Mercy Corps Vacancy: Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation Advisor

Monitoring, Learning & Evaluation Advisor
Tracking Code: 218125-927

Job Description
This position is contingent upon funding and donor approval.

PROGRAM/DEPARTMENT SUMMARY: Mercy Corps works almost exclusively in fragile and conflict-affected environments. While we recognize that these are difficult places to operate, we believe that transitional environments – countries affected by civil wars, economic and political crisis, or natural disasters – offer tremendous opportunities for positive change. We currently implement over 30 integrated peacebuilding and economic development programs in some of the world’s toughest places, including Ethiopia, Liberia, Somalia, Sudan, and Uganda.

Contingent upon award, Mercy Corps anticipates starting a new integrated peacebuilding and economic development  program in the Middle Belt states of Nigeria. Starting in August, this three-year program will incorporate strong economic development and natural resource management elements in order to address underlying drivers of conflict and build cooperation between conflicting communities and build links between communities, private sector and governmental processes.

General Position Summary: The Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning (MEL) Advisor will provide leadership, in collaboration with the Program Manager and the Country Director, in all aspects of monitoring, evaluation and information management. The MEL Advisor will contribute to program planning to ensure adherence to Mercy Corps’ standards, including the use of standardized indicators and documentation methodologies. Throughout the life of the program, s/he will be the senior leader responsible for cross-cutting programmatic information management within the framework of the program, monitoring and evaluation, ensuring that information collected is reflected upon, used for continuous improvement of ongoing programs, and is incorporated into consistently high quality reports. S/he will have responsibility for leading research efforts, networking with research agencies, documenting project impacts, and overseeing field-based M&E staff.

Essential Job Functions:
Technical Leadership
Ensure that monitoring systems meet the requirements of the donor and that performance results can be used for continuous improvement.
Adapt existing Mercy Corps monitoring tools, as well as propose new ways of measuring change through the use of both quantitative and qualitative data collection tools, analysis of secondary data, and, where appropriate, remote monitoring techniques.
Coordinate internal and external reviews and lead the analysis of findings, with a strong emphasis on learning.
As a strategic leader, actively participate in management meetings and country-wide strategy sessions.
Strengthen staff capacity in qualitative and quantitative monitoring and evaluation tools through comprehensive staff training and coaching.
Take the lead in aligning, collecting and reporting on relevant program indicators to the organizational-wide M&E system, Mission Metrics.

Management of the Program Monitoring, Evaluation and Information System
Ensure that the Integrated Peacebuilding and Economic Development program gathers, maintains and reports upon quality and verifiable data using valid and appropriate qualitative and quantitative tools.
Establish and manage a database to track progress towards meeting project goals and objectives.
Address shortfalls in monitoring, evaluation and information management that affect program implementation.

Strengthen linkages with other internal agency resources, including the Learning Management System, Digital Library, the Hub, and Clearspace, to enhance organizational learning.
Coordinate with Mercy Corps’ HQ-based Technical Support Unit (TSU) to guide process of ex-ante, ex-post and midterm evaluation, from the design, implementation and documentation phases.
Participate in M&E-related working groups and maintain close working relationships with MEL counterparts in other relevant international NGOs, and local NGOs and associations in Nigeria.

Research Coordination
Identify quality research partners and increase their capacity to examine and document issues related to (1) the economic cost of conflict on pastoralist livelihoods and related markets and (2) the benefits of gazetting and grazing reserves to the quality of life, and livelihoods, of pastoralists.
Maintain regular contact with research agencies, oversee partnerships, work to increase their skills and product quality.
Liaise with other entities conducting related research to ensure coordination of efforts.

Organizational Learning: As part of Mercy Corps’ agency-wide Organizational Learning Initiative, all team members are responsible for spending 5% of their work time in formal and/or non-formal professional learning activities.

Accountability To Beneficiaries:
Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our participants 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 Project Team

Reports Directly To:  Program Manager – Integrated Peacebuilding and Economic Development

Works Directly With: Mercy Corps, finance, and country representation departments in Abuja. The Program Manager works directly with relevant Mercy Corps headquarters units as necessary, including Mercy Corps’ Conflict Management Group and Economic and Market Development team and various administrative/financial units.

Knowledge And Experience:
Postgraduate degree in development studies, research methods, statistics, social sciences, measurement and evaluation, project planning and management or other relevant field preferred.
Minimum 3-5 years of active M&E work experience in development programming required; ideal candidate will have both theoretical and practical background in M&E and skilled in qualitative and quantitative M&E methodologies and techniques.
Familiarity and experience with both peacebuilding programming and either economic development or natural resource management programming, preferably in insecure or transitional environments and/or in West Africa.
Familiarity with the Nigerian context is a plus
Knowledge of major aspects of program development, implementation and documentation and excellent verbal and written communication skills required.
Excellent computer skills, including experience with: Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Epi-Info, Epi-Data, SPSS, Access, SQL, and any other statistical packages.
Demonstrated understanding of intermediate and advanced statistics and the ability to summarize, generalize, and make predictions from large data sets.
Ability to conceptualize, plan and implement program activities creatively, as well as possess the ability to analyze data and utilize lessons learned for the continuous improvement of program implementation and to promote a culture of learning.
Fluency in written and verbal English required.

Success Factors:
The successful MEL Advisor will have the ability to multi-task, set priorities, and work under tight deadlines within a complex team. S/he will demonstrate strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills and be committed to the values and mission of Mercy Corps. S/he will take initiative and contribute to team efforts, as well as demonstrate an ability to communicate, assume leadership, and make solid decisions while working remotely from country leadership.

Living /Environmental Conditions:
This position will likely be based in Abuja with up to 50% travel, primarily to locations within the Middle Belt states, where security is at times high-risk. Security in Abuja is generally good, although there are times when security is an issue.  Housing, health care, water, electricity and consumer goods are all reasonably accessible and there are good international and domestic travel options from Abuja Airport.
Abuja is an accompanied location suitable for spouse/partner and/or dependents.
Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of 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.

Job Location
Abjua, Federal Capital Territory Ng
Position Type: Full-Time/Regular

Click here to apply

Closing Date: Friday, 17 August 2012