Regional Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Advisor East Africa - East Africa multiple locations
Position to start January 2021
Field based location in East Africa (Kenya, Uganda, 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 exists to alleviate poverty, suffering, and oppression and works to build secure, productive, and just communities. Mercy Corps is currently operational in 17 countries in Africa including Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania. Mercy Corps’ country programs in Africa face momentous humanitarian crises and significant development challenges, and operate in fragile and conflict-affected areas, displacement settings, emergency responses, as well as more stable developed settings. Against this backdrop Mercy Corps’ focus in Africa has been in promoting good governance and conflict resolution, enhancing resilience, facilitating market systems, access to finance and economic opportunities, as well as youth employment and empowerment. It is imperative that Mercy Corps presents itself as a key and credible partner with the many donors, government authorities and civil society actors in order to contribute to the process of positive change across the continent. Mercy Corps looks to actively engage and partner with an ever-growing and innovative African private sector to achieve greater and sustained impact.
General Position Summary
Mercy Corps is seeking an experienced and field-tested Africa Regional Advisor for Monitoring Evaluation and Learning (MEL). The Regional MEL Advisor role is a field-based position meant to support the countries in his/her respective region to implement sound M&E systems, assist with the roll out of existing and new MEL guidance, including Tola, use data for decision making and conduct training as needed. The role is further designed to support the other core program performance requirements (e.g., indicators choice and program design, program quality, and program management principles, mobile technology and adaptive management). The rollout will include engagement with country-level M&E team members, program managers and country and regional leadership, assessment of the current state of M&E and train team members in each country in adopting M&E best practices. The Regional MEL Advisor will need to engage with field leadership to nurture and help develop an effective, impact-driven leadership culture. The first responsibility for this position is to develop a detailed workplan for each fiscal year in coordination with PaQ and T4D.
Essential Job Responsibilities
● Develop workplan for FY21
● Promote HQ MEL policy
● Develop and manage MEL dashboard to capture regional MEL needs, budgets and planning
● Review Tola Readiness Assessments
● Conduct regional webinars on topics related to understanding and implementing the MEL guidance and Tola
● When possible co-facilitate Tola trainings for program staff.
2. (50%) Assess and improve MEL and program performance related practices in each country
● Conduct MEL gap assessments covering specific M&E activities and practices, and a review of tools and documents.
● Based on assessment findings, begin development of a long-term rollout/training plan and strategy.
● Help country teams develop individualized Action Plans to improve data management practices
● Support country teams both remotely and in country on implementing their Action Plan, topics ranging from program logic review, data collection, data quality assessments, data management and analysis
● Visit country field M&E teams to conduct MEL assessments and develop support plans
● Coordinate MEL support as needed with HQ teams like Technical Support Unit (TSU), PaQ and Tech for Development (TD)
● Organize and manage a regional Community of Practice (CoP)
- Focus on MEL and Technology
3. (25%) Work with MEL staff, program management and HQ support teams on building the culture of adaptive management, evidence and learning in each country in the region, and supporting better overall performance of the country team in these areas.
● Conduct initial orientations and on-boarding of new program staff (esp. M&E, program managers, and country leaders) – promote tools like DIG, M&E tools, and Program Management @ Mercy Corps (PM@MC) minimum standards
● Participate in regional trainings and use materials from these trainings to conduct follow-up sessions within the region as needed
● Coordinate with PaQ and T4D to ensure tech support is coordinated
● Work closely with/support the PaQ Advisor to train PM@MC facilitators, conduct PM@MC gap analysis and provide backstop for in-country trainings, and support in specific PM@MC topics as needed
● Engage with Country Directors and Regional Program Directors on leadership issues related to monitoring and evaluation and the relationship between M&E and program quality, evidence and impact – including use of indicators, learning, and evaluation methodologies.
● Conduct program quality reviews (implementation quality, meeting of minimum standards, quality of SADD and analysis).
● Help country teams make use of M&E data and contribute to evidence-based learning at all levels.
4. (5%) Learning. Spend time on best practice-oriented learning activities to help ensure that best practices in design, monitoring and evaluation, as well as NGO community-wide initiatives, are incorporated into the ongoing work of the team.
● 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 program participants
● 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.
Reports Directly To: Technical Director, Africa Region
Works Directly With: Country leadership teams, Country MEL Managers, HQ technical support teams, Regional leadership and technical teams and global PaQ team
Knowledge and Experience
● BA in international development or other relevant social science (MA preferred).
● 3 to 5 years of experience working in international relief and development programs, with at least 2 years focused on providing M&E technical support to field programs, and at least four years working overseas preferred.
● Demonstrated skill with program design, including assessments, proposal development, indicator selection and M&E planning.
● Demonstrated skill and experience with facilitating program design processes, logical frameworks, theories of change, and overall program logic.
● 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, as well as mobile data collection platforms. Additional software and technical skills (databases, GIS, and statistical packages) preferred.
● Experience designing practical and effective monitoring systems, including data and database management systems.
● Strong communication skills; able to work remotely with a geographically dispersed team.
● Fluent in English and preferred French language skills.
● Strong team player, good communication and diplomatic skills
● Able to facilitate complex team dynamics and achieve aims
● Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills.
● Good organizational skills and ability to work independently.
● Strong commitment to advancing learning in international development through monitoring and evaluation
● Active within the M&E and learning community
● Strong relationship-building skills and commitment to working collaboratively
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is based in a Mercy Corps location within East Africa with up to 40% of time spent traveling. International travel may be to insecure and/or remote locations.
Candidates must hold citizenship for the base location country of this role.
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. Staff 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.
In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
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.
Equal Employment Opportunity
Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.
We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.
Safeguarding & Ethics
Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.