at Mercy Corps
Location Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date Posted July 14, 2022
Category Management
Job Type Full-time
Currency ETB


About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

Mercy Corps has been operating in Ethiopia since 2004, working in rural, peri-urban and urban areas in five regional states - Somali, Oromia, Afar, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples, Amhara - and the capital city of Addis Ababa. We engage in both development and humanitarian work, and seek to integrate approaches, programs and geographies as much as possible. Our partners include government, academic institutions, development and private sector actors, civil societies and participating public. Mercy Corps has a growing portfolio of programs in Ethiopia that focus on food security; agriculture and livestock market systems development; maternal and child health and nutrition; youth economic productivity; resilience and humanitarian response.

Mercy Corps is implementing the five year (2020 – 2025), $31 million USAID funded Resilience in Pastoral Areas (RiPA-North) program focused on: strengthening disaster management systems (Component 1); improving alternative livelihood opportunities through employment and entrepreneurship for youth transitioning out of pastoralism (Component 2); stimulating increased production, productivity and marketing through more competitive livestock and livestock products markets (Component 3); and improving food security and nutrition (Component 4). The program operates in Afar, Somali and Oromia regions.

Mercy Corps is a global lead in Resilience thinking and implementation, and RIPA is a flagship resilience program for the agency globally.

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps is seeking candidates for a Collaboration, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Team Lead which is a key personnel position of RiPA project to lead the development, refinement and implementation of CLA and MEL approaches for RIPA, with a specific focus on resilience measurement and resilience learning. The Team Lead is responsible for contributing to strategy discussions, providing technical assistance and developing successful mechanisms for learning. The Team Lead will use USAID’s Collaboration, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) principles to effectively integrate real time monitoring and learning back into the project strategy and program implementation and ensure knowledge is shared with the broader host country community.

The Team Lead will work across component teams and with partners to ensure resilience building efforts and their impact are effectively measured as well as lead the resilience learning agenda. In coordination with the Chief of Party and the CLA team, she/he will be responsible for developing, coordinating, maintaining and constantly improving the program-wide CLA and M&E systems using relevant knowledge and evidence to guide program strategy, support adaptive management and continuous improvement, and advance learning as well as implementing an internal CLA capacity building strategy that trains and mentors staff and promotes a culture of learning.

Essential Job Responsibilities


  • Provide leadership, training and mentoring in the development of a CLA Strategy, CLA tools, M&E systems, survey design, methodology, data analysis, and other skills required for assessing the impact of the program, and in particular of resilience building efforts within the program.
  • Lead the program resilience learning agenda
  • Technical contributions to resilience measurement
  • Lead external evaluators on the design and roll out of the program baseline and evaluations, while setting up effective systems for learning.
  • Ensures programs use the necessary CLA systems and tools, to inform and improve each individual program, as well as feed into the broader country-level CLA system and country strategy.
  • Provide leadership and support to the MEL Manager in the set-up the MEL system, including all tools and data collection processes for program activities. Develop and review frequently the Project’s MEL Plan including Data Management Plan.
  • Oversee the implementation of the MEL System including rollout of TolaData, Institutional Performance Systems (IPTS) and Concept Note Management System (CNMS) and the periodic reflection and analysis of program monitoring data to disseminate learning. Update and manage RiPA Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation system providing the Chief of Party (CoP), component leads and their teams real time information that can steer program implementation and maximize team’s ability to analyze and represent impact to donor, government, colleague agencies, and communities themselves.
  • Provide leadership and training to ensure RiPA meet Mercy Corps minimum standards, use necessary PM@MC systems and tools to inform and improve RiPA quality and performance.
  • Take the lead on aligning, collecting and reporting on relevant resilience measurement and CLA indicators to the organizational-wide M&E systems, and other external systems as relevant.
  • Support teams in collecting sex and age disaggregated data and using gender sensitive data collection methods in order to understand and respond to program results with diverse participants.
  • Participates in the facilitation of country and sector-level strategic planning sessions.
  • Support RiPA programs comply with Gender Equality, Diversity and Social inclusion (GEDSI) and Community Accountability Reporting Mechanism (CARM) policy and standards including training the program staff and facilitating data driven reflection meetings.
  • Support teams to capture success stories, learning briefs, lessons learned during program implementation, and feed this information into thought leadership and research opportunities and into ongoing program management and program design.


