MEL Manager

Job ID 541

Monitoring and Evaluation Washington, DC Little Rock, Arkansas Remote, United States


Heifer International is an equal opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, status as a protected veteran, among other things, or status as a qualified individual with a disability.


The MEL Manager will work in the Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Systems (MELS) team, situated in Business Development, Design, and Effectiveness (BDDE) within the Mission Effectiveness Division. This team manages a large portfolio of data products and platforms, including Heifer International’s Global Indicators (GI) database, project databases, and other topical databases The BDDE team also manages data collection, quality assurance, analysis, and reporting procedures. The team is responsible for Heifer’s global reporting, supporting country and project offices in their data collection efforts, and provide’s institutional support and administrative oversight on Heifer’s general data collection system and workflow. In addition, the BDDE team supports data analyses, project learning, and the organization-wide application of project findings.


The BDDE-MEL team is currently updating its MEL support function to the organization by building its capacity. The MEL Manager is a critical position, responsible for overseeing a large part of the day-to-day activities within the team and quality assuring the data we provide to various stakeholders. We are looking for an individual with a strong understanding of the latest MELS tools, systems, and approaches to data analysis and use, a track record of MEL-related innovation, and a dedication to user outreach and satisfaction.


The MEL Manager will be accountable for a range of monitoring and evaluation processes. From validating data and leading periodic monitoring and reporting, including bi-annual project progress reports and annual Global Indicator reports, to presenting on findings to allow for efficient data-driven project management. We are looking for a data scientist with well-rounded skills and experience with current tools and approaches for modernizing Heifer’s entire data production and use chain. The selected candidate will be a technical expert with specific duties related to data reporting, data documentation and storage, and data management and use.



Result oriented, Self-starter, positive attitude, stellar communication skills, collaborative, creative, innovative, organized, team-oriented, effective manager, and realistic with timelines and deliverables. 


A. Lead high-quality data reporting (20%)
  • Produce periodic standard reports as well as organize response to specific ad-hoc reporting requests, including data collection, data quality assurance, and data analysis.
  • Implement field monitoring tools for data quality assurance, including standardize methodologies for reviewing, approving/rejecting, consolidating, and reporting on data. Create a clearly defined process for informing project stakeholders and follow-up data collection when the data is not in-line with the expected results or standards.
  • Complete timely and high-quality progress and Global Impact Monitor reporting, including documentation of procedures for quality assuring Heifer’s monitoring data for each Heifer project. Lead and organize cross-team collaboration to maintain buy-in around reporting standards and procedures.
B. Own central MEL repository (15%)
  • Build quality processes as well as streamline the collection and sharing of data.
  • Responsible for progress data at the project, program, and organization levels, including the documentation of data structures at all levels. Lead the updating of supplemental and guideline documents and procedures as needed for project and HQ teams to use.
  • Maintain high quality data standards and stewardship of stored data in Heifer’s databases and electronic files.
  • Serve as primary point of contact for all MEL database related questions and activities.
  • Responsible for developing and maintaining databases for data de-identification and storing all project data over time.
  • Ensure that data is in a format that can be easily lifted and used for strategy, revenue, and programmatic learning needs.
C. Manage MEL Team (30%)
  • Supervise a team of BDDE-MEL staff
  • Provide regular feedback and support to BDDE-MEL Team.
  • Lead and train staff to innovate within current approaches to MEL activities.
  • Oversee the development and maintenance of MEL onboarding practices and materials
D. Build organizational staff capacity in the field and across departments to up-grade the MERL functions to include Heifer developing areas. (30%)
  • Ensure that HQ and field teams own and implement standard data collection practices within all projects. Provide a key mentorship role for MEL staff who support field staff growth and improvement.
  • Ensure that MEL staff effectively provide service to field teams by soliciting feedback from the field and HQ teams bi-annually at a minimum.
  • Develop internal capacity to participate in industry-led forums and think-tanks regarding monitoring and evaluation systems and its growth industry-wide including Heifer’s living income benchmarks and thought leadership in accelerate focus areas.
  • Encourage the identification and promotion of opportunities for MEL professional development for staff across the organization.
E. May perform other job-related duties as assigned (5%)


Minimum Requirements

  1. Master’s Degree in Data Science, International Development, Social Science, Statistics, Computer Science, or a related filed. 6-10 years’ job-related experience with a minimum of 3 years in management roles.  Or PhD in related field with 3-7 years’ of job-related experience with a minimum of 2 years in a management role. 

Preferred Requirements

  1. Working knowledge of SQL, PowerBI, their derivatives, and other database and/or dashboarding systems. Minimum 2 years experience in program or project monitoring and evaluation. USAID experience a plus. Spanish language skills a plus.

Most Critical Proficiencies

  1. Well-grounded in the discipline of project monitoring and evaluation, quantitative and qualitative data capture protocols, methodologies, and approaches.
  2. Experience working with field teams/operations.
  3. Demonstrated experience in developing and supporting data architecture, including data production, data management, metadata, quality control, data design, cleaning and validation, visualization, and publishing.
  4. Excellent working knowledge of data science tools (Excel, SPSS, Stata, PowerBI, SurveyCTO), relevant programming languages (Python, Dax, SAS Viya, etc.), and related statistics modules.
  5. Exceptionally high attention to detail and a demonstrated ability to identify and resolve errors and inconsistencies as part of a comprehensive quality control process.
  6. Domain expertise in one or more subject areas of development data, such as demographic data, gender, socio-economic statistics, poverty, energy, infrastructure, agriculture, environment, etc. would be considered a plus.
  7. Strong communication skills, including the ability to clearly and concisely articulate complex ideas both in writing and verbally. Demonstrated experience in giving presentations to a range of different audiences. Comfort with proactively communicating priorities, needs, goals, and objectives both within the team and throughout the wider organization.
  8. Strong interpersonal skills, particularly the ability to comfortably work across diverse teams and cultural backgrounds to understand a range of perspectives and communicate effectively.
  9. High level of professional enthusiasm and commitment to Heifer’s core values and mission.
  10. Proven ability to build capacity in junior staff levels in MEL. A strong focus on organizational learning and capacity building a plus.
  11. Demonstrated ability to get things done when working across the organization – taking a pragmatic approach and applying influence when working outside of formal authority.
  12. Ability to focus, prioritize, and deflect distractions in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  13. Fluency in English required and ability to travel to field sites.

Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands

  1. Constant face-to-face, telephone and electronic communication with colleagues and the public, including colleagues in different time zones.
  2. Commitment to work non-standard hours at times in accordance with Heifer’s presence in multiple time zones.
  3. May require constant sitting and moving, working at a computer for extended periods of time.
  4. Ability to assign and review the work of direct reports, as well as motivate and engage team members.
  5. Willingness and ability to work outside of normal business hours.
  6. Willingness and ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed and currently estimated as 25%.
  7. Ability to work with sensitive information and to maintain confidentiality.
  8. Ability to work in a culturally diverse and global setting


Heifer International offers a variety of benefits for U.S. based employees working 30 or more hours per week.

  • Health and wellness benefits including Flexible Spending Account and/or Health Saving Account
  • Employee assistance program
  • 403(b) retirement plan (match 1% employee to 2% employer up to a maximum of 4% match + 3% employer discretionary contribution regardless of employee contribution)
  • 22 vacation days in addition to 12 statutory and discretionary holidays, and 10 sick days per year
  • Employer-paid life insurance and accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D)
  • Professional development and annual merit increase opportunities
  • Optional critical illness insurance, legal assistance plan and pet protection