Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Specialist - USAID Rwanda Integrated Health Systems Activity (RIHSA)

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 26 April 2019

Job Description


Abt Associates is currently seeking a qualified Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Specialist for the upcoming five-year USAID Rwanda Integrated Health Systems Activity (RIHSA).

The MEL Specialist will be responsible for providing technical leadership for and designing, executing, and overseeing the MEL components of the project. S/He will 1) lead the design and implementation of MEL plans, 2) routinely and systematically collect, analyze, report, and present program data to project staff, partners and donors, 3) track progress towards stated results and fidelity to implementation design, and 4) identify learning opportunities from implementation progress and suggest ways to adapt accordingly in order to achieve programmatic impact. The position will be based in Kigali with local travel as required, and will report to the Chief of Party. Position is contingent upon contract award to Abt Associates.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

  • Create system(s) to measure and routinely document program process, output, and impact data results; determine and implement an archive system for data sources
  • Guide process of and produce the project’s MEL plans, annual implementation plans, quarterly/annual/final performance reports, and similar deliverables. This includes working with the project team to develop processes to collect and analyze data across the project; track and analyze set indicators and other statistics; ensure proper targets, units of measurement, and figures are used; and produce high-quality and timely reports/deliverables
  • Technically oversee, manage, and ensure quality of project work related to the design and implementation of MEL, research, and reporting activities, in accordance with Government of Rwanda (GOR) and USAID regulations, Abt policies, and international standards for programming and research. This includes providing technical inputs, guidance, and oversight of Abt internal review board and Rwandan ethical clearances for research
  • Track project performance, generate evidence, and support learning and institutionalization of project best practices
  • Coordinate with project team, USAID, GOR, and other project partners, as needed, to refine key indicators and harmonize reporting approaches and frameworks to remain responsive to the needs of the project, USAID, and GOR
  • Collaborate with GOR counterparts to define research priorities and data collection needs to drive better use of data for decision-making
  • Review all project assessments and ensure compliance and standardization of documents used for generalizable knowledge, publication, and presentation to the client and general public and in compliance with requirements
  • Develop quantitative and qualitative data collection tools and oversee data collection while ensuring data quality, accuracy and security standards and procedures are in place
  • Coordinate and conduct data analysis and reporting on achievements against set targets, highlighting emerging patterns, and produce clear reports on findings and conclusions
  • Oversee development of learning and knowledge products that capture lessons learned and share information on project impact with all relevant stakeholders
  • Build monitoring and evaluation (M&E) capacity within the Ministry of Health. This includes collaborating with the technical team to create or improve data collection, management, analysis and reporting systems for routine program management and budget decisions
  • Conduct field visits to project sites to monitor activities and engage with project teams, partners, and local stakeholders
  • Respond to questions and provide project specific inputs and support to Rockville-based and other technical teams regarding areas of responsibility

Preferred Skills / Prerequisites

  • Master’s degree or higher in public health, statistics, economics, or other relevant field
  • Minimum 8 years of experience in rigorous research, monitoring, and evaluation for complex health systems strengthening projects; experience with USAID-funded activities strongly preferred
  • Strong background in planning, designing, and executing MEL activities for health systems strengthening projects, and leading teams in these areas
  • Expertise in quantitative and qualitative data collections techniques and analytical methods, with firm command of M&E methodologies with respect to health systems, including knowledge of key health systems strengthening strategies and indicators
  • Strong organizational and management skills for measuring, monitoring, and reporting on project outputs and results, and implementing a learning agenda
  • Significant experience in knowledge management and dissemination of results and research findings
  • Excellent report writing and communication skills in English, including oral presentation skills; French skills desirable
  • Strong interpersonal skills, initiative and demonstrated leadership and problem-solving abilities
  • Computer literacy (MS Word, MS Excel, statistical softwares such as Stata and/or SAS and communications programs)
  • Rwandan national strongly 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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