The MERLTech Advisor (or Technical Advisor, Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation (MERL) – Project Information Systems Specialist) will work under the supervision and guidance of Project Concern International’s (PCI’s) Director, Measurement and Evidence for Learning and Impact (MELI). As PCI actively works to integrate with Global Communities (GC), this position will actively support the functional integration team, that includes PCI’s MERL team as well as Global Communities’ Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning and Knowledge Management (MEL-KM) team; this combined functional integration team is currently referred to as the MELI Team and is proposed to sit within GC’s Office of Strategic Information, Innovation, and Learning (OSIIL). The position will work in close coordination / collaboration with domestic and globally-based staff in PCI and GC’s global offices, including staff working in Country-based Programming, and HQ-based Technical Leadership, Operations, New Business Development, Information Technology Department and Units.
The primary functions of this position are to provide MERL-related technical support to new, existing and closing programs, in support of organization-wide aims to improve program quality and impact, ensure accountability to stakeholders, and promote learning. The position will serve as a subject matter expert / specialist in the area of data management and information systems for program related data (results, targets, etc) and will play a leadership role to define and advance priorities to strengthen project- and organizational systems, processes, tools and capacity around the use of technology to collect, manage, structure, and analyze programmatic data and information.
This position can be based in PCI’s International Office in San Diego, in Global Communities Silver Spring, MD office; consideration will also be made for candidates who are living in and authorized to work out of any of Global Communities’ global offices.
PRIMARY JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:
Organizational Leadership – MERLTech: Lead and/or significantly contribute to the strengthening of organizational systems, processes, tools and capacity around the use of technology to enhance project- and organizational level information systems
Regularly assesses and contributes to organizational strategies on the use of technology to enhance project- and organizational level information systems [MERL Tech].
Leads priority activities and initiatives in the design, implementation, and utilization of high-quality project data management systems (MERLTech) at country and global levels to systematically advance Global Communities’ programmatic priorities and business capture capabilities.
Identifies, advocates for and managed required resources to implement priority activities.
Designs and implements technical assistance and capacity building strategies that result in improved skills and capacity in this area
Supports organizational (internal) strategic coordination and learning in the area, including related knowledge sharing between teams, departments, projects and countries through peer-to-peer networks and knowledge exchange activities
Represent MELI Team on relevant organizational committees and initiatives:
Identifies and engages in strategic partnerships with relevant/related (external) organizations and institutions
MELI Support to Projects: Provide MELI technical support to new and existing programs
- Support the development and/or strengthening of project-level MEL frameworks and plans, ensuring that MEL systems and tools produce relevant, timely, quality data that are responsive to the organization and project-level MELI strategies, program beneficiaries, and compliant with reporting requirements
- With program and field monitoring and evaluation (M&E) teams, support the analysis and utilization of programmatic data to assess and improve program quality and project performance
- Develop and support activities to assess and improve quality of routine program data
Support the design, coordination, and implementation of selected project quality, relevant studies and assessments, including evaluations, formal and informal research, and targeted analyses, ensuring the findings are of high quality, relevant, and effectively shared with key stakeholders.
- Strengthen MELI-related capacity of relevant GC internal and partner staff, in areas including data management, analysis, reporting and utilization of findings for data driven decision making, knowledge management, CLA and learning.
- Participate in the drafting and/or review of technical reports, including donor reports, project or study briefs, or other dissemination products to ensure stakeholder accountability, to promote learning, and enhance visibility of GC efforts
- Lead/facilitate stocktaking exercises such as pause and reflect sessions, results utilization activities, before action reviews, after action reviews, critical reflection workshops and others to give and receive stakeholder feedback and identify lessons learned.
- Coordinate with other technical and MELI members in the field and IO that support relevant projects (including members of the Project Support team) for effective MERL-related coordination and support to projects
- Work with Field counterparts to report on organizational (e.g. Strategic Plan) results
MELI Support to Resource Mobilization/New Business Development: Support the development of new and/or expanded programs, including proposal preparation, program design and planning
Work with other programmatic teams to identify, pursue, and secure new growth opportunities both with existing donors, and new and non-traditional donors and investors, including the private sector;
As part of proposal preparation teams, lead in the writing, developing, and/or reviewing of relevant components of project proposals, including the design and drafting of monitoring, evaluation, research and learning components, CLA/knowledge management plans, Logic Models and/or Theory of Change, and MERL implementation plans.
As part of proposal preparation teams, lead in the identification and/or formation of strategic partnerships to support MERL Tech, research, CLA, and other relevant areas.
Technical Thought Leadership / Portfolio Support: In collaboration with Technical and Country-level counterparts and other relevant staff, provide MELI-related support to GC technical portfolios
Facilitate / support the development of portfolio-level research learning and research agendas
Support the identification and optimization of use of internal program and research data and knowledge across programs, with a focus on facilitating utilization of data and knowledge for technical learning, to improve programs, and enhance visibility of GC programs at the portfolio level
Support learning and knowledge capture within and across programs through applied learning workshops and development of knowledge management collection and dissemination platforms
Other/Cross-cutting: Participate in and contribute to the planning and operationalization of MELI strategic priority areas
- Contribute to efforts to effectively plan, coordinate, and communicate and coordinate OSIIL- and MELI-related strategic Priority areas and activities with other relevant actors at GC
- Contribute to and advances the strengthening of systems, capacity, processes & tools for monitoring and evaluation, information systems, research, learning, and knowledge management across the organization
- Promote and advance a culture of learning within GC, through advancing personal learning and subject matter expertise in relevant MERL-related areas and actively promoting and contributing to internal learning in MELI related areas at GC
- Participate in relevant external working groups for networking and visibility
- Contributes to Global Communities’ technical expertise and reputation in relevant areas to improve visibility of MELI work within GC and the broader development sector through
- Staying up to date on industry best practices
- Presenting Global Communities’ work, methods and tools at conferences positioning the organization as thought leaders
POSITION SPECIAL RESPONSIBILITIES:
Ability to travel, including to remote and/or resource-limited areas within GC’s country portfolio
Supports MELI-related mentoring and professional development other staff members
Participate in PCI’s organizational initiatives
Other duties as assigned
- Minimum of eight (8) years of related work experience or bachelor’s degree in Public Health, Social Welfare or Social Science, International Development, Information Science or relevant areas with a minimum of four (4) years of related work experience. Master’s degree preferred.
- Demonstrated experience in developing and/or strengthening M&E Plans, tools, and systems to produce relevant, timely, quality data that are responsive to the project M&E strategy as well as comply with reporting requirements.
- At least two to three (2-3) years of experience in leading or supporting efforts to strengthen the use of relevant technology and information systems to inform effective decision making in international development programming and support strong program management.
- Proven project coordination skills and ability to work independently and as part of a team coordinating and collaborating with diverse field counterparts across multiple countries
- Familiarity with and sensitivity to diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as gender issues.
- Strong knowledge/expertise with current approaches and platforms for data collection and management platforms, mobile technology (especially CommCare), data visualization, and business intelligence technologies
- Knowledge of best practices, methods, tools, and techniques used to plan, deploy and support systems to collect, manage, and analyze information; experience and/or certification in Agile Project Management or similar frameworks preferred
- Understanding and experience with program and/or MERL requirements of US Government donors (i.e. USAID, USDA, PEPFAR, CDC, State Department, Department of Defense)
- Strong writing skills to support proposal development, prepare and review reports and to contribute to publications and promotional materials
- Skills to mentor staff with various levels of technical capacity and experience
- Highly motivated, organized, and able to produce results fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment
- A passion for the mission and values of Global Communities