Collaboration, Learning and Adapting Team Lead, PARA - Ethiopia

Programming Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


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 Ethiopia since 2004, working in rural, peri-urban and urban areas in five regional states - Somali, Oromia, Afar, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples, Amhara - and the capital city of Addis Ababa. We engage in both development and humanitarian work, and seek to integrate approaches, programs and geographies as much as possible. Our partners include government, academic institutions, development and private sector actors, civil societies and participating public. Mercy Corps has a growing portfolio of programs in Ethiopia that focus on food security; agriculture and livestock market systems development; maternal and child health and nutrition; youth economic productivity; resilience and humanitarian response. In Ethiopia, some of our donors include USAID, SIDA, DFID, and WFP.

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps is seeking candidates for a Collaboration, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Team Lead who will manage and lead the overall CLA components, with a specific focus on resilience measurement and resilience learning, of an expected five-year USAID-supported Pastoral Areas Resilience Activity (PARA)program for Ethiopia. The Team Lead is responsible for contributing to strategy discussions, providing technical assistance and developing successful mechanisms for learning. The Team Lead will use USAID’s Collaboration, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) principles to effectively integrate real time monitoring and learning back into the project strategy and program implementation and ensure knowledge is shared with the broader host country community. The Team Lead will work in close collaboration with the MEL Manager and partners to ensure resilience building efforts and their impact are effectively measured as well as lead the resilience learning agenda. In coordination with program directors and team members, s/he will be responsible for developing, coordinating, maintaining and constantly improving the program-wide CLA system, as well as implementing an internal CLA capacity building strategy that trains and mentors staff and promote a culture of learning.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Provide leadership, training and mentoring in the development of CLA Plans, CLA tools, survey design, methodology, data analysis, and other skills required for assessing the impact of the program, and in particular of resilience building efforts within the program.
  • Technical contributions to collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) efforts on contingency planning
  • Lead the program resilience learning agenda
  • Technical contributions to resilience measurement
  • Collaborate with external evaluators on the design and roll out of the program baseline and evaluations, while setting up effective systems for learning.
  • Ensures programs use the necessary CLA systems and tools, to inform and improve each individual program, as well as feed into the broader country-level CLA system and country strategy.
  • Take the lead on aligning, collecting and reporting on relevant resilience measurement and CLA indicators to the organizational-wide 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 in order to understand and respond to program results with diverse participants.
  • Participates in the facilitation of country and sector-level strategic planning sessions.


  • Works with the program and M&E teams to adopt a holistic program-level CLA system.
  • Provides guidance, recommendations, and leadership to ensure that the CLA systems meet the needs of Programs Managers and Country Leadership and help address shortfalls in CLA that affect program implementation.
  • Contributes to program design to ensure adherence to Mercy Corps’ resilience measurement and CLA best practices
  • Develop program and operational reporting templates that facilitate the acquisition, aggregation and flow of information in programs.


  • Develop and oversees implementation of the CLA staff and partner capacity building strategy that promotes a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection of program data.
  • Identify and train a CLA POC on staff in Ethiopia
  • Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain an excellent CLA system, including regular reflection and analysis of program monitoring data.
  • Work closely with Program Managers, Human Resources and Finance to ensure that CLA skills are incorporated into all program position descriptions and positions are budgeted for.
  • Contributes to the knowledge management repository with best practices in CLA and ensure that it is accessible to all staff and partners.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.


  • Active contributor and collaborator with regional and global counterparts to promote the use of CLA best practices.
  • Strengthen linkages with other internal resources, including the LMS, Digital Library, Hub, and Connect, to enhance organizational learning where relevant to CLA. 
  • Maintain close working relationships with CLA counterparts in other relevant international actors and PARA actors in Ethiopia.
  • Leading certain technical discussions at PARA partner meetings.
  • Collaborate closely with the anticipated PARA CLA mechanism.
  • Participation in workshops and learning-related activities and their inclusion in the program workplan.
  • Attendance of learning events hosted by other partners as well as implementation of sector-specific learning events with PARA partners and local stakeholders.


  • 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.


  • 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.


Supervisory Responsibility: MEL team members


Reports Directly To: Chief of Party

Works Directly With: Program Sector Managers, Program Managers, Reporting & Communications Officers, Country Director, Finance, and Operations teams. Coordinates with HQ Program Performance team and the Technical Support Unit.

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S degree in development studies, research methods, statistics, economics, social sciences, project management or other relevant field required
  • 5-7 years of active work experience in emergency and development programming required with the proven use of program technology
  • Experience with theoretical and practical background in M&E and skilled in participatory qualitative and quantitative M&E methodologies and techniques preferred
  • Experience with data management including the ability to structure and collate data sets for ease of analysis preferred
  • Proven experience with systems thinking or systems approaches to programming
  • Proven experience developing iterative learning systems or ‘feedback loops’ within development programs or organizational learning contexts
  • Knowledge of resilience in development programs a plus
  • Excellent computer skills (especially Microsoft office applications) and ability to use information technology as a tool and resource
  • Demonstrated experience in training and capacity building across diverse teams and partners
  • Excellent project management, time management, and organizational skills. Multi-tasking skills and ability to work under pressure
  • Strong writing, editing, public speaking skill and good leadership skills
  • Ability to summarize and simplify complex information and communicate it to the targeted groups
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills
  • Experience of working on USAID programs preferred
  • Previous experience living and working in challenging or insecure environments;
  • East Africa experience preferred
  • Strong command of English verbal and written skills


Success Factors:

A successful candidate should have experience and expertise leading collaboration efforts and translating programmatic learning into adaptive programming. They should also 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 should 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.

Living /Environmental Conditions:

The position will be based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The location is accompanied and secure. Individual housing is available with freedom of movement beyond the house and office. There are international schools in Addis Ababa. Staff have good access to essential services, such as medical care, electricity, water, etc. This position requires up to 50% of travel by air and road to field offices in relatively secure environments but climatically harsh conditions. This position is not eligible for hardship and/or R&R benefits.

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.