The five-year (2019 – 2024) USAID-funded Feed the Future Policy Leadership, Interactions, Networks and Knowledge (Policy LINK) project implemented by DAI Global LLC will strengthen the capacity of local actors and institutions to lead and manage the agricultural transformation process and contribute effectively and collectively to improved, broad-based food security policy outcomes.
Specifically, the program aims to strengthen food security policy systems by investing in and reinforcing productive human and social capital and developing strategic partnerships that help bring these innovations and capacity investments to scale in order to achieve a critical mass of local actors with the ability and opportunity to effect positive policy change through collective action.
Policy LINK in South Sudan
The LINK project will open an office in Juba, South Sudan in order to provide backbone support to the Partnership for Recovery and Resilience (PfRR). PfRR is an unprecedented cross-sector, multi-donor, multi-agency platform and collective of partners established to increase the agency of local populations in select geographic areas to identify and respond to their priority needs for building resilience and reducing vulnerability. With this approach, the community, local governments, and donor agencies are improving their use of evidence to inform joint decision making at local, national, regional and global levels; however, the central focus is to strengthen the community’s ability to withstand and respond to shocks, including environmental, economic, political and those related to local conflicts.
The PfRR is grounded in the concepts of collective impact and collaborative governance. It intends to reduce the humanitarian burden in the targeted communities and make the use of donor resources more effectively by promoting greater self-reliance, reinforced by external assistance.
LINK will provide backbone support to PfRR partners in Juba and in select regions to enhance coordination and effectiveness towards the realization of resilience objectives. This includes support to PfRR structures and working groups with the establishment of core monitoring and evaluation frameworks and internal knowledge management practices, and establishment of partnership framework building blocks.
The Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Manager will be responsible for providing technical advice, technical assistance, and guidance on issues related to monitoring, evaluation and learning in designated Policy LINK partnership areas. S/he will manage relationships with several MEL Managers and Specialists across Partners, including the USAID-funded Monitoring and Evaluation Support Project (MESP). The MEL Manager will play a significant role in helping to manage and strengthen systems to assess and monitor program and project performance across the PfRR, including technical discussions and contributions within the Joint Analysis, Measurement and Monitoring Group (JAMMG). S/he will also synthesize lessons learned from implementation in South Sudan and facilitate incorporation of these lessons learned into project-wide Policy LINK reporting and internal learning.
The MEL Manager will be a thought leader in the area of how to make evidence make sense to the decision makers and different levels and positions within the PfRR. This means the Manager will have to be able to understand the PfRR as a system where information flows in multiple directions to support joint decision making. As the PfRR structures and standards are still emerging and being formalized, the Manager will also help table and evolve ideas as a facilitator and thought leader. The idea generation and development function is closely associated with the Learning Agenda, which will require the LINK team to be innovative in how it promotes learning across partnership areas.
The following questions frame the MEL agenda:
· What are the sources of resilience that explain why some households and communities are able to maintain their well-being (and avoid the need for humanitarian assistance) in the face of shocks and stresses while others are not?
· What PFRR supported activities have the greatest impact on strengthening these sources of resilience?
· To what extent did PFRR investments help avert the need for humanitarian response (expressed in HA need and/or $ terms)?
· What could be the potential monitoring requirements in the future that are not already covered by the existing system (including FSNMS and PfRR logframe).
The MEL Manager will continually reinforce Policy LINK’s agreed-upon core purpose and principles, and ensure all decision-making is rooted in the purpose and principles. S/he will contribute to a learning environment in which personal and team growth is supported, with a shared understanding that the “team” always comes before the “individual.”
Resilience analysis and M&E for decision making requires a) simplification of existing tools to make them more user-friendly; b) harmonization (bringing some additional clarity with respect to the relevance of existing tools and potential complementarity between them such as RIMA, ICA, SCORE, and IFPRI analytical work on social capital); c) contextualization of tools to local situations; and d) communication to decision makers at all levels including households and communities. Collectively, this will enhance community involvement in data collection and improve evidence-based decision-making.
