Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Director, Colombia Youth Resilience Activity - Colombia
*Position is contingent upon funding
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. Mercy Corps has been present in Colombia since 2005, focusing interventions on IDPs, landmine victims, land conflict mediation, sustainable resource management, child soldiers, youth and emergency response.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps seeks qualified Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Director candidates for the anticipated five-year USAID-funded Youth Resilience Activity (YRA) in Colombia. The program will build the capacity of vulnerable youth, disengaged child soldiers, and former youth offenders to cope with the effects of crime and violence and reduce the risk of recidivism. In order to do so, YRA will develop peaceful and protective environments, strengthen the relationships among youth, their families, communities, and local authorities and provide alternative education and economic opportunities to at-risk youth.
General Position Summary
The MEL Director will oversee and implement the programs’ Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) approach to enable informed program adaptation throughout implementation. The CLA Director will play a key role in supervising the program’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL), communications, partnership coordination, and overall program quality functions. S/he will be a member of the Senior Management Team (along with the Chief of Party and Deputy Chief of Party) and work closely to integrate strong adaptive program management principles into the technical implementation of YRA..
Essential Job Responsibilities
Monitoring & Evaluation Management and Technical Leadership
- Work closely with MEL, Communications, and Partner staff to develop comprehensive strategies during start-up, which are incorporated in annual workplans and regularly updated.
- Work with Chief of Party to ensure adaptive program management principles are incorporated at start-up and throughout implementation
- Provide leadership, training and mentoring in the development of program-level M&E planning and system development. This includes design of data collection tools and methodologies, M&E workflow, data flow, data integrity, data quality assurance, database design and protocols, secondary research to inform assessments and measurement frameworks, and ensuring alignment with Mercy Corps and USAID standards.
- Work with partners to ensure application of high-quality MEL activities and data collection; oversee partner capacity building as needed
- Support teams in collecting sex and age disaggregated data and using gender-sensitive data collection methods to understand and respond to program results with diverse participants, this includes responding to gender, age, and other locally significant socio-cultural factors.
- Conduct regular visits to program sites to provide technical assistance and ensure proper monitoring of program activities
- Serve as technical advisor for technology for data management systems and real-time data flow, using appropriate software platforms for cloud aggregation, data processing and manipulation, and data visualization and utilization. This includes learning and testing new software platforms, as well as working with tech partners, to develop information management systems.
- Contribute to program visibility and advocacy work by assisting in dissemination of program research and learning information, with other consortium staff. Represent Mercy Corps in M&E and research forums with the broader humanitarian and development community.
- Support project staff and partners to implement, monitor and review innovative pilot activities linked to the program’s learning agenda and to develop a culture of reflection and learning
- Lead staff and partners in regular reviews of program activities to reflect on programmatic learning based on implementation experience and monitoring data, to review and revise results chains and theories of change, and suggest programmatic changes.
- Supervise and manage MEL, Communications, and Grants Management teams.
- 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.
The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.
Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Program team, in particular the CLA Lead and research team, partner organizations, Mercy Corps Colombia country office, and Mercy Corps headquarters including the Performance and Quality/M&E team
Knowledge and Experience
- MA/S or equivalent experience in a quantitative field (economics, agricultural/development economics, statistics, biostatistics, applied sociology, anthropology, or other relevant field) with significant training in quantitative methods.
- Minimum of eight (8) years of professional experience implementing M&E activities, preferably of international donor-funded programs; experience working on programs focused on youth, education, violence prevention, and/or employment/entrepreneurship preferred.
- Proven success in designing, implementing, and operating program M&E systems from program initiation to closeout stages in Colombia required
- Demonstrated expertise in designing qualitative studies, in-depth knowledge about qualitative sampling, and experienced in using interview and interactive tools to generate qualitative information and analysis.
- Experienced in developing data quality assurance strategies, data management, and data visualization.
- Demonstrated expertise and experience in data utilization strategies and can creatively think about active data sharing techniques.
- Familiarity with the Colombian context.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills; English and Spanish fluency required.
A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members 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, be accountable for results, and understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details. S/he will be comfortable working within a complex and sensitive setting and following laws and security protocols. The M&E Lead will have a good handle on adaptive management, integration and coordination, stakeholder engagement, capacity strengthening, community-level governance and planning, facilitation, and conflict mitigation and conflict-sensitive approaches.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The MEL Director will be based in Bogotá, Colombia with regular travel (up to 50%) to implementation areas as the security situation allows. 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 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.