Job Title: Technical Advisor II- MEAL, West Africa Regional Office
Job Location: West Africa based or International Telecommute
Job Type: Regular, Full Time
Reports To: Deputy Regional Director- Program Quality
Catholic Relief Services 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.
The Technical Advisor for MEAL will provide technical direction within the WARO Region to strengthen organizational and staff capacity to design and implement effective monitoring, evaluation, learning and accountability systems. S/he will provide technical assistance and capacity strengthening to WARO Country Programs, partners and staff to ensure that projects/programs are monitored and evaluated according to technical standards and CRS MEAL policies and procedures. The Technical Advisor will also ensure that CRS maintains effective systems for assuring accountability towards participants and donors. S/he will ensure that learning is enhanced and documented to ensure quality programming and improvements in future programming. S/he will be guided and advised by the Deputy Regional Director for Programming Quality.
The RTA-MEAL will be a part of the Regional Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Community of Practice (MEAL) and liaise with technical MEAL staff across the region. The TA-MEAL will promote best practices, learning and sharing and advance CRS’ Agency Strategy (2019-2030), which recognizes MEAL as a Core Competency and underscores the increased importance of Agency wide program metrics.
Overall responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Providing CPs technical support on all matters pertaining to MEAL;
- Developing and implementing a strategic plan for strengthening capacity of Country Program and Regional staff to design and implement MEAL systems as per CRS MEAL Policies and Procedures to improve program quality;
- Assisting Country Programs to strengthen capacity of Local Partner staff to implement MEAL systems to improve program quality;
- Assisting Country Programs and the Regional team in project design and the development and review of strategies;
- Collaborating with the TA I MEAL, and Regional and Country Program staff to realize a learning agenda rooted in evidenced-based approaches.
- Collaborating with the TA I MEAL, and Regional and Country Program staff Improve accountability to a range of stakeholders through increased participation, transparent communication, responsive feedback mechanisms, and adherence to internal and external quality standards and requirements.
- Developing MEAL resources that benefit WARO staff primarily, but that also have wider agency resonance.
- Actively participating in the agency regional MEAL Advisors community to strengthen MEAL practices in the region.
The primary responsibility for the TA/MEAL is to strengthen the capacity of Country Program staff to design, implement and utilize MEAL systems to improve program quality. S/he will work directly with Heads of Programming, MEAL staff and Program Managers at Country Programs to build capacity and to develop, implement and/or revise systems, as needed. The TA/MEAL will work closely with sectoral Regional Technical Advisors to support the implementation and utilization of MEAL systems for improving program quality. This will enable the Region to have greater impact in helping Country Programs implement systems more broadly, across a variety of programs. The TA/MEAL will work closely with the other TAs to understand and address specific issues they face, and to assist them to improve MEAL within their sectors of intervention.
Specifically, the TA/MEAL will:
1. Support Country Programs to implement the CRS MEAL Policies and Procedures, donor mandated MEAL requirements, and other agency-wide MEAL initiatives:
1 Support Country Programs to collect data, e.g. as part of field assessments, baseline, mid- term and final evaluations, including sampling methodologies; instruments for data collection; data management systems; and identifying local consultants
2 Support Country Programs to develop monitoring/management information systems which meet stakeholder information needs
3 Support Country Programs to analyze and report on data collected, including training in quantitative and/or qualitative methods, as appropriate
4 Lead and provide support to the regional office and Country Programs in the use of appropriate ICT4D solutions, and document learning
5 Guide the regional team and country programs to develop, capture, share, and test approaches and tools to advance learning agendas
6 Guide country programs to develop and implement strategies and approaches to improve accountability to a range of stakeholders through increased participation, transparent communication, responsive feedback mechanisms, and adherence to internal and external quality standards and requirements
7 Support Country Programs to hire MEAL staff; mentor Country Program staff.
2. Support Program Growth and Proposal Development:
Fundamental to realizing growth will be to support the Country Programs to:
- Design projects with strong theory of change that ensures rigorous logic between activities, outputs, results and indicators
- Develop strategies that are based on rigorous internal logic
- Develop appropriate field assessments to collect the information necessary for evidence-based project design and strategy development
- Develop high quality, donor-responsive monitoring and evaluation implementation plans.
As proposal deadlines often require short submission timeframes, the TA/MEAL will need to utilize both formal and on-the-job mentoring opportunities to help build capacity. The TA/MEAL again will work closely with other TA staff in WARO to develop strong proposal submissions.
3. Supporting Agency Learning:
The TA/MEAL will collaborate with the TA I – MEAL, Regional and Country Program staff to realize a learning agenda rooted in evidenced-based approaches. Specifically, the RTA/MEAL will support Country Program and Regional staff to:
- Establish and manage a MEAL community of practice for interested staff working in the region
- Identify strategic opportunities for learning
- Design and implement systems that will enable evidenced-based learning;
- Analyze results and draw appropriate conclusions
- Disseminate findings, as appropriate
- Improve systems for dissemination
- Attend international conferences on accountability and learning, preferably as a presenter of CRS work. Prepare abstracts for conferences and assist country programs in preparing their abstracts.
Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff)These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.
- Accountability and Stewardship
- Build Relationships
- Develops Talent
- Continuous Improvement and Innovation
- Strategic Mindset
The TA/MEAL currently has no direct reports; however, s/he may be required to serve as the contact person for consultants, as needed.
KEY WORKING RELATIONSHIPS
Internal: DRDPQ (direct supervisor), TA I – MEAL (Accountability and Learning), Country Program MEAL staff, Heads of Programming, Country Representatives, other TAs within WARO, HQ MEAL advisors, TAs for MEAL in other regions, CRS’ Chief Learning Officer.
External: Local Partners, other PVOs; consultants working in MEAL; USG, especially USAID and CDC, and other donor agencies; professional associations (e.g. National Evaluation Associations)
- Masters degree in Social Sciences, Statistics, International Development, Communications or related field
- At least 5 years of progressive responsibility in MEAL in overseas relief and development programs; at least 3 experience working for an international agency on MEAL
- Thorough familiarity with principles and current approaches to MEAL in relief and development programs
- Strong conceptual knowledge about theories of change, logic model, food and nutrition security indicators, MEAL plan, data quality assurance, data utilization and gender integration into MEAL
- Experience in data collection, including survey design and training enumerators
- Understanding and experience with data management, including database design
- Strong experience analyzing data, including both qualitative and quantitative methods, and experience with appropriate software
- 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
- Understanding of donor expectations and trends for MEAL, especially of FFP, FtF, OFDA, USDA, DFID, and EU
- Demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through training, mentoring, and other formal and non-formal methods
- Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and French
- Willingness and ability to travel approximately 30% of her/his time
- Prior experience in sub-Saharan Africa preferred
- Skilled in working collaboratively with others
- Able to work with diverse groups of people in a multicultural, team environment.
- Excellent interpersonal communication skills
- Self-motivated and able to work without close supervision, including prioritizing work and multi-tasking to meet deadlines.
- Excellent organization, planning and analytical skills; detail oriented.
What we offer
CRS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, life insurance, vision, generous retirement savings plan and the opportunity to work in a collaborative, mission-driven culture that is committed to improving the lives of the poor throughout the world.
***Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We welcome as a part of our staff people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need. CRS’ processes and policies reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.
Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.
CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.
EOE/M/F/D/V - CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.