MEL Manager - Zahle

Zahlé, Beqaa Governorate, Lebanon | Full-time

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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.

Mercy Corps has been present in the Middle East since the 1980s and currently works in Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq. Working in Lebanon since 1993, Mercy Corps is committed to generating positive opportunities for women, men, boys and girls from Lebanese, Syrian, and Palestinian communities, with a strong focus on engaging youth.  Mercy Corps exists to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping build secure, productive and just communities. Our programs focus on four sectors:  Economic Opportunities, Governance and Social Stability, Youth and Humanitarian interventions. The Mercy Corps Lebanon team consists of over 150 staff working across four offices throughout Mount Lebanon, South Lebanon, Tripoli and the Bekaa.

Program Summary

Under the ECHO-funded “Services and Assistance For Enabling Recovery (SAFER)” project, Mercy Corps will provide multi-purpose cash transfers to some of Lebanon’s most vulnerable households affected by the multiple crises in Lebanon, and that are not served by other cash actors to help them meet their basic needs. Building on analysis from our in-house Lebanon Crisis Analytics Team (LCAT) to identify targeted areas in Bekaa and Baalbek El-Hermel, Mercy Corps will employ vulnerability-based targeting to select households for assistance. In order to facilitate an exit strategy from cash assistance, Mercy Corps will also apply a referral mechanism with other key actors in targeted areas, particularly livelihoods programming for those eligible as well as social safety nets. (Result 1) In addition, Mercy Corps will pair the cash assistance and provide referrals with relevant analysis from LCAT to inform both the action and the broader humanitarian community (Result 2). Together this will achieve the principal objective of reducing economic suffering and protection risks.

General Position Summary

The MEL Manager will oversee the development, implementation and quality assurance of all SAFER program’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) activities. This will include ensuring the quality of the program’s MEL activities, information management via the programs reporting system (which may be tied with Mercy Corps’ proprietary TOLA systems), and geographic information systems (GIS), where applicable. The MEL Manager’s role is to also oversee and ensure coordination of the various technical areas across the MEL staff of the program, and other relevant program staff and components.

The MEL Manager is responsible for leading the systems, strategy, and actualization of the recruitment, onboarding, development, and supervision of the MEL team, ensuring they have the skills needed to perform their roles at a high level, and have opportunities for growth within and outside the team. They will support the team with adequate professional development opportunities such as training on MEL and MEL technologies.

The MEL Manager will oversee programmatic learning agendas, research and evaluations. They will lead on developing a clear MEL workplan for the program. They will also ensure that data is available at key decision-making moments, and will promote use of the data for learning and adaptive management practices at all levels of decision making. The MEL Manager will be responsible in ensuring data privacy, data security and data quality requirements are met for MEL data, overseeing DQAs and making appropriate systemic adjustments as needed. The MEL Manager will identify opportunities for deeper learning, and working closely with the program team to support knowledge generation and sharing.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Monitoring & Evaluation

  • Set up the MEL system, including all tools and data collection processes for program activities;
  • Lead and coordinate the development of the Cash MEL Plan and SoP using existing Mercy Corps resources and developing new ones, that include clear step by step guidance, processes, roles and responsibilities on all relevant MEL activities;
  • Develop and review frequently the Project’s MEL Plan including databases, dashboards, data flows, and tool matrices;
  • Plan and lead all MEL activities including qualitative and quantitative data collection processes and strategies, the baseline assessment and final program evaluation, and develop standards for data collection;
  • Supervise all contractors/consultants involved in data collection activities, including the baseline, midterm and final evaluation teams, and review their standards for data collection;
  • Train project team members and partners on their MEL responsibilities;
  • Directly manage all program MEL staff in day-to-day MEL activities;
  • Update MEL and program management systems to reflect program progress and needs and enforce proper usage of these systems by program staff;
  • Collect, analyze and validate information and data on the performance indicators;
  • Present data analysis and periodic reporting in consultation with technical staff;
  • Ensure that lessons learned throughout the project are captured and communicated to internal and external stakeholders through appropriate channels;
  • Take on overall responsibility for MEL contributions to program reporting including Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Annual, Final and ad-hoc reports;
  • Address any other task assigned by the Program Manager;

