Head of MEAL

  • Posted on 13 January 2021
  • Erbil, Iraq
  • Closing on 27 January 2021

Job Description


The Head of MEAL will provide leadership to MEAL team in country office and field locations for undertaking responsibilities:
* will ensure development and functioning of systems for enabling quality programme development and implementation.
* will support the rollout of MEAL system across Iraq Country Programme and ensure that accountability standards are integrated into all aspects of Save the Children’s programming in Iraq
* S/he will accomplish rollout of MEAL systems through leading the implementation of a comprehensive MEAL framework for Save the Children in Iraq
* The staff member will be responsible for building the capacity of relevant MEAL staff and lead MEAL staff in undertaking initiatives for effective support provision to programme management in terms of Quality Assurance.
* The staff member will be responsible for contributing to proposal development and strategy planning, and promoting and fostering a culture of shared learning and accountability to children and their families.
* S/he rolls out a MEAL system for
o Monitoring projects against programme quality benchmarks;
o Ensuring accountability to children/communities in SCI programing through establishing systems for information sharing, participation and feedback handling;
o Lead on undertaking internal/external evaluations;
o Enable organizational learning through archiving findings of the MEAL systems.


Reports to: Director of Program Development and Quality
Staff reporting to this post: currently 1 (potential to expand)
Direct: MEAL Manager/s

Budget Responsibilities: Head of MEAL is responsible for reviewing budgeting components during proposal development as well as monitoring budget expenditure on the components. Ensures that the % of budget allocated to MEAL activities for new proposals submitted including MEAL Staff or project staff with specific MEAL responsibilities; MEAL training for staff / partners or for MEAL team; Needs assessment or equivalent; Monitoring visits specific to MEAL system requirements; Baselines, mid-terms (if applicable) and endlines; Evaluations and/or audits; Publications / disseminations; Sharing information; Participation; Feedback / Complaint systems; Learning and Review sessions; Research; Equipment & usage and Software among other components.


General management
* As a senior member of the Iraq Country Programme, demonstrate behaviours that are consistent with Save the Children’s Mission, Vision and Values and ensure their broader application by staff across the programme.
* Contribute to a conducive and productive work environment and to the wider country programme agenda.
* Provide overall leadership to MEAL team for ensuring effective contribution to Quality Assurance, Accountability to children/communities and institutional learning throughout the programing in Iraq.
* Participate actively in PDQ meetings, planning and review activities, providing enhanced insight into programme quality and accountability systems.
* Carry out the responsibilities of the role in a way which reflects Save the Children’s commitment to safeguarding children, in accordance with our Code of Conduct and Child Safeguarding Policy.
* Comply with and promote Save the Children policies and practice with respect to child protection, code of conduct, health and safety, equal opportunities and other relevant policies and procedures.

Under the direct supervision of the Director of PDQ and with support from MEAL staff in field, the Head of MEAL is responsible for:

Ensure functioning of MEAL Systems as per the SCI MEAL approach
* Monitoring projects against programme quality benchmarks;
* Ensuring accountability to children/communities in SCI programing through establishing systems for information sharing, participation and feedback handling;
* Lead on undertaking internal/external evaluations;
* Enable organizational learning through archiving findings of the MEAL systems

System Design and Promoting MEAL
* Promote all aspects of MEAL to support the creation of an organisational culture which prioritises quality programming, including alignment with SCI Programme Quality Framework and Iraq MEAL Framework.
* Build strong relationships with colleagues and provide support as required to ensure MEAL system is understood and supported at country office level.
* Lead planning of needs assessments in coordination with sector leads and other agencies, where necessary, ensuring assessment findings are documented and include an analysis of children’s needs. Lead development of Save the Children programme baseline surveys where required.
* Lead on the the roll-out of an organisational MEAL framework in line with SCI MOS and ensuring accountability to donors and beneficiaries. The MEAL Framework should include robust quality assurance systems, rigorous complaints and response mechanisms, and effective learning methods.
* Support sector technical staff to design tools for monitoring and evaluation of project activities as agreed in MEAL framework.
* Ensures establishment of key indicators for each sector and tracking of data across projects to establish the broader impact on children from all interventions.
* Work closely with the Programme Operations team to extract support for ensuring functioning of independent MEAL system to track project implementation leading to enhanced quality, accountability, management and impact, including feeding into new proposal development and sharing lessons learned.
* Set up systems to manage complex information generated by MEAL activities, such as complaints databases and qualitative outcome monitoring data systems. Conduct statistical and qualitative data analysis and present and disseminate information to inform programme management at all levels of management within a response. Seek solutions for more complex data management requirements by working with IT colleagues, leading development of databases etc.
* Support Thematic TSs and Programme Managers to design programmes in compliance with the Sphere Standards and Red Cross Code of Conduct.
* Lead planning, implementation and follow-up of evaluations (real times, evaluations of humanitarian action etc.) Participate in evaluations where required.
* Oversee the design and implementation of accountability mechanisms at field level, such as complaints response mechanisms - working on community assessment, design, implementation, review etc.
* Support technical specialists, Field Managers and Programme Managers through a functioning MEAL system to ensure that projects are carried out with participation from all disaster-affected communities (including children), that information is shared with affected communities (through traditional and high-tech solutions) and that they solicit and respond to community feedback

Programme Design and MEAL Resources
* Work with the Director of PDQ to support senior technical colleagues in their development of sector frameworks. Contribute to development of programme plan/strategy.
* Ensure that MEAL is an integral part of the programme design stage and features in all proposal development.
* Support fundraising efforts, including logframe development, drafting narrative MEAL sections, and review to ensure MEAL activities and costs are adequately covered. Develop standard guidance for incorporation of MEAL costs into proposals in specific responses
* Ensure that MEAL resources are included in proposal development as per the MEAL Budgeting benchmark and work creatively to secure funding from diverse sources, to ensure that MEAL is integrated in emergency and development programmes in a sustainable way.
* Responsible for effectively managing the MEAL budget, including Breakthrough Accountability funds.

