish systems to report SADD data.
- Perform thorough analyses (mainly quantitative, and also qualitative). These analyses are expected to inform the programs department about current indicators’ status as well as any factor that may be contributing or hindering the achievement of impact indicators.
- Act as a link between MEL system processes/results and reporting, feeding information to online systems to help ensure accurate information is incorporated into all reports and information products.
- Based on analytical findings, advise the PaQ Manager and Management team on how certain program changes or additions might affect the program’s objectives.
- Review or edit information in reports as requested and required.
- Produce analytical summaries: graphs, charts, and tables as requested to fulfill reporting requirements.
- In collaboration with programs team, ensure that Success Stories are collected, finalized and shared.
Staff Management and Capacity Building
- Agree staff development and performance plans for team and timely conduct performance review and feedback sessions.
- Train field team/partners on qualitative and quantitative data collection tools, and other processes as required.
- Identify capacity gaps and schedule relevant capacity building events for all MEL staff.
- Support M&E field officers on conducting trainings for M&E field assistants, and program field team.
- Follow up on trainings by mentoring staff/partners to develop identified technical skills one-on-one.
- Assist the team in improving MEL initiative by identifying good practices, field tested lessons learned, and creative recommendations; share with and encourage staff to incorporate these in their daily work.
Learning and Reflection
- Ensure that FFP/OFDA program is actively capturing lessons learnt and best practices and are being incorporated in program design and development.
- Facilitate periodic reflection sessions across all programs and promote culture of self-learning and efficient planning.
- Make sure that MEL findings and analysis are shared and accessible online.
- Facilitate monthly progress review and planning meetings under the said grant with the relevant Program teams.
Coordination and Support to Other NES Programs and MEL Team
- Ensure adequate collaboration with PAQ Manager and NES team for MEL across all grants and to maximize resource efficiencies and learning opportunities.
- Support for any other task assigned by supervisor whenever needed.
Code of Conduct
- Ensure all field and office based activities are conducted in full respect to the humanitarian principles and in organized and dignified way.
- Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission.
- Maintain oversight of access provisions to ensure Mercy Corps’ continued ability to access our most vulnerable and hard-to-reach beneficiaries;
- Stay abreast of political and military dynamics across NES and Syria in general by regularly reviewing the Humanitarian Access Team and other Advisors’ analysis of security to feedback on current and future program setups;
- Coordinate with the Area Director on crucial events, high-risk periods and incident reporting.
- 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.
1 MEL officer and 2 MEL assistants
Reports Directly to: PaQ Manager
Works Directly with: NES MEL Team, WoS PaQ Team - FSL TA, Gender and Protection TA, IMS Team, Area Director of Programs, Humanitarian Director, Program Managers, Grants Manager, Security Manager
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE
- Bachelor’s degree in research methods, social sciences, economics, epidemiology, related education sector or other relevant field required; and an advanced degree is a plus.
- Minimum 4 years of experience in similar positions with an international organization
- Experience in digital data gathering platforms (Ona, Survey CTO, KOBO, ComeCare etc)
- Minimum 4 years’ experience in planning, monitoring and evaluation of projects/programs (designing logframes, Indicator plans, evaluations, assessments).
- Minimum 4 years’ experience in working with quantitative and qualitative data (survey designs, sampling, data analysis).
- Proven experience in remote data collection and data management.
- Proven report/research writing skills are required (an evidence of previous writing samples might be requested).
- Demonstrated experience in working with FFP/OFDA grants/projects would be an advantage.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required, proficiency in Arabic preferred.
- Proficiency with the following is required: Excel, Access, and statistical packages including Stata, R or SPSS.
- Experience in qualitative data analysis software is a plus.
- Experience with GIS tools like QGIS, ArcGIS or Google Earth Pro is and advantage.
The successful MEL Specialist will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, demonstrated attention to detail, and will be committed to working with Mercy Corps stakeholders. S/he will be highly motivated, and capable to work with very minimum direct supervision. S/he will have the ability to work under pressure, willingness and ability to quickly learn new information/concepts and implement them and will be a strong team player with initiative and positive attitude towards problem solving. The successful candidate will possess a learning approach to work with excellent capacity building skills, attention to detail and patience to double check data results. S/he will be a self-starter, multi-tasker, solution-seeker and innovator.
Living Conditions/Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Ein Issa, Syria and requires up to 50% travel to other locations in North East Syria. The role is unaccompanied and housing is in group housing in an austere environment. The team member must follow all security protocols at all times. This position is eligible for R&R breaks and hardship.
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.