STA - Regional Program Performance & Quality Specialist
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 collaborate 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 implements a variety of programming throughout the Middle East and it continues to respond to humanitarian and development needs across Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Yemen by forging meaningful and trusted partnerships and designing impactful programming. The country programs face humanitarian crises and significant development challenges, and operate in fragile and conflict-affected areas, displacement settings, emergency responses, as well as more stable developed settings. Mercy Corps’ focus in the Middle East has been in promoting good governance and conflict resolution, enhancing resilience, supporting market systems development, as well as gender and inclusion, and youth employment. Mercy Corps investment in thought leadership, continual learning, and adaptive programming allows us to make changes that are essential in a fluid context, with significant ambitions to learning and sharing through building an evidence base, investment in program quality, including MEL and additional specific research, to enhance adaptive and responsive programming in the Middle East.
General Position Summary
Mercy Corps is looking for a highly qualified and dynamic Regional Program Performance and Quality Specialist (PaQ) with particular expertise and extensive work background in Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) to provide technical oversight and support to the country teams in Program Management, Knowledge Management, Adaptive Management, MEAL, and research. The MEL STA will also work closely with the regional CARM Advisor. As a member of the regional team, who works across country and HQ teams, the PaQ Specialist requires technical expertise, and skills to comfortably lead in complex and multi-layered processes and structures with teams consisting of senior programmatic, management, and MEL staff, with strong advocacy and technical advice. S/he will have a critical technical leadership role to support country teams to implement Mercy Corps high standards in program quality through the enhanced application of program management and M&E standards, providing support to programs on strengthening the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) systems, sharing of best practices, promoting innovation and knowledge management.
The PaQ Specialist –STA will develop a workplan upon onboarding, which, in general, covers five interrelated areas:
- Program quality: Lead, plan, support and oversee the roll out, and implementation of Mercy Corps program quality and MEL policies with country offices and programs.
○ Develop workplan for uptake of organizational MEL indicator management system - TolaData. Promote use of data from Tola data for decision making and program adjustments.
○ Provide technical support to country programs in implementing sound M&E systems.
○ Support uptake and application of relevant MEL technology tools and platforms at various phases of MEL data lifecycle. This may include platforms for data collection, data analysis, and visualization.
○ Promote data-driven decision-making and program adaption across the country programs.
- Knowledge Management and Capacity Building: Strengthening country teams’ capacity in all aspects of PaQ, including MEL systems through coaching, training, mentoring, as well as development and dissemination of available resources as needed, in close coordination with HQ-based PAQ team.
- Self-Reflection and Accountability: Work closely with the regional CARM Advisor to reflect findings from the CARM system in program adaptation and improvement.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Support Deputy Regional Director (DRD) to ensure regional integration of country programs’ PaQ.
- Support the roll out of Mercy Cor’s Program Management and MEL Policies, including capacity building and quality assurance mechanisms, and other organization level initiatives through technical support to the country teams.
- Support the training and capacity development of the country teams in PaQ and MEL tools and systems, to strengthen program evidence and the use of evidence. This may include working with technical advisors to design and support implementation of program assessments, reviewing program ToCs, participating and advisiring on program design initiatives, development of M&E components to ensure strengthened evidence.
- Provide technical support to programs for effective management and quality MEL processes (such as program review meetings, quarterly review meetings, pause and reflection and others)
- Participate in initial orientations and on-boarding of new long-term Regional PaQ Specialist, appropriately handover all initiatives and related supporting documentation.
MONITORING, EVALUATION, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND LEARNING (MEAL)
- Provide technical expertise and oversight country teams’ deployment of technology and new tools in data collection, analysis and visualization.
- Oversee the planning, collection, analysis, synthesis, translation, and dissemination of data and learning from across country programs.
- Based the requirements of the MEL Policy standards, working closely with HQ MEL and Program Management policy teams develop and manage a MEL dashboard to capture country/regional MEL needs, budgets and planning to address those needs.
- Serve as the MEL technical lead and technical writer to ensure quality proposals and adherence to Mercy Corps’ internal and donor standards.
- Provide technical guidance and oversight across the program lifecycle from identification through to closeout, including project design, theories of change, indicator identifications, and results frameworks.
- Review the process of developing MEL sections at the quarterly and annual reports for country projects, advising and ensuring indicators and measurement tools are standardized as well as baselines and evaluations are conducted with minimum quality standards.
- Provide technical guidance for assigned internal and external project evaluations across country programs.
- Support country teams develop individualized Action Plans to improve data management practices, and support country teams on implementing their Action Plan, topics ranging from program logic review, data collection, data quality assessments, data management and analysis.
- Work closely with the HQ MEL team to align regional and organizational MEL Strategies.
REGIONAL COHESION AND SYNERGIES
- Contribute to Regional and Country Strategies, as requested.
- Continue to engage with and grow relevant Communities of Practice (and organize learning/sharing events.)
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 PARTICIPANTS
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our participants 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.
Reports Directly To: Deputy Regional Director
Works Directly With: Regional, HQ and Country Office PaQ Teams
Knowledge and Experience
● Master's Degree in International Development, International Relations or in the field of M&E.
● Minimum of 8+ years in relevant field-based project management experience, with preferably at least 5 years working in the area of MEL.
● Strong understanding of the Middle East operational and programming both in humanitarian and development contexts. Prior regional experience is preferred.
● Applied experience in large scale multi-country program adaptive management, design, monitoring, and evaluation.
● Demonstrable experience in proposal design and development of results framework, theory of change, MEL and CLA narrative sections, MEL staffing structures and budgets.
● Prior experience of designing and implementing MEL products and resources at program or agency levels.
● Strong understanding of Core Humanitarian Standards, Gender Mainstreaming, Human Rights, Rights Based and Knowledge-Based Approach to sustainable development, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and climate actions.
● Proven ability to foster team inclusiveness, collaboration, and communication to achieve project goals.
● Proven ability to develop, apply, and adapt to technological solutions. Knowledge of Ona, ComCare, PowerBI and other visualization platforms is strongly preferred.
● High level of initiative and problem solving ability.
● Strong verbal and written communication skills.
● Fluency in English required, Arabic language skills preferred.
The regional PaQ Specialist will demonstrate a winning record of accomplishment in program development, and bring flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project s/he undertakes. The individual must have change management skills and the ability to multitask, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under deadlines within complex team environments. This position requires strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues in the Middle East and diverse cultures is critical.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in 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.
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
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
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.
Safeguarding & Ethics
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. 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 to Mercy 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.