The MEL Manager will perform the following duties:
· Assist the PfRR’s Monitoring and Evaluation Advisors and specifically the JAMMG to improve coordination and learning;
· Contribute to the development and maintenance of performance measurement systems, collect annual periodic reporting documents, and ensure technical and analytical rigor in all deliverables from tool development to final reporting;
· Provide facilitative leadership support to all M&E functions carried out by the Policy LINK South Sudan Area Program Managers;
· Participate in preparation and review of Joint Work Plans, monthly and quarterly regional and national PfRR reports, and other ad-hoc reports that may be requested;
· Work with South Sudan and broader Policy LINK MEL team members (including Nairobi-based Knowledge and Learning Director and Reporting and Program Officer) to ensure data collection, management and reporting of South Sudan activities in alignment with broader project MEL plan; and
· Help identify, analyze, and synthesize lessons learned from South Sudan activity implementation and facilitate the incorporation of those lessons into broader LINK MEL efforts.
The MEL Manager will contribute to quality control, M&E, and data collection and analysis tasks as follows:
Managing Quality Control Measures
· Undertake Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting activities to promote utilization of findings.
· Coordinate with other MEL Leads and stay abreast of their regular appraisals and capacity development plans.
· Participate in strategic planning and work plan review as part of PFRR adaptive management.
Performance Monitoring and Reporting
· Review Joint Work Plans (JWPs) and performance reports.
· Conduct data quality assessments as well as broader MEL assessments to determine the validity, reliability and integrity of performance data gathered to monitor and enhance program activities as required.
· Review activity-level baselines and targets, and support collection of baseline data where such data do not exist and suggest revisions to targets.
· Support JAMMG to identify appropriate performance indicators for tracking results and monitoring critical assumptions and/or preparing comprehensive performance monitoring plans.
· As needed, assist in training PfRR staff and implementing partners by drawing upon the JAMMG and REDDI guidance on MEL.
· Facilitate and organize meetings, review, and learning sessions with relevant PfRR structures to review progress and take corrective actions.
· Help identify, analyze, and synthesize lessons learned from activity implementation and facilitate the incorporation of those lessons into broader LINK MEL efforts, including contributing sections of project-wide reports.
Data Collection and Analysis
· Design and advise on data collection, reporting methodologies, and survey instruments used by PfRR JAMMG to address any systemic flaws and support the development of systems that produce consistent, cost-effective, reliable, and timely data and reports.
· Support the compilation of performance indicators in Joint Work Plan performance data tables.
· Convene adaptive learning sessions with PfRR staff to assess the progress of JWP activities, and share relevant findings with Policy LINK MEL colleagues outside South Sudan.
· Process and provide information as well as advise various PfRR structures and LINK program staff and stakeholders on ways to improve PfRR/South Sudan’s performance, particularly with regard to program impact.
· Play a key leadership and coordination role in the compilation and analysis of data that goes into the Status of Resilience Report, as well as other M&E reports that may be prioritized in coordination with PfRR partners.
The MEL Manager will report to the South Sudan Country Lead. S/he will collaborate closely with the Kenya-based Knowledge and Learning Director, US-based Deputy Chief of Party, and other Policy LINK staff engaged in MEL.
The MEL Manager may supervise short-term technical consultants performing monitoring, evaluation, and learning tasks.
Local South Sudanese candidates are highly encouraged to apply for this position. Additional
· At minimum, a university degree in a social sciences subject area. Master’s degree strongly preferred.
· Minimum of three but preference for seven to ten years of experience providing monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) support to a donor-funded project;
· Preference for MEL experience working on a USAID-funded project;
· Experience working with programs focused on the core concepts of resilience, livelihoods, and food security;
· Previous experience working at the community level in regions of South Sudan outside Juba;
· Experience in developing and implementing M&E systems, methodology, tools and approaches; and
· Capacity building of partners and community organizations.
· Good understanding of USAID and other donor-funded MEL practices;
· Good understanding of standard M&E and data analysis tools and approaches;
· Good understanding of standard Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, and Outlook;
· Ability to communicate/collaborate effectively across cultures, including with team members based in other countries;
· Critical thinker, self-starter, and able to work with minimal supervision and within established deadlines;
· Flexible, willing to perform assigned and additional duties and work under unpredictable conditions; and
· Professional fluency in English and Juba Arabic. Local languages a plus.