MEAL Specialist

Site FAO

Monitoring Evaluation Learning and Accountability Specialist (MEAL) (various positions);

Organizational Setting

The Sub-regional Office for West Africa (SFW) Sahel Resilience Hub (REOWA) is responsible for leading FAO’s response to West African and Sahel priorities for food security, agriculture, and rural development through the identification, planning and implementation of FAO’s priority activities in the sub-region. It ensures a multidisciplinary approach to programmes, identifies priority areas of action for the Organization in the sub-region and, in collaboration with departments and divisions at headquarters and region, develops, promotes, and oversees FAO’s strategic response to regional priorities. SFW also advises on the incorporation of sub-regional priorities into the Organization’s Programme of Work and Budget and implements approved programmes and projects in the sub-region, monitors the level of programme implementation and draws attention to problems and deficiencies.

One of the SFW priorities for the 2022-2023 and 2024-2025 is to ensure an integrated approach to Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning (MEAL) within the sub-region with the aim of upgrading the quality, availability and consistency of data and evidence on the results achieved. To achieve this, it is essential to ensure an adequate level of capacities and qualified human resources for Monitoring Evaluation Accountability and Learning (MEAL) at regional, sub-regional and country levels.
SFW operates through seventeen country offices located in West Africa and Sahel. The positions in question aim at reinforcing the capacity for MEAL at FAO SFW at country office level. It will be located in the FAO Emergency and Resilience Hub for West Africa and Sahel in Dakar and may be deployed for country-level assignments as needed, according to the emerging needs.

Reporting Lines

The MEAL Specialist will work under the overall general supervision of the Sub regional Coordinator for West Africa and under the direct supervision of the Head of the Resilience Hub and in close collaboration with the SFW Senior Policy Officer and other SFW staff, RAF, FAO country representations in the Sahel and West Africa as well as technical divisions at headquarters.

Technical Focus

The MEAL specialist will contribute to generate quality evidence on results achieved through FAO projects and programmes implemented in the SFW sub-region, to inform evidence-based adapting programming and learning. This will encompass the: i) development and operationalization of frameworks, tools and processes needed to systematically collect and analyse performance-related data (including on accountability to the affected populations); ii) capacity development on MEAL of internal and external actors; iii) monitor the quality of programme implementation; iv) development of the learning agenda ensuring MEAL-based evidence serves the generation and documentation of learning. The MEAL specialist will work in programmes and projects in various areas of FAO’s mandate, here included but not limited to development, humanitarian and humanitarian-development-peace nexus projects and programmes.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Contributes to the implementation of a M&E data and work plan to collect, analyse and report on key activity, output, outcome, and impact indicators for various audiences efficiently and effectively.
  • Supports the planning and implementation of core M&E activities in the programme, namely beneficiary registration, and verification; baseline, post-distribution and endline surveys and maintains related databases to report on achievements at activity, output, and outcome level.
  • Supports quantitative and qualitative data collection through sampling, tools design, enumerator training, data collection and supervision, analysis, and reporting.
  • Where applicable supports any third-party monitoring partner contracts to support the above activities, ensuring overall technical quality and timeliness of tools and deliverables in consultation with project managers/sector leads.
  • In collaboration with project managers/sector leads, establishes a regular and standardized information flow between implementing partners and FAO, to provide consistent information on delivery and key indicators.
  • In alignment with FAO’s Office of Emergency and Resilience tools, establishes a real-time database to monitor activities implemented and beneficiaries reached across the portfolio, by donor, administrative level 2, partner, and activity type to be maintained in collaboration with project managers/sector leads.
  • Supports management and project managers/sector leads to identify priority indicators and realistic targets to promote a programmatic approach to monitoring and evaluation and ensures their timely collection and analysis for management briefings and external reporting.
  • Provides regular updates to management on the status of implementation of field activities, identifying and communicating challenges/delays/issues to management through monitoring tools and accountability mechanisms.
  • Supports up-to-date data visualisation to provide management with an overview of programming status and key information, building on existing corporate and OER tools for data visualisation purposes.
  • Contributes gathering data for internal and external reporting, including donor reporting, cluster/sector reporting, contributions to the IPC/CH, where applicable, interagency reporting, FAO corporate reporting, etc.
  • Contribute to capacity development of FAO staff and implementing partners in MEAL practices.
  • Identifies opportunities to learn and adapt programming through the data collected and presents these to management.
  • Updates corporate monitoring systems (FPMIS, PIRES, work planning, etc.) as required.
  • Implements country-level MEAL systems at project and programme levels, including results frameworks, theories of changes, MEAL plans, in alignment with corporate, regional, sub-regional MEAL and information priorities.
  • Supports country-level project/programme formulation, including theory of change development, log frame design and budgeting for MEAL ensuring alignment with corporate and national priorities and indicators.
  • Supports the formulation and monitoring of the CPF indicators including baseline/target setting.
  • Contributes to organisational learning through supporting subject-matter analytics, lessons learned compilation and reports to inform programming.
  • Performs any other duties, as requested.

Candidates will be assessed against the following

Minimum Requirements

  • University degree in social sciences (sociology, anthropology, political sciences, international relations, research methods or alike) and/or data sciences (statistics, survey methods or alike) and/or evaluation. Specific training in MEAL is an asset.
  • At least two years demonstrated qualified and relevant experience in setting up monitoring and evaluation systems for food security and livelihoods programs and/or food security analysis/vulnerability assessments mapping in the NGO and/or IO/UN context.
  • Please note that working knowledge (level C) of English and/or French and limited knowledge (level B) of one of the other FAO languages is required for a consultancy contract. For PSA , working knowledge of English or French would suffice. Working knowledge of Portuguese would be considered an asset.

FAO Core Competencies

  • Results Focus
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Building Effective Relationships
  • Knowledge Sharing and Continuous Improvement

Technical/Functional Skills

  • Excellent proficiency and knowledge of principles and current approaches to MEL/MEAL including in the emergency, relief and resilience programs.
  • Demonstrated understanding of data and information needs for program management and decision making, as well as of the project cycle management.
  • Demonstrated relevant experience in monitoring evaluations accountability and learning in the emergency or conflict/post-conflict setting.
  • Extensive demonstrated experience in quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • Demonstrated experience in facilitating MEAL-related capacity building initiatives.
  • Experience in using softwares (e.g., such as PowerBI, Tableau, STATA, SPSS, NVivo, CommCare, Survey Monkey, Survey CTO, Kobo, ODK, MS Dynamics 365 and Visio, Pictochart, Infogram) is highly desirable.
  • Extensive experience in creating data products and in developing/ using advanced data visualization tools would be an asset.
  • Advanced use of MS Excel is highly desirable.

Closing date : 12 June 2023.

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