Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Director - USAID Zambia District Governance Strengthening

  • Senior-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 16 October 2019

Job Description


Abt Associates seeks a dynamic Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Director for the anticipated five-year USAID Zambia District Governance Strengthening (DGS) program. This program aims to help build up a local system of governance capable of responsive service delivery to drive USAID results and advance Zambian self-reliance. This system will maximize the impact of local partners, build the capabilities of service providers, enhance coordination across sectors, and improve targeted citizen oversight of government performance. This program seeks to attain the following objectives:

Objective 1: Citizen-responsive governance structures acquire skills to effectively assess service-delivery needs and performance, and constructively engage with government.
Objective 2: The sub-national governance system develops the capacity to respond to citizen needs and improve service delivery outcomes.
Objective 3: Zambia’s commitment to open government increases, advancing self-reliance.

The position will be based in Lusaka with frequent travel to the districts. Zambian applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. Position is contingent upon contract award to Abt Associates.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

  • Lead the design, development, and implementation of the project MEL plan, indicators, and learning agenda, including developing relevant indicators
  • Manage a rigorous approach to M&E to measure performance toward specific goals and objectives, including quantitative, qualitative, and participatory methodologies
  • Design data collection tools, schedules, analysis methods, and applied learning approaches for stakeholder training
  • Develop mechanisms to establish feedback loops between activity implementation, data collection, and communications and learning
  • Oversee and lead qualitative and quantitative data collection processes and strategies
  • Contribute to quarterly strategy reviews as well as drafting core components of program progress reports to USAID
  • Drive the project’s overall learning agenda to derive lessons learned and best practices from project activities, and contribute to quarterly program evaluations
  • Design and maintain integrity of project’s MEL database

Preferred Skills / Prerequisites

  • Master’s degree in statistics, social science, development economics or a related field and 8 to 10 years of experience in data management and analysis for M&E, learning, and adaptive management
  • Skills in qualitative and quantitative analytical methods, data collection and analysis, and establishing MEL systems. Demonstrated ability to lead baseline data collection and analyses
  • Knowledge of and experience with M&E frameworks, and reporting systems
  • Expertise in adaptive management, organizational learning/development, systems mapping, development of CLA-related tools, CLA thought-leadership, and providing inputs on how CLA may lead to improved development outcomes
  • Experience managing MEL for USAID programs
  • Proficiency in Excel, Word, and other MS Office software; data analysis software, e.g. SPSS or Stata
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and ability to work collaboratively and independently
  • Verbal and written fluency in the English language along with strong communications, interpersonal, and presentation skills
  • Zambia experience preferred

Minimum Qualifications

  • (8+) years of experience and a master degree OR the equivalent combination of education and experience

About the Organization

Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1965, Abt Associates was built on the concept that sound information and empirical analysis are the best foundations for effective decision making. The firm blends the subject matter expertise of our staff with technical capabilities in applied research, program implementation, and data collection to shape policy, strengthen systems, measure performance, and deliver other solutions to our public and private sector clients. Examples of Abt Associates’ work include nationally recognized research, evaluation, and technical assistance to improve the efficiency of healthcare systems, the effectiveness of government housing programs, the production of food, and the measurement of public opinion. Abt’s staff of more than 2000 includes national and international experts who are known for their understanding of communities and governments worldwide, innovative research techniques, and insightful—and often groundbreaking—analyses and recommendations. Approximately 51 percent of our staff has graduate degrees; one in six has a doctorate. Our staff’s educational and professional disciplines include economics, engineering, environmental analysis, epidemiology, food security, health, housing, international development, psychology, social science, statistics, and survey methodology. Abt’s research staff is experienced with prominent statistical software packages, including SPSS, SAS, and STATA, along with qualitative software such as NVIVO and Atlas. In 2011, Abt Associates was ranked among the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 development innovators. Abt has offices in Atlanta, Ga.; Rockville, Md.; Cambridge, Mass.; Chicago, Ill.; Durham, N.C.; and New York City and program offices in nearly 40 countries in Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa.

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