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.
Program / Department Summary
Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004. In partnership with Civil Society Organizations, private sector, and the government, Mercy Corps Ethiopia has reached more than five million Ethiopians with interventions to save lives and build secure livelihoods. Our programs emphasize market-driven solutions, reinforce social bonds, and help communities build resilience to the impacts of Climate Change. Currently in six regional states – Afar, Gambella, Oromia, Somali, Amhara and South Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) – Mercy Corps Ethiopia is driven by the mission to contribute the emergence of a peaceful, resilient, and prosperous Ethiopia which is inclusive of youth and women. Our strategic directions focus in promoting inclusive and dynamic markets; promoting peace and social cohesion through strengthening formal/informal governance structures and citizen engagement; improved natural resource governance; and integrated humanitarian response.
Mercy Corps is seeking a Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning (MEL) Director to support the proposed four-year USAID-funded Civic Engagement Activity (CEA) in Ethiopia. The proposed program will strengthen Ethiopia’s civic fabric in support of more inclusive, peaceful, and responsive governance. This will be achieved through: 1) strengthening civic and community-based actors’ capacity to engage in policy Analysis, advocacy, dialogue, and Collective Action for peaceful, democratic change; and 2) fostering multi-stakeholder civic partnerships in support of inclusive dialogue, respect for human rights, and advancing more effective, citizen-responsive, and accountable governance.
As a member of the Senior Leadership team, the MEL Director will provide oversight and ensure the quality of all MEL interventions and deliverables under the anticipated Activity. The MEL ’s role includes supervising staff dedicated to MEL, and coordinating closely with the Chief of Party (COP) and other senior program leaders to ensure all MEL activities support the Activity’s objectives. The MEL DIrector is also responsible for Capacity Building and mentoring staff on themes related to MEL, accountability, reporting, and adaptive management. The MEL DIrector will work closely with the COP to guide the CEA in operationalizing an adaptive, iterative management approach with a culture of evidence-based decision-making.
MEL STRATEGY AND PLANNING
- Set-up and oversee the timely implementation of MEL systems, including the Activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan (AMELP), M&E Technology, and Learning and Research Plans.
- Oversee data collection, analysis, management, visualization, and reporting on indicators related to the program’s overall operational context, performance, and community accountability and response mechanisms (CARM) within the program’s AMELP.
- Harmonize the MEL system across consortium partner systems and other external systems, as relevant.
- Ensure the quality of MEL implementation for CEA, consistently reviewing and adapting the MEL systems and tools to the needs of the changing programmatic context.
Ensure systems are established and maintained to collect sex- and age-disaggregated data and sure application of gender-sensitive, socially-inclusive, and remote data collection methods to understand and respond to program results with diverse audiences, decision makers, and stakeholders.
- Ensure data management processes (collection, cleaning, analysis, storage, reporting, and visualization) are functioning in all Activity locations to provide quality data within deadlines.
- Ensure data quality through routine internal Data Quality Assessments (DQAs) as required by the Mercy Corps MEL Policy, and make adjustments as needed.
- Ensure CEA adheres to Mercy Corps’ MEL and Program Record Retention and Responsible Data Policies.
- Develop reporting templates that facilitate the acquisition, aggregation, and flow of information and learning within the program as well as externally.
Maintain a comprehensive reporting and accountability schedule as well as review program reports to ensure reports contain accurate, clear, and high-quality data presented in the proper format.
- Oversee the Activity MEL team and sub-contractors, such as external evaluators and enumerators.
- Build the capacity of all relevant program and partner team members to develop and maintain a high-quality MEL system, which integrates regular reflection, learning, and adaption through analysis of program quantitative and qualitative data and other knowledge gained through implementation of the AMELP.
- Promote staff accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one-on-one meetings and performance reviews.
Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
INFLUENCE & REPRESENTATION
- Collaborate with technical leads across the consortium and build processes for regular feedback to ensure effective and adaptive management.
- Present program MEL to external MEL and research stakeholders to influence decision-makers and promote collaboration and shared learning.
Actively collaborate with regional and global counterparts to promote the use of MEL best practices and lessons learned.
Supervise the CEA MEL team. The number of direct and indirect reports is to be determined.
Reports Directly To: Chief of Party
Works Directly With: The CEA Team, CEA consortium partners, Mercy Corps Ethiopia Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Diirector, HQ Regional Program Team, HQ MEL Team, HQ Research and Learning Team, and HQ Technical Support Unit
Minimum Qualification & Skills
- Minimum of 7 years of relevant experience, including proven experience managing MEL staff and activities under USAID-funded programs.
- MA/MS in research methods, statistics, economics, monitoring and evaluation, or other relevant field preferred.
- Proven success in designing, implementing, and overseeing program MEL systems from startup to closeout.
- Experience in strategic planning and performance measurement, including indicator selection, target setting, reporting, database management, and development of MEL and performance monitoring plans that support learning agendas and contribute to program efficacy.
- Experience with and commitment to adaptive management processes.
- Research skills, including participatory qualitative and quantitative methodologies and techniques, planning and managing surveys and developing and refining data collection tools.
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills, and a proven ability to network and maintain effective working relationships with diverse actors including CSOs, civic groups, community- based organizations, media, academia, political parties, government, the private sector, and donors
- Experience with and commitment to locally led development approaches (e.g., co-creation, micro-grant making, cultivating collective action practices)
- Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of Ethiopia’s complex political, governance, and conflict dynamics prefered
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.
Familiarity with USAID rules, regulations, and requirements preferred.
A successful candidate will have a demonstrated ability to lead and communicate effectively with team members and other stakeholders of varied work styles and cultures, follow procedures and meet deadlines with flexibility and creativity in planning and Problem Solving. This position requires an ability to think creatively about civic engagement to strengthen inclusive, peaceful, and responsive governance. They will have a proven ability to learn quickly, multi-task, prioritize, take initiative, and be accountable for results, understand the larger picture while remaining focused on the details, problem solving, work within a complex and sensitive setting and to follow laws and security protocols. The most successful Mercy Corps team members have a strong commitment to teamwork and accountability, thrive in evolving and changing environments and make effective written and verbal communication a priority in all situations.
Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders
Team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging program participant communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.
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.
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.
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.