Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Technical Advisor - DR Congo
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 operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of approximately 400 people working in Eastern DRC. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces. Mercy Corps’ 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. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo with multi-purpose cash assistance and emergency WASH support to displaced and host populations. Mercy Corps is also currently responding the unfolding Ebola epidemic in North Kivu and Ituri Provinces. The current annual budget includes resources from DFID, USAID, ECHO, UN-donors, Government of Netherlands, OFDA, FFP, SDC and others.
General Position Summary
The country-level Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Technical Advisor is a key position for Mercy Corps DRC, responsible for providing oversight and strategic orientations of country and program level MEL systems, tools and strategies, ensuring the quality of the portfolio’s monitoring and evaluation, information management, and geographic information systems (GIS). The MEL Technical Specialist’s role is to oversee and ensure coordination of these technical areas across the M&E staff and programs. The MEL Technical Advisor is also responsible for the capacity building and mentoring strategy for Mercy Corps DRC staff on themes related to monitoring, evaluation and learning, and when applicable, research. He/she will support efforts to manage and sharing information and learnings across programming, providing critical linkages between Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian and development portfolio, ensuring that information collected is reflected upon, used in ongoing programs and incorporated into future program design.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Lead the development and implementation of the mission-level M&E strategy, in alignment with Mercy Corps M&E standards and best practices, as well as ICT4D best practices.
- Provides strategic inputs to offices and programs in all aspects of M&E and information management.
- Ensures programs use the necessary MEL systems and tools to inform and improve each individual program, as well as feed into the broader country-level M&E system and country strategy.
- As a strategic leader, actively participate in management meetings and country-wide strategy sessions. Lead the development and implementation of a mission-level M&E recruitment, retention and capacity building strategy, in collaboration with HR.
- Identify and seize opportunities to position Mercy Corps DRC as a lead agency in M&E practices, at national and regional levels.
- Support Program departments whenever there is a MEL gap, or when MEL Managers are off duty.
- Work closely with the Deputy Country Director – Program, the Program Performance and Quality Director, Grants Managers and related teams in the development of the theory of change for new funding opportunities/proposal development
- Lead logical framework design and M&E plan development for proposal development, and work with proposal writing teams to ensure that new program logic aligns with the country strategy as well as the global Mercy Corps M&E guidelines, including the Design for Impact Guide.
- Lead and oversee the conduct of assessments in support of the design of new projects/programs.
- Provide leadership and oversight in designing individual, program-level logical frameworks and M&E systems that inform and improve each program, as well as provide feedback into the country-level log frame and strategy to ensure adherence to Mercy Corps’ standards, including the use of standardized indicators and documentation methodologies.
- Lead the development and implementation of a country-level lessons learned mechanism, feeding into program design and adaptive management strategies.
- Lead and engage teams in country-wide strategy around the nexus to develop tools, systems and indicators to link humanitarian programming with development programming, ensuring the integration of resilience aspect throughout.
- Lead, initiate and/or coordinate any research initiatives and opportunities that may arise either within or across departments, and with the support and collaboration of potential external partners.
- Support teams in conducting data driven workshops/learning and reflection sessions
Country wide IMS strengthening
- Collaborating with the mission’s different departments, lead the review of opportunities for increased information management efficiency within the mission’s procedures, where appropriate.
- Propose information management solutions for enhanced efficiency through streamlined processes, automation, and electronic forms.
- Develop a country-wide, PM@MC-aligned IMS strategy to ensure that data (programmatic and non-programmatic) is not susceptible to loss or manipulation.
- Identify opportunities for country-wide capacity building on key IMS tools (such as Google Team Drive, Google Forms, and others).
- MEL System Development & Maintenance
- Lead the set-up/implementation of harmonized MEL systems that use open source software and flexible cloud solutions to more accurately collect, monitor, verify and document program activities.
- Collaborate closely with Program Directors/Managers and M&E staff in developing and establishing M&E systems that serve the needs of the Mercy Corps DRC portfolio of programming
- Lead on the development and/or roll-out of mobile data collection and data management tools, including TOLA.
- Identify and address shortfalls in monitoring, evaluation and information management that impact quality and affect program implementation.
- Support the development of M&E Plans, M&E tools, survey design, methodology, data analysis, and other services as may be required for program monitoring and evaluation.
- Ensure that monitoring systems meet the requirements of the donor and that performance results can be used for continuous improvement.
- Lead the development of Mercy Corps DRC GIS capacities and ensure integration of GIS in program design, implementation and M&E.
- Coordinate with Mercy Corps’ HQ-based Technical Support Unit (TSU) to guide process of ex-ante, ex-post and midterm evaluation, from the design, implementation and documentation phases.
