Monitoring Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Lead

Natural Resource Governance Institute
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Apr 28

Position description

The MEL Lead provides strategic thinking, best practice advice, and oversight of NRGI’s monitoring, evaluation and learning activities. They work to optimize NRGI’s impact on the extent to which countries rich in oil, gas and minerals achieve sustainable, inclusive development, so that people receive lasting benefits from extractives and experience reduced harms. The key components of the role include: 

  • Developing an organizational MEL strategy applying knowledge and experience to ensure effective implementation.
  • Overseeing systems and data collection tools to monitor the achievement of project milestones and outputs
  • Supporting program and project leads to utilize adaptive management techniques to maximize the achievement of project goals and outcomes
  • Using a research approach to determine the extent of impact
  • Feeding lessons learned into both the strategy and planning phases of future program design; and disseminating findings externally to provide MEL thought leadership in the natural resource governance space  
  • Serving as an internal source of expertise on Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning best practices for other teams in the organization
  • Facilitating internal learning at key junctures in organizational cycles and tied to significant projects

In order to ensure the effectiveness of these important processes, it is necessary for the MEL function to assure the quality of the data collected and the validity of the conclusions drawn. Working with a MEL Associate, the MEL Lead is responsible for overseeing significant data collection, storage, analysis and presentation for internal reflection and learning purposes and to contribute to donor reporting. The MEL Lead will collaborate with Finance and Fundraising/Development teams to understand and monitor compliance with grants. 

The MEL Lead has excellent qualitative and quantitative analytical and data visualization skills. They must have the ability to build collaborative relationships across a globally disbursed team in order to help program teams integrate MEL principles systematically. As MEL deliverables are often external facing the MEL Lead has excellent writing and story-telling skills. The MEL Lead will also work alongside the communications team to produce external knowledge products.

Major Responsibilities:

  1. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP 

Fully leverage all aspects of the MEL function to help program teams advance learning and the body of evidence-based knowledge that drives impact in natural resource governance and sustainable, inclusive development

Keep up to date on global and national trends, developments and key international issues in governance and extractives. Monitor evolutions in the MEL field and keep NRGI in line with leading practices

Lead the development and implementation of mechanisms for systematically collecting, collating and disseminating lessons learned as a result of NRGI’s MEL activities; support program and project leads in feeding learning back into the design of future strategies and plans

Identify new trends and shifts in NRGI donor requirements that can inform MEL approaches and need for adaptation; ensure that MEL systems will deliver against donor accountability requirements 

Work closely with colleagues involved in communications, advocacy, research and capacity development to provide them with analysis and evidence in a format that is useful for influencing stakeholder mindsets and driving change

Draw the attention of colleagues to successful approaches that would benefit from widespread dissemination and scale-up; make sure that ‘outcome stories’ are documented and passed on to the Communications team for development and promotion

Engage with the broader field of resource governance and fiscal governance MEL professionals and donors to advance field-wide knowledge on MEL best practices, including sharing out NRGI lessons learned

 

2. MEL LEADERSHIP & SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT

Lead the development and implementation of NRGI’s monitoring, evaluation and learning strategy and systems development, ensuring that they support achievement of organizational objectives, which includes donor requirements

 

Ensure that effective strategies, systems and tools for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning are incorporated into the design of all strategies and plans and fully integrated into all of our activities

Lead the development of MEL results frameworks and tracking tools for NRGI’s 2025 Strategy and for all program and project plans that arise from it; provide advice on key MEL decisions, such as the identification of priorities and appropriate indicators; adapt the MEL strategy annually and build actionable work plans from the strategy

Facilitate evaluations of the organizational strategy from start to finish including planning, procurement, and dissemination

In coordination with the Fundraising/Development team, oversee projects that include MEL requirements (i.e. results frameworks, program-specific evaluations); help develop and maintain results frameworks for specific proposals and projects when necessary 

Guide MEL activities to ensure learning and improvement are truly institutionalized, and support a practice of strong post-project evaluation and management responses:

  • Internal learning reviews are approached and conducted in ways that foster blame-free learning and support NRGI in embodying a learning organization 
  • Responsible and effective approaches are used to assess quality of implementation and program design so that both corrective and continuous improvement is taken by NRGI staff in the implementation of their programming
  • MEL best practices and successful internal and external approaches are consistently identified, documented, piloted, and scaled up

 

  1. ENSURING IMPACTFUL IMPLEMENTATION

Support program and project leads to utilize the information provided by monitoring, evaluation and learning activities to maximize the achievement of project goals and continually enhance NRGI’s impact 

