Technical Adviser II MEAL

  • CDD
  • Sahel

Catholic Relief Services

Job Title: Technical Advisor II – MEAL
Reports to: Chief of Party
Department: TBD – a Sahel country
Salary Grade: 10
Note: This position is dependent upon funding, as well as the donor’s approval of the proposed Technical Adviser II – MEAL.

About CRS

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance, and peacebuilding. CRS has worked in West Africa for decades. Over the years, CRS’ focus shifted from direct relief and food distributions to a comprehensive development program that works with partners and enhances local capacity. CRS’ development work in West Africa is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance, and peacebuilding.

Job Summary

CRS is seeking a MEAL Lead for the anticipated 5-year USAID Regional Resilience Activity in the Sahel. The overarching goal of the project is to enhance the resilience and well-being of communities by addressing key challenges related to water access, agriculture, nutrition, livelihoods, and market systems. The M&E Lead will provide technical expertise and leadership to generate and analyze quality evidence and data through monitoring, assessments, and evaluations. The Lead must have demonstrated experience in building or strengthening monitoring systems, quantitative and qualitative analysis, survey, sample design and evidence-based program management. Their primary role will be to design, manage, strengthen, and provide strategic direction to the Regional Resilience Activity’s Monitoring and Evaluation systems, work closely with the project’s Strategic Learning Lead to ensure cross-learning across all implementing countries, and collaborate on learning across CRS’ food security and nutrition projects in West Africa. They will also work across CRS and consortium staff to build capacity of M&E and project staff. The program is anticipated to start in 2024 and this position will be based in one of the Sahel countries.

Specific Responsibilities

M&E Strategy and Design

  • Provide leadership for the management and implementation of M&E activities throughout relevant project cycles to ensure efficient and effective implementation in line with CRS program quality principles and standards and MEAL policies, procedures and practices, USAID MEL and reporting policies and guidance, and industry good practices.
  • Ensure Regional Resilience team and partner staff use the appropriate M&E systems and tools.
  • Provide strategic direction for the development and maintenance of M&E systems and the roll-out of new initiatives.
  • Support programming staff to incorporate participatory methods into community level M&E systems and tools.
  • Work with the senior Regional Resilience management team to identify and pursue strategic opportunities for program expansion.
  • Respond to any requests that may arise from the USAID Regional Resilience Activity project management team.

M&E Implementation

  • Lead mandated evaluations, needs assessments, annual surveys, and research.
  • Refine the MEAL operating manual annually using CRS’ SMILER coaching methodology to ensure a complete, up-to-date, high quality MEAL system, containing essential data collection tools, data flow maps and analysis plans to address needed information for program quality and donor reporting.
  • Ensure agency level MEAL requirements (e.g., annual data quality assessments, beneficiary count reporting and CRS’ MEAL Policies and Procedures (MPP) self-assessments) for the Regional Resilience Activity are implemented.
  • Develop strategies for ensuring the quality of collected data for the indicators and manage tools and methods for assessing data quality for all indicators.
  • Organize the planning for project data quality audits and monitor and coordinate routine data quality audits conducted in different sites, compile results at the level of a project and develop action plans to implement corrective measures.
  • Coordinate data gathering and data management of population-based surveys and surveillance activities.
  • Contribute to donor reports through high quality project data interpretation and report inputs.
  • Lead the project’s M&E team to strategically prepare and review M&E calendars and workplans.
  • Ensure the M&E team participates in Joint Monitoring Visits (JMVs).
  • Support learning-to-action events and reflection sessions to systematically analyze data to promote adaptive management and to document and incorporate lessons learned into program design and implementation with the Strategic Learning (SL) Lead.
  • Ensure M&E and program teams regularly review and adjust M&E plans and tools as needed by the project context.

Capacity Strengthening

  • Collaborate with participating Country Programs (CPs) and WARO MEAL and Knowledge Management and Learning (KML) RTAs in the MEAL community of practice to share learning, resources, and support across offices.
  • Develop and co-facilitate M&E workshops and modules for staff and partners to share country program, regional and global MEAL tools, processes, and best practices to cultivate a culture of learning.
  • Conduct orientations for new program staff on CRS systems and key M&E resources.
  • Provide mentoring to CRS and partner staff to increase capacity and to achieve annual performance and development plans.
  • Remain updated with developments among the CRS MEAL community and worldwide MEAL trends and resources to ensure the Project’s MEAL team is applying CRS MEAL guidance and policies appropriately and in a timely manner.
  • Conduct field monitoring visits events frequently with project teams and implementing partners.
  • Provide feedback to senior Regional Resilience program and M&E staff to improve the overall MEAL system and ensure quality implementation of MEAL activities with the SL Lead.
  • Ensure the capacity building of County Governments M&E teams in CPs, for using data for decision making.

ICT for MEAL

Support the project’s ICT4D and program teams to develop and maintain accurate and up to date project tracking, record keeping and filing methodologies for all activities.

  • Ensure the Regional Resilience Activity databases and dashboards are updated regularly and are accurate.
  • Help troubleshoot problems with Regional Resilience Activity databases and dashboards, and ensure corrective action is taken where needs be in a timely manner.
  • Ensure learning from the Regional Resilience Activity’s ICT4D initiatives is documented and shared with other CP initiatives, and agency wide.

