Country MEL Manager

Monitoring & Evaluation Bangui, Central African Republic


Position Description 
Location Bangui, CAR 
Position Status Full-time 
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. 
Department Summary  
Mercy Corps has been operational in the Central African Republic (CAR) since September 2007. With offices in Bangui, Bouar, Bambari, Berberati and Bangassou, Mercy Corps works to integrate short-term humanitarian assistance with programs to strengthen community resilience and support market-led economic development, with a cross-cutting accent on governance and gender. Mercy Corps takes a sustainable approach to its programming, seeking to change behaviors and create institutions to foster long-term development in the sectors of protection and gender-based violence, civil society capacity building, water/sanitation, social cohesion, and socioeconomic activities. Funding has come from a range of donors including USAID, the European Commission, OFDA, UNICEF, OCHA, AFD and private foundations. By addressing a number of overlapping and associated needs within a wide range of sectors, Mercy Corps CAR takes an integrated approach to ensure the greatest possible impact 
The Position 
The MEL Manager, under the supervision of the Program Director, will work closely with Program Managers in implementing programs in line with the Mercy Corps CAR country strategy. It supports this portfolio with a growing team of support and quality staff, working closely with program teams and across departments to continually improve the quality of implementation. By building the capacity of program team members and helping them improve capitalization, reflection and adaptation of lessons learned, quality of reporting and compliance with donor and Mercy Corps minimum project management standards; this supporting role brings immense benefits to the entire team 
General Position Summary  
The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Manager is a key position within Mercy Corps. He/she is responsible for managing, monitoring, and evaluating cross-cutting programmatic information, ensuring that the information collected is captured, used to improve ongoing programs, and incorporated into consistent quality reports and proposals. The MEL Manager will be responsible for developing (in partnership with program staff), coordinating, maintaining, and continuously improving the MEL system at the country level, as well as training MEL staff in each office or program. In addition, the position is responsible for ensuring that all programs meet the minimum standards of the Mercy Corps Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Policy. This will be achieved through staff capacity building and training 
Essential Job Responsibilities  
Strategy & Vision  
  • Develop and/or update the country's MEL strategy, provide leadership to field offices in the development of individual program-level MEL systems that inform and improve each program, as well as feed into the broader country-level MEL system and country operational strategy.  
  • Lead and develop an in-country MEL team to develop and maintain a system that improves the country's ability to analyze and represent impact to donors, government, fellow agencies, and the communities themselves.  
  • Work closely with the Headquarters Program Performance and Quality team in the development and in-country deployment of Mercy Corps minimum standards ATS policy guides.  
  • Work closely with the CARM team in the development and implementation of the CARM process (community accountability reporting mechanism).   
  • Participate in national strategic thinking sessions.   
Program Management   
  • Lead and/or participate in the design of logical frameworks, implementation and revision of indicators for new programs and as needed for existing programs.  
  • Work with MEL staff, program managers to promote a culture of adaptive management, and evidence gathering.  
  • Leads program quality review processes, including quality of implementation, adherence to MEL minimum standards, quality of MEL data collection and analysis, periodic program retreat meetings.  
  • Utilize existing MC resources to train MEL and program teams in monitoring and evaluation and in writing analytical reports for decision-making. 
  • Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain an excellent MEL system, including training on TolaData (a digital tool developed by MC for tracking program indicators) and periodic reflection and analysis of program monitoring data to disseminate learning.  
  • Conduct regular visits to the project site to provide hands-on training to field staff on how to capture and organize information for accurate documentation and reporting.  
  • Develop plans to coach and mentor staff to build their capacity to develop excellent reports and other MEL materials.   
Monitoring and Evaluation System  
  • In collaboration with the QAP Lead, lead efforts to establish a monitoring and evaluation unit that will facilitate the monitoring and evaluation of all programs and work closely with program managers to develop and establish the monitoring and evaluation system that meets the needs of the entire country portfolio and its field officers.  
  • Coordinate and design databases, data collection activities, compilations and analyses, as well as the compilation of quality reports and success stories.  
  • Ensure that all Mercy Corps programs meet minimum standards for MEL (monitoring and evaluation plans, baseline studies, regular monitoring tools, mid-term and final studies).  
  • Lead the adoption and integration of TolaData at the country level by working closely with country management, program and MEL team members, and regional and headquarters PAQ team members.  
