Venture37 is seeking candidates for the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Specialist position for a 5-year Cooperative Development Program (CDP) funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The project will run until August 2023 and is in its third year of implementation. The project is advancing dairy and maize cooperatives in Rwanda and horticulture and dairy cooperatives in Malawi so they have improved capacity, enabling environment and resources to meet the evolving needs of their members.
Qualified applicants are requested to apply as soon as possible. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until a candidate is chosen.
The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Specialist will lead MEL activities for CDP in both Rwanda and Malawi. S/he will make operational decisions and facilitate the management of the entire MEL system. Responsibilities will include: recruiting and managing enumerators, overseeing routine and major data collection efforts, maintaining and validating data quality, coordinating and negotiating MEL standards for all project partners, interfacing with USAID to discuss the MEL system, producing semi-annual and ad-hoc reports to USAID, and ensuring the MEL system and results reporting meet the USAID and Venture37 MEL requirements.
The MEL Specialist will also train project staff on a mobile data collection system that will assist in tracking indicators. S/he will lead the development, coordination and implementation of the Activity Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan (AMELP) as well as the dissemination of data findings to facilitate adaptive management and learning. S/he will assist with leading the development, coordination and implementation of the Learning Agenda for CDP as well as the dissemination of findings.
In adherence with USAID MEL requirements, s/he will lead the hiring, management and oversight of any potential external evaluation partners, and demonstrate an ability to take critical inputs, feedback and assessments from evaluation partners to inform changes in program approaches and scale-up. S/he will work collaboratively with the technical team to ensure usability of the MEL system, troubleshoot any major MEL related issues, and discuss opportunities for learning and adaptation.
The MEL Specialist will report to the Chief of Party based in the US.
- Lead the maintenance of the AMELP and update as necessary throughout the life of the project;
- Implement appropriate mechanisms for monitoring and tracking of program activities and results;
- Responsible for coordinating ongoing data collection for the project;
- Facilitate the creation of the program learning agenda in collaboration with other program staff;
- Manage a mobile data collection platform including training staff and ensuring timely data entry;
- Monitor the quality and completeness of project data for documenting project performance, and solve data problems when they arise;
- Regularly review data collection processes, perform data quality assessments, and adjust data collection processes as needed;
- Provide project reports to the Chief of Party for inclusion in donor reports, which highlights achievements against targets, bottlenecks and makes recommendations for process improvement;
- Undertake regular visits to the field to support implementation of MEL and to identify where adaptations and improvements might be needed;
- Train all project staff in project monitoring and learning;
- Assist project staff to use project data to report and disseminate evidence of project work to the wider community, USAID, Venture37, Host Government, and other external stakeholders;
- Lead the regular sharing and support learning from the outputs of MEL findings with program staff and implementing partners;
- Demonstrate the highest degree of integrity throughout all activities, and raise any concerns with implementation quality immediately with the Chief of Party;
- Participate in Project Management Team Meetings;
- Select and manage appropriate consultants for required evaluations and monitor these activities, including the following:
- Review survey design and tools in consultation with Global MEL Team and/or appropriate consultant,
- Assist with selection of consultant with skills appropriate to conduct study,
- Oversee quality control/monitor progress of the consultant’s work, and
- Review and comment on content of evaluation reports.
- Design and implement back-up systems for organizational documents and data;
- Utilize established SharePoint system to store key documents and share key project and country related information with other staff; and
- Other duties as requested.
Required Skills and Qualifications:
- Master’s Degree or equivalent in applied economics, statistics, sociology or related area of study and at least five (5) years of progressively responsible work experience in managing complex M&E activities on project(s) of similar size; (specialized training in M&E is required);
- Or Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in applied economics, statistics, sociology or related area of study and at least 8 years of progressively responsible work experience in managing complex M&E activities on project(s) of similar size; (specialized training in M&E is required);
- Experience designing and overseeing M&E data collection and reporting for agriculture/food security and/or cooperative development projects (Feed the Future reporting experience preferred);
- Experience managing a MEL system for a USAID-funded or other international donor project preferred;
- Demonstrated ability to implement, operationalize and manage information collection and assessment systems;
- Demonstrated ability in developing, managing and trouble-shooting a large-scale tablet-based data and storage collection system, or other similar information databases using appropriate software applications, for data entry, analysis and storage of quantitative data;
- Experience facilitating training and mentorship of enumerators and field-based agricultural staff tasked with data collection;
- Ability to work in a team environment and work with and train non-direct reports to implement M&E tasks;
- Strong writing, reporting, and presentational skills;
- Ability to establish priorities and to plan, coordinate and monitor tasks;
- Highly developed conceptual, analytical and innovative problem-solving ability;
- Computer literacy and competency in the use of Microsoft Office software;
- Competency in quantitative data analysis software (preferably SPSS or Stata);
- Good time management and willingness to work occasional long hours and travel to the field in both Rwanda and Malawi as required;
- Ability to independently and proactively work as a team member with minimum day-to-day oversight;
- Strong interpersonal skills, self-motivated and result-driven, with ability to effectively build and manage networks and relationships for program promotion and issue-resolution preferred;
- Professional proficiency in English and Kinyarwanda required.