Humanitarian Program and Standards
* In collaboration with the MEAL officers, ensure and support integration and implementation of MEAL systems that are compliant with the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)
* To ensure that the minimum standards are maintained in accordance with the CHS Charter for emergency response programs in Iraq.
* Oversee and carry out regular MEAL visits to humanitarian programs in order to support the development of MEAL tools and gather evidence that will inform the design of new emergency interventions and ensure quality programming for beneficiaries

Promoting Learning for Strategy Development and Decision Making
* Ensure that all projects have a robust learning agenda, and coordinate the collection, documentation and dissemination of the project learning.
* Develop a clear agenda and inclusive process for learning and reflection, which informs planning.
* Ensure that information and findings from across thematic and operational regions are consolidated into the Lessons Learned database, which allows analysis of impact and promotion of learning and strategy development for the whole organisation.
* Lead on technical support, including formation of TOR and selection of consultants, for evaluations and provide technical review of progress and final reports. Synthesise this information to improve organisatonal performance and impact for children.
* Communicate top level learning / analysis reports and monitoring data to ensure that management is able to make informed decisions on a timely basis to scale up and face operational challenges.
* Communicate program learning (through document sharing, presentations, webinars etc.) internally to provide guidance and technical input on strategic direction and program design, and externally with key stakeholders (NGOs, government partners, working groups, etc.).
* Promote participatory learning processes with communities, parents and children.
* Support the Director of PDQ to analyse progress against organisational objectives and strategies.

Staff Management, Mentorship, and Development
* Line manage MEAL staff as required, consistent with SCI HR policy and MEAL Framework of Iraq.
* Provide leadership to the independent MEAL team in the country programme i.e. is line managed by MEAL lead in CO with oversight from Director PDQ.
* Creating a shared understanding of MEAL framework and systems in Iraq; this requires creating cohesion with the field MEAL staff working in different geographic areas.
* Identify learning and training opportunities for MEAL and other staff and act as a mentor and role model for less experienced staff
* Conduct training and awareness raising activities for operations and programme technical staff at field and country-office level regarding MEAL priorities and quality standards
* Support the field-based MEAL staff on work planning and problem-solving.
* At the organisational level, support orientation on MEAL framework across the key departments of PDQ and Programme Opertions.
* Aquire support for MEAL team from all relevant departments to enable the in undertaking responsibilities as per MEAL framework.

Internal Reporting
* Responsible to ensure that the organisation delivers on all internal SCI MEAL requirements in a timely manner and with high quality information, including reporting on SCI global indicators, total direct and indirect reach data, and GI.
* Develop systems to ensure monitoring of child participation, gender equity, integration, and other programme quality indicators, as relevant and required.
* Ensure that the MEAL team oversees a clear system of feedback and response from key stakeholders, particularly children, and presents the information to SMT for decision making purposes.

* Support the use of the Theory of Change in programme design, delivery and evaluation.
Ensure that child participation and child safeguarding is integrated into solid design and delivery.

* Advanced degree in Statistics, Demography or any relevant subject or equivalent field experience


* Demonstrated skills setting up and rolling out MEAL systems
* Strong experience in information management systems, data base management
* Experience of, and commitment to working through systems of community participation and accountability
* Previous experience of managing a team and managing projects
* Extensive experience of undertaking a MEAL related role in a humanitarian setting
* Demonstrated strong monitoring and evaluation skills, including planning/participating in evaluations
* Proven capacity to supervise, train and coach staff
* Ability to write clear and well-argued assessment and project reports
* Politically and culturally sensitive with qualities of patience, tact and diplomacy
* Excellent communication skills; Excellent written and spoken English essential. Fluency in Arabic is desirable
* The capacity and willingness to be flexible and accommodating in difficult and sometimes insecure working circumstances.
* Commitment to the aims and principles of SC. In particular, a good understanding of the SC mandate and commitment to child participation.

* Prior experience with Save the Children International highly desired
* Experience in both implementation and design desirable
* Experience or knowledge of working and living in Iraq desirable
* Experience with beneficiary communications desirable

The Organisation:
We employ approximately 25,000 people across the globe and work on the ground in over 100 countries to help children affected by crises, or those that need better healthcare, education and child protection. We also campaign and advocate at the highest levels to realise the right of children and to ensure their voices are heard.

We are working towards three breakthroughs in how the world treats children by 2030:
* No child dies from preventable causes before their 5th birthday
* All children learn from a quality basic education and that,
* Violence against children is no longer tolerated

We know that great people make a great organization, and that our employees play a crucial role in helping us achieve our ambitions for children. We value our people and offer a meaningful and rewarding career, along with a collaborative and inclusive environment where ambition, creativity, and integrity are highly valued.

We need to keep children safe so our selection process, which includes rigorous background checks, reflects our commitment to the protection of children from abuse.

All employees are expected to carry out their duties in accordance with our global anti-harassment policy.

“This position is open for both national and international applicants”

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