Regional MELS Technical Lead
Job ID 274
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 disability.
The Regional Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Technical Lead 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 quality procedures for analytical data collection. The team is responsible for Heifer’s global reporting, supporting country and project offices in their data collection efforts, and Heifer’s general data collection system regarding data collection, review, and sharing workflow. In addition, the BDDE team supports data analyses, project learning, and the organizational-wide application of project findings.
The BDDE team is currently developing a work plan to redefine Heifer’s MELS data collection process. In the first stage, we developed MELS tools. As we now transition into the second stage, we are looking to deepen our integration with project and program teams to ensure understanding, take-up of the tools, with the ultimate goal of providing high-quality evidence of Heifer’s on-the-ground impacts. One of the key roles within BDDE-MELS is working with project and country offices to support high-quality reporting.
The Regional MELS Technical Lead will support each of Heifer’s regional hubs (in Africa, the Americas, and Asia) and serve as the primary liaison between the regional hub staff, country and project teams, and the BDDE-MELS team. The Regional MELS Technical Lead will be responsible for providing technical MELS leadership, guidance, and hands-on support to the regional MELS project staff in all stages of the project life cycle, including analytics and indicator development during Project design. Each Regional Technical MEL Lead will be responsible for working in the regional hub (e.g. Americas based Regional Technical MEL Lead will be working on Americas related projects). Tasks expected of the Regional MELS Technical Lead include: developing specific tools for M&E requested by donors, training MELS project staff on Heifer tools and industry best practices in MELS, conducting regional / global MELS-related analyses, reviewing MELS data, providing inputs on the MELS sections of proposals, and ensuring tools and procedures are in place for high quality MELS reporting.
ESSENTIAL CHARACTER TRAITS
Detail-oriented, patient, good communicator, team player, collaborator, good communicator and facilitator, energetic, passionate, respectful, culturally aware, open to feedback and new ideas, and curious.
RESPONSIBILITIES & DELIVERABLES
A. Ensuring tools, processes and systems are in place for high quality and timely data (30%)
- Responsible for ensuring that Heifer MELS tools and systems, including Survey CTO, SharePoint, and SPSS, are in place and in use within the region.
- Review and support the revision of living income benchmarks for assigned countries in collaboration with field teams.
- Support the implementation of MEL guidelines, including the review of MELS Plan Packages Templates.
- Review and support the completion of MEL work plans, monitoring plans, and course corrections based on indicators performance, baselines, and evaluations to ensure the field team continues to deliver high quality and clean output and impact indicators that contribute to Heifer’s Accelerate goals.
- Conduct timely and accurate regional data reporting and analysis as set out in agreed to business procedures including living income standards and implementation guidelines as set by Heifer.
- In coordination with HQ-Programs and BDDE-MELS, spot check review and support the revision of all project data sets to ensure clean, verifiable, and high-quality data are consistently entered into Heifer’s systems.
- Develop proper tools and templates to ensure that the data can be collected and consolidated in an appropriate time frame with integrity as dictated by Heifer standard business procedures.
- Assist with regional-level MEL reporting for regional management and business development processes.
B. Technical direction and support to project MELS staff (30%)
- Provide support in hiring and orientation of Project MELS staff throughout the relevant region in collaboration with program leads.
- Plan and ensure recurring check-in with project and program MELS staff and related program leads, to ensure high quality data collection and compliance with Heifer MELS processes.
- Ensure consistent and clear communication on global MELS tools, procedures and processes, emerging activities and requests, and final products of work presented at a global level.
- Coordinate the implementation of new Global tools, processes and procedures, and special requests with project/program MELS staff, establishing clear purpose and expectations, realistic timelines, and follow-up.
- Coordination with BDDE Team, Area teams, and program leads on project MELS needs and project MELS staff work.
- Design and test new or additional MEL tools required by donors and other entities (impact investment), and support to Program / Project teams on its implementation.
- Ensure lessons learned and best practices around MELS tools, procedures and practices are shared between program/projects and to Regional and PE teams.
C. Training Project MELS staff (15%)
- Train country and project MEL staff and partners (as requested) on Heifer MEL tools, processes, and procedures, including but not limited to SPSS, SurveyCTO and SharePoint.
- Develop, update, and conduct standardized trainings for the onboarding of new MEL staff on Global MELS tools, standards, procedures and processes.
- Create and produce MEL training videos, tutorials, and guidance.
- Develop and continuously assess current tools, templates, and data collection techniques and train staff on the use of such to foster effective reporting of impacts in a timely manner.
- Provide strategic professional development opportunities and refresher courses for project/program MELS staff to stay abreast of the industry’s best practices.
D. Lead MELS inputs for regional project proposals (20%)
- Gather and organize relevant socioeconomic data of the region, value chains and best practices for project proposals.
- Work with different internal Heifer stakeholders to conduct and disseminate regional level analyses for new business opportunities.
- Develop standard regional narratives, contribute inputs, and write/review MELS section of proposals
- Support the development and/or review of indicators
E. May perform other job-related duties as assigned (5%)
Master’s Degree in International Development, Social Science, Statistics, Computer Science, or a related field. 6-10 years’ job-related experience with a minimum of two (2) years in management roles. Experience with a MELS-related statistical programming tool.
Experience with an integrated project management system, knowledge of project design and management methodologies (logical frameworks, results framework, theories of change, etc.), SPSS statistical programming background, SurveyCTO (or other Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing software) experience, professional experience with working for institutional donors, and successful proposal writing history.
Most Critical Proficiencies
- Deep knowledge of the context and reality of the region where will be assigned.
- Fluent in local language of the region where will be assigned and proficiency in English (writing and speaking.)
- Well-grounded in the discipline of project monitoring and evaluation, quantitative and qualitative data capture and representation methodologies.
- Experience as a Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at some level within a large donor-funded project managing both output and impact indicators.
- Proven ability to build capacity of field-based MELS staff in monitoring and evaluation business standards.
- Knowledge of impact capital ideally related to adapting or developing MELS tools to capture the inclusion of private funds on project impacts.
- Proven ability to work collaboratively in remote locations with staff who are based in other countries.
- Evidence of strong leadership skills and proven collaborative skills in project management, monitoring and evaluation.
- Confident in and experience with the use of technology in development.
- Knowledgeable of current and emerging ideas, research, and developments in the field of international development and a commitment to continuous learning and development.
- Fluency in English required and ability to travel to field sites.
Essential Job Functions and Physical Demands
- Constant face-to-face, telephone and electronic communication with colleagues and the general public.
- May require constant sitting and moving, working at a computer for extended periods of time.
- Ability to assign and review the work of direct reports, as well as motivate and engage team members.
- Willingness and ability to work outside of normal business hours.
- Willingness and ability to travel domestically and internationally as needed.
- Ability to work with sensitive information and to maintain confidentiality.
- Ability to work in a culturally diverse and global setting