Current Hiring Practices and Trends in the Development Sector
- BY David Mackenzie
Position Title: Program Manager II-MEAL Manager
Department/Country: Juba/South Sudan
Reports To: Head of Programs
About CRS: Catholic Relief Services (CRS) carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.
Background: CRS has been operational in South Sudan since 1983, focusing on community-based food and livelihood security through agriculture, health, peacebuilding, WASH, emergency relief, and savings and lending activities. CRS also helps strengthen organizational capacity of local institutions.
Job Summary: The purpose of this position is to manage, strengthen, and provide strategic direction to the South Sudan Country Program’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Policies and Procedures, ensuring cross-learning among projects, creating systems for accountability to beneficiaries, donors and other stakeholders, and to build capacity of MEAL staff. The MEAL Manager will be responsible for supervising MEAL activities, particularly during times of emergency, and assessments required for proposal development. The MEAL Manager will work closely with CRS program teams and partner staff to develop high quality monitoring systems and tools which address indicators set out in project proposals. He/she will ensure that learning from projects is systematically captured and used throughout the country program. He/she will also take learning needs into account, and develop and conduct capacity building for MEAL and program staff, with support of the Head of Programs and the Regional Technical Advisor for MEAL. The MEAL Manager is expected to have a high level of self-initiative and use critical thinking skills to identify and fill gaps in MEAL. The MEAL Manager will also work closely with the Head of Programs to ensure that the South Sudan country program complies with the agency's regional and global MEAL systems, standards and good practices. The MEAL Manager should have the ability to work sensitively and positively with programming teams and promote a learning environment – success of the post relies on this.
Design and Manage Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Systems
• Support design and implementation of systems to collect and analyze program performance data for evidence-based programming decisions.
• Develop or adapt project specific MEAL tools.
• Guide field testing of MEAL tools with CRS and partner staff and modify as necessary.
• Work closely with Program Managers and Project Officers to process, analyze and use information collected to improve management, make necessary adjustments, and assess trends.
• Perform regular MEAL System reviews.
• Orient CRS and Partner staff on MEAL tools and roles and responsibilities.
• Track donor and CRS reporting requirements and deadlines and provide MEAL information to Program Managers and Project Coordinators for drafting reports.
Develop and Maintain an Enabling Environment for MEAL
• Provide direct supervision over MEAL unit staff, particularly the M&E Officers, and ensure that coaching and performance plans are completed on time and with adherence to CRS talent management quality standards.
• Develop good working relations with sectoral unit managers in CRS/South Sudan to ensure that MEAL remains a high priority in the country program.
• Coordinate with MEAL teams across larger CRS South Sudan projects to ensure consistency of standards, harmonization of information and input from beneficiaries and sharing of learnings.
• Work to enhance capacity for quality programming through training and capacity development of CRS staff in MEAL including areas of program assessment, design, monitoring & evaluation methodologies.
• Develop CRS and partner capacity building strategies for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning in Juba and field locations, and support implementation of MEAL Policies and Procedures which started in FY15.
• Liaise with each program manager to check progress on the implementation of MEAL activities and MEAL Policies and Procedures.
• Participate in project learning and reflection events.
• Ensure adherence to the implementation of MEAL plans across all projects.
• Design and implement annual MEAL work plans that support the CRS South Sudan Emergency Strategy and the Agency Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning strategy.
Strengthen Management Information Systems
• Develop and maintain project MEAL SharePoint site containing all evaluations and M&E tools for each project.
• Regularly audit MEAL tools to ensure compliance with donor requirements.
• Ensure Program's MEAL systems are responsive to changing donor requirements.
• Roll out ICT4D/E programming in the signature program areas, transfer knowledge to staff and partners.
Provide Direct Technical Support
• Support Program Managers in conducting regular MEAL field visits to collect data with the help of partners, assess the application of MEAL tools, and assist in preparation of monthly/quarterly report to donors and the East Africa Regional Office.
• Review baseline, midterm review and final evaluation TORs with RTA – MEAL support, and assist with project evaluations or other assessments, including rapid or in depth sectoral assessments, in new or existing project areas as needed.
• Identify bottlenecks in the program MEAL systems, recommend appropriate solutions and ensure follow-through.
Coordinate the Overall Country Accountability and Learning Systems
• Facilitate operational research for contextual understanding, identifying opportunities, vulnerabilities, capacities and resources.
• Work to ensure that lessons learned and best practices are incorporated into new program design.
• Support knowledge management through ensuring the use of the agency knowledge management portal, Gateway.
• Build CRS and partner staff capacity to increase beneficiary accountability in programs by providing guidance, training and/or resources.
• Contribute to the larger MEAL related Communities of Practice and disseminate Agency-wide learning and innovations in the area of MEAL across the Country Program.
Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff):
These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfil his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.
• Serves with Integrity
• Models Stewardship
• Cultivates Constructive Relationships
• Promotes Learning
These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each staff working in emergencies to fulfil his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.
• Communicates strategically under pressure
• Manages stress and complexity
• Actively promotes safety and security
• MEAL in Design: Develops Proframes and MEAL Narratives for proposals that identify key indicators of change and appropriate methods for data collection and use.
• Evaluation: Facilitates the use of evaluation and review results with partners and other stakeholders to inform decision-making and to identify lessons learned and promising practices.
• Accountability: Optimizes partner participation and capacity development in the design and implementation of MEAL systems and other project activities.
• Learning: Promotes the application of learning to improve program quality and to strengthen agency influence among external stakeholders.
• ICT for MEAL: Supports agency priorities in the use of ICT solutions to collect, manage, and analyze data based on feasibility in specific project contexts and a cost-benefit analysis.
• MEAL Management: Secures and supports the development of human resources to implement quality MEAL processes.
SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: MEAL Officers, Communication Manager
KEY WORKING RELATIONSHIPS:
Internal: Head of Programs, Chief of Party, Program Managers, Project Managers, Project MEAL Leads, East Africa Regional Team, CRS M&E Community of Practice.
External: International and local partners, The Church and Caritas partners, program beneficiaries.
REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:
The following knowledge, skills, and abilities may be acquired through a combination of formal schooling, self-education, prior experience, or on-the-job training.
• A Bachelor's degree or higher in relevant field (Development or Social Studies).
• At least 7 years (at least 5 years for Master's degree holders) field experience in a relief or development environment.
• Demonstrated experience in program design monitoring and evaluation or management, having served at such a position before for at least one year.
• Must be conversant with both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods and analysis.
• Previous experience with major donor proposal M&E requirements (USAID, OFDA, EC, UN agencies preferred).
• Capacity building experience in project monitoring, reporting, and evaluation.
• Experience in implementing Information and Communication Technology for Development and Emergency (ICT4D/E) activities.
• Computer knowledge including Word, Excel, and Power Point (additional experience with Access or SPSS is preferred).
• Strong skills in written and spoken English; Knowledge of the local language is preferred.
Required Foreign Language: N/A
Required Travel: Willingness to travel 20% of the time to remote areas of the country.
Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.
CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.
Equal Opportunity Employer