Monitoring and Evaluation Lead

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 30 December 2018

Job Description

Job Title: Monitoring and Evaluation Lead – DFSA Malawi

Location: Lilongwe, Malawi

Reports to: Chief of Party and Strategic Learning Lead – DFSA Malawi

This position is contingent upon grant and candidate approvals by the donor.


Catholic Relief Services (CRS) carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need. CRS is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) supporting relief and development work in over 100 countries around the world. CRS programs assist persons on the basis of need, regardless of creed, ethnicity or nationality. CRS works through local church and non-church partners to implement its programs.

CRS open operations in Malawi in 1997, managing USAID’s first food aid programs in the country. For over 20 years, CRS has worked throughout the country to implement programs in agriculture and livelihoods, health and nutrition, microfinance, water, sanitation, emergency relief, and early childhood development (ECD). CRS has strong relationships with the Government of Malawi, the Catholic Church, and other civil society organizations through ongoing collaboration and support. CRS’ projects currently include services for orphans and vulnerable children, HIV care and treatment, agriculture, natural resource management, nutrition, microfinance, and ECD. CRS Malawi implements its programs through partnerships with local organizations, and community entities for maximum impact and sustainability.

Drawing on 15 years of experience in managing USAID Food for Peace (FFP) awards in Malawi, CRS will be submitting a proposal in response to the anticipated 2019 FFP Development Food Security Activities (DFSA) Request for Applications (RFA). The proposed program will involve a multi-sectoral response to build resilience and address food insecurity and malnutrition in Southern Malawi. The estimated timeframe for this project is 2019-2024.

Job Summary

The purpose of the M&E Lead is to design, manage, strengthen and provide strategic direction to the Malawi DFSA’s Monitoring and Evaluation, system. The M&E Lead will be responsible for providing technical expertise and leadership to M&E activities and M&E staff to generate and analyze quality evidence and data through monitoring, assessments, and evaluations.

The M&E Lead will be responsible for coordinating and supervising monitoring and evaluation activities assessments required for accountability, learning and adaptive management. S/he will work closely with the Strategic Learning Lead and other technical leads across the project management unit. S/he will continue to develop and conduct capacity building for MEAL and program staff with support from the Strategic Learning Lead, Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP), and Technical Advisors.

The M&E Lead is expected to have a high level of self-initiative and use critical thinking skills to identify and fill gaps. S/he should have the ability to work sensitively and positively with the DFSA team and promote a learning environment and evidence-based program management.

Specific Responsibilities

MEAL Strategy and Design

  • Provide strategic high-level feedback, analysis and interpretation throughout the program startup and implementation processes.
  • Ensure that the MEAL systems compliant with CRS’ global and regional policies, procedures, standards and strategic initiatives, and USAID/FFP MEAL and Reporting Policies and guidance.
  • Provide strategic direction for the development and maintenance of MEAL systems and the roll-out of new initiatives.
  • Support the project team and MEAL team in the design and implementation of assessments, gender and youth analysis, stakeholder analysis, organizational capacity assessments and other pre-program data collection and analysis.
  • Ensure the consistency of indicators and tools across all partners, sectors, and programs as appropriate, maintaining a bank of key program indicators.
  • Support programming staff to incorporate participatory methods into community-level MEAL systems and tools.
  • Collect and analyze lessons learned and best practices from previous and ongoing programs capturing the impact of activities to ensure they feed into the DFSA strategy as appropriate.
  • Leverage lessons learned, best practices, program data, evaluations and other information to generate donor communication pieces, proposal annexes, success stories, case studies and other high-quality, results-based documentation.
  • Work with the senior DFSA management team to identify and pursue strategic opportunities for program expansion.

MEAL Implementation

  • Lead mandated evaluations, needs assessments, annual surveys, case studies, and support other research efforts in collaboration with the Strategic Learning Lead
  • Develop MEAL operating manual using SMILER coaching methodology to ensure complete, up-to-date, high quality MEAL system, containing essential data collection tools, data flow maps and analysis plans to address need to know information for program quality and donor reporting.
  • Manage agency level MEAL requirements (e.g. annual data quality assessments, beneficiary count reporting and MEAL Policies and Procedures (MPP) self-assessments).
  • Contribute to donor reports through high quality project data interpretation and report inputs.
  • Lead the project MEAL team to strategically prepare and review MEAL calendars and work plans.
  • Support Strategic Learning Lead in learning-to-action events and reflection sessions to systematically analyze data to promote adaptive management and to document and incorporate lessons learned into program design and implementation.
  • Ensure MEAL and program teams regularly review and adjust MEAL plans and tools as needed by the project context.
  • Ensure that transparent high-quality accountability mechanisms, including participant feedback and response mechanisms, are in place for the DFSA and are regularly discussed at the appropriate level with necessary responses and feedback documented.
  • Ensure that beneficiary feedback is adequately captured, addressed, analyzed and used by program team.
  • With the CoP, liaise closely with FFP M&E staff at the Mission (Lilongwe), Regional (Pretoria) and Washington DC.