  • Works with the program and M&E teams to adopt a holistic program-level CLA system.
  • Provides guidance, recommendations, and leadership to ensure that the CLA systems meet the needs of Programs Managers and Country Leadership and help address shortfalls in CLA that affect program implementation.
  • Contributes to program design to ensure adherence to Mercy Corps’ resilience measurement and CLA best practices
  • Develop program and operational reporting templates that facilitate the acquisition, aggregation and flow of information in programs.


  • Develop and oversees implementation of the CLA (including M&E) staff and partner capacity building strategy that promotes a culture of learning through systematic analysis and reflection of program data.
  • Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain excellent CLA and M&E systems, including regular reflection and analysis of program monitoring data.
  • Work closely with Program Managers, Human Resources and Finance to ensure that CLA skills are incorporated into all program position descriptions and positions are budgeted for.
  • Contributes to the knowledge management repository with best practices in CLA and ensure that it is accessible to all staff and partners.
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.


  • Active contributor and collaborator with regional and global counterparts to promote the use of CLA best practices.
  • Strengthen linkages with other internal resources, including the LMS, Digital Library, Hub, and Connect, to enhance organizational learning where relevant to CLA.
  • Maintain close working relationships with CLA counterparts in other relevant international actors and RIPA actors in Ethiopia.
  • Leading certain technical discussions at RIPA partner meetings.
  • Collaborate closely with the anticipated RIPA CLA mechanism.
  • Participation in workshops and learning-related activities and their inclusion in the program workplan.
  • Attendance of learning events hosted by other partners as well as implementation of sector-specific learning events with RIPA partners and local stakeholders.

Organizational Learning

  • As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve - we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility: MEL team members


Reports Directly To: Chief of Party

Works Directly With: Program Sector Managers, Program Managers, Reporting & Communications Officers, Country Director, Country Program Director, Country MEL manager, Finance, and Operations teams. Coordinates with HQ Program Performance team and the Technical Support Unit.

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S degree in development studies, research methods, statistics, economics, social sciences, project management or other relevant field required
  • 5 years of active work experience in emergency and development programming required with the proven use of program technology
  • Experience with theoretical and practical background in M&E and skilled in participatory qualitative and quantitative M&E methodologies and techniques preferred
  • Experience with data management including the ability to structure and collate data sets for ease of analysis preferred
  • Proven experience with systems thinking or systems approaches to programming
  • Proven experience developing iterative learning systems or ‘feedback loops’ within development programs or organizational learning contexts
  • Knowledge of resilience in development programs a plus
  • Excellent computer skills (especially Microsoft office applications) and ability to use information technology as a tool and resource
  • Demonstrated experience in training and capacity building across diverse teams and partners
  • Excellent project management, time management, and organizational skills. Multi-tasking skills and ability to work under pressure
  • Strong writing, editing, public speaking skill and good leadership skills
  • Ability to summarize and simplify complex information and communicate it to the targeted groups
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills
  • Experience of working on USAID programs preferred
  • Previous experience living and working in challenging or insecure environments;
  • Strong command of English verbal and written skills
  • Knowledge of local dialects is preferred.

Success Factors

The Senior Program Advisor must be a proactive, demonstrated, self-starter, with ideas, energy and analytical ability to drive strategy and change. S/he needs to have meaningful experience working on high-quality MSD programming, and a passion for sharing this experience with others. S/he will need extremely high emotional intelligence to manage a program quality role across three programs, as well as cross-cultural communication skills. They will understand the pain points and nuances of the application and operationalization of MSD in post-conflict/thing markets and be able to support team members in dealing with day-to-day challenges. They will understand the realities of safeguarding and fraud/corruption in a MSD program and be able to support teams to manage these realities.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position requires international travel to target programs at least 30-50% time, where living conditions may be exceptionally rugged or be in volatile environments where security protocols will need to be followed.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

]Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives.

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

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