Country MEL Manager - Khartoum, Sudan
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 Manager role is a Khartoum-based position meant to support the Sudan MEL team in the design and implementation of sound M&E systems, including the Tola roll out (an online platform for indicator tracking, data management and report generation), better use of data for decision making, training of both Khartoum 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., 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 Manager will need to engage with both Khartoum and field-based team members to nurture and help develop an effective, impact-driven leadership culture across the country.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Develop country MEL strategy, provide leadership to field offices in developing individual program level M&E systems that inform and improve each program, as well as feed into the broader nation-wide M&E system and country strategy.
- Lead and develop a country M&E team and also assist the M&E officers assigned to each program 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.
- Participate in country management meetings and country-wide strategy sessions.
Assess and Improve M&E STRUCTURES
- Conduct MEL/Program Performance gap assessments covering specific M&E activities, processes and tools in Sudan. Based on assessment findings, begin development of a long-term rollout/training plan and strategy in coordination with country leadership.
- Work with the field based MEL Officers and Gender Advisors to develop and implement individualized Action Plans to ensure more systematic data collection, management and analysis
- Work with field based MEL Officers and Gender Advisors to strengthen links and coordination between Khartoum 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 alongside the field based MEL Senior Officers, working to strengthen the implementation of sound M&E systems all across all areas of intervention.
- Lead the TolaData rollout and adoption in Sudan, 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 Sudan, working closely with the Senior MEL Officers, MEL Officers, 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 long-term, 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 Management Support
- Work with M&E staff, Program Managers and support teams on building a culture of adaptive management, evidence and learning in Sudan, and supporting better overall performance of the country team in these areas.
- Conduct initial orientations and onboarding of new program staff (esp. M&E, program managers, and country leaders) – promote tools like DIG, M&E tools, and PM@MC.
- Lead and support PM@MC compliance 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 Sudan develop action plans for correcting gaps, and developing plans for monitoring adherence to PM&MC minimum standards.
- Conduct program quality reviews including implementation quality, meeting of minimum standards, quality of M&E data collection and analysis.
M&E System Development
- Lead efforts to establish an M&E unit working out of Khartoum that will facilitate M&E for all programs and collaborate closely with Program Managers in developing and establishing of the M&E system, one that serves the needs of the overall of the country portfolio and its field officers.
- Support all country programs’ independent M&E efforts to ensure high quality M&E at the program level as well as build a nationwide system that captures and presents results at a national level.
- Design and maintain an M&E system with utility and program quality in mind, providing managers and their teams real time information that can steer program implementation as well as informing donors and strategic program direction and that helps strategize future program interventions.
- Work with senior management to address shortfalls in M&E that affect program implementation and conduct internal DQAs.
Grants/ Reports Management
- Regularly conduct project site visits to provide hands-on training to field staff on how to capture and organize information for accurate documentation and reporting.
- Assist the program implementation team in timely and accurate reporting to donors.
- Coordinate with a variety of teams, HQ, Finance, and Program Directors and Country Director to ensure that reports are timely, high-quality, and responsive to donors.
- Lead the national team capacity building through coaching in report writing and quality control of final written products.
Monitoring and Evaluation/ Assessments
- Lead in designing and budgeting for programs to incorporate adequate provisions for assessments and evaluations
- Lead the design, implementation and supervision of all assessments and evaluations, including those commissioned by donors and/or consortia partners
- Develop approaches and mechanisms for developing the capacity of a national team members to support internal evaluations.
- Support recruitment, orientation and supervision of all M&E staff
- Develop the capacity of the M&E team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
- 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.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
Organizational Learning and Capacity Building
- 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 process.
Senior MEL Officers (Kadugli and Nyala) and M&E Officers (Kosti and Kassala)
Reports Directly to: Deputy Country Director
Works Directly with: Country Director, 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 Sudan 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 English required; proficiency in Arabic a strong asset
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 Khartoum, Sudan, and will require travel to field bases. Housing allowance will be provided.
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.