Meal Expert

Expertise France, Erbil, Iraq

Skill Required:, Monitoring and Evaluation
Preferred Experience: 
5 years
Email for CV Submission: 
Closing Date for Applications: 
19th April, 2020

Job Description

Mission description

To guide project implementation, EF would like to develop a complete and robust MEAL system based on clearly defined roles and responsibilities between EF and partners at field and headquarters level. This system aims for continuous improvement in the quality, regularity, and accuracy of data collection, processing, and analysis, in order to refine the course of action in an iterative, qualitative and cost-effective way.

Purpose of the assignment

EF is recruiting a short-term MEAL Expert to support the set-up of an appropriate MEAL framework to enable the systematic and effective collection, analysis and use of monitoring and evaluation information of the Yanhad project.

Under the supervision of the Project Manager and in close coordination with the MEAL Manager, the MEAL Expert will work with the project team and partners to develop and promote the use of the MEAL system to ensure that:

  • Data on project activities is collected in a systematic way, consolidated, analyzed and shared to support project management and to increase EF and partners performance.
  • Mechanisms for upwards (donors) and downwards (beneficiaries) accountability are in place.
  • Evidence-based data is available to measure the impact of the programme on the lives of the targeted populations.
  • Learning from project is captured and is applied to improve ongoing & future activities and projects.

The MEAL expert will accomplish this through the design and deployment of the comprehensive MEAL framework/system focusing on building the capacity, as well as promoting and fostering a culture of shared learning and accountability within the project ecosystem (including partners).

Main activities

The MEAL expert will conduct the following activities throughout the assignment:

  • Evaluate the needs of the Yanhad project in terms of monitoring systems, data collection and reporting, either within EF or with implementing partners
  • Support the development of the MEAL plan of EF and of the 3 partners; including workplan with key activities/timing and roles and responsibilities for each activities (as it is one of the main objectives underlined at the beginning of section 4), develop complementary / disaggregated indicators making it possible to document the impact of actions to strengthen the capacities of CSOs (component 2) and entrepreneurs (component 3) on the different target groups (women, young people, etc.); develop the corresponding data collection tools
  • Set up a data collection system (Kobo, ODK…) and datavisualization (PowerBI) to easily consolidate and manage MEAL data, including that which will be generated by the projects funded under the two grant schemes (students + CSO in Ninevah Province)
  • Set up the project baseline (initial value of all the project indicators)
  • Develop a MEAL operating manual, covering adequate methodology, data collection tools, data flow maps and analysis plans for project quality and donor reporting. Methodology and tools shall enable constant learning and capture best practices throughout the implementation of the project.
  • Train EF and partners’ project teams on the MEAL tools and processes put in place

Project or context description

Context & Needs

In Iraq, the city of Mosul, ISIL’s occupation from June 2014 to July 2017 caused a humanitarian catastrophe with grave human suffering and physical destruction. Nearly one million people were forced to flee the conflict, with over 31,000 houses destroyed or severely damaged, major disruption in public service provision, and water treatment and power plants contaminated with unprecedented quantities of explosive hazards and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). These damages and losses have resulted in increased levels of poverty and unemployment in Daesh formally controlled areas. Drawing on comprehensive assessments conducted by the Ministry of Planning, the World Bank estimates that reconstruction will take at least 10 years, with a financial requirement of at least $80 billion for the entire country, including a large share needed to rebuild Ninevah province. A large range of donors already contribute to the reconstruction of Ninevah- infrastructures and house reconstruction, demining, soft reconstruction (economic recovery, capacity building) - but there is still a lot of needs to address in the humanitarian field as well as in terms of stabilization. The promotion of stabilization, the initiation of an effective recovery and reconstruction process are crucial to prevent re-escalation and tackle some of the underlying social and economic drivers of instability in Iraq.

Nearly half of Iraq’s population is under the age of 21, according to UN figures, making it one of the youngest populations in the world[1]. Its population pyramid base is expanding and youth from 15 to 30 constitutes around 60% of its population[2]. Despite the gradual improvement in the education level of youth, this group is still facing many challenges, the most critical of which is the increase of unemployment rates with almost 1 million within the 15-24 year range being jobless. Youth are exposed to vulnerability as a result of their lack of knowledge and skills necessary to adapt to a new post-conflict economic and social environment. Even those who graduate with a university degree are finding it difficult to find jobs as 80% of recent graduates are listed as unemployed. Persisting high unemployment rates and low prospects for decent jobs put many young people at risk of falling into a spiral of poverty and risk of violence and radicalization.

