Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.
Mercy Corps has been operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) since August 2007, with a staff of around 400 people working in Eastern DRC, with the overall country goal being to support vulnerable communities through crises, while fostering programs that build resilience and promote long-term change. Mercy Corps’ national office is in Goma with sub-field offices in North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri. Mercy Corps’ key programming areas include a combination of longer-term development and immediate humanitarian response programs. Mercy Corps DRC’s humanitarian programs aim specifically to assist populations affected by the conflict and crisis in Eastern Congo.
In October 2020, Mercy Corps started the five-year USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity (SWASSA), with a budget of $32 million to be implemented in locations across North and South Kivu. Building on the successes of Mercy Corps’ IMAGINE program, and those of other WASH actors in Eastern DRC, USAID’s Sustainable Water and Sanitation Systems Activity (SWASSA) brings together a consortium of partners to focus on water and sanitation. In partnership with USAID and in line with Development Objective 2 of USAID’s DRC Country Development Cooperation Strategy (CDCS), SWASSA aims to show that it is possible to achieve genuinely sustainable increases in access to clean water by implementing contextually relevant, performance-based contractual models for water service delivery in collaboration with state and local entities including ETDs and Provincial Administrations.
General Position Summary
The SWASSA MEL Director is responsible for providing overall leadership, coordination and technical supervision of the monitoring, evaluation and learning activities for SWASSA. They will be expected to connect and convert program data and research to inform the program’s strategic approach.
The MEL Director will provide oversight of program-level monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities within SWASSA, ensuring the quality of MEL activities, information management and geographic information systems (GIS). The MEL Director is responsible for capacity building and mentoring for program staff and partners on themes related to monitoring, evaluation, accountability, reporting and learning. The MEL Director will be responsible for the ongoing implementation of the Activity Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan (AMELP).
In addition to managing the M&E team and M&E systems, the MEL Director will play a critical role in operationalizing SWASSA’s adaptive management approach, with a culture of evidence-based decision-making. Working closely with the Program Director, the MEL Director will guide the program in operationalizing an adaptive, iterative management approach with 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
- Implement the Activity Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan (AMELP) inclusive of Results Framework, indicators and baselines, annual targets and data collection plans.
- Oversee the MEL system for SWASSA including M&E Plans, M&E tools, survey design, methodology, data collection processes, and data analysis to assess the impact of the programs.
- Ensure 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.
- Integrate MEL technology solutions to the data cycle where appropriate to increase the efficiency and accuracy of monitoring, in line with Mercy Corps’ MEL Tech Suite.
- Ensure that gender considerations are effectively integrated at design, implementation, analysis and report writing stage for all produced MEL products and that data collected is sex and age disaggregated in line with Mercy Corps minimum standards and donor requirements.
- 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, ensuring team has timely access to relevant data in appropriate formats.
- Ensure that the SWASSA Program Director is alerted to any issues that prevents full implementation of the methodology in line with the agreed Theory of Change.
- Ensure compliance with all internal Mercy Corps and external donor policies and regulations.
MEL TEAM MANAGEMENT
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews.
- Provide team members with information, tools and other resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
- Contribute to country MEL team-building efforts, help team members identify problem-solving options and ensure the integration of all team members into relevant decision-making processes.
- Support country MEL capacity-building strategy with the aim of promoting a culture of learning and adaption through systematic analysis of program data.
- Provide training and monitoring in the development of M&E plans, M&E tools as well as survey design, methodology, data collection and analysis and other skills as required for assessing the impact of programs.
- Contribute to the knowledge management repository with best practices in MEL and ICT and ensure accessibility.
- Actively provide mentorship for all SWASSA MEL staff including transparency and flexibility.
- Identify opportunities to utilize existing data in the production of key programme documents and resources, effectively demonstrating the impact of the program towards its objectives.
- Lead on the analysis and report writing elements of the SWASSA regular surveys (quant and qualitative) which represent the key data sources for reporting to the donor.
- Coordinate with a variety of teams to ensure that program teams have the necessary capacity and resources to produce timely and high-quality reports that are responsive to donors.
- Provide a biannual results update for USAID, and all other required data collection and reports.
COORDINATION AND REPRESENTATION
Supervisory Responsibility: MEL Manager
- Actively participate in SWASSA Coordination Meetings.
- Represent SWASSA MEL to USAID.
- Participate in cross-component MEL meetings to share and document best-practice.
- Participate in external MEL forums to share best practices when applicable.
- Develop positive working relationships and coordinate/collaborate with partner organizations and international and national agencies active in the target areas.
AccountabilityReports Directly To: SWASSA Program Director
Works Directly With: SWASSA MEL Team, SWASSA Component Managers, MEL specialists from other programs, other programme staff and partners as relevant.
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.
Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills
- 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.
- 4-6 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 an understanding of organizational culture, learning, and change management.
- Experience with theoretical and practical background in M&E and skilled in participatory qualitative and quantitative M&E methodologies and techniques.
- Ability to effectively convey programmatic goals, enlist partnerships, and work with a range of internal and external stakeholders, inclusive of Consortium partners.
- Ability to translate data into effective communication documents, demonstrating strategic impact.
- Excellent quantitative skills and power user with Excel; Experience with CommCare, Tableau, ONA, power BI, 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 attention to detail, ability to follow procedures, meet deadlines and work independently and cooperatively with team members is required.
- Demonstrated understanding of what gender sensitive programming is and why it is important.
- Demonstrated understanding of intermediate statistics and ability to summarize and make predictions from multiple data sets.
- Previous experience of managing a team and working on a USAID program much preferred.
- Fluent written and oral communication in English and French is required. Familiarity with Swahili is a plus.
- Experience working in Africa is preferred
The successful candidate is an opinionated, fast thinking, experienced leader. They have a thorough understanding of what it takes to deliver impactful programs in challenging environments. They are an excellent communicator who can inspire broad and diverse teams towards achieving a shared goal and drive a fast-paced and adaptive program. They are able to create a stimulating working environment encouraging innovation and accountability. They should have good communication and diplomatic skills. They should be able to facilitate complex team dynamics and achieve aims, have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills, good organizational skills and ability to work independently, with a strong commitment to advancing learning in international development through monitoring and evaluation. They should be active within the M&E and learning community and have strong relationship-building skills and commitment to working collaboratively.
This position is an accompanied position. Individual accommodation will be provided in Bukavu or Goma according to Mercy Corps’ DRC housing policy.
Goma is a provincial capital of over 1.2 million inhabitants. Living in Goma is mostly comfortable, although water and electricity can be unstable. Outside Goma, travel can be dangerous and unpredictable due to armed forces and rebel activity.
While conditions in the country are improving, and security is reasonably stable in Goma, there are still pockets of violence and insecurity. Mercy Corps' sub-offices experience variable levels of insecurity, with the situation closely monitored by UN peacekeepers. Air travel is necessary to get from one end of the country to the other. Mobile phones and cellular service are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices. Travel to field sites will be required where living conditions are clean and secure, but basic. There are several health services available with evacuation options for serious illnesses.
There’s reasonable access to most consumer goods, although they can be expensive.
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 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.
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.
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