Mercy Corps

Regional Program Performance and Quality Advisor

Mercy Corps

Job Description

This position is open to anywhere in Latin or South America.

About Mercy Corps

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.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps implements a variety of programming throughout the Americas in response to the diverse humanitarian and long-term development needs of the region. Mercy Corps has ongoing programs in the Bahamas, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Puerto Rico, the US Northwest and Venezuela. Mercy Corps has made a high level commitment to achieving greater impact through evidence and learning, adaptive management, using data-driven evidence to demonstrate results and contribute toward solving complex global challenges.

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps has defined performance as the ability of a program deliver expected outputs on time, on scope, and on budget as defined by our donors and the communities where we work. Quality is going beyond requirements and striving for excellence with evidence of durable results, which is exemplified through trust among stakeholders, systems for self-reflection, and integration across teams. The Regional Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) Advisor is a member of the regional team and works across country and HQ teams. S/he will provide a critical leadership role in supporting country teams to set a high standard in program performance and quality by strengthening an organizational culture of and providing the necessary capacities for evidence-based programming, outstanding monitoring and evaluation, and accountability.

The role is further designed to support the other core program performance requirements (e.g., indicators choice and Program Design, program quality, and Program Management principles, mobile technology and adaptive management). The rollout will include engagement with country-level M&E team members, program managers and country and regional leadership, assessment of the current state of M&E and train team members in each country in adopting M&E best practices. The Regional MEL Advisor will need to engage with field leadership to nurture and help develop an effective, impact-driven leadership culture. The first responsibility for this position is to develop a detailed workplan for each fiscal year in Coordination with PaQ and T4D.

The PaQ Advisor will work in four inter-related areas 1) program quality, 2) monitoring, evaluation, and learning, 3) regional cohesion and synergies, and 4) accountability.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Program Quality

  • Support RD to ensure the integrity of Mercy Corps’ operations and program implementation through adherence to Mercy Corps and global best practices, policies and procedures, which include adherence to PM@MC and other Minimum Standards at Mercy Corps, the MEL Policy and other agency level initiatives.
  • Conduct program quality reviews including implementation quality, meeting of minimum standards, quality of M&E data collection and Analysis, and the responsiveness of feedback mechanism.
  • Work with country teams to identify learning loops within and between programs, and help identify key structural changes that optimize a learning environment;
  • Support RD in following up on the Mercy Corps Agency Dashboard.

Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning

  • Work with program teams to identify tools and processes to gather, analyze and use data to develop feedback loops and adapt programs in response to changing conditions on the ground. Build in linkages to technology as possible.
  • Work with country Monitoring and Evaluation teams and program/operations teams to capture lessons learned during program implementation, and feed this information into thought leadership opportunities and into the decision making loop for ongoing program management and program design;
  • Support Tola implementation across programs and use Tola Data to analyze progress against indicators.
  • Engage with CDs and Regional Team on leadership issues related to monitoring and evaluation and the relationship between M&E and program quality – including use of indicators.
  • Collect impact stories and evidence from Mercy Corps’ country teams on a regular basis.
  • Coordinate with our research teams to tie metrics and impact with research that promotes theories of change evident in our programs.

Regional Cohesion and Synergies

  • Contribute to Regional and Country Strategies, as requested.
  • Design tools and processes to measure the impact of the Regional Strategy.
  • Support country teams in the review of MEL and PAQ structures to ensure optimal functionality.
  • Support strategic hiring for Key PaQ, MEL, T4D, and Gender positions across country teams.
  • Support orientation and onboarding of country-level PaQ, MEL, and senior program staff.
  • Continue to engage with and grow relevant Communities of Practice (MEL, DoPs, FDs, etc) and organize learning/sharing events.

Accountability

  • Capacity Building to country teams on Mercy Corps’ Accountability Principles
  • Lead Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism (CARM) updating and roll out in all countries.
  • Develop tools and conduct regional analysis on CARM data.
  • Contribute and lead on agency wide initiatives as identified and prioritized by regional leadership.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward 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.

Supervisory Responsibility

None.

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Regional Director Works Directly With: Regional, HQ and Country Office staff

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA in international development, organizational development or similar field of study and MA preferred.
  • 8 years of experience in international development work, with a minimum of 5 years in field postings
  • Willingness and ability to travel to Mercy Corps project sites in the region, including traveling to insecure environments, is required.
  • Applied international experience in program management, design, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Proven ability to develop, apply and adapt to technological solutions.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • High level of initiative and Problem Solving ability.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Significant experience in facilitating learning and capacity building across teams.
  • Fluency in English required. Spanish and French highly preferred.

Success Factors

The advisor will demonstrate a winning track record in program management and bringing flexibility, creativity, and enthusiasm to every project s/he undertakes. The individual must have Change Management skills and the ability to multi-task, set priorities, pay attention to detail, and work under deadlines within complex team environments. The advisor position requires strong interpersonal and cross-cultural communication skills, and a level of emotional intelligence proficiency that quickly builds and maintains productive relationships across teams. Being aware and sensitive to international development issues and diverse cultures is critical.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in the Americas, with periodic visits in the region up to 30% travel.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting. 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.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

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.

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. 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 e-learning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

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