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MERL Director, Benin

FHI 360

FHI 360

Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Director

USAID/Benin Northern Economic Livelihoods for Youth (NELY) Activity

FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. Our staff includes experts in Health, Education, Nutrition, Environment, Economic Development, Civil Society, Gender, Youth, Research and Technology– creating a unique mix of capabilities to address today's interrelated development challenges. FHI 360 serves more than 60 countries, all 50 U.S. states and all U.S. territories.

We are currently seeking qualified Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Director (MERL Director) candidates to be proposed on an anticipated new activity in Benin to improve economic livelihoods for rural and urban youth and women in the North, with a budget of between USD $25-$49 million. The position is contingent upon award.

Job Summary:

The MERL Director will be responsible for leading the design and implementation of a comprehensive monitoring, evaluation, and learning plan for the project, and will also oversee any research activities. S/he will work closely with the MERL and broader project team to implement systems to safeguard the collection and management of high-quality data. S/he will ensure that project learning is shared with project staff and partners and is used to inform needed changes and/or adaptations to project activities. The MERL Director will be responsible for providing technical oversight and monitoring for any research activities conducted by the project and its grantees. The MERL Director position will be located in either Cotonou, or in Parakou or Djougou in Northern Benin, with regular project-funded travel to departments in the North West and North East sub-regions. This position will report to the Chief of Party.

Essential Job Functions: Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversees MEL activities in close collaboration with the Chief of Party and participates as a member of the Senior Management Team;
  • Develops and directly contributes to the development and implementation of the MEL plan, tools, and systems and oversees the implementation and integration of a Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) approach to collect, interpret, and apply data and project learning that demonstrates impact and project accountability and progress, and informs adaptation of project activities;
  • Leads the design and implementation of high-quality quantitative and qualitative surveys and participatory methodologies to monitor program quality for performance and results as per the approved MEL Plan;
  • Works with the technical team to develop NELY learning agenda and support the technical team with adaptive learning strategies for innovative and effective programming. Serve as the lead for the project’s CLA approach and activities including the dissemination and use of lessons learned by the project team and partners;
  • Provides training to staff and primary stakeholders on the MEL plan and tools; ensures all relevant project staff are aware of and adhere to funder and government monitoring, evaluation and reporting guidelines and requirements.
  • Ensures that validated indicator data is provided in quarterly project performance reports and in relevant project communication products;
  • Ensures data collection tools and systems are being used correctly by staff and partners to collect required and accurate data for performance, monitoring and evaluation;
  • Be the MEL led person to coordinate donor requested Data Quality Assessments (DQA) and in charge of conducting internal DQA’s with contracted partners to address any issues identified;
  • Identifies MERL technical assistance (TA) needs of partners, facilities and/or government counterparts and provide/organize TA through training, mentorship, and/or on-site supervision;
  • Supervises four or five staff on the NELY MERL team;
  • Contributes, as requested, to the design and oversight of project-funded research and learning activities, including those implemented by Grants Under Contract (GUC) recipients; and
  • Oversees capacity development activities on MEL topics, including the development of relevant workshop materials, development of MEL tools and guides Performs other MEL related duties as assigned.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Master’s Degree or its International Equivalent in Knowledge/Information Services, Communications, Education, Environment, Health, Behavioral, Life/Social Sciences International Development, Human Development or Related Field.
  • Twelve (12) or more years of relevant experience including experience managing and/or effectively implementing monitoring, evaluation, learning and research activities for development activities, especially in the livelihoods, youth engagement, inclusive development, peacebuilding, social science research, and/or other relevant sectors.
  • Experience designing and implementing qualitative and quantitative research and survey methodologies.
  • Experience developing monitoring and evaluation systems and data collection tools.
  • Informed of current program developments in livelihoods, inclusive economic participation, youth engagement, and/or peacebuilding and conflict mitigation programming.
  • Ideally, the candidate will also have worked on USAID or other donor programs and be familiar with USAID’s approach to ME&L and CLA.
  • Knowledge on how to develop strategies for constant feedback loops, learning check-ins, monitoring, and assessment of development programs including beneficiary feedback planning and implementation mechanisms and experience with these approaches.
  • Experience in managing MEL team members.
  • Excellent report writing, analytical, and communication skills, including oral presentation skills.
  • Prior experience in mobile data collection software and database management; experience in data visualization software is a plus.
  • Fluency in speaking, reading and writing French, and professional proficiency in English required.

Local candidates are encouraged to apply.

This job description summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. Management reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.

Availability of position is contingent upon award to FHI 360. Selection of final applicant is subject to USAID approval.

This job posting summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. Management reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.

FHI 360 is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer whereby we do not engage in practices that discriminate against any person employed or seeking employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, protected Veteran status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law.

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