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 Niger since 2005, focusing its interventions on improving food security, livelihoods, gender, social cohesion, governance, and emergency response outcomes. Mercy Corps has also been working in Burkina Faso since 2016 with activities in conflict research, livestock programming, and USAID learning coordination. Our work in these areas contributes to local communities’ resilience to shocks and stresses and enables them to achieve long-term, inclusive and equitable development. 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 currently implementing several development and humanitarian programs worth more than $27 million with field offices in Abala, Filingue, Maradi, Tillabéri, as well as Ouagadougou/Burkina Faso. In 2019, we were able to benefit more than 89,000 vulnerable Nigeriens.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Manager to lead the M&E and Learning functions of the expected five-year USAID-funded Youth Connect program in Niger and Burkina Faso. The goal of the program is to equip vulnerable young women and men with technical and life skills, networks, and capital for increased livelihoods and economic opportunities. This objective supports USAID’s overall Bridge and Sahel Development partnership (SDP) frameworks, which address critical unmet needs that are the main drivers of violent extremist recruitment in the Sahel: poor governance, lack of economic opportunity, and perceived exclusion from the benefits and services provided and facilitated by governments in the region. The program will be implemented in a consortium with other partners.
General Position Summary
The MEL Manager will provide oversight of project-level monitoring and evaluation activities within the Youth Connect Program, ensuring the quality of the MEL activities, information management via the programs reporting system and geographic information systems (GIS), where applicable. The MEL Manager’s role is to also oversee and ensure coordination of the various technical areas across the MEL staff of the program and other relevant program staff and partners. The MEL Manager is responsible for the capacity building and mentoring strategy for program staff on themes related to monitoring, evaluation, accountability, reporting and learning. In addition to managing the M&E team and M&E systems, the MEL Manager will play a critical role in operationalizing Youth Connect’s collaborate, learn, adapt (CLA) approach. Working closely with the COP, the MEL manager will guide the program in operationalizing an adaptive, iterative management approach with a culture of evidence-based decision-making.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Develop, set-up, and oversee the MEL system for Youth Connect including M&E Plans, M&E tools, survey design, methodology, data collection processes, and data analysis to assess the impact of the programs.
- 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.
- Ensures program uses the necessary M&E systems and tools, to inform and improve, as well as feed into the broader country-level M&E system and country strategy.
- Take the lead in aligning, collecting, analyzing and reporting on performance indicators to the program’s M&E systems, and other external systems as relevant.
- 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.
- Lead the Youth Connect team to create a plan to operationalize its CLA approaches including creating a culture of learning and systems thinking to stimulate an adaptive, iterative management approach.
- Designs and facilitates strategic planning sessions and learning events, assisting Youth Connect in a learning journey as well as development of its annual plans.
- Provides guidance, recommendations, and leadership to ensure that the M&E systems meet the needs of the program and help address shortfalls in M&E and data management that affect program implementation.
- Ensures Youth Connect adheres to Mercy Corps’ M&E best practices, including the use of standardized indicators, form templates, and documentation methodologies.
- Develop program and operational reporting templates that facilitate the acquisition, aggregation and flow of information in programs.
- Maintain a comprehensive schedule and reviews program reports to ensure that reports contain accurate, clear, and high-quality data and presented in the proper format.
Management, CAPACITY BUILDING AND MENTORING
- Oversee the Youth Connect M&E team.
- Build the capacity of all relevant team members and partner staff to develop and maintain an excellent M&E system, including regular reflection and analysis of program monitoring data.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL COORDINATION and Representation
- Active contributor and collaborator with regional and global counterparts to promote the use of M&E best practices and lessons learned.
- Strengthen linkages with other internal resources, including the Digital Library, Hub, and Connect, to enhance organizational learning where relevant to M&E.
- Present program M&E and learning to external stakeholders and the program team in a way that influences decision-makers and promotes adaptations from learning.
- 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.
Supervisory Responsibility: MEL team members
- Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
- Works Directly With: MEL Team, DCOPs, Technical Advisors, field teams, consortium partners, local government, USAID and other stakeholders.
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/S degree in development studies, research methods, statistics, economics, social sciences, monitoring and evaluation, project management or other relevant field required. Postgraduate degree preferred.
- 5-7 years of managing M&E work at a program or country level, including supervising staff. Proven use of program technology in an M&E function required.
- Experience with CLA approaches and promoting a culture of CLA including a track record in strategic, systems, and holistic thinking, managing resistance to change, and understanding of organizational culture, learning, and change management. Preferred experience using political economy analysis/thinking and working politically to achieve programming objectives.
- Experience with theoretical and practical background in M&E and skilled in participatory qualitative and quantitative M&E methodologies and techniques.
- Excellent quantitative skills and power user with Excel; Experience with Access, and statistical packages including Stata, R or SPSS and GIS tools like QGIS, ArcGIS or Google Earth Pro is preferred.
- Experience with data management including the ability to structure and collate data sets for ease of analysis.
- Demonstrated understanding of intermediate statistics and ability to summarize and make predictions from multiple data sets.
- Experience of working on USAID programs preferred.
- Previous experience living and working in challenging or insecure environments.
- Fluency in spoken and written French and English required.
- Experience in West Africa, specifically Niger and/or Burkina Faso, preferred.
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, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws and security protocols. 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 MEL Manager will be based in either Niamey, Niger or Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Both Burkina Faso and Niger are accompanied locations. Individual housing is available with freedom of movement beyond the house and office. There are international schools in both Niamey and Ouagadougou (French & American). Mercy Corps team members have good access to essential services, such as medical care, electricity, water, etc. International supermarkets and consumer goods are also readily available. Very hot temperatures prevail for large parts of the year and power outages are frequent.
These positions require up to 25% of travel by road to field offices in insecure environments and climatically harsh conditions. This position is eligible for R&R (in the case of expats) but not for hardship pay.
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.