Location: UK or NL
Position Status: Full-time, open terms
Salary: Edinburgh: circa 32K-37K; London: circa 37 - 43K; NL: circa 38.5K - 45K
Closing date: Candidates must submit applications before January 5th
Candidates must have the independant right to work in UK or NL at the time of appointment.
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.
Mercy Corps works to alleviate poverty, suffering, and oppression by helping people build secure, productive, and just communities. Mercy Corps’ is committed to improve program performance and quality through Standards, Service, and Evidence. The agency operates projects in over 40 countries around the world. The Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) department supports effective, efficient and equitable program performance, through a culture of quality management, to achieve results for those who matter most - our program participants. PaQ consists of the following teams and functions: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL); Strategic Leadership; Program Standards; Infrastructure. These teams are grouped together under PaQ because they work together to improve project and portfolio performance while reducing risks inherent to implementation.
The HQ MEL Team of Mercy Corps consists of MEL Officers, MEL Advisors, Senior MEL Advisors, Senior MEL Technical Leads and a MEL Senior Director. The MEL Team of Mercy Corps supports both foundational and cutting-edge adaptive management approaches with design, monitoring, evaluation and learning functions as key processes and benchmarks to ensure evidence-based decision making for quality program implementation. The MEL Team’s work includes, but is not limited to, the provision of technical MEL support to projects, portfolios, countries and regions, the integration of MEL technologies at all stages of the data lifecycle, the establishment of fit-for-need M&E systems, the implementation of learning mechanisms and platforms, the development of global MEL standards and good practices, and support with agency-level reporting. A major focus area of the MEL team is the implementation of Mercy Corps’ MEL and Program Management policies. The team works across a wide spectrum of stakeholders both internal and external to Mercy Corps, as well as diverse technical program approaches and sectors.
General Position Summary
The MEL Advisor works with the MEL team to collectively support program’s by helping improve Mercy Corps monitoring, evaluation and learning practices across multiple program types and sectors.
MEL Advisors work primarily - though not exclusively - at a project level (vs portfolio/mission level) by providing direct support on program design, field monitoring, evaluation, learning, accountability; data and knowledge management; team capacity building; and resource and tool development. Thus, the advisor provides direct technical assistance across all phases of the program life cycle to field teams as needed, liaise with internal stakeholder teams, contribute to external representation.
Essential Job Responsibilities
MONITORING EVALUATION, LEARNING TECHNICAL SUPPORT TO PROJECTS (65%)
- TA to projects: SOW development, sampling, instrument development, logistics/planning, data management and analysis, and report writing for baselines, mid-terms, reviews, evaluation as well as formative studies (quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods), use of study and routine monitoring data for program adaptation through analysis and visual representations. budgeting for M&E systems, developing M&E plans and work plans, developing data flow charts and data quality assessments (DQA), and providing technical feedback on MEL technical documents.
Mercy Corps has 15 agency-level MEL minimum standards that MEL Advisors support. Over time, the MEL Advisor supports all Mercy Corps 15 MEL minimum standards but typically starts with:
- Standards related to M&E plan and learning plan development
- Standards related to Mercy Corps; responsible data policy and correctly storing MEL related documents/files
- Standard related to Mercy Corps’ proprietary indicator tracking software TolaData.
- Standard related to data quality assurance
- Standard related to program’s conducting Final Internal Performance Reviews (FIPR).
The MEL Advisor usually starts by providing TA where they already have experience when hired but this expands as their technical competency and experience grows.
- Resource improvement, testing and socialization: Contribute to the review and update of existing Mercy Corps MEL tools, approaches platforms as well as development and testing of new resources. Socializing these resources through communications and demonstration is also inherent to the Advisor’s role
- Capacity building: Contribute to building capacity, coaching and mentoring MEL and program staff on how to apply MEL best practices within their contexts and how to use certain tools and assure donor requirements are met.
- Assessing evaluability of projects through TolaData. reviewing projects’ - as entered in TolaData - to assess how well a program can both monitor and assess their performance given their selection of indicators, targets, reporting periods, results framework and their indicator plans.
improvements to Toladata (15%)
- TolaData is Mercy Corps’ proprietary software for monitoring a project’s indicators, targets and results: it is continuously being upgraded. The MEL Advisor will participate with all MEL team members in identification of needed TolaData upgrades as well as testing those upgrades and communicating with our global staff when there are new releases. As such MEL Advisors are expected to quickly become TolaData power users.
NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT (10%)
- Support proposal development teams by reviewing and drafting MEL budgets/plans, learning plans, and indicator performance tracking tables (IPTT), as well as ensuring compliance with donor requirements.
- Serve as a proposal reviewer for MEL-related sections
- Help package MEL products, such as Post Distribution Monitoring (PDM), and promote their incorporation in new and emerging technical proposals.
POLICY, ADVOCACY, REPRESENTATION (5%)
• Represent Mercy Corps at conferences, media forums, and other events
- Contribute to Mercy Corps’ MEL-Related Communities of Practice (CoP)
• Conduct internal webinars intended to strengthen technical skills of MEL team members
• Cultivate and maintain working relationships with partner’s MEL staff
Organizational Learning (5%)
- 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 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
Reports Directly To: Senior Technical Lead/MEL (Program Performance and Quality Unit)
Minimum required experience, skills & competencies
A. BA/BS or equivalent in a discipline that demonstrates solid analytic skills and capacity (e.g. sociology, Demography, Statistics, Economics, data analytics/science market research, engineering, etc.) and at least 3 years of field-based experience developing and managing an M&E system in projects similar to those which Mercy Corps implements
B. BA/BS or equivalent in any other discipline and at least 5 years of field-based experience developing and managing an M&E system in projects similar to those which Mercy Corps implements
PLUS (all of the following C through H)
- Experience that demonstrates the candidate can perform the essential job responsibilities described in this job description.
- English fluency (reading, writing, spoken).
- Demonstrated experience using statistical analysis software (e.g. Stata, SPSS, R) for data manipulation and (univariate and multi-variate) analysis
- Experience developing and conducting qualitative formative studies using FGD, KII, IDI
- Demonstrated experience using mobile data collection technologies including Commcare and an ODK-based platform such as Ona.
- Demonstrated experience with project or study logistics and planning
Desired Experience, Skills & Competencies (not required but is preferred)
- Advanced French or Spanish with the ability to work professionally and technically in subjects related to this job description (reading, spoken).
- Experience using Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) software (e.g. MaxQDA, NVIVO, Atlas-TI).
- Experience using PowerBI, Tableau, or similar visualization software
- Experience using QGIS or other GIS software
- Experience using project management software such as Smartsheet, MS Project or similar
- Demonstrated understanding of M&E requirements for donors including, USAID and DFID, and Foundations.
The successful candidate will have the ability to work comfortably and effectively across a diverse portfolio. MEL Advisor’s are excellent communicators, multi-taskers, able to work in ambiguous situations, able to work with remotely with a geographically disbursed team and must be team players with a positive attitude toward problem solving and conflict resolution.
Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions
The position requires between 30% and 50% travel annually, sometimes to hardship locations across the globe and for durations of time up to 4 weeks. Care is taken to give MEL Advisor’s enough time in advance to prepare for their absence and allow them sufficient time between assignments.
Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to 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.
Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.