MEL Manager - Krakow or Warsaw, Poland
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.
Mercy Corps’ Ukraine crisis response seeks to meet the humanitarian needs of vulnerable Ukrainians and other conflict-affected people where they are: displaced inside Ukraine, refugees in Poland, Romania and Moldova - or trapped behind frontlines. We aim to reach 500,000 vulnerable people with multi-purpose cash assistance, in-kind humanitarian support, and protection services across four countries. Almost all our impact will be delivered in partnership: with Ukrainian, Polish, Romanian and Moldovan civil society organizations through a granting program that matches humanitarian action with capacity strengthening, and with peer international NGOs through a consortium in Ukraine.
General Position Summary:
The Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Manager (Neighbouring Countries) heads the MEL teams in Poland, Romania, and Moldova of Mercy Corps’ Ukraine response and is part of the overall Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) team.
The MEL Manager will lead and oversee the identification, development, and implementation of data systems, and to promote effective MEL and analytics of the Ukraine response in Poland, Romania, and Moldova. They are responsible for ensuring the development and use of data management platforms and standardization of data collection tools They will ensure the quality of MEL activities writ large, by setting adequate information management systems for all stages of data management, implement and oversee data quality audits and assessments, define and design processes and guidelines for data validation, verification and other quality standards as needed. The MEL Manager is responsible for the capacity building and mentoring on themes related to monitoring, evaluation, and learning - working closely with other PaQ team leads and collaborating frequently with their counterparts: the MEL Manager for Ukraine and the Data & Automation Lead. Together these positions will initiate and oversee documentation of evidence and promote use of program data for decision making by management. Working closely with the PaQ and technical leads, the MEL Manager will be a change agent in promoting a culture of evidence-based decision-making. Central to this approach will be the analysis and use of program data within the program for learning and adaptation of program activities.
Essential Job Responsibilities:
- Develop/update MEL and data analysis strategy (adhering to Mercy Corps MEL policy standards and deliverables) for Poland and Romania/Moldova, identifying key technological platforms and systems to be used to support the response implementation. The MEL strategy will be informed by a thorough analysis of data needs and a mapping of decision-making gates.
- Co-development of Ukraine response MEL Plan and Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) using existing Mercy Corps resources and developing new ones, that include clear step-by-step guidance, processes, roles and responsibilities on all relevant MEL activities.
- Manage MEL budgeting for relevant countries.
- Participate in new business development opportunities ensuring adequate resourcing for MEL within the response.
- Conduct data needs assessments and implement solutions that address the identified data needs in a timely manner.
- Develop and institutionalize use of mechanisms and practices across teams in Poland, Romania, and Moldova (eg. MEL, technical, operations) for data-driven decision-making promoting use of program MEL data.
- Periodically initiate and conduct quality assessments and audits as necessary.
- Ensure response is adequately updated in Mercy Corps’ central data platform for program indicators (TolaData).
- Co-develop and oversee the MEL system for the Ukraine response in Poland, Romania, and Moldova. This may include review and development of M&E Plans, M&E tools, standardization of variables across tools, integration of tools within appropriate technological platforms, developing and setting data workflows, managing response level database development if necessary, and others.
- Provide guidance, recommendations, and leadership to ensure that the M&E systems meet the needs of the response and help address shortfalls in M&E and data management that affect response implementation.
- Identify opportunities to maximize data management efficiencies through automation, integration and linking of various platforms to ensure integrated workflows.
- Ensure the ‘neighbouring countries’ adhere to Mercy Corps' MEL best practices, including adherence to the MEL policy standards.
- Develop program and operational reporting templates that facilitate the acquisition, aggregation, and flow of information in programs.
- Maintain a comprehensive schedule and review program reports to ensure that reports contain accurate, clear, and high-quality data that is presented in the proper format.
- Oversee evaluation activities in relevant countries.
- Lead the ‘Neighbouring Countries Team’ to create a learning agenda and implement learning activities through the response, including after action reviews, pause and reflection sessions, periodic performance reviews.
- Lead and provide support to response-wide analysis of information, data, and ongoing analyses to inform the learning agenda.
- Work closely with the technical leads, identify opportunities for in-depth analysis, documentation.
