MEL Manager - Khartoum, Sudan
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
The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) team enhances Mercy Corps’ ability to deliver high impact programming by supporting the generation and use of high quality data for decision-making. It forms a critical component of the broader agency Strategy and Learning Initiative that seeks to drive greater evidence-based decision-making for greater program impact and accountability. The MEL team works directly with agency leadership – in country and at headquarters – to strengthen MEL by positioning it as a strategic functional area that is a critical mechanism for learning and is a part of good business practice for the agency. The team represents Mercy Corps externally to ensure our experience helps shape the relief and development field and to ensure that Mercy Corps keeps abreast of developments in donor and peer agency approaches to monitoring and evaluation.
General Position Summary
The MEL Manager role is a Khartoum-based position with an approximate 50% travel to field sites and sub-offices in Sudan. This role leads a centralized Sudan MEL team with a country M&E strategy and data management system where all program data and learnings are collected. This person works closely with program-specific MEL staff. The purpose of the team and strategy is to capture and express data collected from Mercy Corps programs in Sudan for better decision making around program quality, adaptive management, accountability and impact. As such, the MEL Manager (and team) must support program teams with training, coaching and continuous, hands-on engagement with tools, methodologies and practical matters such as budgeting and staffing. This role is responsible for the continued integration of Tola (an online platform for indicator tracking, data management and report generation) and responsible for institutionalizing this into the country operations. This role is responsible for the establishment of the CARM system, an engagement ensuring accountability within communities. The position will include close engagement with program managers and M&E staff, country and regional leadership. The MEL Manager will need to engage with both Khartoum and field-based team members to nurture and help develop an effective, impact-driven leadership culture across the country.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Review and enhance the country MEL strategy. Provide leadership to field offices through frequent travel and engagement in developing individual program level M&E systems that inform and improve each program, as well as feed into the broader nation-wide M&E system and country strategy.
- Lead and develop a country M&E team and also assist the M&E officers assigned to each program in developing and maintaining a system that improves the country’s ability to analyze and represent impact to donors, government, colleague agencies, and communities themselves.
- Participate in country management meetings and country-wide strategy sessions.
- Conduct periodic MEL/Program Performance gap assessments covering specific M&E activities, processes and tools in Sudan. Ensure Mercy Corps Sudan stays on track with a long-term rollout/training plan and strategy and that this adequately reflects the country strategy. i
- Oversight of field-based MEL Officers and Gender Advisors and ensure they follow individualized Action Plans that bring more systematic data collection, management and analysis
- Maintain clear and productive linkages between Khartoum and field based MEL Officers and Gender Advisors. Ensure clarity in roles and responsibilities so that M&E duties are carried out effectively.
- Regular travel and stays in field offices: conduct training and capacity assessments, as necessary. Work alongside field MEL and Gender Advisors in sub-offices on key events and also daily works.
- Responsible to finalize the adaptation to TolaData rollout and adoption in Sudan, which includes: program identification and selection; program readiness assessment and support; training and capacity building; and post-training user support and adoption/institutionalization;
- Serve as the TolaData Focal Point for Sudan.
- Ensure that the adoption and usage of TolaData is institutionalized and utilized in future grants.
- Liaise with Regional and HQ team members, including but not limited to: readiness support, training, and regular check-in meetings; and manage and contribute to country/regional level status reports and accountability metrics on TolaData usage and adoption.
Program Management Support
- Work with M&E staff, Program Managers and support teams on building a culture of adaptive management, evidence and learning in Sudan, and supporting better overall performance of the country team in these areas.
- Conduct initial orientations and onboarding of new program staff (esp. M&E, program managers, and country leaders) – promote tools like DIG, M&E tools, and PM@MC.
- Lead and support PM@MC compliance and provide backstop for in-country trainings, and support in specific PM@MC topics as needed.
- Conduct PM@MC gap analyses with PM@MC specialists, and help Mercy Corps Sudan develop action plans for correcting gaps, and developing plans for monitoring adherence to PM&MC minimum standards.
- Conduct program quality reviews including implementation quality, meeting of minimum standards, quality of M&E data collection and analysis.
- Support proposal development with a MEL planning that is informative and captures information relevant to Mercy Corps’ strategic plan in Sudan. This includes: indicator planning, results framework, data collection tools, sampling strategies and other necessary components to thoughtful planning.
Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism (CARM)
- Serve as Mercy Corps Sudan country CARM focal point
- Serve as lead writer of CARM standard operating procedures and ensure document is updated annually or as new programs are added to the country portfolio
- Ensure feedback channels and operation costs are budgeted for in proposals
- Ensure data quality of CARM database(s)
- Produce or review all CARM related communication materials
- Train new team members on Mercy Corps accountability principles and the country CARM and procedures
- Ensure every program has a CARM focal point
- Ensure proper documentation for all feedback
- Specify the CARM-related activities that need to be captured in SOPs for program activities (i.e. cash and voucher SOPs)
M&E System Development
- Strengthen the M&E unit working out of Khartoum that will facilitate M&E for all programs and collaborate closely with Program Managers in developing and establishing the M&E system, one that serves the needs of the overall of the country portfolio and its field officers.
- Support all country programs’ independent M&E efforts to ensure high quality M&E at the program level as well as build a nationwide system that captures and presents results at a national level.
- Maintain an M&E system with utility and program quality in mind, providing managers and their teams real time information that can steer program implementation as well as informing donors and strategic program direction and that helps strategize future program interventions.
- Work with senior management to address shortfalls in M&E that affect program implementation and conduct internal DQAs.
Grants/ Reports Management
- Regularly conduct project site visits to provide hands-on analysis of performance and results. Coach field staff, as needed, on how to capture and organize information for accurate documentation and reporting.
- Assist the program implementation team in timely and accurate reporting to donors.
- Coordinate with a variety of teams, HQ, Finance, and Program Directors and Country Director to ensure that reports are timely, high-quality, and responsive to donors.
- Lead the national team capacity building through coaching in report writing and quality control of final written products.
Monitoring and Evaluation/ Assessments
- Lead in designing and budgeting for programs to incorporate adequate provisions for assessments and evaluations
- Lead the design, implementation and supervision of all assessments and evaluations, including those commissioned by donors and/or consortia partners
- Develop approaches and mechanisms for developing the capacity of a national team members to support internal evaluations.
- Support recruitment, orientation and supervision of all M&E staff
- Develop the capacity of the M&E team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
- Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.
- Will elevate potential issues (observed or revealed through M&E or CARM works) to the Country Director for consideration and action.
Organizational Learning and Capacity Building
- 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 Beneficiaries
- 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.
- Contribute to the establishment of an effective complaints, accountability and response mechanism (CARM) to enhance feedback, trust and confidence with program participants. Identify areas of Mercy Corps work which need to be improved and ensure that Mercy Corps learns from the feedback provided through this process.
- Will participate and support any reviews or investigations through Mercy Corps integrity hotline and reporting system, as required and assigned.
Senior MEL Officers (Kadugli and Nyala) and M&E Officers (Kosti and Kassala)
Reports Directly to: Deputy Country Director
Works Directly with: Senior Leadership Team – Sudan, Program Managers, PaQ, Regional Program Director, Regional Country M&E Managers
Knowledge and Experience
- 5 to 7 years of experience working in international relief and development programs, with at least four years focused on providing M&E technical support to field programs, and at least three years working overseas preferred. Experience in Sudan is a strong asset.
- BA in international development or other relevant social science and MA preferred.
- Demonstrated skill with MEL and program design, including assessments, proposal development, indicator selection and M&E planning.
- Demonstrated skill and experience with facilitating MEL and program design processes, logical frameworks, theories of change, and overall program logic. Experience with market systems is a plus.
- 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. Additional software and technical skills (databases, mobile technology, GIS, and statistical packages) preferred.
- Experience designing practical and effective monitoring systems, including data and database management systems.
- Strong communication skills; able to work in person and remotely with a geographically dispersed and culturally distinct teams
- Fluency in English required; proficiency in Arabic a strong asset
The successful candidate should be a strong team player, with good communication and diplomatic skills. S/He should be able to facilitate complex team dynamics and achieve aims, have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, good organizational skills and ability to work independently, with a strong commitment to advancing learning in international development through monitoring and evaluation. S/he should be active within the M&E and learning community and have strong relationship-building skills and commitment to working collaboratively.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Khartoum, Sudan, and will require travel to field bases. Housing allowance will be provided.
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.
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.
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.