Country MEL Manager - Bamako, Mali

Monitoring & Evaluation Bamako, Mali



Country MEL Manager - MALI

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 has been working in Mali since 2012 supporting vulnerable and at-risk Malian women, men and youth to cope with food security and conflict-induced shocks and stresses, restore peace and stability, and address humanitarian and development structural challenges. Our programming consists of humanitarian response (food distribution, WASH, Shelter), building resilience (livelihood support) and social cohesion. With a rapidly growing portfolio of funding and programming from FCDO, USAID, Sida, EU and others, Mercy Corps Mali is implementing an integrated humanitarian, development and conflict-prevention response to create a sustainable and impactful improvement in the human security of some of Mali’s worst conflict-affected areas. Mercy Corps is currently expanding its portfolio of programs across Mali to better support communities in preventing the further spread of violent conflict through several multi-year programs aimed at supporting human security, justice and stabilization, as well as a combined humanitarian response in the center of the country that has supported the food, water, hygiene, shelter and livelihood needs of over 100,000 persons in the last 18 months.

General Position Summary 

The Country MEL Manager will play a key role within the country leadership to develop (in partnership with program staff), coordinate, maintain and continuously improve the M&E system at the country level, as well as build the capacity of M&E staff in each office or program. The general duties and responsibilities of the MEL Manager are to oversee all monitoring, evaluation and learning activities within the country, ensuring the quality of the programs MEL activities, information management via the programs reporting system and Mercy Corps’ TolaData system.


Essential Job Responsibilities 



        Develop the program level MEL SOPs taking into account Mercy Corps new MEL Policy and minimum standards;

        Work closely with the global PAQ team to lead the in in-country deployment of Mercy Corps MEL policy minimum standards guides;

        Coordinate and coach all country M&E teams in developing and maintaining a system that improves the country’s ability to analyze and represent impact to donors, government, colleague agencies, and communities themselves;

        Lead country MEL management meetings and actively participate to country-wide strategy sessions to contribute to improved program implementation and adaptive management.




        Work with MEL staff, Program Managers to promote a culture of adaptive management, and evidence gathering;

        Lead program quality review processes including respect of MEL minimum standards, quality of MEL data collection and analysis, periodic program reflection meetings;

        Use existing MC resources to train M&E and program teams in the area of monitoring, evaluation and learning;

        Build the capacity of relevant team members to develop and maintain an excellent M&E system, by providing training on the TolaData toolbox and; ensuring MEL officers organize periodic meetings of data reflection and analysis to disseminate learning;

        Lead TolaData adoption and integration into new programming and the institutionalization of TolaData at the country level by working closely with country leadership, program and MEL team members, and regional and HQ team members.

        Manage and contribute to country and regional status reports and accountability metrics on TolaData usage and adoption.

        Set up and supervise MEL team by actively coordinating the hiring, onboarding and orientation, as well as providing regular supervision for M&E staff;

        Support the creation and implementation of workplans (weekly, monthly and project-specific) so as to better prioritize tasks and ensure a pro-active approach to data collection and project monitoring 

        Ensure capture, consolidation and dissemination of program lessons learned.




        Coordinate a timely development and implementation of high quality MEL plans ensuring all MEL Policy and MEL SOPs standards are met;

        Supervise the integration of programs indicator plans on TOLA and check regular updates of data and evidences on the platform;

        Play a central role in all evaluation, design and implementation of internal evaluations as well as developing the capacity of teams in conducting internal evaluations;

        Work with the country Senior Management Team (CLT) to address MEL gaps affecting program implementation and conduct internal data quality assessments (DQA).




        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;

        Contribute to create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence;



        Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging participants’ communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

        Contribute to the establishment of an effective complaints, accountability and response mechanism (CARM) to enhance feedback, trust and confidence with program participants. Identify  areas  of  Mercy Corps work  which  need  to  be  improved  and  ensure  that  Mercy Corps  learns  from  the  feedback  provided  through this  process.  

Work closely with the Bamako-based MEL Advisor to implement a strong community accountability and reporting mechanism (CARM) throughout the program


Supervisory Responsibility

Senior MEL Officers, MEL Officers.


Reports Directly To: Program Performance and Quality Lead

Works Directly With: Program Directors and Managers, Grant & Program Developement Manager, and Country Senior Management Team; Implementing Partners (INGO and local NGO), Global PAQ Team, HQ research team


Knowledge and Experience 

        4 to 6 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;

        BA degree in international development, statistics, economy or other relevant social science and MA preferred;

        Experience designing practical and effective monitoring systems, including data and database management systems – at country level is preferable;

        Experienced in training and capacity-building in person and remotely and fostering a collaborative relationship with field practitioners and management;

        Experience with data analysis and presentation using Excel, Access, and advanced data analysis and visualization packages. Additional software and technical skills (databases, mobile technology, GIS, and statistical packages) preferred;

        Excellent ability in report writing.

        Strong communication skills; able to work in person and remotely with a geographically dispersed and culturally distinct teams

        Fluency in French; proficiency in local languages (Bambara, Fulani) a strong asset. Proficiency in English is an asset

        High degree of computer literacy; Excel and Word skills are essential.

        Ability to manage and meet deadlines.

        Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.


Success Factors 

The successful candidate should be a strong team player, with good communication and diplomatic skills.  S/He should be able to facilitate team dynamics and achieve aims, have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, good organizational skills and ability to work independently, with a strong commitment to advancing learning in international development through monitoring and evaluation.  S/he should be active within the M&E and learning community and have strong relationship-building skills and commitment to working collaboratively.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions 

The position is unaccompanied and is based in Bamako with at least 40% of travel to project areas, security permitting. Eligible to R&R Benefits. Shared Housing is provided for short-term assignment with freedom of movement beyond the house/office. While the city has been mostly secure, attacks against foreigners in 2016 in some public places underscore the fluidity of the situation and may require expatriate staff to adhere to security policies, such as restrictions on movement.

Bamako is served by an international airport with daily flights to European and African destinations. Restaurants and shopping options are available but may be limited. Restaurants and shopping options are available all over the town, with reasonable access to most consumer goods. Health care services exist and developing rapidly. However for more serious conditions, medevac to Dakar, Senegal or Europe may be required.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/STA 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.

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.