Job Title: Technical Advisor for Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (RTA – MEAL)
Department: Central Africa Regional Office (CARO)
Position Type: Full-time
Job Location: Telecommuting
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 RTA for MEAL will provide leadership within the CARO Region to strengthen organizational and staff capacity to design and implement effective monitoring, evaluation, learning and accountability systems. S/he will provide technical assistance to CARO Country Programs, their partners and staff to ensure that projects/programs are monitored as needed, scopes for evaluation reflect key learning questions, high quality external or internal evaluators undertake evaluations, recommendations are adopted and lessons learned are disseminated through channels including CARO Country Programs and the CRS MEAL community of practice.
CARO has a wide range of programs funded by multiple donors, and Country Programs are increasingly requested to provide additional information to demonstrate the impacts of their programs. These programs include significant programming in health and nutrition, WASH, agriculture, livelihoods, resiliency, peacebuilding emergency.
CRS, as part of its agency core competencies, has recently adopted a set of auditable MEAL policies and procedures (MPPs) for its projects and Country Programs. These MPPs represent an agency-wide initiative that reflect agency values and guiding principles. Within this context, the RTA/MEAL will provide technical support to Country Programs in the implementation of these MPPs to positively impact on the development and implementation of MEAL systems that improve program quality. S/he will also assist Country Programs in helping strengthen the capacity of local partners to implement MEAL systems.
- Providing leadership on all matters pertaining to MEAL in CARO, including but not limited to the use of data for decision-making;
- 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;
- Ensuring technical MEAL reviews in project design, start-up, implementation and close-out;
- Collaborating with Regional and Country Program staff to realize a learning agenda rooted in evidenced-based approaches.
- Collaborating with Regional and Country Program staff 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
SPECIFIC JOB RESPONSIBILITIES
Improving Program Quality:
A primary responsibility for the RTA/MEAL is to strengthen the capacity of Country Program staff to design, implement and utilize MEAL systems to improve program quality:
- Take an active role in promoting implementation of the agency’s MEAL policies and procedures and other agency-wide MEAL initiatives;
- Support Country Programs to design and plan MEAL systems that meet project needs, enable responsiveness to both beneficiaries and donors, and ensure program quality;
- Provide guidance to Country Program teams to effectively collect data, e.g. as part of field assessments, baseline, monitoring, mid-term and final evaluations, including:
- Advising on data collection methodologies and sampling;
- Developing or reviewing instruments for data collection;
- Designing data management systems;
- Advising on data entry needs and requirements;
- Establishing mechanisms to effectively utilize local consultants;
- Support Country Programs to analyze and report on data collected, including training in quantitative and/or qualitative analysis, as appropriate;
- Work with Country Programs to develop ICT/management information systems which meet stakeholder information needs and streamline MEAL management;
- Work with Country Programs to develop beneficiary accountability systems that meet stakeholder information needs and enable community engagement;
- Champion use of MEAL data to revise project TOC/assumptions and adapt project strategies, as needed, to ensure high quality programming.
- Help ensure integration of cross-sectoral priorities in MEAL, including gender, protection mainstreaming, disaster risk reduction and conflict sensitivity.
Supporting Program Growth:
- Design projects that ensure rigorous logic between activities, outputs, results; have a clear Theory of Change; and provide for robust accountability mechanisms;
- Advise on development of indicators and selection of methods that will ensure rigorous MEAL during project implementation;
- Support design of field assessments to collect the information necessary for project design and strategy development;
- Be familiar with and advise on integrating relevant donor MEAL requirements (e.g. USAID and relevant US agencies, Global Fund, UNITAID, WHO, World Bank, CDC, Catholic Donors and other potential donors).
- Provide thorough review of CARO technical approaches, MEAL plans and budgets to ensure winning proposals.
Strengthening MEAL Capacity:
The RTA/MEAL will assist Country Programs in strengthening the capacity of both CRS and partner staff to implement and utilize MEAL systems to improve program quality, including:
- Mentor staff from across the region working in MEAL, including facilitating community of practice exchanges; advising on staff development plans; participating in recruitment of country program MEAL staff; supporting onboarding; and identifying and/or facilitating relevant staff development opportunities.
- Deliver on-site capacity building of Country Program staff, including but not limited to MEAL staff, including formal and on-the job staff training and co-facilitation of MEAL training events;
- Provide distance coaching of staff through reviews, emails and conversations which provide tools, resources, and practical advice in simple terms.
- Collaborate with Country Program staff to identify and develop action plans to strengthen local partner capacity based on the assessment results;
Supporting Regional Learning:
The RTA/MEAL will collaborate with 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:
- Develop and disseminate knowledge in support of accountability and learning, including: guidelines, tools, case studies, and e-learning
- Promote knowledge management and collaborative learning processes at the project, program and institutional levels, generating robust evidence for project and programmatic learning that leads to action, decision-making and influence
The RTA/MEAL will also be part of a broader learning agenda linked to MEAL for the Agency as a whole, and may participate in various fora from time to time to support this broader agenda. S/he will also be expected to represent Country Programs, the Region and the Agency to external donors and stakeholders, as well as colleague PVOs, universities, research institutions, and other actors. The RTA/MEAL will network with other counterparts within her/his community of practice, and will serve as a key link for the Country Programs to external sources of knowledge and information.
- Masters degree and equivalent experience, in a field relevant to a senior MEAL position in an international NGO.
- 7-10 years of progressive responsibility in overseas relief and development programs; with 3-5 years experience working for an international agency on MEAL.
- Thorough familiarity with principles and current approaches to MEAL of relief and development programs using both quantitative and qualitative methods.
- 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.
- Experience training others in MEAL, including developing and leading workshops.
- Understanding of donor expectations and trends for MEAL, especially by key donors, FFP, OFDA, USDA, PEPFAR, DFID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- Demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through training, mentoring, and other formal and non-formal methods.
- 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.
Fluency in oral and written communication French and English.
Travel Required (include percentage of required travel, if applicable)
The position will be a telecommuting position, working from a home-base that allows for frequent travel to CARO. The position will require extensive travel (50%) throughout Central Africa and trips to CRS headquarters in Baltimore, as necessary.
Key Working Relationships:
Supervisory: The RTA/MEAL has no direct reports; however, s/he may be required to supervise consultants, as needed.
Internal: Deputy Regional Director for Program Quality, CARO Regional Technical Advisors (RTAs); CRS Heads of Programming; Country Program MEAL staff and other programming staff; CARO Country Representatives; CRS HQ Technical Advisors in headquarters; CRS MEAL TAs in other regions.
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)
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.
- Serves with Integrity
- Models Stewardship
- Cultivates Constructive Relationships
- Promotes Learning
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.