Save the Children is seeking a Monitoring, Evaluation, Adaptation and Learning (MEAL) Advisor for an anticipated five-year USAID-funded Early Childhood Education activity in Ethiopia. The program focuses on increasing the effectiveness of the early childhood education system. The specific Objective is to strength the system’s capacity to provide, oversee and coordinate continuous high-quality, responsive early childhood development and education, at the federal, regional, Woreda, Kebele and Household levels.
The MEAL Advisor is responsible for leading the establishment and implementation of the MEAL system of the project, including obtaining, analyzing, organizing, and interpreting project data and ensuring MEAL requirements of the donor and that of Save the Children are adequately met. S/he will work closely with the Country Office (CO) MEAL unit and Field Office MEAL staffs, to build evidence base, track project progress, facilitate learning and adaptive management, ensure a strong accountability mechanism, manage internal evaluations/ studies and facilitate external evaluations. This is a leadership role and will serve as a key member of the project team in Ethiopia.
This position is contingent upon donor approval and funding.
What You’ll Be Doing (Essential Duties)
Management and Leadership
- Serve as part of the project’s leadership team, contributing to the development and implementation of annual program work plans, performance milestones, and project monitoring.
- Provide overall leadership and supervision on the MEAL function, supporting successful delivery of the project.
- Ensure that the required budget allocates appropriately for the implementation of MEAL activities and provide oversight of the MEAL budget, ensuring its effective and timely utilization.
- Manage MEAL staff, including handling ongoing coaching, supervision and performance management and annual evaluation; develop the capacity of the team and facilitate their professional growth.
- Encourage a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.
MEAL System Development and Implementation
- Lead the development of the MEAL plan, including the identification of key performance indicators, MEAL standard operating procedures and MEAL tool of the project.
- Lead the roll-out and implementation of the project’s MEAL system, strategies, requirements and country-level activities; roll-out orientation/training sessions to MEAL and relevant program staff of Save the Children and its implementing partners.
- Maintain MEAL systems and tools used to track project implementation progress and analyze information on inputs, outputs, outcomes, and impact of the project.
- Ensure data quality through the implementation of effective data verification mechanism and undertaking routine data quality assessments at all levels.
- Lead and coordinate the development of required program reports, in accordance with Save the Children and donor requirements and standards.
- Undertake/coordinate periodic joint field supportive supervision to project implementation and implementing partners’ sites.
- Ensure a strong beneficiary accountability mechanism is implemented.
- Identify MEAL capacity gaps and facilitate training opportunities for project staff.
- Contribute to GoE M&E system strengthening efforts at national and local level including supporting the use of data for decision making at all levels
- Contribute to the development of national and local level ECE indicators and SDG 4.2 tracking at national level including the use of early learning and development assessment data, data on classroom environment quality using tools such as IDELA or other GoE recommended tools
- Build the capacity of GoE and partner staff on effective ECE MEL systems
Learning and Knowledge Management
- Build a database system for managing project-related data and evidence.
- Lead the implementation of Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) mechanism to ensure intentional learning, collaboration, and adaptive management.
- Ensure that relevant project documentation is well organized and best practices, lessons, success stories, case studies, etc. are well captured, synthesized, packaged, produced and shared to relevant stakeholders using different technologies and methods.
- Ensure MEAL evidence is available to management for decision making and continuous performance improvement.
- Plan and manage any research-focused deliverables or other evaluations throughout the life of the program, and oversee any MEAL-related consultancies.
- Organize/facilitate regular project implementation and performance review sessions and learning events.
- Define MEAL-related inputs required from partners and oversee the quality of deliverables
Representation, Advocacy & Coordination
- Represent the project and participate in different MEAL related forums bringing together like governmental and non-governmental organizations working on the same or related themes.
- In collaboration with the CO MEAL team, organize Community of Practices and/or other learning platforms to enhance cross-project and organizational experience sharing and learning.
- Collaborate with the CO MEAL to implement organizational MEAL policies and requirements including the implementation of quality benchmarks.
- Bachelors or Master’s degree in statistics, demographics, public policy, international development, economics, or related field
- Minimum of ten (10) years’ experience and demonstrated practical skills in monitoring and evaluation of multi-sectoral international development programs
- Excellent knowledge of monitoring and evaluation principles and practices
- Familiarity with MEAL in the context of education programming, including early childhood education/development measurement
- Experience in strategic planning and performance measurement, including indicator selection, target setting, reporting, database management, and developing monitoring and evaluation and/or performance monitoring plans
- Knowledge of the major evaluation methodologies (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, mixed-method, and impact) and data collection and analysis methodologies
- Experience in planning and managing surveys
- Experience developing and refining data collection tools
- Demonstrated experience in developing and implementing monitoring systems and conducting evaluations, including with age- and sex- disaggregated data as well as data from national systems such as the national health management information system
- Demonstrated ability and skills in analysis and report writing
- Able to work within a tight timeframe, manage M&E team members and meet deadlines and deliverables to partners and donors
- Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
- Master’s degree or Bachelor plus an advanced certificate in M&E, statistics, economics or related social science fields
- Previous experience on implementation of USAID programs
- Demonstrated experience in multisectoral early childhood development, health, and/or education programming
- Knowledge of local language
- Proven MEAL skills using data analysis software
- Familiarity with the political, social, and cultural context of Ethiopia, including relevant policies and strategies.
What’s In It for You
- Meaningful work, with a knowledge that you are changing the lives of children all around the world
- A family-friendly work environment
- Highly collaborative and innovative teams
- Generous paid vacation days, holidays, family leave days, and sick time
- Healthcare plans including medical, dental, and life insurance
- Retirement savings account with matching company contributions
- Structured and formalized management development and coaching programs for mid and senior level managers
- Extensive e-learning opportunities on a variety of topics offered through our affiliation with several prestigious universities and with the American Management Association, as well as language learning opportunities
Qualified local candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
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