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.
Positive Youth Engagement (PYE) is a seven-year multi-sectoral Youth Activity designed to address the core issues of Palestinian youth development. The PYE activity will reach vulnerable and marginalized youth aged 10-24 at risk of social marginalization in deprived areas and private universities where they live by improving education, health, employment, community involvement (reintegration) and other needs as identified through drivers' assessments.
The activity’s goal is to transform vulnerable youth into productive, contributing citizens who are connected to their communities by increasing opportunities for Palestinian youth to realize their potential and to effectively contribute to social and economic development. Following are the main themes of the PYE:
- Core programming that supports, protects, prepares, and engages youth in safe spaces located within a strong network of more than 80 CBOs throughout the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza.
- Tailored packages of activities, resources, and referrals that will set youth on individually selected pathways building on the core curriculum to increase opportunities for youth to effectively contribute to social and economic development.
- Opportunities for sustained community engagement and leadership through youth-led pathways and councils, community and social media campaigns, and mentorship of subsequent cohorts as part of sustainable community youth networks.
- Improve opportunities for learning and individual empowerment for youth in grades 7-12 through the network of safe spaces.
- Expand safe spaces through 11 local universities career centers to reach youth ages 19-24 and offer the PYE core interventions including the Profound Stress and Attunement (PSA) approach and healthy wellbeing for youth, parents, and adult caretakers; learning activities (including the Passport To Success (PTS) and I:SERVE), youth pathways; and youth-led small-scale initiatives in addition to technology and innovation driven learning programs with a focus on STEAM, green solutions, and entrepreneurship.
General Position Summary
The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Team Lead is a key position in the USAID Positive Youth Engagement (PYE) program. They are responsible for cross-cutting programmatic information management, monitoring, and evaluation, ensuring that information collected is reflected upon, used to improve ongoing programs, and is incorporated into consistently high-quality reports and proposal development. The MEL Team Lead will be responsible for developing (in partnership with program staff), coordinating, maintaining and constantly improving the nation-wide MEL system, as well as training MEL team members within PYE program and across the partner organizations and selected safe spaces at the community level and 11 selected private universities in the West Bank. In addition, the position holder is responsible for ensuring that the reports generated by each partner organization are timely and of a high quality and that the data can be validated. This will be achieved through staff capacity building and necessary training.
Essential Job Responsibilities
Strategy & Vision
- Develop an overarching MEL strategy for the program, which includes a clear vision and a workplan with targets and deliverables. From the program master budget develop MEL-specific budget and ensure that all key MEL activities are appropriately resources and staffed.
- Working closely with the MEL HQ and regional teams, ensure compliance against the Mercy Corps MEL policy standards, and best practices.
- Ensure the program’s MEL is implemented in compliance with donor requirements.
- Further develop and advance the PYE MEL framework, provide leadership to MEL team members, partner organizations, and the safe spaces to advance the implementation of the MEL systems of the program. Ensure continuity in real time data collection, uploading, and analysis for reporting and programmatic purposes.
- Lead continued operation of and improvements to the automated MEL data systems for PYE, ensuring that data flows (from CommCare through Azure and to Power BI) are strategically aligned to the informational needs of the core program, are understood by and aligned with partners and safe spaces, and feed into the broader nation-wide MEL system on the country level.
- Lead and develop a strong and connected MEL team, who work closely with partners to develop and maintain a system that improves the program’s ability to analyze and represent impact to donors, and communities themselves.
- Drive a culture of learning and evidence-driven decision making, ensuring that senior and technical leadership of the program have timely access to program data and are using it for decision making. Initiate learning events, engaging the program and partner leadership and teams.
- Participate in country management meetings and country-wide strategy sessions. Participate and lead meetings with donor and partners relating to MEL deliverables, working closely with the COP.
- Use existing MC resources to train MEL and partner organization’s teams in the area of monitoring and evaluation and report writing.
- Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain an excellent MEL system, including training on Tola (digital tool developed by MC) and the periodic reflection and analysis of program monitoring data to disseminate learning.
- Develop plans to mentor and coach staff to build their capacity to enable them to develop excellent data driven reports and other documents.
MEL System Development
- Serve as a member of the program SMT, making sure that leadership has access to program data while driving discussions around data interpretation and adaptive management.
- Develop and oversee the implementation of the learning agenda of the program, together with the CLA lead and initiates and oversees the quality of studies, including evaluations, case studies, research, within the frames of the program.
- Develop and implement action plans to ensure MEL data security, data quality, and responsible data handling processes.
- Liaise with HQ MEL and Data Automation teams for system improvement and major updates.
Grants/ Reports Management
- Regularly conduct program site visits to provide hands-on training to partner staff on how to capture and organize information for accurate documentation and reporting.
- Assist the program implementation team in timely and accurate reporting to donors.
- Coordinate with a variety of teams, PYE Chief of Party, Country Deputy Director, MEL Country Manager, HQ, Finance, and Program Directors and Country Director to ensure that reports are timely, high-quality, and responsive to donors.
- Lead a national team capacity building through coaching in report writing and quality control of final written products.
Monitoring and Evaluation/ Assessments
- Assist in designing programs that incorporate Mercy Corps’ standards on design, monitoring, and evaluation.
- Develop Scopes of Work for various evaluations, studies, and oversee their implementation. This may entail recruiting consultants, or leading and implementing those studies internally with the program’s and partners’ MEL team members (including baseline, mid-term, final evaluations, topic-specific studies and others).
- Peridically synthesize learning from MEL and other program datasets, document and share at relevant country, regional and agency meetings, ensuring that knowledge is adequately documented and distributed.
- Create intentional learning opportunities as well as ad-hoc learning gatherings to leverage and promote cross-team learning with partners and other relevant counterparts. May also include program participants where and as relevant .
- Ensure quality of data in compliance with MEL Policy, including leading on coordination for quarterly program review meetings, regular Data Quality Assessments, record retention, and a final internal performance review.
- Coordinate and play a role in assessments as requested.
- Play a central role in all evaluation, design and implementation of outcome studies, reports, and learning agenda activities.
- Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.
- Assist team members with information, tools, and resources to improve performance and reach objectives.
- Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.
- Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
- Play an active role in hiring, orienting and leading team members as necessary.
- 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.
MEL Program Advisor/Specialists/Officers
Reports Directly To: PYE Chief of Party
Works Directly With: Deputy Country Director
Collaborates with: Country MEL Manager
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.
Knowledge and Experience
- 10-15 years of experience in the areas of program development and monitoring and evaluation, including relevant experience building and managing an M&E system and team, relevant experience supervising data collection and data validation exercises, and building staff capacity.
- Must have extensive training skills and experience working with a variety of donors, including USAID.
- Prior experience in participating and/or leading MEL studies, including baselines, evaluations, and other. Familiarity with study methodologies.
- High degree of computer literacy; Excel and Word skills are essential.
- Familiarity with and understanding of digital data collection (especially using CommCare), data visualization (especially using Power BI) and cloud data management/ETL pipelines strongly preferred.
- Ability to manage and meet deadlines.
- Ability to work independently on multi-task load.
- Excellent Communication and organizational skills.
- An internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.
- Knowledge of Sphere standards and other training in humanitarian response preferred.
The ideal candidate will have a strong curiosity for understanding and working effectively within the complex cultural, political, security and social environment of Palestine. They will be an excellent communicator, multi-tasker, and able to work in ambiguous situations. They will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures. The successful candidate will be focused on team building and capacity-building of national staff; be a strategic thinker, have strong skills in design monitoring and evaluation of development programs and maintain a sense of humor.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position is based in (Ramallah, West Bank) and it requires regular travel/ visits to Jerusalem office and other WB cities, as needed.
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.
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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