Capacity Strengthening

  • Collaborate with Malawi Country Program MEAL Manager to share learning, resources, and support across the country program
  • Develop and co-facilitate MEAL workshops and modules for staff and partners to share country program, regional and global MEAL tools, processes and best practices to cultivate a culture of learning in collaboration with the Strategic Learning Lead
  • Conduct orientations for new DFSA program staff on CRS systems and key MEAL resources.
  • Provide mentoring to CRS and partner DFSA staff to increase capacity and to achieve annual performance and development plans.
  • Remain updated with developments among the CRS MEAL community and worldwide MEAL trends and resources to ensure the DFSA MEAL team is applying CRS MEAL guidance and policies appropriately and in a timely manner.
  • Conduct field monitoring visits events frequently with project teams and implementing partners.
  • Provide feedback to senior DFSA program and MEAL staff to improve the overall MEAL system and ensure quality implementation of MEAL activities.


  • Support the DFSA MEAL and program team to develop strong project tracking, record keeping and data management methodologies for all activities
  • Work with MEAL and IT staff to maximize the value and utility of ICT4D in MEAL initiatives.

Supervision and Coaching/Mentoring Responsibilities

The M&E Lead directly supervises project-based MEAL staff and participates in the hiring and supervision either directly or indirectly of future MEAL staff. Additionally, s/he will provide support in mentoring all MEAL staff across the consortium.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff)

These are rooted in the mission, values and principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

  • Integrity
  • Accountability and Stewardship
  • Build Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Continuous Improvement and Innovation
  • Strategic Mindset

Program Manager Competencies

These are rooted in the mission, values and principles of CRS and used by each program manager to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

  • Sets clear goals and manages toward them
  • Collaborates effectively with staff and stakeholders
  • Manages financial resources with integrity
  • Applies program quality standards to project design and organizational learning

Key Working Relationships

Internal- CRS/Malawi

Country Representative, Head of Programs, Head of Operations, Chief of Party, Food Security Technical Coordinator, Project Technical Leads (e.g. Health, Agriculture, Youth/Gender, Social Behavior Change etc.), Project Managers, Strategic Learning Lead, Project Officers, SBC Specialist and Country Program MEAL staff


SARO Regional Staff (Regional Technical Advisors/Deputy Regional Directors) and CRS/HQ departments including MEAL, HQ-based Gender Advisor and Youth Advisor and CRS MEAL and Gender Communities of Practice


USAID, government officials, international and local partners, implementing partner staff, other Malawi implementers.

Qualifications and Skills

  • A Master’s degree in a quantitative field (economics, agricultural/development economics, statistics, bio-statistics, nutrition, applied sociology, anthropology or other relevant subject) with significant training in quantitative methods. Additional experience may substitute for some education.
  • Five years of work experience in a development setting, preferably with an international NGO, with progressively increasing responsibility in the field of monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning, and at least two years of experience as a supervisor. Title II and ICT4D experience preferred. Must have experience in leading the M&E of a large project.
  • Experience working with large donors, USAID/FFP and/or USAID/FTF preferred.
  • Strong conceptual knowledge about theories of change, logic model, food and nutrition security indicators, M&E plan, data quality assurance, data utilization and gender integration into M&E.
  • Demonstrated experience and expertise in developing and operationalizing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan; familiarity with FFP M&E and Reporting Policy and Guidance for the components of an M&E plan.
  • Demonstrated expertise and experience in developing and operationalizing routine monitoring system designed to track both output and outcome indicators from project design to implementation (including work with results frameworks and theories of change) as well as building staff capacity to utilize systems; experience with participatory MEAL system required.
  • Strong quantitative background and demonstrated expertise in designing annual monitoring surveys including probabilistic sampling strategy and estimating sample size, developing appropriate weights and analyze quantitative data; including previous experience with leading and managing studies and consultants.
  • Demonstrated expertise in designing qualitative studies, in-depth knowledge about qualitative sampling and experienced in using interview and interactive tools to generate qualitative information and analysis.
  • Experienced in developing data quality assurance strategies, data management and data visualization; including proficiency in database development/management, SPSS, Stata, EPI-Info, Access, Excel and skills in analyzing, interpreting and communicating information to various stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated expertise and experience in data utilization strategies and can creatively think about active data sharing techniques.
  • Knowledge of program quality standards, MEAL standards, Catholic Social Teaching and the justice lens preferred.
  • Experience with facilitation, capacity strengthening and partnership building through formal and informal training, with the capacity to empower staff through opportunities for professional growth and development.
  • Detail-oriented and excellent time management skills with the ability to meet deadlines and deliver required results in a timely and quality manner.
  • Cultural sensitivity, patience, flexibility and ability to work well in a multi-sectoral and multi-cultural team and to work closely, understand and support local partners.
  • Ability to work in a challenging and stressful environment with unexpected challenges.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English required and other language(s) as required.
  • Ability to travel for field missions for 30-50% level of effort as needed.

NOTE: Applications will be accepted until this position is filled.

About the Organization

Catholic Relief Services was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. Our mission is to assist the poor and disadvantaged, leveraging the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to alleviate human suffering, promote development of all people, and to foster charity and justice throughout the world. Working through local offices and an extensive network of partners, CRS operates on five continents and in 98 countries. We aid the poor by first providing direct assistance where needed, then encouraging people to help with their own development. Together, these approaches foster secure, productive, just communities that enable people to realize their potential. As the official international relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community, CRS is also committed to educating the people of the United States to fulfill their moral responsibilities toward our global brothers and sisters by helping the poor, working to remove the causes of poverty, and promoting social justice.

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