Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Manager, LRI
Creative Associates International Inc. is a dynamic and fast-growing professional services firm that specializes in international development in the areas of education, democratic transitions and stabilization in post-conflict environments. Based in Washington, DC, the firm has a field presence in 30 countries worldwide with a strong and diverse portfolio that includes global contracts with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other clients including the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense. The firm has earned a solid reputation among its clients and missions worldwide and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.
OTI’s Littorals Regional Initiative (LRI) program is able to provide support to local counterparts across specific West African coastal states to withstand the increasing pressures of VEOs by addressing instability factors including: localized conflict, ethno-religious marginalization, lack of understanding of the VEO threat, local grievances against governance structures, and weak social cohesion. LRI complements the broader USAID presence in the region by providing short-term, targeted programming that reduces windows for VEO expansion and helps national governments and local communities build prevention capacity.
The USAID/OTI’s Littorals Regional Initiative (LRI) program provides support to local counterparts across specific West African coastal states to withstand the increasing pressures of violent extremist organizations (VEOs) by addressing instability factors including localized conflict, ethno-religious marginalization, lack of understanding of the threat, local grievance and weak social cohesion. LRI complements the broader USAID presence in the region by providing short-term, targeted programming that reduces windows for VEO expansion and helps national governments and local communities build prevention capacity.
LRI is a fast-paced small grants program placing a premium on providing quality information about its activities to USAID in a timely manner.
The Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Manager, as the MEL team leader, will be responsible for qualitative data collection and analysis, overseeing the incorporation of MEL throughout the activity cycle and at the program level. He/she should be an effective communicator; remotely leading a diverse team across three countries and producing quality evaluation and learning products. The MEL Manager must demonstrate superior written and oral communication skills in English and French, be highly motivated and capable of rapidly producing relevant analyses.
This position reports to the Deputy Chief of Party – Programs based in Accra, Ghana. The MEL Manager will provide technical supervision to the MEL Officers and MEL Assistants in Ghana, Togo, and Benin.
•Manage and oversee overall monitoring, evaluation, and learning for the program;
•Lead and manage program-level evaluation;
•Effectively lead a diverse team of MEL professionals based in three different countries, motivating each member, building their capacity, and keeping them accountable and productive.
•Support and advise colleagues on activity-level monitoring and evaluation efforts, ensuring quality and consistency across offices;
•During the activity development phase, review and edit the activity Theory of Change and MEL plan;
•During the activity implementation phase, coordinate and plan field visits by MEL staff, in coordination with Program, Grants, and Field Monitor staff;
•Review weekly activity notes, in particular outcome notes, and tag them appropriately in the OTI database;
•Review and edit activity Final Evaluation Reports (FERs) written by MEL officers and assistants. Think critically about lessons learned. Ask hard questions. Report back interesting findings to the Senior Management Team;
•Offer technical assistance in the development, selection, and application of MEL processes and tools;
•Undertake, as security conditions allow, in-person periodic visits to project locations to collect data and/or oversee data collection efforts.
•Help identify, analyze, and synthesize lessons learned from program implementation and facilitate the incorporation of those lessons into the activity development cycle;
•Contribute to the design, implementation, and ongoing revision of a MEL system that adheres to USAID guidance and meets the needs of the program for learning, analysis, and reporting;
•Oversee and advise colleagues on information management processes by reviewing data collection efforts, overall data reliability, consistency, and quality;
•Provide input and expert advice on procurement of external MEL services if needed;
•Contribute to program deliverables, including semi-annual reports, monthly program reports, success stories;
•Initiate informal and formal regular reflection opportunities for continued learning and adaptation.
Capacity-building and Representation
•Train other staff and local partners, when required, on key MEL concepts, tools, and processes, including Outcome Harvesting;
•Present MEL findings to the Senior Management Team, USAID/OTI, other U.S. Government representatives, other donors, and host country governments.
•Contribute to identifying, presenting, and disseminating LRI’s good practices and lessons learned through knowledge management, networking, and conferences and publications in print and online.
•Bachelor’s Degree in relevant field
•Must have at least 6 years of general work experience and 4+ years of specific experience related to the required position. Relevant experience includes experience in monitoring, evaluation, and learning; social science research; political analysis; or a related field;
•Must have at least 3 years of direct supervisory experience.
•Demonstrated experience with qualitative research methods;
•Strong analytical skills and writing abilities;
•Experience working in a diverse and fast-paced environment;
•Experience working with donor-funded projects;
•Fluency in written and oral English and French are required;
•Legally resident in and authorized to work in the country of assignment (Ghana or Togo). This is a local post, relocation and expatriate allowances will not be offered.
•Demonstrated experience with interviews, surveys and focus groups; experience in Outcome Harvesting process is strongly preferred;
•Experience working in West Africa, specifically in the following countries: Ghana, Togo, and Benin;
•Proficiency with software such as Microsoft Word & Excel; familiarity with statistical software.