- Initiate opportunities for enhancing analytic capacity within the response teams promoting use of data.
Documentation & Reporting
- Regularly document lessons learned, best practices, program data analysis summaries, and evaluations and provide evidence-based information, success stories, case studies and other high quality, results-based documentation.
- Produce quality program reports and support program teams to review and improve on quality of reporting.
- Visit sites and partners to collect supplementary data, stories and conduct qualitative research both independently and in teams and support partner-organizations with proper documentation and report generation.
Capacity Building & Mentoring
- As needed, support in the training and oversight of enumerators for data-collection.
- Build the capacity of all relevant team members (including partner staffs) to develop and maintain an excellent MEL system and facilitate periodic reflection and analysis of program monitoring information that feeds into programming and learning.
- Maintain professional relationships with local government officials, private sector partners, NGOs, other development organizations, and civil society organizations as needed.
- Maintain an active advisory role with the program and MEL team to help guide them towards robust and relevant data collection.
- Work with MEL and IT staff to maximize the value and utility of technology initiatives for effective MEL.
- Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to credit Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its mission.
- 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.
MEL Senior Officers and MEL Officers in Poland, Romania, and Moldova.
Reports Directly To: Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Lead
Works Directly With: MEL Manager (Ukraine), Response MEL and Technical Teams, coordinates work with the regional and HQ-level counterparts on data, MEL and automation.
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants, community partners, other stakeholders, and to international standards guiding international relief and development work. We are committed to actively engaging communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
Knowledge and Experience
- Academic background or equivalent experience in social science, statistics, international development, economic growth, or other related field.
- Academic or formal training on technologies and M&E will strongly enhance the candidate’s ability to succeed in this job.
- Three years of MEL management experience (or similar).
- Relevant experience in field survey/data collection techniques, data entry, data verification, analysis, and reporting.
- Good understanding and skills at data management.
- Strong computer literacy with a full knowledge of MS Office applications; knowledge of data science and programming is plus but not required.
- Strong team coordination, listening, and consensus building skills.
- Should understand concepts and demonstrate skills in monitoring and evaluation, results frameworks/program logics, and participatory monitoring.
- Experience with both quantitative and qualitative data collection and reporting techniques.
- Should be able to design and implement surveys, have knowledge of commonly used sampling techniques.
- Experience with facilitation, capacity building, formal and informal knowledge transfer, partnership strengthening, and empowering staff through opportunities for growth and development.
- Experience leading learning extraction, development and sharing as part of the monitoring and evaluation feedback process.
- Familiarity with data visualization and data analytics.
- Knowledge of statistical analysis software such as Power BI, SPSS, and mobile data collection platforms preferable.
- Experience with market price monitoring and analysis, and cash distribution programming
- Experience with digital or technology platforms for program and MEL related activities.
- Strong ability to work across teams.
- Communicates well with remote collaborators.
- Manages multiple priorities and deadlines.
- Excellent oral and written English skills required.
- Language skills in Ukrainian, Russian, or Polish would be an asset – but not required.
- Ability to work effectively with an ethnically diverse team in a sensitive environment.
The successful candidate will be capable of multi-tasking, rapid decision-making, have initiative, drive and a lot of energy, as well as have high emotional intelligence, constructive communication skills and proven experience with capacity building. They will be committed to long-term program sustainability and the delivery of high-impact activities at the community level. Successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and challenging environments, and make effective written and verbal communication a priority.
A strong team member will be conscientious, with excellent judgement, capable of multi-tasking, prioritising, problem-solving and attention to detail with strategic vision. They must have the confidence, and humility, to work effectively with a large variety of people who will be diverse culturally, economically and in social status. S/he must be sensitive to political and cultural nuance and able to consistently apply excellent judgment to a variety of demanding and fast-changing situations, as well as the ability to foster solid working relationships with Mercy Corps staff. Working as part of a team and coordinating with project personnel, as well as strong organizational skills, are essential to this position.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
This position is based in our office in Krakow or Warsaw, Poland with occasional travel to Romania and Moldova and infrequent visits to Lviv, Ukraine as needed.
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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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 elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.