Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Director, Highland Resilience Activity

at Mercy Corps
Location Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date Posted March 3, 2022
Category Management
Job Type Full-time
Currency ETB


About Mercy Corps

  • Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

    The Program / Department / Team

  • Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004. In partnership with civil society organizations, private sector, and the government, Mercy Corps Ethiopia has reached more than five million Ethiopians with interventions to save lives and build secure livelihoods. Our programs emphasize market-driven solutions, reinforce social bonds, and help communities build resilience to the impacts of climate change.
  • Currently in six regional states – Afar, Gambella, Oromia, Somali, Amhara and South Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR) – Mercy Corps Ethiopia is driven by the mission to contribute the emergence of a peaceful, resilient, and prosperous Ethiopia which is inclusive of youth and women.
  • Mercy Corps is currently seeking qualified Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Director support implementation of the anticipated, USAID-funded Highland Resilience Activity (HRA) in Ethiopia. HRA will support strengthened resilience among vulnerable households in Ethiopia’s Highlands through increased public and private investments.
  • HRA will facilitate the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) 5’s “Big Push” initiative by supporting 120,000 PSNP households to move above the graduation threshold to where they no longer require social safety net programming for household food security and where they have the capabilities and assets to withstand regular and predictable shocks.

    The Position

  • As member of the senior leadership team, the MEL Director will provide oversight and ensure the quality of all MEL interventions and deliverables under the anticipated Activity. The MEL Director’s role includes supervising staff dedicated to MEL and Collaboration, Learning, and Adapting (CLA), and coordinating closely with the Chief of Party (CoP) and other senior program leaders to ensure all MEL activities support the Activity’s objectives.

    Essential Responsibilities

    Mel Strategy and Planning

  • Set-up and oversee the timely implementation of MEL systems, including the Activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan (AMELP), M&E Technology, and Learning and Research Plans.
  • Oversee data collection, analysis, management, visualization, and reporting on indicators related to the program’s overall operational context, performance, and community accountability and response mechanisms (CARM) within the program’s AMELP.
  • Harmonize the MEL system across consortium partner systems and other external systems, as relevant.
  • Ensure systems are established and maintained to collect sex- and age-disaggregated data and sure application of gender-sensitive, socially-inclusive, and remote data collection methods to understand and respond to program results with diverse audiences, decision makers, and stakeholders.


  • Work closely with Mercy Corps’ HQ-based MEL and Research & Learning departments to develop and implement the HRA’s CLA Plan and Learning Agenda.
  • Lead and/or collaborate with external researchers and evaluators on the design and roll out of the program assessments, formative research and RCTs, baseline study, and evaluations, while setting up effective systems for continuous learning, reflection, and adaptive management.
  • Provide leadership for operationalizing and building team capacity in CLA. Work to create a culture of learning and systems thinking, contributing to an adaptive, iterative program management approach.
  • Design and facilitate regular, strategic planning sessions and learning events, leading HRA staff in an ongoing learning journey.
  • Provides guidance, recommendations, and leadership to ensure that the MEL systems meet the data, evidence, and learning needs of the Activity, including the sharing of information internally and externally, and help address shortfalls in MEL, research, CLA, and data management that may affect implementation.
  • Develop and oversee implementation of appropriate learning products to promote routine sharing and learning within the Activity, including with consortium partners.
  • Facilitate inclusive and gender-sensitive MEL and research approaches and processes, engaging local organizations, institutions, women, and youth to design and implement national- and community-level data collection tools and contribute to data analysis

    Information Management

  • Ensure data management processes (collection, cleaning, analysis, storage, reporting, and visualization) are functioning in all Activity locations to provide quality data within deadlines.
  • Ensure data quality through routine internal Data Quality Assessments (DQAs) as required by the Mercy Corps MEL Policy, and make adjustments as needed.
  • Ensure HRA adheres to Mercy Corps’ MEL and Program Record Retention and Responsible Data Policies.
  • Maintain a comprehensive reporting and accountability schedule as well as review program reports to ensure reports contain accurate, clear, and high-quality data presented in the proper format.

    Team Management

  • Oversee the Activity MEL team and sub-contractors, such as external evaluators and enumerators.
  • Build the capacity of all relevant program and partner team members to develop and maintain a high-quality MEL system, which integrates regular reflection, learning, and adaption through analysis of program quantitative and qualitative data and other knowledge gained through implementation of the AMELP.
  • Promote staff accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one-on-one meetings and performance reviews.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

    Influence & Representation

  • Collaborate with technical leads across the consortium and build processes for regular feedback to ensure effective and adaptive management.
  • Actively collaborate with regional and global counterparts to promote the use of MEL best practices and lessons learned.
  • Strengthen linkages with other internal resources, through Mercy Corps’ internal knowledge management platforms, to enhance organizational learning where relevant.
  • Present program MEL to external MEL and research stakeholders to influence decision-makers and promote collaboration and shared learning.

    Risk Management

  • Collaborate with country leadership to support preparedness and response to major disruptive events.
  • Work closely with the country team’s security focal point to develop and maintain systems that promote the safety and security of all team members.
  • Ensure that programs are designed and implemented with a clear analysis and understanding of security.

    Minimum Qualification & Transferable Skills

  • MA/MS or PhD in development studies, research methods, statistics, economics, social sciences, women’s studies, public policy, monitoring and evaluation, or other relevant field required.
  • Minimum of 7 years of relevant experience, including proven experience managing MEL staff and activities under USAID-funded programs.
  • Proven success in designing, implementing, and overseeing program MEL systems from startup to closeout.
  • Experience in strategic planning and performance measurement, including indicator selection, target setting, reporting, database management, and development of MEL and performance monitoring plans that support learning agendas and contribute to program efficacy.
  • Research skills, including participatory qualitative and quantitative methodologies and techniques, including expertise planning and managing surveys and developing and refining data collection tools.
  • Knowledge of and prior experience of using MEL technologies, such as Ona/ComCare for data collection and Tableau or PowerBI for data visualization and reporting.
  • Experience with gender and social inclusion analysis frameworks.
  • Experience in Ethiopia preferred.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate with diverse stakeholders including national and subnational government, donors, donor-funded programs, private sector actors, and civil society organizations.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English.


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