Developmental Evaluation Specialist, SAHEL - Niger
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, with partners 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
USAID’s Resilience in the Sahel Enhanced (RISE) II, the Sahel Development Partnership (SDP) and Bridge offer a pathway to maximize development outcomes in areas affected by recurrent, protracted and chronic shocks and stresses. As mutually reinforcing, multi-sector strategies, they underscore the imperative for diverse development and humanitarian stakeholders to work more closely together towards collective impact.
A sharp focus is needed on aligning these investments under a shared vision and coordinated approach. Strengthened collaboration through joint analysis, planning, and implementation—underpinned by iterative learning and frequent course correction through adaptive management—provide a compass for working together in a complexity-aware manner and bringing to life a portfolio of mutually reinforcing impact.
Mercy Corps, together with our partners Equal Access International and Tulane University, and with support from regional firm Niyel and Burkina Faso-based Centre pour la Gouvernance Démocratique, form the Sahel Collaboration and Communication Activity (SCC). SCC will operationalize a collaborative, complexity-aware way of working to harness RISE II, SDP and Bridge investments and complementary donor, community, government, and private sector efforts into a cohesive and impactful portfolio.
General Position Summary
The Developmental Evaluation (DE) Specialist is a key position in Mercy Corps’s approach to CLA for SCC to determine and meet emerging information needs of stakeholders over the course of program implementation. The DE Specialist will provide continuous real-time feedback using multiple evaluation approaches and ensures that learning processes are embedded across the program cycle. In addition to the core CLA functions, the Specialist is responsible for contributing to a Shared Measurement System, data collection and storage, data presentation and reporting, partner coordination, and capacity building.
The Specialist will be embedded in the SCC program team to guide the work of the MEL team, coordinate with implementing partner MEL units and research partners and work with technical and program teams to drive the use of CLA internally and across implementing partners. The Specialist will be responsible for helping stakeholders evaluate and learn in real-time, cultivating stakeholder support and engagement in learning and adapting lessons learned, as well as communicating and rigorously documenting progress around collective impact and collaboration for sharing and replication.
The developmental evaluator will have additional technical support from Mercy Corps HQ MEL team throughout the implementation of the program and will ultimately report to the Chief of Party and is also expected to interact closely with the CLA and Resilience Technical Leads, and to coordinate with Tulane University in addressing the Shared Learning Agenda.
Essential Job Responsibilities
The Developmental Evaluation Specialist will be responsible for the design and implementation of the DE including collecting and socializing compelling data regarding the use and value of adopting lessons learned.
Strategy & Vision
- Develop an evaluation strategy, focused on learning and collaboration to support SCC adapt as needed
- Coordinate with and/or orient other evaluation or data collection teams as necessary
- Participate in program management meetings and strategy sessions.
- Develop a living evaluation workplan for the life of the program, including agreed upon deliverables as well as key learning and dissemination events
- Lead and develop data collection systems and teams as necessary
- Develop plans to mentor and coach relevant staff to build their capacity to enable them to adopt recommendations and practices from lessons learned.
- Develop metrics to track the value of recommendations and make a case for adoptions of practices promoted as a result of evaluation findings
- Provide quality assurance of all deliverables, including regular intermediate report logs that track details of the DE and document all events that occur (i.e. planned, unplanned, and associated outcomes) and the final report for the program
- Conduct data analysis and present preliminary as well as final findings to all relevant stakeholders
- Engage all relevant stakeholders (leadership, implementor points of contact, researchers, etc.) at the beginning of the program
- Maintain working relationships with relevant stakeholders, providing regular workplan updates and strategic updates
Collaboration Cohort Management
- Facilitate conversations and strategic learning events with the Learning and Collaboration Cohort
- Engage member buy-in by presenting the business case for participation and adoption of recommendations
Team Capacity and Support
- 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.
- Play an active role in hiring, orienting and leading team members as necessary.
- 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.
- 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.
ICT/Database Coordinator, MEL Coordinator, Knowledge Management Coordinator
Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Research and Learning Manager (Tulane University), Technical Leads, Implementing Partner M&E and CLA staff
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/S or equivalent, preferably in business administration, public administration or international development. MA/S in Social Science, Organizational Theory/Behavior/Communications, International Development, or relevant field strongly preferred.
- 7-10 years of experience in the areas of program development and monitoring and evaluation, including relevant experience as an external evaluator
- Extensive technical knowledge, skills, and expertise in evaluation design, concepts, and approaches, and evaluating complexity, in particular;
- Facilitation skills, particularly related to programmatic and organizational learning;
- Familiarity with Developmental Evaluation, including skills such as;
- Respect for local stakeholders and partners, ethical research (maintains confidentiality and anonymity when required), flexibility, energy, humility, willingness to learn on the go, and ability to resolve conflicts.
- Strong analytical skills to support both qualitative and quantitative research
- Excellent oral and written communication skills in both English and French
- Must have extensive training skills and experience working with a variety of donors, including USAID.
- High degree of computer literacy; Excel and Word skills are essential.
- Ability to manage and meet deadlines.
- Ability to work independently on multi-task load.
- Excellent communication and organizational skills.
- Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.
The ideal candidate will have a strong curiosity for understanding and working effectively within the complex cultural, political, security and social environment of Niger. This person will be an excellent communicator, multi-tasker, and able to work in ambiguous situations. This person will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures. The successful candidate will be focused on team-building and capacity-building of national staff; be a strategic thinker, have strong skills in design monitoring and evaluation of development programs and maintain a sense of humor.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Niamey, Niger and it requires up to (insert %) travel to Burkina Faso and Senegal.
Briefly list security information, housing options, access to medical care, specific medical risks (such as epidemics), transportation options, and access to telecommunication as well as accompanied status and whether the position is eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits. Also, be sure to include exceptional work schedules (e.g., evenings and weekends required; 6-day workweek; etc.).
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.