STA Director for Learning and Analytics
About Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 400 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal being to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps DRC’s key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs in order to 1) Improve water service delivery and ensuring equitable access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene services, in urban and rural areas; 2) Improve food security and nutrition; 3) Promote diversified livelihoods, economic recovery and development; 4) Support peacebuilding and local governance. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo.
Mercy Corps is seeking an Interim Director of Learning and Analytics for the five-year USAID-funded Program for Development in the Eastern Congo (P-DEC) to cover 4 months Interim position. The program began in August 2021 and will contribute to stabilization through integrated activities that work with local institutions to promote peace and facilitate a transition from humanitarian to development assistance in key areas of eastern Congo. With a budget of approximately $39.5 million, the program is implemented in Beni (North Kivu) and Mambasa territories (Ituri), in consortium with International Alert, the Wildlife Conservation Society and 9 other international and national partners. By engaging local communities and institutions in both the diagnoses of and solutions to conflict drivers, P-DEC will take a resilience and systems strengthening approach, supporting communities to engage in inclusive multi-stakeholder mobilization and dialogue processes to design local conflict early warning systems, mitigation processes and alternatives to violence (Outcome 1), decision-making processes in governance structures and social accountability mechanisms (Outcome 2) and viable economic activities with a private sector that promotes stability, inter-ethnic cooperation and social cohesion (Outcome 3).
The Director of Learning and Analytics oversees project level monitoring and evaluation (M&E), learning, and analytics. They provide oversight of program/project-level monitoring and evaluation activities within P-DEC, ensuring the quality of the MEL activities, information management via the programs reporting system and geographic information systems (GIS), where applicable. The Director of Learning and Analytics is responsible for the capacity building and mentoring strategy for program staff and partners on themes related to M&E and learning. In addition to managing the M&E team and M&E systems, the Director of Learning and Analytics plays a critical role in operationalizing P-DEC’s collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) approach. Working closely with the COP, the Director of Learning and Analytics guides the program in operationalizing an adaptive, iterative management approach with a culture of evidence-based decision-making. Central to this approach will be the analysis and use of program data within the program for learning and adaptation of program activities.
· Oversee the MEL system for P-DEC including M&E Plans, M&E tools, survey design, methodology, data collection processes, and data analysis to assess the impact of the programs. Specifically, lead in strengthng data collection and management systems following the review from the DOA.
· Lead and/or collaborate with external evaluators on the design and roll out of the program evaluations and research activities while setting up effective systems for learning.
· Ensure the program uses the necessary M&E systems and tools, to inform and improve, as well as feed into the broader country-level M&E system and country strategy.
· Lead the P-DEC team to implement the CLA operationalization plan including creating a culture of learning and systems thinking to stimulate an adaptive, iterative management approach.
· Work with POLE Institute and Mercy Corps Technical Support Unit to implement research plans and disseminate research products.
· Design and facilitate strategic planning sessions and learning events, assisting P-DEC in a learning and adaptive management journey as well as development of its annual plans.
· Lead and provide support to program-wide analysis of information, data, and ongoing analyses to inform program CLA including P-DEC’s resilience measurement framework.
· Provide guidance, recommendations, and leadership to ensure that the M&E systems meet the needs of the program and help address shortfalls in M&E and data management that affect program implementation.
· Ensure P-DEC adheres to Mercy Corps’ M&E best practices, including the use of standardized indicators, form templates, and documentation methodologies.
· Maintain a comprehensive schedule and review program reports to ensure that reports contain accurate, clear, and high-quality data and presented in the proper format.
· Assist the program with information management of conflict, political, market systems and other analyses to support learning.
MANAGEMENT, CAPACITY BUILDING AND MENTORING
· Oversee the P-DEC MEL team.
· Build the capacity of all relevant team members and partner staff to develop and maintain an excellent M&E system, including regular reflection and analysis of program monitoring data.
· Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COORDINATION AND REPRESENTATION
· Active contributor and collaborator with regional and global counterparts to promote the use of M&E best practices and lessons learned.
· Strengthen linkages with other internal resources, including the Digital Library, Hub, and Connect, to enhance organizational learning where relevant to M&E.
· Present program M&E and learning to external stakeholders and the program team in a way that influences decision-makers and promotes adaptations from learning.
P-DEC MEL team
Reports Directly To: P-DEC Chief of Party (COP)
Works Directly With: P-DEC Team, other DRC M&E staff, DRC finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
· BA/S degree in development studies, research methods, statistics, economics, social sciences, monitoring and evaluation, project management or other relevant field required. Postgraduate degree preferred.
· 5-7 years of managing M&E work at a program or country level, including supervising staff. Proven use of program technology in an M&E function required.
· Experience with CLA approaches and promoting a culture of CLA including an understanding of organizational culture, learning, and change management.
· Experience with theoretical and practical background in M&E and skilled in participatory qualitative and quantitative M&E methodologies and techniques.
· Excellent quantitative skills and power user with Excel; Experience with CommCare, Access, and statistical packages including Stata, R or SPSS and GIS tools like QGIS, ArcGIS or Google Earth Pro is preferred.
· Experience with data management including the ability to structure and collate data sets for ease of analysis.
· Demonstrated understanding of intermediate statistics and ability to summarize and make predictions from multiple data sets.
· Experience of working on USAID programs preferred.
· Fluency in spoken and written French and English required.
· Experience working in Africa required.
An effective Director of Learning and Analytics will be a critical thinker who is confident in the role that monitoring, evaluation and learning play in creating an evidence base to guide program implementation. They will combine strong technical skills with a curiosity regarding DRC culture and dynamics. The Director of Learning and Analytics will both lead research and assessment activities as needed, and collaborate effectively with research partners and stakeholders. They will be able to work closely and effectively with senior program staff and rural populations, and will understand how to put research into action. They will be an excellent communicator with exceptional analytical skills, an adept multi-tasker, and able to work in difficult and often stressful environments with less than ideal resources and data. The most successful Mercy Corps team 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. They will be able to demonstrate strong interpersonal skills as well as experience with adapting to different cultural settings.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The Director of Learning and Analytics is based in Goma, with frequent travel to Beni and Mambasa.
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.
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.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.
We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to theInteragency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere toMercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.