Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Lead - Kenya
*This position is pending funding and donor approval
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 anticipates applying for funding for a five-year USAID Food for Peace (FFP) Activity to support agriculturalists, agro-pastoralists, and pastoral households living in Northern Kenya. The program will contribute to the goal of achieving food security in the target counties in Kenya, through integrated interventions in community level governance, preventing chronic malnutrition, sanitation and hygiene and sustainable livelihoods.
General Position Summary
The MEL Lead will provide technical expertise and leadership to generate and analyze quality evidence and data through monitoring, assessments, and evaluations to a five-year, multi-million dollar USAID/Food for Peace funded Development Food Security Activity (DFSA). S/he will manage staff, resources and coordinate closely with partners to fulfill the M&E requirements of the program as well as promote evidenced-based decision-making, adaptive management, and a culture of learning.
Essential Job Responsibilities
MEL Management and Leadership
- Work closely with the Chief of Party to ensure that program deliverables are being met according to established plans.
- Sit on the program board and provide advice and guidance to ensure the program is on time, on scope, and on budget.
- Plan and lead all MEL activities. Set-up and oversee the MEL system, including all tools and data collection processes.
- Supervise all sub-contractors involved in data collection activities, including routine monitoring systems, annual surveys, evaluations, and review their standards for data collection.
- Update MEL and project management systems to reflect program progress and needs; ensure proper usage of these systems by program staff.
- Perform advanced analysis of program quantitative and qualitative data. Present analysis and periodic reporting in consultation with technical staff.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance, impact, and reach.
Data Quality and Management
- Develop and implement Data Management Plan, including data flow diagrams, Standard Operating Procedures, Data Quality Assurance, and PIRS.
- Oversee development and implementation of appropriate tools and systems for data collection, management, validation and analysis of performance indicators.
- Promote responsible data practices and comply with Mercy Corps and industry data collection, file storage, and information sharing standards.
- Train project team members and partners on the importance of MEL and their respective MEL responsibilities.
- Hire, orient, and directly manage MEL staff in day-to-day MEL activities and develop capacity of this team.
- 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.
- Work closely with the program, administration, and operations teams to ensure successful support for MEL functions.
Learning and Adaptive Management
- Be the focal point for developing, updating and fulfilling a program-wide learning agenda, ensuring consistent application of the learning agenda through program design, implementation, assessment and communication across all program staff.
- Play a leadership role for the program in communicating learning and participating in learning events, including workshops, conferences and annual learning events with program and Kenya stakeholders.
- With COP, develop culture and systems for collaborate, learn, adapt (CLA) to embed evidenced-based decision-making into the program at all levels. Be a champion of, and visionary for, making program data accessible to and applicable for learning and adaptive management.
- To promote learning, oversee specific learning communications and publications such as case studies, impact studies, blogs, and lessons learned documents, as well as strategies for their use.
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, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
DFSA MEL Team
Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: DFSA team, DFSA partners, Mercy Corps Kenya country office, Mercy Corps Kenya MEL manager, and Mercy Corps headquarters support including PaQ/MEL team.
Knowledge and Experience
- Technical experience leading M&E including building or strengthening monitoring systems, quantitative and qualitative analysis, survey and sample design and effectively promoting evidence-based program management for USAID and other donor-funded programs of similar size and scope.
- Knowledge of Food for Peace Title II M&E requirements is necessary. Previous experience in FFP programming strongly preferred included demonstrated experience with developing and operationalizing monitoring and evaluation plans, PIRSs, and IPTTs.
- A master's degree in a quantitative field (economics, agricultural/development economics, statistics, bio-statistics; nutrition, applied sociology, anthropology, or other relevant subject) with significant training in quantitative methods
- Eight years relevant experience, or a PhD in any of the stated field of study above, with at least six years relevant work experience is required.
- Experience in developing and operationalizing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan including TOCs, logic models, food and nutrition security indicators, M&E plans, data quality assurance, data utilization, and gender integration into M&E.
- Demonstrated experience with large-scale data management systems, including mobile data collection tools, databases, web applications, statistical packages, and visualization platforms (e.g., Tableau, PowerBI),
- Previous staff management experience of similar size teams required, and record of strategic visioning, leadership, and inspiring teams.
- Persuasive written and oral communication in English, including report writing.
- Experience in the Kenya or Horn of Africa preferable.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members.
- Fluency in Swahili preferred.
The successful MEL Lead will combine strong technical skills with leadership and management skills. S/he will have an outstanding ability to guide MEL systems to inform program decision-making while also providing evidence for impact. S/he will have proven experience with cross-cultural teams and capacity building, individual staff development, and strong mentoring skills. Multi-tasking, prioritizing, problem solving and simultaneous attention to detail and strategic vision are essential. The most successful Mercy Corps staff members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Nairobi with 50%+ travel to implementation areas. Nairobi is accompanied and secure. Housing is family accommodation with unlimited freedom of movement beyond the house/office. There are many international schools in Kenya. Staff have a high degree of access to services (medical, electricity, water, etc). This position requires travel by road and air to field offices in often insecure environments with only basic amenities. This position is not eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits.
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.