Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Director - DRC PDEC
**This program is pending funding**
Likely start date - Spring 2021
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 around 500 people and programs focused in Eastern Congo in North and South Kivu, with the overall country goal to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. 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. All Mercy Corps interventions in DRC are implemented in a conflict and gender sensitive manner.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Director for the expected five-year USAID-funded Program for Development in the Eastern Congo (PDEC). The proposed program 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.
General Position Summary
The MEL Director will provide oversight of program/project-level monitoring and evaluation activities within PDEC, ensuring the quality of the MEL activities, information management via the programs reporting system and geographic information systems (GIS), where applicable. The MEL Director is responsible for the capacity building and mentoring strategy for program staff and partners on themes related to monitoring, evaluation, accountability, reporting and learning. In addition to managing the M&E team and M&E systems, the MEL Director will play a critical role in operationalizing PDEC’s collaborate, learn, adapt (CLA) approach. Working closely with the COP, the MEL Director will guide the program in operationalizing an adaptive, iterative management approach with a culture of evidence-based decision-making.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Develop, set-up, and oversee the MEL system for PDEC including M&E Plans, M&E tools, survey design, methodology, data collection processes, and data analysis to assess the impact of the programs.
- Lead and/or collaborate with external evaluators on the design and roll out of the program baseline and evaluations, while setting up effective systems for learning.
- Ensure 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.
- Take the lead in aligning, collecting, analyzing and reporting on performance indicators to the program’s M&E systems, and other external systems as relevant.
- 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.
- Lead the PDEC team to create a plan to operationalize its CLA approaches including creating a culture of learning and systems thinking to stimulate an adaptive, iterative management approach.
- Design and facilitate strategic planning sessions and learning events, assisting PDEC in a learning journey as well as development of its annual plans.
- 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 PDC adheres to Mercy Corps’ M&E best practices, including the use of standardized indicators, form templates, and documentation methodologies.
- Develop program and operational reporting templates that facilitate the acquisition, aggregation and flow of information in programs.
- 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.
MANAGEMENT, CAPACITY BUILDING AND MENTORING
- Oversee the PDEC 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.
- 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 participant communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
PDEC MEL team.
Reports Directly To: PDEC Chief of Party (COP)
Works Directly With: PDEC Team, other DRC M&E staff, DRC finance and operations teams, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ Technical Support Unit
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/S degree in development studies, research methods, statistics, economics, social sciences, monitoring and evaluation, project management or other relevant fields 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 MEL Director 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 MEL Director 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. The MEL Director 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.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This is an unaccompanied post shared between Butembo (40%) and Beni. The position is entitled to individual housing in Beni and is eligible for hardship (Beni).
Butembo and Beni are cities with 700.000 / 400,000 habitants approximately; water and electricity available but can be unstable as well. There is reasonable access and availability of main consumer goods. Security is highly volatile and a curfew is in place. While conditions in the country are improving, and security is quite stable in Butembo, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity and petty crime is on the increase. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Years of conflict and corruption have badly damaged the country's infrastructure. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. There are virtually no telephone landlines in the DRC, though mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is limited, but available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required (up to 50%) where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are a number of health services available with several evacuation options for serious illnesses. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
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.