Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Manager - Baghdad, Iraq
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
Mercy Corps works in places of transition, where conflict, disaster, political upheaval, or economic collapse present opportunities to build more secure, productive, and just communities. Providing emergency relief in times of crisis, we move quickly to help communities recover and build resilience to future shocks, and promote sustainable change by supporting community-led and market-driven initiatives. Recognizing both the great potential and the complex challenges faced by the Middle East, since 1989 Mercy Corps has been implementing a range of humanitarian assistance and development programs tailored to the specific needs of the region and of those communities where we work.
Since 2003, Mercy Corps has been working to pave the way for a new Iraq. We continue to deliver emergency, life-saving assistance to conflict affected populations while also addressing longer term needs and underlying causes. Ongoing cycles of conflict have resulted in millions of people displaced, basic infrastructure destroyed, livelihoods disrupted, and deepening divisions within communities. Since our work began, we’ve provided support to more than 5 million people affected by war, violence, and displacement.
Mercy Corps has worked across Iraq’s 18 governorates since 2003, implementing relief and development programming, more than a third of which has focused on the specific needs of refugees and displaced persons. Mercy Corps Iraq current goal is to work with new and existing civil society, public and private sector partners to meet immediate and long-term needs by strengthening communities’ ability to rebuild amidst increasing crisis.
General Position Summary
The MEL Manager plays a senior, leading role in Mercy Corps Iraq’s Program Performance and Quality (PAQ) Department. He/she provides technical leadership to advance Mercy Corps’ principles, policies and best practices in monitoring, evaluation and learning, through the provision of guidance, tools, resources, capacity building and technology.
S/he will be responsible for cross-cutting programmatic data and information management, monitoring and evaluation, ensuring that information is collected is reflected upon, used to improve ongoing programs, and is incorporated consistently into high quality reports and proposal development.
The MEL Manager will ensure that MEL systems are in place, robust and effectively used in coordination with the Heads of Sectors and PAQ Director. In coordination with sector managers, program managers and other team members, s/he will be responsible for developing, coordinating, maintaining, constantly augmenting and improving the MEL systems for the programmatic sector(s) and geographical areas overseen.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- As needed, support on design and budgeting for MEL in proposals
- Initiate and oversee quantitative assessments in areas of responsibility
- Design assessment tools and protocols for the specific programmatic sectors and programs directly overseen
- Support Program Managers and Heads of Sector to produce Program Work Plans that include all MEL activities
- Support Program Managers and Heads of Sector to establish folders for each program indicator that are structured to store all raw and cleaned datasets/evidence, survey tools, analysis workbooks, etc.
- As needed, support Program Managers and Heads of Program to keep MEL files up-to-date.
- Support and guide Senior MEL Officers to deliver quality MEL in areas of responsibility
- Ensure that all personally identifiable information (PII) collected as part of a program overseen is stored safely and only accessible to necessary staff.
- Provide guidance to all staff members with access to PII on their responsibilities on data protection.
- Ensure consent is documented as part of all data-collection exercises, where needed.
- Work with Program Managers and Heads of Program to hire research and MEL consultants
- Support Program Managers and Heads of Program to document lessons learned
- Support PAQ Director to ensure clear SOPs are in place for MEL activities
- Conduct and document semi-annual data-quality assessments (DQAs) for program directly overseen.
- Work with Program Managers and Heads of Programs to produce Scopes of Work (SOWs) for mid-term, final evaluations, special studies, and assessments as needed
- For Complex Programs, support HQ and/or Regional MEL to conduct annual DQAs for 2-4 indicators
- Ensure timely reporting to external parties (including JPMI/REACH) of price monitoring data and other assessment data, as needed.
- Support Program Managers and Heads of Program with input (indicator figures) to donor reports
- Work with Senior MEL Officers to establish and maintain a roster of enumerators for data-collection activities for each of the locations overseen.
Community Accountability and Reporting
- Support team directly overseen to ensure they carry out their duties in regard to CARMs
- Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Oversee and support the MEL Officer(s) in carrying out their tasks in the area of responsibility.
- Recruit and hire quality human resources.
- Conduct in-country program orientation and onboarding on MEL.
- Hold MEL orientation/training for staff.
- Conduct training on TolaData for Program Managers and Heads of Program and MEL staff.
- Coordinate the creation of department workplans.
- 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, promote and sustain a work environment of mutual respect and encouragement 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 the relevant security policies and protocols.
- 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 Participants
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our participants and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging participant communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Directly line-manage Senior MEL Officers and Senior Data Officer(s). Indirectly: a team of MEL staff, including MEL Officers, MEL Assistants, and Data Officer(s).
Reports Directly To: Program Performance and Quality Director
Works Directly With: PAQ Department, Program teams, Operations/Logistics, Security, HR, Finance
Knowledge and Experience
● BA/S or equivalent in International Development or a related field required; coursework in research and evaluation methodologies and statistical analysis is preferred.
● 5 years of active M&E work experience in humanitarian and transitional developmental programming required, understanding of complex programs required; ideal candidate will have both theoretical and practical background in M&E and skilled in qualitative and quantitative M&E methodologies and techniques including rapid appraisal techniques and remote monitoring of projects in environments with limited to no access.
● Experience managing a team and remote management experience beneficial.
● Previous experience living and working in challenging or insecure environments.
● Demonstrated experience with designing projects and indicators as part of successful project start up and ensuring they are kept relevant throughout the project lifecycle.
● Experience with data management including the ability to structure and collate large data sets for ease of analysis.
● Ability to manage quantitative data while not losing sight of the bigger picture and meaning
● Proven ability to work productively with a variety of stakeholders to run participatory processes and meet tight deadlines with an emphasis on producing quality products.
● Experience with a range of institutional donors such as ECHO, GAC, GIZ, USAID/OFDA, BPRM, SIDA and DFID.
● Excellent computer skills, including experience with: Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, SPSS, Access, SQL, and any other statistical packages.
● Experience developing and using mobile-based data collection monitoring systems and dashboards or willingness to learn.
● Commitment to local capacity building and the ability to engage local stakeholders in the project implementation and monitoring.
● Fluency in spoken and written English is required.
The successful candidate will have an ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a technical advisory and training capacity and will also have an ability to support programmatic objectives with timely and meaningful information. A demonstrated ability to multi-task, meet deadlines and process information in support of changing program activities is essential, as is an impeccable, professional standard of M&E and reporting and a willingness and ability to ensure compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures. Multi-tasker with the proven ability to organize and prioritize competing priorities. Proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results. Demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members of varied experiences and work styles, follow procedures, and meet deadlines, The MEL Manager must be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps project sites.
Living /Environmental Conditions
This position is based in Baghdad, Iraq and is unaccompanied. This location is eligible for hardship allowance and R&R breaks. Travel within Iraq is required to support Mercy Corps Iraq’s offices and programs. Living conditions are in group housing: water, electricity and internet are present with some cuts.
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.