Research & Learning

  • Design and oversee the program learning agenda with the program team, Mercy Corps’ senior management and the LCAT team;
  • Design and oversee programmatic research, contributing to Mercy Corps’ evidence base, and lead on dissemination of findings with key stakeholders;
  • Work closely with the Lebanon Crisis Analytics Team (LCAT) to ensure complementarity of action in the program when it comes to generating evidence on the usefulness of cash assistance in Lebanon;
  • Contribute to lessons learned meetings;

Data Management, Analysis, Reporting, and Integration of Data into Decision Making

  • Lead and design data collection and analysis systems including baseline and end line surveys, regular monitoring, data collection and analysis, feedback and reporting;
  • Establish and develop appropriate data and information management systems for program data;
  • Ensure appropriate data flows;
  • Ensure the generation of data reports and a dahsboard for the program, ensuring reports/information are available for program implementation staff as required;
  • Ensure data analysis with program implementation team as requested;
  • Coordinate with field team and partners to implement system corrections and adjustments, solving operational issues and documenting actions taken and next steps;
  • Ensure data analysis and reports are integrated into programmatic decision making to improve impact of the program;
  • Ensure reporting of program achievements on TOLA, Activity Info, and other relevant reporting mechanisms;

Team Management

  • Build a MEL team capable of building, operating, and maintaining a high-volume and high-quality Cash and goods MEL system;
  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance and reach objectives;
  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews;
  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence;
  • Hire, orient and lead team members as necessary;

Capacity Building

  • Oversee designing and delivering of MEL Tech trainings for teammates and enumerators on CommCare and PowerBI
  • Conduct a needs assessment for the partners and determine a M&E training plan and tools to support staff;
  • Develop training material and implement training plan based on the assessment needs and gaps of partners and M&E focal persons;
  • Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain a robust M&E system, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development;
  • Review partner reports and provide feedback and comments to improve reporting quality;
  • Adapt existing protocols and plans to mentor and coach colleagues to build their capacity to enable them to develop high quality reports.

Accountability

  • Coordinate with the team to build systems that promote community accountability by ensuring that communities participate in initial assessments and program design;
  • Coordinate with program teams to ensure that communities are informed about our programs and what we do, are aware of their entitlements, are comfortable to give feedback and that feedback is used to improve the quality of our programs;
  • Ensure all activities are gender sensitive and follow Mercy Corps’ Gender Equity Policy;
  • Apply Do No Harm standards to ensure activities do not have detrimental effects on vulnerable communities;
  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and not jeopardize its humanitarian mission;
  • Other assigned tasks, as necessary.

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.

Supervisory Responsibility

The MEL manager will line-manage two MEL Officers.

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Program Manager

Works Directly With: PAQ Manager, MERL Specialist, Grants & Reporting Specialist, IM Coordinator

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S or equivalent, preferable in social sciences, business administration, public administration or international development or other relevant disciplines required. MA/S in similar relevant fields strongly preferred;
  • At least 5 to 7 years of experience building or operating MEL systems in humanitarian programs, including 3+ of those years in a management role;
  • Experience working in target areas (Bekaa and Baalbek El-Hermel) is an asset;
  • Experience working with MEL for cash and voucher assistance programming is a strong asset;
  • Extensive experience with field survey/data collection techniques, data entry, data verification, and analysis;
  • Proven use of technology for MEL functions;
  • Previous experience working with international and/or local NGOs;
  • Advanced computer skills and experience developing data management systems such asCommcare/ODK/KOBO/ONA are required;
  • Advanced data visualization skills and experience using PowerBI or similar software are an asset;
  • Strong team management and capacity building, coordination, listening, and consensus building skills;
  • Ability to prepare clear and concise reports;
  • Ability to manage and meet deadlines and to work independently on multi-task load;
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills;
  • Fluency in written and oral English and Arabic required;
  • Experience in quantitative and qualitative research is an advantage;
  • Experience in statistics and statistical software is an advantage.

Success Factors

The successful MEL Manager will be bright, energetic, hard-working and eager to learn.  They will take a deep personal interest in humanitarian and development assistance.  They will be attentive to detail and able to carry out assigned tasks in a timely manner and according to a very high standard of quality. They will be creative and flexible, contributing to developing and encouraging new and innovative solutions, but at the same time will not have any difficulty in adhering to systems and procedures. They will strictly follow all protocols related to safety and security, and holds self accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Mercy Corps’ values.

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.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.