  • Manage and contribute to national and regional status reports and accountability measures on the use and adoption of TolaData 
  • Serve as the TolaData administrator for the country, responsible for managing all administrative functions of TolaData, such as user profiles and permission levels, programs, organizations, and country-level information in TolaData 
  • Coach MEL teams to design and maintain a MEL system with program utility and quality in mind, providing managers and their teams with real-time information that can guide program implementation as well as inform donor and program strategic direction and help define the strategy for future program interventions.  
  • Work with the Country Leadership Team (CLT) to address MEL gaps affecting program implementation and conduct internal data quality assessments (DQA).   
Team Management   
  • Develop the capabilities of the MEL team, deepen their understanding of their roles and assist in their career development.  
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance and achieve goals.  
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally through regular one-on-one interviews and performance reviews.  
  • Create and maintain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive for excellence.  
  • Play an active role in recruiting, orienting and directing team members as needed.  
  • Comply with safety procedures and policies determined by local authorities and ensure compliance by team members.  
  • Proactively ensures that team members work in a safe environment and are aware of local policies.   
  • Conduct themselves professionally and personally in a manner that brings honor and credibility to Mercy Corps and does not compromise its humanitarian mission.  
  • Be accountable to program participants.  
  • Any other responsibilities that may be assigned as required  
Professional Development:  
  • As part of our commitment to professional development and based on our understanding that organizations that continually develop are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve - we expect all team members to contribute 5% of their time to learning/professional development activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.  
Accountability to recipients:   
  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, especially to our beneficiaries and to international relief and development guidelines, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring, and evaluation of our field projects.  
  • Mercy Corps recognizes that our programs are most effective in alleviating suffering, poverty, and oppression when women, men, girls, and boys are equally engaged as active players in all aspects of the work we undertake together. We expect all team members to commit to the principles of gender equality and to use gender-sensitive programming and gender mainstreaming to achieve our mission and vision for change.  
Supervisory Responsibility 
MEL Team 
Reports Directly To: Director of Programs  
Works Directly With: Program Managers, Finance and Compliance Manager, Country Director, Grants and Program Support Manager, Operation Manger, Consortium partner teams, HQ & Regional Technical Support Unit, donors, NGO partners, and humanitarian agencies. 
Knowledge and Experience  
  • Have a university degree (at least BAC +4) in a relevant field (Social Sciences, Economics, Statistics, Computer Science, or any related field).  
  • At least 5 years of general experience in the field of management, monitoring, evaluation and learning of emergency and/or development programs - at least 3 years of which should be in a supervisory position as a manager, M&E and learning officer preferably with an international organization or institution.   
  • Relevant experience in supervising national or regional data collection and validation operations - and building staff capacity.  
  • Must have experience working with a variety of donors, including USAID, AFD and bilateral and multilateral funders.  
  • Ability to manage and meet deadlines.  
  • Experience in coordinating large projects or at the country office level is an asset.  
  • Ability to work independently on a multi-tasking load.  
  • Excellent writing and speaking skills in French; and English preferred.  
  • An internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification within the first few months of employment.   
  • Knowledge of Sphere standards and other humanitarian response training is preferred. 
  • Advanced knowledge of Excel, Word required.  
  • Ability to work with at least one analytical software package (SPSS, STATA, or EPI info) required.  
  • Knowledge of ACCESS or oracle DBMS desired.  
  • Ability to work with ODK-collect (Form development in particular) required 
Success Factors  
A successful candidate will have an ability to work independently, take initiative in tasks and self-learning, and be proactive in communications and development of professional relationships. S/he will be able to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment with demonstrated sensitivity to the people and issues in the region. S/he will demonstrate exceptional interpersonal, relationship and cross-cultural communication skills especially in high stress environments are essential for success. S/he will be committed to the values and mission of Mercy Corps; have the ability to creatively problem-solve, to juggle multiple priorities under tight deadlines and to calmly and diplomatically deal with unexpected and sudden events impacting program operations with patience, dynamism, tenacity and a good sense of humor.  
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions  
The position is based in Bangui, Central African Republic and will require up to 50% travel to field offices to support country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. This position is unaccompanied for spouses and/or children. The security situation in CAR can be very volatile with pockets of violent outburst in various areas of the country. Bangui is generally more stable; however, carjacking and targeted looting do occur on occasion. Hospitals and access to quality health care are very limited. Malaria is prevalent. It is estimated that 7-8% of the population may be HIV positive. Suitable group housing is available. Electricity, clean water and internet can be at times subject to shortages 
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.