Care International in Mali Research by Anticipation
Monitoring, Evaluation, Research & Learning (MERL) Director, based in Bamako
The Candidacy Of Women is strongly encouraged
CARE seeks a Monitoring, Evaluation, Research & Learning (MERL) Director for the anticipated USAID-funded Community-based Basic Education Activity in Mali. The purpose of this program is to improve early-grade reading and math skills of young learners (equivalent to grades 1-4) in the regions of Koulikoro, Sikasso, Segou, and Bamako District with a focus on improving the quality of instruction boosting community demand, and broadening safe, equitable formal and non-formal education services. The end goal is expanded access to educational pathways and improved reading and math outcomes, especially for girls and marginalized children.
This activity is expected to be a five-year program in the $25-50M range. The solicitation is expected to be released in May 2022.
The MERL Director is responsible for leading the design and implementation of all monitoring, evaluation, and learning activities. The Director must ensure that all activities are in line with the Agency Evaluation Policy, as well as the ADS and monitoring and learning best practices. The Director will support technical staff in MERL functions and manage any MERL-related staff. The Director will lead the design and execution of research and learning activities and will ensure the capacity building of local organizations and local project staff in the execution of MERL activities.
This position is pending donor approval and funding.
- Develop and lead MERL-related activities, plans, tools, and staff.
- Facilitate project and organizational learning, adaptation, and effectiveness.
- Develop the overall framework for the project’s Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) systems, in collaboration with USAID and senior project staff, including requirements, reporting, baseline, and evaluation surveys. Develop and monitor the project’s PMP to systematically document project performance for project technical leads and the project leadership team.
- Ensure the alignment of research and M&E activities with program goals and contribute to the development of annual work plans to identify project targets and ensure inclusion of M&E activities.
- Monitor project activities and tracking these activities against the results framework.
- Conduct field visits for data validation, to monitor the quality and completeness of data sets. Coordinate data collection at project sites to monitor program development and ensure timely compilation and reporting of data. Capture and document lessons learned, champion the scaling up best practices.
- Generate monthly indicator reports and tracking progress against key indicators.
- Ensure timely and accurate submission of project activities to donor, including progress against targets set in the award agreement and annual work plan, quarterly, and annual reports.
- Provide technical leadership and support to project and partner staff in planning and implementing MERL systems and activities, data-based program decision-making, and results reporting. Supervise, mentor, and build capacity of project MERL staff.
- Develop and implement effective monitoring tools and approaches to demonstrate the effectiveness of project interventions.
- Support the Chief of Party in coordinating the mid-term and final project evaluations.
- Master’s degree in business, economics, statistics, international development, or a related field or a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and 2 additional years of relevant experience.
- A minimum of 8 years technical experience in developing and implementing MERL activities of which at least 2 years in a leadership role.
- A minimum of 5 years of developing country work experience.
- Experience leading Developmental Evaluation (DE) approaches.
- Experience setting up MERL teams with diverse cultures and enabling direct reports to unlock their full potential.
- Demonstrated research experience, through peer-reviewed publication or documentation, in Mali or similar contexts required.
- Familiarity with Participatory Learning and Action and other qualitative and quantitative research approaches.
- Experience with Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) as an adaptive management approach.
- Proven leadership experience in organizational and peer-to-peer learning, capacity strengthening, and collaborative learning and adaptation.
- Demonstrated ability to build and maintain partnerships and productive working relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders.
- Demonstrated understanding of return-on-investment analysis preferred.
- Demonstrated commitment to principles of Gender Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment (PSEAH) as evidenced in previous management positions and programming.
- Ability to translate complex and complicated ideas into easily accessible and understandable concepts and/or messages particularly for Mali audiences; knowledge of tools for communicating program learning.
- Excellent verbal and written English & French skills.
- Ability to travel to program areas as may be required and as the security and Covid-19 situation allows.