Mercy Corps

Performance and Quality Manager

Mercy Corps

Job Description

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future. Mercy Corps began working in Kenya in 2008 and has to date built a robust and diverse portfolio of programs aimed at sustainably improving the lives and livelihoods of Kenyans affected by poverty, resource scarcity and conflict. To do this, we deliver integrated programming to strengthen resilience, market and governance systems, address the root causes of conflict, and equip vulnerable populations- in particular youth, women, adolescents and marginalized social groups- with the skills, opportunities and resources they need to be healthy, productive, and drive the development of their communities. Mercy Corps Kenya (MCK) also collaborates with Mercy Corps teams and partners in neighboring countries to implement a number of multi-country and cross-border programs.

Program / Department Summary

More than ever, we, at Mercy Corps, are driven to be accountable, show evidence, and manage adaptively. At the same time, traditional approaches to data collection, monitoring and evaluation are insufficient to meet the rising expectations for information that is timely, useful, and complete. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) today requires a modern grasp of technologies and tools that support the collection, management, presentation and use of this information. It requires an understanding of the latest development thinking, including adaptive management, systems thinking, complexity, social impact, value for money, etc. The Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Unit is a newly integrated team in the Africa region consisting of monitoring and evaluation functions, program management, gender integration, and integrated program standards, including Community Accountability Reporting Mechanisms (CARM). The team’s approach supports both foundational and innovative approaches to program management, with design, monitoring, evaluation and learning functions as key processes and benchmarks to ensure evidence-based decision making for quality program implementation.

General Position Summary

The Program Performance & Quality (PaQ) Manager will oversee program performance, quality, accountability and support monitoring, learning and evaluation in order to ensure the development of efficient and effective program management processes, serving as a nexus between various programs and teams. S/he will be responsible for supporting programs in strategic planning, ensuring quality, providing essential feedback for learning, accountability and decision making, providing internal capacity building for program staff on monitoring and support to monitoring, evaluation and learning activities. The PaQ Manager will lead the community accountability reporting mechanism (CARM) development and rollout, and ensure Program Management at Mercy Corps (PM@MC) minimum standards are met. S/he will oversee the implementation and maintenance of TOLA (digital indicator tracking tool developed by MC) ensuring that this is linked to MCK’s Strategic Vision and allowing for accurate measurement and reporting against our country-specific targets. The PaQ Manager will play a key role in creating a culture of training, coaching and integrating effective tools and techniques, including capacity building for program staff on program management techniques to improve program quality. While at the same time helping build an environment of evidence-based programming and adaptive management at all levels. The PaQ Manager must be highly motivated, self-driven and able to support MCK’s robust portfolio.

Essential Job Responsibilities

STRATEGY AND VISION

  • Lead the development of processes to support program teams in integrating cross-program learning and ensure that lessons learned are used to inform adaptation of activities and future program design.

  • Provide support to program teams at key moments including program start-up, kick-off meetings, inception meeting check-ins, quality audits and spot checks, and end of program transition meetings.

  • Design and manage a country-wide Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation system providing managers and their teams real time information that can steer program implementation and maximize MCKs ability to analyze and represent impact to donors, government, colleague agencies, and communities themselves.

  • Support the design of cost-effective, innovative and high quality programs, ensuring relevance to stakeholders and agency strategy and that incorporate Mercy Corps’ standards on design, monitoring, and evaluation.

  • Participate in country management meetings and country-wide strategy sessions.

  • Responsible for semi-annual reporting on Impact, Influence and Innovation.

CAPACITY BUILDING AND PROGRAM QUALITY

  • Contribute to the global and regional conversation around program performance and quality, PaQ strategies, Community Accountability and Reporting Mechanisms (CARM), and global program quality initiatives including; Program Management at Mercy Corps ( PM@MC), gender minimum standards, adaptive management, TOLA etc.

  • Ensure that reports generated by each field office are timely and of a high quality and that the data can be validated.

  • Regularly conduct project site visits to provide hands-on training to field staff on management practices and how to capture and organize information for accurate documentation and reporting.

  • Develop plans to mentor and coach staff to build their capacity to enable them to develop excellent reports and other documents.

  • Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain an excellent M&E system, including training on TOLA and the periodic reflection and analysis of program monitoring data to disseminate learning.

