Monitoring, Evaluation, & Learning Specialist (MEL)

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 13 January 2021
  • Bethesda, Maryland, United States
  • Closing on 13 April 2021
  • Current

Job Description

Monitoring, Evaluation, & Learning Specialist (MEL)

ZemiTek, LLC is a Woman-Owned, SBA-certified 8(a) Small Disadvantage Business (SDB) based in the Washington, DC metro area. We have a strong record delivering innovative and high-quality solutions. Since 2007, ZemiTek has provided technical assistance, project management, information technology (IT), knowledge management, monitoring and evaluation, training and learning development, and institutional support services.


Washington, D.C., ~20% travel when COVID restrictions are lifted


Through ZemiTek’s LS-ISC contract, the Local, Faith-based, and Transformative Partnerships Hub, within USAID’s Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI/LFT), is seeking a Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Specialist to provide technical support in MEL systems and approaches for locally led development.


The Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Specialist will support the implementation of MEL efforts for several DDI/LFT global programs which focus on locally led development. The specialist will provide expert technical assistance and facilitation to USAID missions and partners implementing these programs; contribute to program-level evaluations; and support The Locally Led Development Initiative programs in DDI/LFT work toward the day when foreign assistance is no longer needed, and empowered local actors lead and sustain their own development. Through funding and technical leadership, these initiatives provide USAID missions and staff with the knowledge, skills, tools, and resources to ensure that development assistance is locally led and advances self-reliance. These initiatives include the flagship Local Works program, the Cooperative Development Program (CDP), the Small Project Assistance Program (SPA, in collaboration with Peace Corps), a number of co-created research and development initiatives under the Broad Agency Announcement for Locally Led Development Innovation (BAA-LLDI), and the Locally Led Development Annual Program Statement (APS). The Hub also uses its resources to provide communications, research, training, piloting, and other technical services for the benefit of the wider Agency. For more information, visit the Hub online.

DDI/LFT technical staff in program design and management. The specialist will also work with other members of the team to provide field support to missions, review research deliverables, develop knowledge resources for the benefit of the broader Agency, and provide administrative support, as needed.

This position reports to the DDI/LFT Lead for Evidence and Learning. The specialist will interact frequently with colleagues in USAID missions and USAID/Washington - and with external stakeholders at various levels. Significant travel to USAID missions to work with field staff and interact with awardees will be required, once COVID restrictions on travel have been lifted.

About the Organization


● Support USAID missions, other USAID operating units, implementing partners, and local organizations, with an emphasis on knowledge transfer and skill-building:

○ Provide USAID missions with advisory services and facilitate the adoption of locally led approaches to monitoring, evaluating, and learning throughout USAID’s work.

○ Assist in the planning and implementation of Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plans for both country level activities and global programming.

○ Facilitate the use of meaningful and practical indicators that are contextually appropriate, measure meaningful development outcomes, and reflect a synthesis of USAID and partner priorities.

○ Capture and disseminate learning.

● Support data management, visualization, and utilization including: development and maintenance of databases; development and management of interactive dashboards capturing financial, management, and performance data; liaising with USAID’s GeoCenter on mapping activities; coordinate with PPL/LER and M/MPBP on updates to Agency guidance relating to data management and use; support data analysis, synthesis, and sense-making exercises for staff, senior leaders, and stakeholders across DDI/LFT programs.

● Support the implementation of, and periodic updates to, overall evaluation frameworks, processes, and procedures for DDI/LFT programming to measure, assess, and report on ongoing, mid-term, and final program results.

● Support DDI/LFT in general administrative tasks related to monitoring, evaluation, reporting, and other related requests.

● Keep abreast of new developments and emerging issues of relevance to locally led development - and share these for the benefit of USAID colleagues and our work.

Values and Commitments:

Following the core values of DDI/LFT and its programs, this position requires a commitment to:

● Look Locally and build upon existing local initiatives, ideas, resources, and capacity to solve local problems.

● Listen to the End-User and ensure local voices are heard every step of the way to shift the power of development priority-setting and decision-making to local actors.

● Facilitate and be client focused.

● Experiment with, Learn from, and Share new approaches, test old assumptions, and take smart risks to make development more empowering for those on the receiving end of assistance.

● Recognize Shared Contribution by valuing approaches that recognize complexity, monitor network-level and systemic change, and generate evidence using complexity-aware methods wherever appropriate.

● Advocate for Local Ownership by pushing the envelope, questioning assumptions, and testing new ways of empowering local actors.

Minimum Requirements:

● Master’s Degree from an accredited college or university in a relevant field and at least five years of experience relevant to supporting the planning, implementation, and/or oversight of international development monitoring and evaluation efforts, or a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in a relevant field and at least seven years of experience relevant to supporting the planning, implementation, and/or oversight of international development monitoring and evaluation efforts.

● Four years of demonstrated experience with MEL related to locally owned and locally led development efforts, which may include:

○ Conducting research fieldwork in developing countries/resource-poor settings.

○ Working with or for local organizations in developing countries, such as: working directly for a local organization, as an employee or consultant for an implementing partner working with local sub-awardees, and/or with local government entities/local firms on development initiatives.

○ Working with networks of local organizations/grantees or other local actors.

● Four years of experience with qualitative and/or systems-oriented approaches to monitoring and evaluation, which may include (but are not limited to): complexity-aware M&E methods, social network analysis, constituent engagement/feedback, and others.

Preferred Skills and Experiences:

● Experience working directly with community-level organizations, whether domestic or international.

● Demonstrated facility with research approaches and presentation styles that seek to engage and empower non-technical stakeholders, from policymakers to communities.

● Demonstrated experience with a range of research and evaluation approaches, which may include qualitative data collection and analysis, experimental and/or quasi-experimental methods, statistically representative sampling/surveys, social network analysis, and mixed methods approaches.

● Experience in designing and managing MEL systems and processes that serve the priorities and interests of multiple stakeholders, including, determining purpose; articulating research questions and theories of change; selection and deployment of appropriate indicators, systems, and methods; developing statements of work and/or research designs; ensuring data quality; and utilization of findings.

● Demonstrated experience facilitating collaborative processes for the design of community-focused development programming, MEL frameworks, and other multi-stakeholder development efforts.

● Experience in facilitating utilization-focused data analysis and sense making to inform evidence-based organizational decision making and adaptive management.

● Experience delivering findings, training, or capacity development support within an international development organization/agency, its partners, and stakeholders.

● Exceptional research, analysis, writing, and oral presentation skills.

● Comfort and demonstrated success with collaborating in and across project teams.

● Desire to work in a fast-paced environment subject to evolving goals and priorities

● Flexibility, self-motivation, and comfort with ambiguity.

To apply, please submit cover letter and resume.

ZemiTek is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant’s qualifications are considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.

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