The experiences of many countries show that when war ends, thousands of young fighters confront dire challenges when looking for new jobs. This crisis is exacerbated when the state is slow in finding suitable opportunities to contain it or to provide the youth with at least minimum services. Weakness in fulfilling youth demands leaves Iraqi society vulnerable to risks of destabilization. Iraq’s youth thus require investment, both in terms of the hard and soft skills required to meet the needs of a diversified economy; and of fostering greater tolerance and understanding than existed in their parents’ generation. The youth are the change-makers and a positive force when they live in an environment that allows normal mental, psychological, and physical maturation and that provides employment opportunities, participation, and security. But youth can also be the source of many hazards when they find themselves in an environment characterized by threat, violence, unemployment, and marginalization. Ignoring the situations of youth and marginalizing them increases their likelihood to engage in delinquency and crime with serious social consequences—and the possibility of engaging with terrorism. The result is an unstable and unsafe environment that enormously deters capital and foreign investment and leads to lost opportunities for development and reconstruction.

Programme background

In line with the Iraq’s Reconstruction and Development Framework, Expertise France designed the Yanhad project to support the Iraqi authorities to tackle some of the underlying social and economic drivers, with youth unemployment as the top priority of the people and public authorities (met during EF’s scoping missions).

There is nevertheless a wave of change in Iraq and the potential for transformation is tremendous. Right now, from Baghdad to Mosul, the youth of Iraq are creating new start-ups, businesses, radio headquarters, and other new outlets to generate their own employment, possible income generation, citizenship involvement and dynamics . Their resilience is key to rebuilding and stabilising the most harshly impacted areas such as Ninevah province that will be specifically targeted by the project. Through Yanhad project, EF will promote opportunities for Iraqi youth to constructively engage in addressing social problems within their communities by creating a strategic link between local NGOs, Mosul University Career Centers and local business incubators. Promoting youth engagement in local civil society and fostering dialogues with local authorities, the project will enable youth to better engage local decision-makers to meet their expectations and reinforce the bond of trust between government and population. Revitalising academic, social, and cultural life on the campus of the University of Mosul - the largest in Northern Iraq - the project will help restore the universities’ central role in producing knowledge and sharing ideas locally and nationally whilst fostering a counter-narrative to radical ideologies. By fostering job creation and providing livelihoods for young people in Baghdad, Mosul and KRI, the project will contribute to redress the impact of the current crisis and prevent future crises.

To do so, the Yanhad project will combine a three-fold approach:

  • Support to students of Mosul and Ninevah universities: to improve access to students of Mosul to more efficient career guidance services and to concrete opportunities for professional work experience, employment, and civic engagement.
  • Youth civic engagement: to engage youth through Iraqi CSO in community service projects and fostering dialogue with local authorities
  • Youth entrepreneurship: to encourage youth entrepreneurship through a network of accessible business incubators/accelerators programs for enterprises throughout the country

This 2-year project started on January 1st, 2020. It will be implemented in partnership with the NGO Coordination Committee for Iraq (NCCI), The American University of Iraq Sulaimani (AUIS) and The Station for entrepreneurship, all well-recognized organizations in the CSO and private sector ecosystems

  •  Based on population projections as Iraq last held a census in 1987.
  •  Mahdi Al-Alak, Iraq Youth Empowerment – Challenges and Opportunities, Central Statistical Organization, 2013.

Required profile

Skills and experience of the Expert

  • Relevant university degree (eg. Political or social science, international development, monitoring and evaluation);
  • At least 8 years of work experience in M&E/MEAL design and implementation at the project and programme level;
  • Familiarity with EU and French MoFA policies related to evaluation and performance management
  • Excellent training and facilitating skills with ability to adapt to a diverse multicultural environment;
  • Excellent command of English (oral and written). Knowledge of Arabic or French would be an asset;
  • Previous work experience in building MEAL system in remote management would be an asset.
  • Proficient with the following softwares: Kobo/ODK, Power-BI. Knowledge of “Wimi” would be an asset.

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