  • Support M&E and ICT staff capacity building that guides the country teams towards developing technical skills and promotes a culture of data analysis for decision making and adaptive management.

  • Act as the key liaison point to coordinate efforts to roll out adaptive management and PM@MC training across the region.

  • Participate in interviewing and orientation of new M&E staff to promote internal data management tools, standards and best practices.

KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT AND LEARNING

  • Coordinate with a variety of teams, HQ, Finance, Program Managers/Leads, Director of Programs and Country Director to ensure that reports are timely, high-quality, and responsive to donors.

  • Build a collaborative network of relationships for learning networks that promotes shared learning, aligned approaches, and mutual accountability to quality data collection and programming.

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of knowledge management to further stimulate use of evidence for learning, strategic adaptive management, and high-impact programming.

  • Connect best practices and learning from other programs across Mercy Corps countries to ensure an evolving and effective learning system for improving program implementation. Liaise with other HQ and Regional MEL Advisor on this initiative.

  • Support teams to capture lessons learned during program implementation, and feed this information into thought leadership and research opportunities and into ongoing program management and program design;

  • Collect impact stories and evidence from Mercy Corps’ country teams on a regular basis.

MEASUREMENT, MONITORING AND EVALUATION

  • Promote adherence to Mercy Corps’ standards, including the use of standardized indicators, Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), program and adaptive management approaches, and country-level learning and strategic objectives.

  • Support in-country program design and development at proposal stage ensuring minimum standards for MEAL are incorporated.

  • Provide leadership and training to ensure programs meet minimum standards, use necessary PM@MC systems and tools to inform and improve each individual programs and feed into broader country-wide Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) system, country strategy and agency level information system.

  • Support teams to improve data collection, management, and use data to build a culture of adaptive management, high-quality program performance, and learning.

  • Support the roll out and maintenance of TOLA.

  • Contribute to the understanding and application of new DM&E approaches to emerging themes like resilience, systems thinking, and complex humanitarian crises.

  • Engage in other agency level tools and initiatives to ensure country input, coordinated delivery, messaging and consistent high quality implementation in the region.

ORGANIZATIONAL LEARNING

  • 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.

ACCOUNTABILITY TO PARTNERS

  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

  • 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.

Supervisory Responsibility: Dotted line technical reporting relationship with all program M&E and CARM staff in the country

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Director of Programs Works Directly With: Director of Programs, Country Director, MEL and Program field teams, Mercy Corps’ HQ Teams (TOLA, MEL, PM@MC, and Technical Support Unit).

Knowledge and Experience

  • 5-7 years of experience in international relief and development programs, with 3+ years in field postings, and 3+ years working for an international agency on monitoring, evaluation, and learning.

  • BA in social science, international development, or relevant field (with coursework in M&E, research and evaluation methodologies, statistical analysis. An MA is an added advantage.

  • Substantial background in project management, including experience leading program design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation, and adaptive management and learning.

  • Experience with a range of both private and institutional donors such as EC, USAID, and DFID and familiarity with their measurement, reporting, and evaluation requirements.

  • Exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills and proven experience with current technologies, such as web-based data management and analysis tools, digital data collection, mapping, Google applications, data visualization, interactive dashboards, etc.

  • Significant experience in facilitating learning and capacity building across teams.

  • Demonstrated ability to manage and communicate effectively with team members of varied work styles.

  • Demonstrated flexibility and creativity in planning and problem solving.

  • Demonstrated understanding of intermediate statistics and experience transforming large amounts of data (qualitative and quantitative) into visualizations that facilitate analysis and decision-making. Experience with statistical/graphical software or spatial software a plus.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required.

Success Factors

A successful PaQ Manager will be able to work with program staff and leadership to build capacity and consensus around data collection, management, use and research. S/he is able to travel on short notice and adapt quickly to new environments, and is eager to learn and share new and innovative techniques, tools and technologies to meet changing needs and requirements. The PaQ Manager will have the ability to problem-solve, identify issues and solutions quickly in many different environments and contexts, and is able to communicate effectively and persuasively, while building strong working relationships. S/he will be highly analytical with a willingness to acquire expertise in different communication, learning and development approaches is a good fit. A successful PaQ Manager will apply a strong combination of team spirit, program development and implementation skills in a fast-changing environment. The willingness to engage in regular travel to program sites in the field, including insecure environments is crucial.
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