Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Advisor - Uganda
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.
For the past 13 years, Mercy Corps has applied market-driven solutions to communities across Uganda, equipping individuals and households with knowledge, skills and confidence to generate improvements in their access to markets, livelihoods, health and nutrition, security and their overall resilience. In 2018, we operated in 26 districts, stretching across northern agro-pastoral and pastoral regions bordering South sudan and Kenya, and further into central Uganda including major urban areas such as Kampala. With a burgeoning youth population, our programs have expanded to incorporate a youth and gender lens to ensure vulnerable populations, such as adolescent girls, are provided with economic growth opportunities.
Mercy Corps Uganda has ten offices across the country, and around 300 staff. From the Kampala office, we provide support to our program and supporting function teams in sub-offices.
GENERAL POSITION SUMMARY:
The MERL Advisor will provide support to the technical design of M&E for Mercy Corps programs, and will focus on ensuring that MC Uganda has appropriate systems in place to ensure that M&E is in place and functioning optimally to provide an evidence base on which to base programmatic decisions and adaptive management. The MERL advisor will help identify ways in which to build the pipeline for senior level MEL staff within the Uganda office, to build capacity and grow MEL talent within our team. S/he will also assist with the recruitment of a strong national MEL Manager, and build his/her capacity so that they are in a position to continue central level MEL support after this short term assignment ends. The MEL Advisor will facilitate the design, set-up and implementation of standard M&E processes in close collaboration with Program Managers and M&E staff to ensure M&E data is used to drive evidence-based programming. This includes defining project logic, indicators, and methodologies while bringing best practices to these key areas. The MERL Advisor will also provide support to the establishment and piloting of a Community Accountability and Response Mechanism, in coordination with the internal risks team. The post holder will build internal capacity to constantly improve systems and data quality, as well as work with the Deputy Country Director to implement these systems.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
- Provides leadership to ensure all active programs maintain logical frameworks and monitoring plans per Mercy Corps’ Program Management Minimum Standards to measure program output, outcomes and impact against goals and indicators.
- Supports Program Managers and MEL focal points to design quality information collection strategies that inform a country-wide system and information management platform.
- Designs and promotes strong feedback loops within programs and across sectors to enable iterative program design and management.
- Examines program indicators across all sectors, standardizing and refining based on application, in coordination with Mercy Corps’ global standards and post 2015 Sustainability Goals.
- Provides guidance and recommendations on data collection, measurement and sampling methodologies to ensure quality data is collected and applied.
- Develops data collection tools and templates, including assessments, baselines, monitoring forms, and final evaluations.
- Leads design and implementation of final program evaluations and research studies that help to identify the drivers of impact.
- Collaborates across programs to strengthen program management feedback loops to inform iterative programming.
Capacity Building and Mentoring
- Develops program staff and partner capacity building strategy that promotes a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection.
- Provides training and mentoring in survey design, methodology, data collection and analysis and other skills as required for assessing the impact of programs.
- Work closely with Program Managers, DCD, and Finance to ensure that MEL skills are incorporated and budgeted into all new programs.
- Contributes to the knowledge management repository with best practices in MEL and ICT and ensure that it is accessible to all staff and partners.
Community Accountability and Response Mechanism
- Works with the DCD and Internal Risk team to establish SOPs for CARM at MC Uganda
- Support the roll out of CARM to our programs, iteratively improving the system so that it responds to needs
- Works with communication focal point to develop visibility materials for use within our programs
- Ensures CARM mechanism is backed up with good information management system to ensuring tracking of cases and response in a timely manner
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 Beneficiaries: Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards 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, M&E of our field projects.
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY & ACCOUNTABILITY:
REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Deputy Country Director
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Regional MEL Advisor,Program Managers, MEL Focal Points
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
- Postgraduate degree in development studies, research methods, statistics, economics, social sciences, monitoring and evaluation, project management or other relevant field required.
- 5 years relevant professional experience, including at least three years working in M&E.
- Experience as MEL Advisor or equivalent (MEL Manage, Director etc) at country level in other Mercy Corps offices.
- Knowledge of major aspects of program development, implementation and documentation and excellent verbal and written communication skills required.
- Significant experience in training and capacity building of staff and implementing partner agencies.
- Successful experience with the adoption of mobile data collections tools like Open Data Kit and Ona including XLSForm authoring.
- Experience with a range of data management systems such as Commcare and visualisation tools such as PowerBi or Tableau.
- Experience with data management including the ability to structure and collate data sets for ease of analysis.
- Demonstrated understanding of intermediate statistics and ability to summarize and make predictions from multiple data sets.
The post holder will have strong organizational skills and the ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel. S/he will have excellent communication skills, both verbal and written, and a demonstrated ability to multi-task and process information into action. The successful candidate will have proven experience working with a cross-cultural team and possess strong capacity building and mentoring skills that promotes a culture of learning. They will demonstrate a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, and make effective communication a priority in all situations.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is based in Kampala with 35% travel to West Nile, Acholi and Karamoja.. When in the field the team member will need to able to work in remote settings and possibly over weekends and/or evening as required by the schedule.
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.