Monitoring and Evaluation Lead, Food for Peace - Mali
Position is contingent on new 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.
Now, and for the future.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has been present in Mali since 2012, providing humanitarian assistance and improving food and nutrition security, livelihoods, governance, and conflict resolution for more than a half million people. Our lifesaving, early recovery and development programs contribute to Mercy Corps’ overall objective in Mali to support vulnerable and at-risk populations to recover from food security crises, while building their resilience and restoring peace and stability. Mercy Corps’ vision for change requires the private sector, government and civil society to work together to create meaningful and sustainable change.
Mercy Corps is seeking an M&E Lead to provide monitoring and evaluation technical expertise and leadership for an expected five-year USAID/Office of Food for Peace-funded Development Food Security Activity for Mali. This proposed program will bridge humanitarian assistance and longer-term development programming in conflict-affected areas, with the overall goal of improved food security and resilience of target communities. Program objectives focus on stabilizing vulnerable households by reducing the impact of shocks and connecting households to basic services; engaging youth as key drivers for community development and increasing sustainable livelihood opportunities; and having communities drive approaches to manage natural resources and community assets sustainably and productively.
General Position Summary
The M&E Lead will provide technical expertise and leadership to generate and analyze quality evidence and data through monitoring, assessments and evaluations for a five-year, $60 million USAID/Office of Food for Peace-funded Development Food Security Activity. The M&E Lead is a technician with demonstrated experience in building or strengthening monitoring systems, quantitative and qualitative analysis, survey and sample design, and effectively promoting evidence-based program management. S/he will manage staff, resources and coordinate closely with partners to fulfill the M&E requirements of the program as well as promote evidence-based decision-making, adaptive management, and a culture of learning.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Monitoring and Evaluation Management and Technical Leadership
- Work closely with the Chief of Party to ensure that program deliverables are met according to established plans.
- 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 FFP standards.
- Working closely with Collaboration, Learning and Adapting Lead and research team, 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. This includes conducting periodic learning sessions to discuss monitoring data, lessons learned and evaluation findings.
- Facilitate indicator planning, design and negotiation with USAID of the Indicator Performance Tracking Table (IPTT), based on the USAID/FFP proposed format; define with the team program indicators and targets for all program years, based on the USAID/FFP guidance of standard required and applicable indicators; where applicable and desirable, include Mercy Corps Alpha Indicators (see the Design for Impact Guide).
- 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 Malian gender, age, and other locally significant socio-cultural factors.
- Set up a mobile data collection platform for beneficiary tracking.
- Champion the inclusion of qualitative data collection and analysis for both direct and supplemental measurements of program performance. Train teams in appropriate methods for focus group discussion and key informant interviews and lead field-based qualitative data collection as needed.
Data Management and Information Technology
- Understand, maintain and innovate on the technical components (including hardware, software, database, etc.) of MEL information and a data management system that improves Mercy Corps’ ability to implement quality programs through better mobile data collection, management, analysis and presentation of data, and represent impact to donor, government bodies, peer organizations and communities using standard technologies.
- 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.
- Assist the program team to integrate and use Mercy Corps’ agency-wide software tool for project management (Tola Activity) and data management (Tola Tables).
- Assist teams in setting up appropriate summary statistics and relational calculations in program databases and link them to tracking dashboards. Help develop the appropriate workflow.
- Develop and oversee implementation of capacity building strategy for M&E and partner staff, that promotes a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection of program data. Design comprehensive orientation for all new program staff.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
Internal and External Communication
- 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.
- Active contributor and collaborator with regional and global counterparts to promote the use of M&E best practices.
- Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
- Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.
- 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 program 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.
Program M&E team
Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Program team, in particular the CLA Lead and research team, partner organizations, Mercy Corps Mali country office, Mercy Corps Mali MEL Manager, 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, nutrition, applied sociology, anthropology, or other relevant field) with significant training in quantitative methods.
- At least eight years of relevant M&E experience with positions of progressively greater responsibilities. The candidate must have experience leading the M&E of a large development project.
- Strong conceptual knowledge about theories of change, logic models, food and nutrition security indicators, M&E plans, data quality assurance, mobile data collection, data utilization, and gender integration into M&E.
- Demonstrated experience and expertise in developing and operationalizing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan (please see the FFP M&E and Reporting Policy and Guidance for the components of an M&E plan).
- Demonstrated expertise and experience in developing and operationalizing routine monitoring system designed to track both output and outcome indicators.
- Strong quantitative background and demonstrated expertise in designing annual monitoring surveys including probabilistic sampling strategy and estimating sample size, developing appropriate weights, and analyze quantitative data.
- 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.
- Preference for experience in Food for Peace or Feed the Future M&E frameworks, and in-depth understanding of food security programming.
- Experience conducting M&E activities in conflict, difficult-to-access and/or insecure environments is desirable.
- Familiarity with the Malian context.
- Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and French. Proficiency in local languages is desirable.
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. 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
The M&E Lead is based in Bamako, Mali or a field location, with regular travel (up to 50%) to implementation areas as the security situation allows. This is an accompanied position. The M&E Lead is entitled to individual housing. There is regular access to electricity and water, though there are occasional electrical outages. Access to quality health care is limited. There are a number of clinics in town, but serious illnesses will require evacuation. Internet is limited, but available in Mercy Corps offices. There is reasonable access to most consumer goods in Bamako.
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.