Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Advisor- Mali

Monitoring and Evaluation Bamako, Mali


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
The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team enhances Mercy Corps’ ability to deliver high impact programming by supporting the generation and use of high quality data for decision-making. It forms a critical component of the broader agency Strategy and Learning Initiative that seeks to drive greater evidence-based decision-making for greater program impact and accountability. The MEL team works directly with agency leadership – in country and at headquarters – to strengthen MEL by positioning it as a strategic functional area that is a critical mechanism for learning and is a part of good business practice for the agency. The team represents Mercy Corps externally to ensure our experience helps shape the relief and development field and to ensure that Mercy Corps keeps abreast of developments in donor and peer agency approaches to monitoring and evaluation.

General Position Summary
The MEL Advisor role is a field-based position meant to support the Mali MEL team in the design and implementation of sound M&E systems, including the Tola roll out (a digital tool for data collection and management), better use of data for decision making, training of both capital and field-based M&E staff in assessment methodology, and strengthening of inter- and intra-departmental coordination. The role is designed to support core program performance requirements (e.g., indicators and program design, program quality, and program management principles, adaptive management). The position will include close engagement with country-level M&E staff, program managers and country and regional leadership, assessment of the current state of M&E, and training of staff in adopting M&E best practices.  The MEL Advisor will need to engage with both capital and field-based team members to nurture and help develop an effective, impact-driven leadership culture across the country.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Assess and Improve M&E and Program Performance Related Practices

  • Conduct MEL/Program Performance gap assessments covering specific M&E activities, processes and tools in Mali. Based on assessment findings, begin development of a long-term rollout/training plan and strategy in coordination with country leadership.
  • Work with the Bamako-based DM&E Manager to develop and implement indicidualized Action Plans to ensure more systematic data collection, management and analysis
  • Work with Bamako-based DM&E Manager to strengthen links and coordination between the capital and field-based MEL teams, working to ensure that all MEL team members understand the roles and responsibilities of M&E and can carry out their duties effectively.
  • Conduct field-based training and capacity assessments in the individual sub-offices (should security permit) alongside the DM&E Manager, working to strengthen the implementation of sound M&E systems all across all areas of intervention
  • Lead the re-launch of TolaData rollout and adoption in Mali, which includes: program identification and selection; program readiness assessment and support; training and capacity building; and post-training user support and adoption/institutionalization;
  • Serve as the TolaData Focal Point for Mali, working closely with the DM&E Manager, Program Managers, field team members, and country leadership
  • Ensure that appropriate and adequate reporting and accountability mechanisms are in-place at all levels within the country to ensure longterm, sustainable adoption and usage of TolaData
  • Liaise with Regional and HQ team members, including but not limited to: readiness support, training, and regular check-in meetings; and manage and contribute to country/regional level status reports and accountability metrics on TolaData usage and adoption.

Program Support

  • Work with M&E staff, Program Managers and support teams on building a culture of adaptive management, evidence and learning in Mali, and supporting better overall performance of the country team in these areas.
  • Conduct initial orientations and on-boarding of new program staff (esp. M&E, program managers, and country leaders) – promote tools like DIG, M&E tools, and PM@MC.
  • Be trained PM@MC facilitators and provide backstop for in-country trainings, and support in specific PM@MC topics as needed.
  • Conduct PM@MC gap analyses with PM@MC specialists, and help Mercy Corps Mali develop action plans for correcting gaps, and developing plans for monitoring adherence to PM&MC minimum standards.
  • Engage with DCD/CD and RPDs on leadership issues related to monitoring and evaluation and the relationship between M&E and program quality – including use of indicators.
  • Conduct program quality reviews including implementation quality, meeting of minimum standards, quality of M&E data collection and analysis.
  • Assist Mercy Corps Mali’s teams in making better use of M&E data to better contribute to evidence-based learning at all levels.

Organizational Learning and Capacity Building

  • Coach DM&E Manager and other MEL staff with aim of strengthening both technical and managerial capacity.
  • Support DM&E Manager in creation and implementation of workplans (weekly, monthly and project-specific) so as to better prioritize tasks and ensure a pro-active approach to data collection and project monitoring
  • 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.
  • Contribute to the establishment of an effecitve complaints, accountability and response mechanism (CARM) to enhance feedback, trust and confidence with program participants. Identify areas  of  Mercy Corps work  which  need  to  be  improved  and  ensure  that  Mercy Corps  learns  from  the  feedback  provided  through this   

Supervisory Responsibility

DM&E Manager


Reports Directly To: Country Director, Deputy Country Director

Works Directly With: Program Managers, PaQ, Regional Program Director, Regional Country M&E Managers and Country Leadership

Knowledge and Experience

  • 5 to 7 years of experience working in international relief and development programs, with at least four years focused on providing M&E technical support to field programs, and at least three years working overseas preferred. Experience in West Africa a strong asset.
  • BA in international development or other relevant social science and MA preferred.
  • Demonstrated skill with MEL and program design, including assessments, proposal development, indicator selection and M&E planning.
  • Demonstrated skill and experience with facilitating MEL and program design processes, logical frameworks, theories of change, and overall program logic.
  • Experienced in training and capacity-building in person and remotely and fostering a collaborative relationship with field practitioners and management,
  • Experience with data analysis and presentation using Excel, Access, and advanced data analysis and visualization packages. Additional software and technical skills (databases, mobile technology, GIS, and statistical packages) preferred.
  • Experience designing practical and effective monitoring systems, including data and database management systems.
  • Strong communication skills; able to work in person and remotely with a geographically dispersed and culturally distinct teams
  • Fluency in French and proficiency in English required; proficiency in local languages (Bambara, Fulani) a strong asset

Success Factors

The successful candidate should be a strong team player, with good communication and diplomatic skills.  S/He should be able to facilitate complex team dynamics and achieve aims, have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, good organizational skills and ability to work independently, with a strong commitment to advancing learning in international development through monitoring and evaluation.  S/he should be active within the M&E and learning community and have strong relationship-building skills and commitment to working collaboratively.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Bamako, Mali, but may require some travel to field bases inside Mali should security permit. International travel may be to insecure and/or remote locations.
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.