Job Title: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Advisor, STARS
in Kigali, Rwanda. Work
responsibilities for Rwanda and Ethiopia
Duration: 1 year initially with possible extension
ICCO Cooperation is a Dutch organization founded in 1964 and implementing programs with partners worldwide. Our programs focus on economic empowerment, food security and sustainable consumption and responsible business.
About the program
The “Strengthening African Smallholders (STARS)” is a 5-year program running from 2016 to 2020, aiming to increase food security and income of smallholder farmers in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Senegal and Burkina Faso by facilitating access to financial markets and agricultural services. Key to the program is that it strives for market-based systemic change by developing and piloting business models in value chains and value chain finance that can be replicated by independent market actors. ICCO Cooperation implements the program in collaboration with ICCO Terrafina and in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation.
Our model is based on three core activities: (1) To develop and implement innovative, sector specific agriculture financial products with MFIs for smallholder farmers; (2) To strengthen value chains and link smallholder farmers into these chains as well as linking them to financial and extension services (3) To broaden the evidence base in rural agricultural finance, value chain development and share lessons learned. In close connection with this process, a MEL plan will be elaborated per country based on the overall STARS MEL framework.
The overall MEL framework follows the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) Standard for Monitoring and Results Measurement.
The MEL Advisor will implement the STARS program’s overall MEL framework into country-specific MEL plans for the two countries in collaboration with program staff and under the supervision of the MEL Coordinator. The MEL Advisor implements the MEL plan and continuously ensures that staff is supported in MEL issues, that the MEL plan is followed and that data are collected as stipulated. Strong technical knowledge is required on aspects like questionnaire design, indicator development, sampling approaches, theories of change, attribution strategies, data analysis and organizational learning.
If necessary the MEL Advisor will revise the project MEL plan together with the MEL Coordinator and the country leads. The MEL Advisor will furthermore provide technical support to the staff and train enumerators to ensure quality data collection, quality data interpretation and quality data management. The MEL Advisor will contribute to STARS’ third core activity by aligning data collection with learning objectives, and actively identifying, analyzing and documenting the learnings from the program.
· Ensure that the country MEL plans for Ethiopia and Rwanda are in compliance with the overall MEL framework, and continuously coordinate with the MEL Coordinator on this;
· Support country teams in the interpretation of market analyses and needs assessments, and the translation of these analyses into intervention results chains and indicator selection;
· Develop measurement plans including planning, sampling and stakeholder validation in the specific country context of Ethiopia and Rwanda;
· Liaise with the MEL Advisor in West Africa for cross-country alignment of MEL systems, tools and approaches;
· Organize, prepare and oversee baseline surveys as well as other data collection approaches like Focus Group Discussions or Rapid Rural Appraisals;
· Participate in the development, standardization and contextualization of questionnaires and tools to collect relevant data on the program.
· Contribute to the development of Terms of Reference for studies, audits and evaluations;
· Support the execution of external impact studies that are planned for in the program;
· Support the exchange and learning with program participants. Provide support in designing and organizing workshops, progress reports and strategic reviews, as well as the communication on data collected and lessons learned;
· Give advice on and provide support to the interpretation of collected data in order to make informed decisions for improvement. Identify and suggest potential improvements to the MEL system;
· Cooperate with program staff to capture lessons learned, best practices, expected and unexpected results, and other information to generate stakeholder reports, articles, case studies, and other documentation;
· Implement the use of tablet-based data collection with AKVO-FLOW.
Qualifications & Work Experience:
· A Master’s level degree in International Development, Economics or other relevant field;
· At least 3 years relevant work experience in MEL in complex programs in the international development sector;
· Strong knowledge of and experience with MEL approaches, including the set-up of MEL systems, data collection and analysis tools, and learning approaches; This includes questionnaire design, indicator development, sampling approaches, theories of change, attribution strategies, data analysis and organizational learning;
· Knowledge of working with results chains, the DCED Standard and/or the Markets for the Poor approach would be considered a very strong advantage;
· Experience in mixed-method approaches including quantitative and qualitative data;
· Experience in using mobile tools for data collection;
· Knowledge of or experience with HFIAS, PPI or AKVO FLOW would be an added benefit;
· Combination of analytical skills with strong hands-on mentality, being able to translate abstract learning objectives into practical approaches that can be implemented in the field;
· Good international and/or intercultural experience, and knowledge of the social, economic and political situation in the East Africa region;
· Excellent computer skills; skilled in Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint as well as cloud-based systems like Google Docs, Sheets, etcetera. Experience in using data analysis software is preferable (SPSS, other);
· Exceptional written and verbal communication skills in English;
· Good presentation, interpersonal and networking skills;
· Can-do mentality, pro-active, good ability to take initiative and be creative;
· Willingness to travel frequently.
Terms of employment
This position is a national position NOT an international position and will be based on the pay bands of the Regional office in Uganda or the country of the Duty station Rwanda. As this is a local position, East-African candidates are strongly encouraged to send in an application.
Position in the organization
The MEL Advisor reports to the MEL Coordinator based in The Netherlands and works closely together with the Country Leads in each country as well as the Program Director based in Rwanda. He/she will collaborate with the MEL advisor for Burkina Faso and Senegal, who is based in Burkina Faso. The MEL Coordinator is the overall responsible for the STARS MEL framework and will oversee the development into country specific MEL plans. Other work relations are Micro Finance advisor, the Value Chain Development Advisor, Program Director, Communications officer and Finance and Administration officers.
How to apply
Please send your CV of not more than 3 pages and a motivational letter of not more than 1 page in English, and include three work references (names and contact information only of employers who can discuss your MEL experience) No email should exceed 2MB. Only Shortlisted candidates will be contacted.