- Coordinate internal and external reviews and support/lead the analysis of findings, with a strong emphasis on learning.
- In collaboration with Gender and Protection advisers, develop/revise M&E tools and systems at mission-level with a protection and gender sensitive lens.
- Identify, elaborate plans for, and lead opportunities for research initiatives and impact evaluations, feeding into program design and adaptive management strategies.
- Technical Oversight, Management and Support
- Support country and program-level M&E staff to ensure that appropriate and timely technical inputs and orientations in monitoring, evaluation, program design, learning, accountability, quality assurance, and information management is given to the program teams.
- Serve as a resource for program staff, advising them on activity design, gathering of baseline data, evidence-based programming, developing and implementing M&E plans, and impact assessment.
- Support DCD-P and Program Performance and Quality Director and relevant teams in the development of an Adaptive Management culture at mission-level, providing training and guidance in adaptive management techniques and decision-making.
- Develops high-impact data visualization applications to facilitate analysis and organizational learning. Coordinates high-level reporting on country-level indicators such as beneficiary numbers, design for impact indicators, cluster data and other information as needed.
- Lead and manage a team of several technical officers (T4D, GIS and Data Quality) that support the country-wide MEL systems, dashboards and strategy, providing leadership support, capacity building, performance evaluations and regular directions in their scope of work.
Team capacity building
- Develop and oversees implementation of the M&E staff and partner capacity building strategy that promotes a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection of program data.
- Provide training and mentoring in the development of M&E plans, M&E tools as well as survey design, methodology, data collection and analysis and other skills as required for assessing the impact of programs. Work closely with Program Managers and Human Resources to ensure that M&E and ICT skills are incorporated in program position descriptions.
- Contribute to the knowledge management repository with best practices in M&E and ICT and ensure that it is accessible to all staff and partners.
- Work closely and coordinate with Mercy Corps DRC’s community accountability and reporting mechanism, including Mercy Corps DRC Internal Control Department, on the treatment, analysis and dissemination of feedbacks and complaints to relevant parties.
- Lead the development and implementation of a mission-level quality checking system, based on regular field visits from M&E staff to program activities, and providing feedback and recommendations to relevant parties to improve program implementation.
- Ensure global standards for quality program monitoring and evaluation are followed and adopted by program teams.
- Represent Mercy Corps DRC in meetings and discussions on M&E and reporting issues with donors and partners.
- Ensure close coordination with the Implementing partners on M&E system development, ongoing monitoring, formative research and planning for midterm and final evaluations.
- 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 Beneficiaries
- Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically
to our beneficiaries 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.
GIS Officer, Assessment Coordinator, Learning Intern/Officer, and dotted line with the MEL Managers of the various Program Departments
Reports Directly To: Deputy Country Director of Programs
Works Directly With: Program Directors/COPs, Program Managers and their M&E teams within Mercy Corps and consortium partners, Program Advisors and support team
Directors/COPs, Program Managers and their M&E teams within Mercy Corps and consortium partners, Program Advisors and support team
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent in social science, management, or international development preferred. 5 - 7 years’ experience managing M&E operations, with a preference for field experience in rural sub-Saharan Africa.
- Experience with theoretical and practical background in research or MEL and knowledge of qualitative and quantitative methodologies and techniques required.
- Experience with community participation in mapping and other M&E processes.
- Successful experience with the adoption of mobile data collections tools like Open Data Kit and Ona including XLSForm authoring, and GIS systems.
- Knowledge of major aspects of program development, implementation and documentation and excellent verbal and written communication skills required.
- Excellent quantitative skills and experience with Excel, Access, and statistical packages including Stata, R and GIS tools like QGIS, ArcGIS, and Google Earth Engine.
- Experience working with USAID, including Title II (Food for Peace) and DFID preferred.
- Experience with and commitment to capacity building required.
- Demonstrated attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required;
- Fluent written and oral communication in English is required; intermediate to fluent French required.
- Familiarity with Swahili is a plus.
A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead technical strategies and communicate effectively with team members and colleagues of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures, and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving. S/he will have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take initiative, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws and security protocols. 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. In DRC, patience, diplomacy, tenacity, compassion, determination and a sense of humor are all success factors.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is an accompanied position and requires up to 25% travel in-coutry. Goma is a provincial capital of over 700,000 inhabitants, with travel to Bunia, Bukavu, and Kinshasa. Living in Goma is comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity.
While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Goma, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses. There’s reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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 MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.
Mercy Corps Diversity Statement
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.