Mercy Corps’ Partnership Support Program (PSP) targets vulnerable conflict-affected populations, which involves working with our local partners to identify and build a network of agencies, community groups and former aid workers, who have effectively been able to provide life-saving support to populations facing life-threatening and unmet needs. Enhanced due diligence of partners and program stakeholders has informed partner selection and provides us with a high degree of confidence that we will work with local organizations that have the necessary experience, capacity, knowledge and networks to access underserved populations. Mercy Corps tailors capacity building plans and communication protocols to particular partners, locations and projects to mitigate risks and monitor program operations in the field. The PaQ specialist’s role is to improve the technical quality of the partner and program monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning systems and to promote more inclusive programming.
Mercy Corps defines performance and quality broadly as;
Performance: ability of a program to deliver expected outputs on time, on scope, and budget as defined to our donor and the community
Quality: going beyond requirements and striving for excellence with evidence of durable results, which is based on three principles: trust among stakeholders, systems for self-reflection, and integration across teams
The goals of the PSP PaQ unit is to;
- Create efficient and effective MEL systems for partners that go beyond compliance with MC minimum standards and leverage innovative technological solutions to enable greater engagement with high-quality data and document evidence of impact.
- Promote the value of CARM beyond just accountability to participants and maximize the impact that can be generated from CARM learning
- Support a continued move towards a coordinated and high-quality approach to a partnership model for programming
- Promote the efficient use of shared resources and planning through greater coordination and access to shared tools and learning.
- Support continued learning and development of PaQ through mentoring, learning opportunities, courses, and other forms of knowledge and experience development.
- Streamline the process for engaging in third party monitoring to support a continued focus on MEL and quality in inaccessible areas.
The role of the PaQ Specialist is to provide support to ensure the development of efficient and effective systems that support the above goals. This primarily includes strong technical support for the development of effective partner monitoring, learning and evaluation processes, providing support to program and partner staff during key project development and implementation moments, checking in on program quality and impact through a variety of different techniques as well as accountability to participants. This role supports a program implementation model that focus on partnerships and remote management.
Essential Job Responsibilities
- Work with wider MEAL team to formalize a strategy and workplan for PaQ department that contribute the broader PaQ goals.
- Work with partner PSP MEAL team to align work with the country strategy and Mercy Corps MEL policy.
- Lead on supporting programs team to integrate learning and ensure that evidence is used to inform adaptation of activities and future program design.
- Support the integration of Community Accountability and Response Mechanisms (CARM) tasks and responsibilities in to the MEAL team daily work and support the roll out of Mercy Corps internal safeguarding policies.
- Provide input on proposal on PaQ and MEL related activities and inputs as required.
Ensure that the PAQ unit provides strong MEAL support to program teams and partners, develops efficient and effective MEAL systems, and supports a community for MEAL staff to provide them with technical advice and a support network. This includes:
- Ensure the PSP program and partners use the necessary MEL systems and tools, to inform and improve each individual program.
- Provide leadership and training in the development of partner MEL plans, IPTTs, Analysis Plans, SOPs, quantitative and qualitative tools (surveys, MSC, focus groups), routine monitoring tools and analysis and data visualization to enable programs to assess outcomes and impact.
- As needed collaborate with external evaluators on the design and roll out of the program baseline and evaluations, while setting up effective systems for learning.
- Conducts internal DQAs to ensure data is collected with attention to accuracy and consistency.
- Work with program teams and the Technical Advisor for Partnerships, to ensure the adoption of efficient and effective partnership processes, identify strategies and build or strengthen systems to facilitate greater efficiency in program management processes especially those related to MEAL.
PROGRAMS AND PARTNER SUPPORT
- Provide support to program teams at key programmatic moments, such as starting up new sectors, modalities, locations or partnership modalities.
- Establishes mechanisms and tools to facilitate greater efficiency in between partners, program, M&E and information management.
- Ensure quality of partner project design and use of standard indicators, drawing on Mercy Corps’ standard indicator library (DIG) where appropriate.
- Provide technical support to partner MEL staff on design of specific data collection tools (such as surveys, questionnaires) and appropriate sampling strategies.
