In the DRC, at the national level, only 8% of children aged 7 to 14 have a functioning reading level, and 1% can calculate (MICS 2018), while the attendance rate at the provincial level ranges from 57% to 92%. Among all these children, there are disparities in access, quality of education, experiences in and out of school, and demands and risks in communities. Sexual violence, early marriage or childbirth, mine work, and recruitment and use for armed groups are among the most severe risks for children in the DRC.
The Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Advisor (MEAL) will support an anticipated five – year USAID-funded Child and Youth Education Response Activity (CYERA) program in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The position will be based in Goma, DRC. The program focuses on increasing access to responsive education services for crisis- and conflict-affected Congolese children and youth as well as improving the delivery of quality, gender- and crisis-responsive foundational education instruction for communities of Ituri, North, and South Kivu. The MEAL Advisor develops, implements, and continuously improves all MEAL systems for all project activities. S/he is responsible for ensuring development and operationalization of high-quality MEAL systems and reporting on a large-scale USAID education project. S/he incorporates best practices to ensure information collected is accurate, timely and disseminated appropriately in high quality reports. The MEAL Advisor will use these findings to improve the program and achieve the objectives. She/he will also be actively involved in promoting learning through documentation of lessons learned and developing approaches for community analysis and using data for making decision.
This position is contingent upon donor approval and funding.
What You’ll Be Doing (Essential Duties)
- As a senior member of the team, demonstrate exemplary behaviors corresponding to the mission, vision and values of Save the Children and verification of their correct application by staff during the entire intervention.
- As a senior member of the team, create a favorable and productive work environment, including implementation of workplace diversity policies during the intervention.
- Contribute generally to the strategic goals of the country office.
- Access global technical policies, procedures and resources that will support the project technically or operationally.
- Execute duties in a manner that reflects Save the Children’s commitment to safeguarding children, in accordance with our code of conduct and our policy for safeguarding children.
Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning
- Develop, revise, and, ensure USAID’s approval of, and implement the MEAL Plan on an annual basis.
- Incorporate SC’s vision and values and full adherence to Code of Conduct, including child safeguarding, prevention of sexual abuse and exploitation, and anti-fraud policies, into the design of rigorous accountability mechanisms to ensure accountability to affected populations.
- Provide leadership, training and mentoring to develop MEAL plans, tools, and data analysis to track and continuously assess program quality, accountability and impact; these should include: standard monitoring of project management information and project indicators; quality benchmarks at the activity level; accountability mechanisms; regular programme reviews; and others.
- Develop systems for capturing analyzing data and relevant information on project activities, beneficiaries, outputs, outcomes, and impact;
- Lead the development of methodologies for surveys, research and assessment, and coordinate activities for the same;
- Effectively rollout MEAL data collection and reporting systems to all staff and partners through training, site visits, manuals, and other technical support as needed;
- Capture appropriate cost and financial information to track any money indicators, as relevant, including benchmarking information to analyze program effectiveness and cost effective inputs;
- Ensure programming is aligned to targets and indicators contained in project proposal, and use the information from the MEAL systems and tools to improve the program effectiveness;
- Manage and support a rigorous evaluation or project performance, impact, and cost effectiveness, including coordinating mid-term and final evaluations, and supporting donor and external reviews;
- Provide oversight, with support of Finance and Controls Manager, Technical Director and COP, of MEAL budget and ensure effective and timely use of appropriate MEAL activities. Provide on-going support to maintain MEAL systems; identify skill gaps and build capacity among project team;
- Provide data analysis and relevant input for high quality, accurate and timely reports for Save the Children, project partners and USAID as required.
- Identify capacity gaps of MEAL staff and lead on MEAL capacity building staff and partners through coaching, mentoring and training.
- Trouble shoot MEAL systems and programme quality issues with Technical Director and others.
- Bachelor’s degree in MEAL, Statistics, Mathematics or related field is required; Master’s degree preferred.
- Advanced training in quantitative methodologies, including database management; experience in qualitative research techniques in addition preferred
- Minimum five years’ experience in monitoring and evaluation related to: education, literacy or other related fields
- Prior experience overseeing and ensuring the success of MEAL systems in USAID education projects including ensuring approval of MEAL plan, reporting on approved education projects, and successfully completing annual data quality assessments.
- Strong analytical skills and an understanding of monitoring, evaluation and assessment tools to promote evidence-based learning;
- Ability to analyze complex data and summarize it for a range of audiences;
- Demonstrated experience and capacity in coaching, mentoring and capacity building
- Sound strategic thinking and planning skills, including ability to think creatively and innovate and to set priorities, manageable work plans and evaluate progress;
- Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to lead and work effectively in team situations
- Experience of working within a complex national program in the context of an emergency intervention or in contexts of conflict or fragile state
- Experience with and commitment to approaches of accountability to populations, including children, affected by crises or conflicts.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in French and English.
- Sensitive to political and cultural issues, and able to demonstrate patience, tact and diplomacy.
- Ability and willingness to be very flexible and accommodating in difficult and sometimes dangerous working circumstances.
- Commitment to SC goals and principles. A perfect understanding, in particular, of SC’s mandate and the priority given to children, and the ability to ensure that it remains at the heart of the assistance we provide.
- Language skills in Swahili, Nande or other eastern languages of the country an advantage.
- Knowledge of gender equity and transformative concepts
- Prior work experience assessing student learning outcomes user EGRA or ASER
- Experience in systems thinking and application of complex adaptive systems methodologies would be advantageous
Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.
Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and helping protect the children with whom Save the Children is in contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of child abuse. In addition, it is Save the Children’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of child abuse. All our representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this commitment and obligation. Any violations of this policy will be treated as a serious issue.
We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, or status as a veteran. Save the Children complies with all applicable laws.
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