Job Title: MEAL Manager DFSA- Budikadidi Project
Job Type: Regular, Full-time
Reports To: Chief of Party
Job Location: DRC/Mbuji-Mayi
Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.
Under the FY16 Title II Development Food Assistance Project for DRC, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) leads its partners National Cooperative Business Association Cooperative League of the USA (NCBA CLUSA), Caritas Mbuji Mayi, Réseaux Femmes et Développement (REFED) and Human Network International (HNI) to achieve sustained nutrition, food security and economic well-being outcomes for 263,935 participants in three rural health zones in the provinces of Kasai Oriental namely Miabi, Tshilundu and Kasansa, through Budikadidi, an integrated multi-sectoral project. Budikadidi — ‘self-sufficiency’ in Tshiluba — is leveraging CRS’ and partners’ long experience in the Kasais to deliver an evidence-based, locally appropriate package of interventions that builds local capacity, strengthens service-delivery systems and increases accountability, and reduces structural, cultural and gender-based barriers to change. Key underlying causes of food security are compounded by geographic and economic isolation and long term underinvestment by the Congolese state. They include structural factors such as limited access to diversified foods in sufficient quantity and quality, seeds, seed saving, or improved storage, unaccountable institutions and structures, poor governance, limited livelihood opportunities and inaccessible and unintegrated markets. In addition, many vulnerable farming households lack knowledge and skills in improved care practices, climate-smart and time-saving technologies and techniques for agricultural production, and general household management. All of these factors are exacerbated by women’s limited control over decisions impacting nutrition, health and access to productive assets and inputs; entrenched negative gender norms and practices; adolescent marriage and a high prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV). Budikadidi strengthens the adaptive capacity of households, communities, and structures to sustain project results beyond 2021 in six key strategic areas. Drawing from the Budikadidi theory of change (TOC), these six strategic areas are fully integrated in three project purposes:
- Foundational Purpose (FP), targeting 27,317 households
- Maternal and Child Health Purpose, targeting 105,172 households
- Agriculture and Livelihoods Purpose, targeting 110,907 households
The purpose of this position is to manage, strengthen, and provide strategic direction to CRS DRC Development Food Security Activity (DFSA) MEAL system, ensuring cross-learning in MEAL among projects, and to build capacity of MEAL staff. The MEAL Manager will be responsible for supervising DFSA MEAL activities, managing assessments and surveys for the DFSA. The MEAL Manager will also work closely with CRS program teams and partner staff to develop high quality monitoring systems and tools that address indicators set out in project proposals. He/she will ensure that learning from projects is systematically captured and used throughout the country program. He/she will also take learning needs into account, and develop and conduct capacity building for MEAL and program staff, with support of the Chief of Party (CoP), Deputy Chief of Party (DCoP) and the Regional Technical Advisor (RTA) for MEAL
The MEAL Manager is expected to have a high level of self-initiative and use critical thinking skills to identify and fill gaps. The MEAL Manager should have the ability to work sensitively and positively with programming teams and promote a learning environment — success of the post relies on this.
- MEAL Strategy & Design
- Provide strategic high-level feedback, analysis and interpretation throughout the program implementation processes.
- Support the review and revision of the program theory of change based on further evidence from implementation, evaluations and further formative researches.
- Ensure that the DFSA MEAL systems are in compliance with CRS’ global and regional policies, procedures, standards, and strategic initiatives, and compliant with USAID/FFP requirements.
- Provide strategic direction for the development and maintenance of MEAL systems, and the roll-out of new initiatives.
- Support Sectoral Managers and MEAL team/working group members in the design and implementation of assessments and various analysis as need be.
- Ensure the consistency of tools and indicators across all partners, sectors, and programs as appropriate, maintaining a bank of key program indicators.
- Support programming staff to incorporate participatory methods into community level M&E systems and tools.
- Collect and analyze lessons learned and best practices from previous and ongoing programs capturing the impact of activities and ensure that these are incorporated into the design of new projects.
- Leverage lessons learned, best practices, program data, evaluations, and other information to generate donor communication pieces, proposal annexes, success stories, case studies, and other high-quality, results-based documentation.
- Work with senior management to identify and pursue strategic opportunities for program development, expansion, etc.2. MEAL Implementation
- Lead mandated evaluations, needs assessments, annual surveys, case studies, and other evaluation efforts.
- Update DFSA MEAL operation manual as necessary to ensure that they are up-to-date, high quality, and contain tools, data flow maps, and analysis plans that address all information needed for program quality and donor reporting.
- Manage agency driven MEAL inquiries, requirements i.e. end of year beneficiary counts, Annual MEAL Policies and Procedures (MPP) self-assessments, etc.
