Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Advisor - Kyrgyzstan
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 is applying for the USAID RFA for Kyrgyzstan: Collaborative Civic Organizing in the Kyrgyz Republic. Mercy Corps has been working in Kyrgyzstan since 1994, implementing programs in food security, nutrition, conflict mitigation, agricultural training, infrastructure, microfinance, and economic development. Mercy Corps is the founder and 100% owner of Kompanion Financial Group, one of Kyrgyzstan’s largest and most successful microfinance institutions, with over 90 branches and sub-offices and more than 1,000 employees. Today our programs reach more than 500,000 people in all major urban and rural communities of the country’s seven oblasts.
General Position Summary
This position is Advisor level and is charged with the responsibility of strengthening the MEL team into an institutionally robust part of the MC Kyrgyzstan team. The MEL Advisor is responsible for oversight of the full department, ensuring the quality of M&E, information management (TOLA) and support GIS efforts of Mercy Corps Kyrgyzstan. The MEL Advisor is a member of the MC Kyrgyzstan management team and responsible for all aspects of leadership and management of the unit. The MEL Advisor, budget holder of the crosscutting MEL activities, is responsible to provide MEL services to programs in line with donor requirements and Mercy Corps’ standards. The MEL Advisor is responsible for training and mentoring national staff across MC Kyrgyzstan. The MEL Advisor will be responsible for developing, coordinating, maintaining and constantly improving the nation-wide M&E system, as well as training M&E staff in each office.
Essential Job Responsibilities
STRATEGY AND VISION
- Work with program teams to develop the program’s ME strategy to include the analytical M&E system that goes beyond descriptive reporting and indicator-centric processes.
- Support program to create creative and innovative M&E learning systems with build-in feedback loops which directly inform program managers and enable iterative improvements to program implementation, as well as feed into the broader nation- wide M&E system and country strategy.
- Actively participate in SMT meetings and countrywide strategy sessions and provides the MEL perspective and any implications to the program-level MEL strategy.
- Contribute and collaborate with partners and program counterparts to promote the use of M&E and ICT best practices.
- Design effective CARM mechanisms and working with program team to ensure these are utilized for accountability to beneficiaries and partners.
- Develop MEL strategy
- Lead and develop an M&E program and support them in developing and maintaining a system that improves the program’s responsiveness to donor needs, represent impact to donors, government, colleague agencies, and communities themselves.
- Participate in country management meetings and countrywide strategy sessions.
- Responsible and accountable for all MEL budget lines across programs
- Responsible for MEL deliverables to donors and programs
- Use existing MC resources train M&E and program team in the area of monitoring and evaluation and report writing.
- Coordinate and play a role in assessments as requested. Provide input as to M&E systems and act as a link to HQ M&E technical staff.
- Support consultants and team members in conducting internal DQAs.
DATA AND INFORMATION MANGEMENT
- Develop high-impact data visualizations to promote analysis and organizational learning, using examples to build replicable prototypes that can be used by other programs.
- Works with the program and M&E teams to ensure a holistic country-level M&E system is operational in order to more accurately collect, monitor and verify program activities.
- Provides guidance, recommendations, and leadership to ensure that the M&E systems meet the needs of Programs Managers and Country Leadership and help address shortfalls in M&E and data management that affect program implementation.
- Contributes to program design to ensure adherence to Mercy Corps’ standards, including the use of standardized indicators and documentation methodologies but also quality indicators that support program management.
M&E SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT
- Design and implement the programs’ ME system that inform and improves the program and the use of MEL data to inform program decision-making.
- 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
- Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain an excellent M&E system, including training on TOLA and the periodic reflection and analysis of program monitoring data to disseminate learning.
- Develop the capacity of the 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.
- 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 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.
Supervisory Responsibility: CAL3 M&E Officers
Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: CAL3 Project team, Kyrgyzstan Country Director and country team, HQ desk team members.
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/S or equivalent, preferable in business administration, public administration or international development. MA/S in relevant field strongly preferred.
- 5-7 years of experience in the areas of program development and monitoring and evaluation, including relevant experience building and managing an M&E system and team, relevant experience supervising data collection and data validation exercises, and building staff capacity.
- Successful experience with the adoption of mobile data collections tools like Open Data Kit and Ona including XLS Form authoring.
- Experience with theoretical and practical background in research or DM&E and knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methodologies and techniques required.
- 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.
- Previous experience working in Central Asia
- Fluency in spoken and written English and Russian. Kyrgyz language skills are desired.
The successful candidate will combine exceptional verbal and written communication skills with strong analytical skills and an interest in education and child nutrition. S/he will be an excellent thinker, communicator, multi-tasker and able to work in ambiguous situations and will also be tolerant and flexible, able to work in stressful environments and follow procedures. The successful candidate will be focused on team-building and capacity building of national staff and, as a team member, ensure the team produces top quality work. S/he will have or be prepared to rapidly develop a strong understanding of the cultural, political and religious environment in the region, and the ability to live and work successfully in those environments are essential.
Living /Environmental Conditions:
The Civil Society Strengthening Advisor will be based in the capital city, Bishkek. The location is accompanied and secure. Housing is individual accommodation with complete freedom of movement in Bishkek and other locations in the country for which no travel restrictions exist. Staff have access to reasonable quality healthcare services in Bishkek and access to reliable water services. Access to electricity during the hot season can be less reliable, with the occasional power cut. This position requires at least 25% travel by plane and vehicle to field offices in environments that for the most part are secure. 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 Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
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.