Supervision and Coaching/Mentoring Responsibilities

The MEAL Lead directly supervises the Regional Resilience Activity M&E Manager, Monitoring Manager, M&E Database Specialist and participates in the hiring and supervision either directly or indirectly of the M&E GIS Specialist, M&E Officers and assistants, and other future M&E related staff. The Lead also supervises, directly or indirectly, CRS TDYs, and external consultants conducting M&E related activities. Additionally, s/he will provide support in mentoring all MEAL staff across the consortium.

Program Lead Competencies

These are rooted in the mission, values and principles of CRS and used by each program Lead to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

  • Sets clear goals and manages toward them.
  • Collaborates effectively with staff and stakeholders.
  • Manages financial resources with integrity.
  • Applies program quality standards to project design and organizational learning.

MEAL Competencies

Each staff member in this position is expected to have advanced knowledge and ability and can apply the following competencies in new or complex situations. Guides other professionals:

MEAL in Design

  • Monitoring
  • Evaluation
  • Accountability
  • Learning
  • Analysis and Critical Thinking
  • ICT4MEAL
  • Management in MEAL

Key Working Relationships

  • Internal: CoP, DCoP, Strategic Learning Lead, Resilience Lead, other Technical Leads, CRS’ MEAL community of practice.
  • External: USAID, USAID Learning Initiatives, international and local partners, other Regional Resilience implementers.

Skills and Knowledge

  • Detail-oriented and excellent time management skills with the ability to meet deadlines and deliver required results in a timely and quality manner.
  • Cultural sensitivity, patience, flexibility, and ability to work well in a multi-sectoral and multi-cultural team and to work closely, understand and support local Church partners.
  • Ability to work in a challenging and stressful environment with unexpected challenges.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English required.

Required languages – French and English fluency, including excellent oral and written skills, required.

Travel – Must be willing and able to travel up to 40 %.

Basic Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in economics, agricultural/development economics, statistics, biostatistics, nutrition, applied sociology, anthropology, or other relevant subjects with strong quantitative background.
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience working in a development setting preferably with an international NGO, with at least 3 years of experience progressively increasing MEAL responsibility in international development projects and at least two years of experience as a supervisor; Title II and ICT4D experience preferred.
  • The candidate must have demonstrated experience leading the M&E of a large project.
  • Strong conceptual knowledge about theories of change, logic model, food and nutrition security indicators, M&E plan, data quality assurance, data utilization and gender integration into M&E.
  • Demonstrated expertise in developing and operationalizing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation plan.
  • Demonstrated expertise and experience in developing and operationalizing routine monitoring system designed to track both output and outcome indicators from project design to implementation (including work with results frameworks and theories of change) as well as building staff capacity to utilize systems; experience with participatory MEAL system required.
  • Experience with facilitation, capacity strengthening and partnership building through formal and informal training, with the capacity to empower staff through opportunities for professional growth and development.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Eight years’ experience working in a development setting preferably with an international NGO, with at least six years of experience progressively increasing MEAL responsibility in international development projects and at least two years of experience as a supervisor; Title II and ICT4D experience preferred.
  • Experience working with large donors, (USAID/ and/or USAID/FTF preferred).
  • Demonstrated familiarity with USAID M&E and Reporting Policy and Guidance for the components of an M&E plan.
  • Demonstrated expertise and experience in data utilization strategies and can creatively think about active data sharing techniques.
  • Strong quantitative background and demonstrated expertise in designing annual monitoring surveys including probabilistic sampling strategy and estimating sample size, developing appropriate weights and analyze quantitative data, including previous experience with leading and managing studies and consultants.
  • Demonstrated expertise in designing qualitative studies, in-depth knowledge about qualitative sampling and experienced in using interview and interactive tools to generate qualitative information and analysis.
  • 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.
  • Fluency in English and French.

Agency REDI Competencies (for all CRS Staff)

Agency competencies clarify expected behaviors and attitudes for all staff. When demonstrated, they create an engaging workplace, help staff achieve their best, and help CRS achieve agency goals. 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.

  • Personal Accountability – Consistently takes responsibility for one’s own actions.
  • Acts with Integrity – Consistently models values aligned with CRS Guiding Principles and mission. Is considered honest.
  • Builds and Maintains Trust – Shows consistency between words and actions.
  • Collaborates with Others – Works effectively in intercultural and diverse teams.
  • Open to Learn – Seeks out experiences that may change perspective or provide an opportunity to learn new things.
  • Agency Leadership Competencies:
  • Lead Change – Continually looks for ways to improve the agency through a culture of agility, openness, and innovation.
  • Develops and Recognizes Others – Builds the capacity of staff to reach their full potential and enhance team and agency performance.
  • Strategic Mindset – Understands role in translating, communicating, and implementing agency strategy and team priorities.

***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.

You can send your application including: a cv, a cover letter in PDF and the names of three people cited as professional references to the following address: senegalrecruitment@crs.org, putting Technical Advisor II MEAL in the subject line, no later than June 30, 2024.

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to safeguarding the rights and dignity of all people – especially children and vulnerable adults – to live free from abuse and harm. CRS prioritizes candidates who are citizens/ permanent residents of the countries where we have CRS offices. CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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