Develop MEL function operational plans and budgets; includes development and communication of the calendar of impact assessments and other reviews

Coordinate across program teams to ensure data collection and other monitoring activities are carried out according to plan and that evaluation and learning is conducted in a collaborative way: 

  • Facilitate systems for staff to input project data into MEL systems in a timely and accurate manner
  • Work closely with Finance and Fundraising/Development programs to plan and ensure effective monitoring, including support for oversight of project finances
  • Ensure interim reporting and reviews are conducted where required (e.g. project mid-points)
  • Conduct evaluation and learning sessions; encouraging each program team to continuously challenge and innovate their approaches

Analyze and synthesize data at country, program and whole-organization levels to draw out learning and implications; lead the production of reports, including the organization’s year-end report

Analyze the root causes of any shortfalls to understand how NRGI’s systems or standard operating procedures might need revising

 

  1. RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT & COMMUNICATIONS

Work collaboratively with colleagues to build positive relationships with key external stakeholders, especially donors, and to build NRGI’s brand

Build and contribute to the development of strong relationships of mutual trust with donors:

  • Ensure full understanding of MEL-related donor reporting and accountability requirements in tandem with the Fundraising/Development team; design MEL tools and approaches to deliver such reporting in collaboration with implementing staff
  • Lead the monitoring, collation and analysis of data for donor reports; support drafting of donor reports in collaboration with colleagues 
  • Interact with donors in MEL-focused learning forums and serve as a point of contact on MEL-related concerns when necessary
  • Participate in and cooperate with audits; lead and monitor implementation of corrective actions

Scan for and respond to relevant calls for MEL-focused proposals or opportunities

Lead monitoring and evaluation of communications, research, advocacy and capacity development efforts to identify the approaches that deliver impact for NRGI; support colleagues in continually improving the design of campaigns and interventions

Personally, and proactively, engage in advocacy and communication to:

  • Participate in MEL-related networking events and other opportunities to build relationships
  • Produce tailored materials/approaches for influencing key stakeholders
  • Effectively engage with media and social media to communicate vital messages
  • Speak at conferences and events; help produce content and presentations to build NRGI’s MEL profile

 

  1. TEAM LEADERSHIP

Motivate and inspire all of NRGI’s staff to value rigor and diligence in MEL programming; provide the synchronization needed across programs and departments to deliver effective organization-wide monitoring, evaluation, and learning

Plan and provide the training and support needed throughout the year to build organizational-wide MEL capacity and culture; this includes both hands on training of staff and the development of accessible tools, templates, and guidelines

Liaise with the Director of Research, Data and Learning to ensure appropriate resourcing in the department; liaise with support services team to recruit staff if authorized and/or to procure consultants as required

Empower other teams at NRGI to use organizational reporting systems and evaluation resources effectively

Provide leadership to the MEL Associate, managing their performance and providing an engaging leadership style to ensure motivation

Procure and manage external consultants to undertake relevant evaluations and/or provide other specialized MEL services

Manage effective internal communications to draw attention to MEL priorities and to celebrate successes

The responsibilities of this role are subject to modifications as required by the needs of the organization. 


 

Qualifications

Experience & Technical Skills Required

  • Eight to ten years directly relevant experience working in strategy development and implementation, quantitative and qualitative analysis, program and/or process monitoring, and learning and continuous improvement.
  • Strong experience in writing and producing donor and/or stakeholder-centered reports, presentations, and content that summarizes quantitative analysis and incorporates data in qualitative narratives and stories.
  • Experience in learning to bring about continuous improvement; process-oriented with an ability to link results and outcomes to activities and methods. 
  • Project management experience in an international development setting. Experience in fundraising development helpful.
  • Effective in multi-cultural communication, facilitation, training and development.
  • Experience translating strategy into project and research design; ability to think conceptually and strategically with a 3-5 year horizon.
  • Able to understand the natural resource governance sector and the complex ecosystem that results in resource-rich countries failing to achieve sustainable development.
  • Experience working in a complex or pioneering environment, including supporting and developing opportunities for systemic change.           
  • Able to initiate and develop strong, credible relationships and influence stakeholders at a project level.
  • Excellent English language skills, both written and spoken; proficiency in French and/or Spanish helpful.

Education & Qualifications

  • Master’s or other postgraduate degree in a relevant field (development, political science, economics, international affairs, etc.).  
  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field (development, political science, economics, international affairs, etc.).

Working Environment:  Standard office environment; the job holder may be required to travel up to 15% of time

Application instructions

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