Position contingent on funding. The anticipated start date is October 1, 2020
The Near East Foundation seeks a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Lead (MEL Lead) candidate for the anticipated USAID Office of Food For Peace Development Food Security Activity in Mali. The five-year $60M activity has the objective to improve food security and resilience of communities in conflict-affected areas through strengthening local systems and community participation.
For over 100 years, NEF has worked to build a more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through economic development and governance initiatives. NEF’s work is organized around three core program areas: Inclusive Economic Development, Climate-resilient Development, and Stabilization and Peacebuilding.
The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Lead is a member of NEF’s program team, reporting to the Chief of Party. The MEL Lead will collaborate with US HQ-based MEL team, the Regional Data Manager and local NEF and partner MEL staff, to provide technical expertise and leadership to generate and analyze quality evidence and data through monitoring, assessments, and evaluations. The MEL Lead is accountable for the information/data collection, statistics and data analysis, monitoring & evaluation (M&E), preparation of reports, communication and partnerships, and capacity building. The MEL Lead will supervise all MEL activities working closely with NEF program staff and its partner organizations.
MEL Strategy and Planning:
- Working with project technical staff, develop and execute a fit-for-purpose MEL strategy, including;
- Ensure accountability to beneficiaries and donor.
- Coordinate the design of project log-frame, MEL Plan and data collection tools.
- Contribute data and learning to broader programmatic MEL, including standardized performance indicators and specific measurement tools.
- Develop and update curricula, provide trainings and one-on-one support to build the capacity of NEF staff and partners to implement Project MEL Strategy, Plan. and associated activities.
- Engage NEF and partner teams, including NEF HQ and regional colleagues, to ensure broad contributions to project MEL activities.
- Oversee data collection, quality assurance and management work performed by project staff and partners in the field to ensure consistency with MEL Strategy and Plan.
Data Collection & Management:
- Formulate data collection and management procedures and set timelines for project data collection, ensure implementation of procedures in accordance with established milestones and deadlines.
- Manage project MEL staff and partners to ensure successful execution of data collection and management policies and procedures in a timely and professional manner.
- Oversee technical design and accuracy of data collection and learning tools for beneficiary selection, indicators tracking and learning activities (g., baseline, follow up and endline surveys, institutional assessments, focus group discussions, key informant interviews).
- Support, supervise and coordinate on-going data collection and data entry by staff.
- When applicable, support procurement and management of third-party data collection.
- Organize and oversee implementation of quality control procedures and regular data quality assessments.
- Document procedures and oversee data preparation including data cleaning, standardization and analysis.
- Oversee data regular audits and ensure data integrity.
Data analysis and reporting, including:
- Collaborate with staff and partners to enable effective data usage through participatory reflective, analysis and learning approaches. Provide statistical analyses with needed controls, using industry-standard software (g., SPSS, STATA).
- Coordinate the production of regular and ad hoc reports, as required.
- Coordinate the preparation and presentation of data, when applicable.
Organizational Impact and Learning:
- Coordinate MEL activities to support action research and Collaborating, Learning and Adapting strategies.
- Support program and MEL teams and coordinate data collection and analysis to undertake impact assessments, learning activities and knowledge production.
- Develop quasi experimental methodologies for more rigorous impact assessment.
- Working with technical, research, and CLA staff, contribute to the design and lead the implementation of a learning strategy: elaborate program theories of change, identify key learning thematic, plan resources and support activity implementation.
- Working with CLA lead, document and disseminate lessons learned, and information on the outcomes and impact of NEF interventions on target beneficiaries.
- Perform other duties as required.
The successful MEL Lead must be a self-directed individual with the following qualifications:
- A master’s degree or equivalent experience in a quantitative field (preferably statistics; or economics, agricultural/development economics, bio-statistics, nutrition, applied sociology, anthropology, or other relevant subject) with significant training in quantitative methods.
- Minimum 8 years of experience, in a development setting, preferably the Sahel, with progressively increasing ME responsibility.
- Demonstrated experience in building or strengthening monitoring systems, quantitative and qualitative analysis, survey and sample design and effectively promoting evidence-based program management.
- Demonstrated experience in leading the M&E of a large award on complex programming
- Strong conceptual knowledge about theories of change (TOC), logic models, food and nutrition security indicators, M&E planning, data quality assurance, data utilization and gender integration into M&E.
- Excellent English and French language oral and written communication skills required
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite, including Word and Excel and industry-standard statistics software (g., SPSS, STATA) required.
- Experience conducting M&E activities in conflict and non-permissive environments is highly desirable.
- Experience working on USAID/FFP and/or USAID/FTF projects, including use of standard indicators, preferred.
- Cultural sensitivity, patience, flexibility and ability to work well in a multi-sectoral and multi-cultural team and to work closely, understand and support local partners.
- Commitment to building local capacity of NEF and partner teams and to ensuring project accountability to beneficiary and donor communities.
- Detail-oriented and excellent time management skills with the ability to meet deadlines and deliver required results in a timely and quality manner.
- Strategic thinking, including identification of MEL system weaknesses and initiative to address problem(s).
- Excellent organizational skills, accuracy and attention to detail.
- Ability to operate both independently and collaboratively as required.
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