Job Title: MEAL Manager
Sector: Monitoring & Evaluation
Employment Category: Regular
Employment Type: Full-Time
Open to Expatriates: No
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Background/IRC Summary: The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 28 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home. IRC started working in Ethiopia since 2000, and has since implemented projects across the country, supporting refugees as well as internally displaced populations.
Position Summary: IRC is seeking a MEAL Manager for a five-year project, “PlayMatters”, funded by the LEGO Foundation. This position will be a part of the larger PlayMatters initiative to increase play-based learning opportunities for nearly 1 million pre-primary and primary school aged refugee and host community children impacted by the humanitarian crises in East Africa and living in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. This project aims to build children’s social, emotional, cognitive, physical and creative skills through play in their homes, schools, and communities and will be implemented in partnership with War Child, Plan International, Ubongo, Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) and Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).
The MEAL Manager will be responsible for ensuring that PlayMatters consortium and IRC staff work in line with the monitoring and evaluation approach of PlayMatters, which is part of a wider research and learning agenda. This includes managing the three MEAL officers in the different field locations, and ensuring that our robust monitoring will provide evidence on the cost-effectiveness of the interventions on the academic, holistic, learning and wellbeing outcomes of children ages 3-12 in Ethiopia. Furthermore, s/he will evaluate which program components yield the greatest benefit for children, and how benefits can be optimized – for whom, under what circumstances and at what level of investment and scale.
The MEAL Manager will report to the country level Project Coordinator and work closely with the Regional Senior M&E and Research Coordinator to align all MEAL activities with the other countries and the general approach.
Monitoring and Accountability Systems
- Implement a robust M&E system and program review meetings to ensure use of data in decision making;
- Manage development and use of an indicator tracker as a project monitoring tool;
- Manage ongoing efforts to streamline data (including qualitative) collection, central storage using BOX, and management across the country program while collaborating with the PlayMatters MEAL officers, Technical Coordinators and GIS unit.
- Support MEAL officers in collecting data on beneficiary numbers and provide at least a bi-annual update on the total count across the PlayMatters project.
- Contribute to M&E plan including risk assessment data, measures, and feedback to inform responsive program design and implementation decisions;
- Lead needs assessment exercise, while developing data, measures, and analysis mechanisms to be included in the M&E data plan and to inform decision making at all levels;
- Participate in research activities coordinated by the PlayMatters project;
- Ensure routine monitoring according to the M&E Plan, put in place mechanisms and processes for regular review of project data and learning;
- Contribute to the rollout of IRC global initiatives related to measurement (Monitoring for Action, Outcome and Evidence Framework, Client Responsiveness), including adapting in-country tools where needed to align and enable reporting against IRC global standards and requirements.
Assessment, Learning, and Documentation
- Support the co-creation of a learning agenda with field staff and key government and humanitarian partners.
- Support consortium partners (BIT/Ubongo) in behavioral mapping and rapid prototyping of behavior nudge interventions, as well as supporting them in producing edutainment;
- Attend international MEAL workshop on an annual basis;
- Manage and update the internal learning database, including learning from all monitoring, evaluations, studies, learning exercises, project review and Project Cycle Meetings. Ensure that recommendations are disseminated and followed up.
- Track and ensure organized, comprehensive electronic filing of documented findings/analyses in the learning database.
- When appropriate/applicable, facilitate and participate in information sharing opportunities among IRC partners/donors.
- Develop the capacities of project IRC and consortium staff in MEAL by organizing orientation meetings, and regular check-ins;
- Organize MEAL startup orientation meetings in three locations and following up with the staff on a regular basis;
- Facilitate bi-weekly calls to officers in the field (3), while discussing their work plans and their development goals;
- Develop and deliver content during the regional annual MEAL workshop;
- Regular field visits (40%) to support PlayMatters MEAL officers and field staff, delivering hands-on training on M&E, accountability and learning, including related IRC global initiatives (Monitoring for Action, Client Responsiveness, etc), and providing technical support in conducting surveys, assessments and evaluations using mobile data collection methods such as Kobo Collect and CommCare.
- Ensure that accountability and learning tools and strategies are understood and being implemented effectively
- Master’s degree in social sciences, systems science, and/or other relevant fields from an accredited university with at least three years of relevant professional work experience; or bachelor’s degree with more than six years’ experience;
- Minimum of five years’ experience in an international NGO in similar role/with similar responsibilities;
- Demonstrated understanding of direct monitoring and evaluation experience, specifically in the humanitarian and development context. Experience in education projects is an advantage;
- At least 1 year of management experience.
- Proven experience in mobile monitoring using Kobo Collect, Commcare or other applications;
- Demonstrated experience developing tools and systems for program tracking and documentation;
- Demonstrated experience in staff supervision, and capacity building;
- Knowledge of monitoring and evaluation methodologies, including logframes, theories of change, and assessment/evaluations;
- Demonstrated experience of implementing beneficiary complaint and feedback mechanisms is desired;
- High proficiency in Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, and being able to visualize data in (ie) Power BI;
- Effective, high-quality communication and writing in English, and interpersonal skills are essential.
- Ability to work under pressure, long work hours if necessary, and high workload.
- Able to independently organize work and prioritize tasks.
- Self-motivated, honest, highly responsible, and punctual.
- Being willing to travel to the three field locations regularly (appr. 40%) and to the regional workshop annually.
Reports to: Ethiopia LEGO Project Coordinator and Regional Senior M&E Research Coordinator.
Working Environment: You will work in the IRC Ethiopia office and be provided regular administrative and logistics support to perform his/her responsibilities.
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