- Contribute to donor proposals and reports, through high quality analysis of reports and interpretation of data.
- Support the MEAL team in strategically preparing and reviewing MEAL calendars.
- Support quarterly review and analysis meetings/visits at partner level, annual learning-to-action events and reflection sessions to systematically analyze data for programmatic use, and to document and incorporate lessons learned into program design and implementation.
- Ensure that transparent high quality accountability mechanisms, including beneficiary feedback and response mechanisms, are in place for all programs and are regularly monitored and evaluated.
- Ensure that beneficiary feedback is adequately captured, addressed, analyzed, and utilized by program teams.
- Remain updated with developments among the CRS MEAL community and worldwide MEAL trends and resources, and ensure that the DFSA 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 project and MEAL staff to improve the overall MEAL system and ensure quality implementation of MEAL activities.3. Capacity Strengthening
- With the Country Program (CP) MEAL Manager, support the CRS DRC and Regional MEAL Community of Practice to share learning, resources, and support across offices.
- Develop and co-facilitate MEAL workshops and modules for staff and partners, to share MEAL tools, processes, and best practices to cultivate a culture of learning.
- Conduct orientations for new MEAL and program staff on CRS systems and key MEAL resources.
- Provide mentoring/accompaniment to CRS and partner staff to increase capacity and to achieve annual performance and development plans.4. ICT for MEAL
- Support MEAL and programming teams to develop strong project tracking, record keeping and filing methodologies for all activities.
- Work with MEAL and IT staff to maximize the value and utility of ICT4MEAL initiatives.Internal: CoP, DCoP, Technical Leads/Advisors (Governance, Health, Agriculture, Commodity, etc.), Project Managers, CP MEAL Manager, MEAL Advisors (Regional and HQ), CRS M&E Community of PracticePerson Qualifications:
- External: Donors, international and local partners and Govt. of the DRC
- Key Working Relationships:
- Master’s degree in Statistics, Demography, Development Economics or a field related to international development
- At least eight years of managerial experience with an NGO (experience with INGO preferred); particularly with Title II, in addition to significant MEAL experience
- Experience working with large donors, including USAID/FFP
- Familiarity with principles and current approaches to MEAL in development programs using both quantitative and qualitative methods
- Experience with participatory MEAL systems
- Proficiency in database development/management, SPSS, EPI-Info, Access, Excel and skills in analyzing, interpreting and communicating information to various stakeholders
- Significant experience in conducting quantitative and qualitative assessments, surveys (including sound understanding of sampling issues), and managing consultants
- Experience with facilitation, capacity strengthening and partnership building, with the capacity to empower staff through opportunities for growth & development
- Ability and willingness to transfer knowledge through formal and informal training
- Supervisory experience and management and team building skills
- Excellent planning and organization skills
- Flexibility to work both in a team and independently
- Cultural sensitivity, patience and flexibility
- Demonstrated personal accountability and driven to serve others
- Fluency in English and French (written and spoken),
- Excellent oral and written communication skills, ability to work well with people, good judgment and commitment to CRS’ mission
- Willingness to travelAgency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff)
- 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.
- Continuous Improvement & Innovation
- Builds Relationships
- Develops Talent
- Strategic Mindset
- Accountability & Stewardship
Key MEAL Competencies (specific for this position):
MEAL in Design: Developing project-level Theories of Change, Proframes, related MEAL system tools and components, and accompanying MEAL narratives.
Monitoring: Implementing monitoring activities, including timely collection of quality data, set up and maintenance of databases, facilitation of participatory reflection on monitoring results, and submission of timely progress reports.
Evaluation: Supporting project and program evaluations and reviews by ensuring the quality of evaluation methods, tools, and data and facilitating the use of evaluation results to inform decision-making and enhance learning
Accountability: Improving our accountability to a range of stakeholders through increased participation, transparent communication, responsive feedback mechanisms and adherence to internal and external quality standards and requirements.
Learning: Promoting excellent knowledge management and collaborative learning processes at the project, program and institutional levels, generating robust evidence for project and programmatic learning that leads to action, decision-making and influence.
Analysis and Critical Thinking: Engaging with data, challenging biases and assumptions, posing thoughtful questions, pursuing deeper understanding of evidence through reflection and perspective-taking, and making informed programming decisions.
ICT for MEAL: Applying knowledge on information and communication technologies (ICT), both hardware and software, for opportune and accurate data collection, database management.
Supervisory Responsibilities: Budikadidi MEAL Unit
What we offer
CRS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, life insurance, vision, generous retirement savings plan and the opportunity to work in a collaborative, mission-driven culture that is committed to improving the lives of the poor throughout the world.
****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.
CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.
EOE/M/F/D/V – CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.