World University Service of Canada
Position Title: MONITORING, EVALUATION, RESEARCH AND LEARNING (MERL) MANAGER
Position Location: Abidjan (Ivory Coast) or Accra (Ghana)
Reports to: Deputy Director, NBS West Africa Project
Contract term: Full-time, 1 year renewable
Likely start date: April, 2023
Application deadline: March 26, 2023
Languages: Fluency required in both English and French
World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a Canadian non-profit organization with a mission to enhance education, economic opportunities, and empowerment for youth. We work with a diverse network of students, volunteers, institutions, governments, and businesses. Together, we foster youth-centered solutions to overcome inequality and exclusion.
The overall focus of the new project will be on engaging with a wide range of stakeholders to develop local and regional capacity to use evidence and engage with women and marginalized groups to prioritize locally relevant NBS to climate change adaptation. It will take a systems approach to supporting climate adaptation through interventions that plan for, pilot and scale nature based-solutions (NBS) to climate adaptation that contribute to enhanced biodiversity and gender equality. An overall assumption is that restoration and reforestation of degraded forests, both on and off farm, will be critical to supporting women and their communities to adapt to climate change challenges and will be central to protecting and restoring biodiversity in this critical global hotspot.
The project will work in close collaboration with consortium member CECI, and with the IUCN, CIFOR-ICRAF and the University of Guelph. Key local stakeholders include local and national government bodies, regional institutions, private sector, women’s groups, and environmental organizations. This initiative builds on WUSC’s and CECI’s decades of experience supporting vulnerable populations and leverages the experience of a variety of local and international partners who bring a strong climate NbS lens, are fully immersed in their respective ecosystems and whose work can be accelerated by this project. This project is a timely intervention to ensure Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinée continue to effectively address climate adaptation while incorporating Nature based Solutions and strong gender lenses.
The NBS West Africa Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Manager will provide leadership on MERL activities and ensure quality oversight in order to meet project obligations and donor requirements. The MERL Manager is expected to provide technical expertise to ensure efficient, effective and timely planning and execution of the various project MERL processes and activities. Specifically, the MERL Manager is responsible for the following:
- Develop and regularly update the MERL Plan, in line with GAC’s Results-Based Management (RBM) principles, as well as organisational requirements;
- Ensure that all MERL-related tasks (such as planning, coordination of monitoring and data collection activities, training of staff, etc.) are effectively carried out in accordance with the project’s MERL plan;
- Promote the active participation of partners and stakeholders in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Guinea in all phases of the development and implementation of the MERL plan (from the design of the MERL plan itself and its tools, to the data collection exercises; from data analysis, to the dissemination and use of findings), providing support and capacity building as necessary and appropriate;
- Supporting WUSC and CECI teams, and implementing partners in Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana and Guinea to plan for and execute MERL-related activities;
- Develop and regularly update all MERL tools and systems (including the Performance Management Framework) linked to key indicators for the purpose of informing program activities and reporting to the donor, and supporting continuous evidence-based learning and adaptive management in the process;
- Provide high quality technical support on planning, development and implementation of the MERL plan to project and partner staff; and
- Ensuring regular communication and coordination with regard to the collection and exchange of MERL-related information with project staff and key stakeholders in Ghana, Guinea and Cote D’Ivoire, as well as with WUSC and CECI’s global teams.
MERL tools Design and Quality Assurance
- Develop and periodically review monitoring tools for routine tracking of activities and collecting of program data;
- Provide technical support and capacity building as needed to ensure project tools are being used effectively by project and partners staff and that the collected data are used for learning and adaptive management, as well as for planning and reporting to the donor and other external audiences;
- Identify training needs of staff working on the project and recommend actions for improving capacity with regard to MERL;
- Ensure that data collected are reliable, accurate and complete – to the extent possible in the project context; and
- Apply a continuous improvement approach toward all data collection processes.
- Ensure that MERL activities are completed in a timely manner to contribute to high quality evidence-based learning, planning and reporting;
- Manage on-going data collection processes, analyses and validation for project evaluation and learning purposes;
- Identify monitoring needs based on program implementation and collect data that effectively inform on-going progress;
- Ensure that accurate and complete MERL-related files and databases are set up, maintained and updated;
- Support qualitative data collection for the purposes of documentation and dissemination of lessons learnt, case studies and stories of change; and
- Support planning, logistics and coordination of WUSC and CECI staff and project consultants or technical assistance visits as required.
- Oversee the baseline data collection report, and end-project data collection reporting;
- Ensure timely and regular MERL data are shared with project colleagues to feed into reporting cycles, mainly annual narrative report, in an efficient and timely manner, in accordance with organisational and donor’s standards;
- Ensure that regular updates on project MERL processes are communicated and shared with project staff across all partner organisations;
- Maintain and regularly update the database and take lead in the compilation of high quality and evidence-based donor reports;
- Respond to requests for information from WUSC and CECI staff, project partners, and WUSC and CECI Senior Management; and
- Other duties as required.
- Master’s degree in a relevant field or equivalent mix of education and experience;
- A minimum of ten years of experience in the field of monitoring and evaluation of development programs;
- Experience working with international development partners, international non-governmental organizations and donors, ideally with Global Affairs Canada (formerly known as DFATD or CIDA);
- Experience with RBM concepts and principles is required;
- Experience in both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis is preferred;
- Experience working with ethnically diverse communities and with projects implementing gender mainstreaming strategies;
- Experience with open source data collection tools and data management softwares (preferred);
- Understanding of climate adaptation and/or agro-forestry programs (preferred);
- Experience supporting multi-country and multi-language programs (preferred);
- Demonstrated high level written and verbal communication skills in English and French.
WUSC offers a dynamic work environment with a diverse intercultural workforce. We offer employees and volunteers exciting opportunities to apply their skills and gain experience all while making a difference for youth around the world. We believe youth have the potential to provide for their families, build strong communities, and create positive social change for future generations. Employees at WUSC work hard to create lasting change in education, employment and empowerment.
WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. Female candidates and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. No telephone calls please.
How to apply
If you are interested, please apply here through our website.
Deadline: 26 Mar 2023