- Assist partners to focus their MEL efforts on collection of information that improves their understanding of project performance, while meeting Mercy Corps’ reporting requirements.
- Ensure that implementing partners have appropriate participant accountability mechanisms in place.
- Provide support to the program teams to improve partner reporting procedures, potentially including the development of web-based progress update forms.
- Align sub-grant logframes and MEL tools with grant requirements to ensure streamlined reporting.
- Provide training and mentoring in the development of MEL plans, MEL tools as well as survey design, methodology, data collection and analysis and other skills as required for assessing the progress and impact of programs.
- Facilitate learning of partner organization about MEL, through supportive techniques such as coaching, peer to peer guidance and reflection.
- Work with the Information Manager and programs teams to analyze information supplied by Field Officers and develop feedback loops to ensure this information is available to program team, and partners where appropriate.
- Provide technical guidance, advice and support regarding activities directly carried out by Field Monitors, including on the process and impact monitoring and measurement systems put in place and the ability for Mercy Corps to respond, adapt and improve.
- In close collaboration with Information Manager and MEL team, support the design of a cloud-base database system to enable analysis of Mercy Corps impact at the program level, in line with regional initiatives. Collaborate with Information Management team and other MEL staff to create or redesign participant dashboards.
- Organize regular reviews from the MEL perspective to show the progress, findings, learning and provide recommendations to programs and partners accordingly.
- Provide technical leadership in the design, set-up, ongoing implementation, and evaluation of programs for gender equality and social inclusion, ensuring sound gender and inclusion analyses, the practical application of SADD, and outcome indicators.
- Support gender equality and social inclusion awareness and capacity building across departments to ensure operational tools and processes, budgets, research scopes, and staffing structures reinforce gender equality and social inclusion in programs.
- As needed, design and support innovative and inclusive programming.
- Plan for capacity building, trainings and other HR needs of team members.
- Provide technical training and mentoring of partner MEL teams tasked with monitoring partner activities in the field.
- Provide supervision to the team members, ensure their work is aligned and contributing effectively towards the program’s strategy, that they have access to training and support and that effective workflows and coordination are set up between the different unit members.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Ensure a work environment that promotes a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection of work and feedback to the team.
- Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain an excellent MEL system, including integrating into the program cycle regular reflection and analysis of program monitoring data.
- 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.
- 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 PARTICIPANTS
- 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.
No direct line reports. The purpose of this role is to provide technical support and capacity to staff and partners and improve the quality of the products/work created by the entire department.
Reports Directly To: PaQ Director
Works Directly With: Director of Programs for PSP, MEAL Senior Coordinator, MEAL Senior Officers and Officers, Program Managers, Information Management Unit, Technical Advisors, Regional TSU,
Knowledge and Experience
- BA/S or equivalent in social science, management, international development, or other relevant field; MA/S in similar relevant fields preferred.
- 5-7 years of progressive experience and proven high level of competence in working in international settings, ideally in conflict-affected countries.
- 5 year direct experience in implementing M&E Systems particularly remote monitoring, mobile data collection platforms and managing evaluations
- 3 years experience in implementing or building accountability mechanisms
- Strong knowledge of and experience with humanitarian and development programming.
- Strong leadership, communication, and project management skills.
- Ability and interest to work with a multi-ethnic team in a culturally appropriate manner.
- Willingness to work in a face-paced, fluid environment on multiple tasks.
- Ability to proficiently write in English is essential
- Ability to speak, write, and read in Arabic
- Previous familiarity with the Syrian context is essential
A successful candidate will have the ability to live and work closely with a diverse team of individuals in a highly intense and fluid work and security environment with a capacity to spark innovative approaches to programming and inspire groups to collaborate closely to implement high-quality programs. They will have proven ability to learn quickly, take initiative, and be accountable for results, with an ability and willingness to remain mobile for short-term and/or long-term as necessary within the region, based on programmatic needs. An ability to work independently and as part of a team, with curiosity about and sensitivity to new cultures, a desire and ability to learn and grow, both personally and professionally, and a great sense of humor.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in Beirut, Lebanon and is an accompanied position. Beirut is a modern city with a nice climate, access to excellent schools, diverse entertainment options and good medical service.
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.