Job Title: Lead Results & Learning Specialist
Location: Alexandria, VA
The Lead Results & Learning Specialist will take the lead in implementing the monitoring, evaluation and learning activities within IRUSA’s overall programs. The candidate will assist the programs team in the design, collection, and analysis of data from routine program monitoring as well as evaluate the impact of IRUSA-funded interventions. This position will also assist in building the capacity of both IRUSA program staff and IR field staff in collecting and making use of their data. The position reports to the Manager of Program Quality, Standards & Learning (PQSL). The candidate must show commitment to IRUSA’s faith inspired values and principles as well as a commitment to the vision and mission of the organization.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Results & Learning Generation
- Reviews interim and final reports submitted by IRUSA partners in the USA and overseas with a particular focus on checking the quality and reliability of program data and analysis.
- Ensures appropriate, high quality orientation and training of field staff and partners on project MEAL system and tools, as required.
- Establish mechanism for sharing monitoring and evaluation (ME&) field visit information within the program department and with other departments within the organization
- Undertakes regular project monitoring visits to the field to monitor and evaluate project processes and outcomes with appropriate documentation of the findings including the key achievements, challenges and recommendations.
- Ensures that the Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) plans set for IRUSA-funded projects are implemented accordingly
- Provides technical guidance whenever necessary with a focus on project baseline studies, mid-term and final evaluations, as required.
- Participates in the implementation of selected project baselines, mid-term reviews and evaluations and support the field team (in USA and overseas) in reporting on key project achievements, results, lessons and recommendations.
- Plans and conducts joint MEAL missions with program teams and with IRW’s Programs Quality (PQ) and regional offices. This includes engaging with IRW on joint field monitoring missions and conducting joint evaluations of IRUSA funded grants
- Contribute to review and validation of the project reports submitted by grantees and partners.
- Ensure regular informal feedback from beneficiaries and project stakeholders is collected, analyzed, used and recorded.
- Conducts periodic assessments in coordination with the program team and shares findings, lessons learned and recommendations, and follow-ups on recommendations.
- Coordinate the implementation of project accountability and learning initiatives with IRW’s program quality and regional teams.
- Support the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for project Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL), as required.
- Ensure timely trend analysis of monitoring data to support project reporting and decision making.
- Contribute to institutional learning processes and track best practices related to monitoring and evaluation (M&E).
- Participate in periodic review meetings with IR partners and peers – both domestic and international
- Facilitate the production of documentation (synthesis, flyers, news articles, blogs, videos) on projects’ success, failures, lessons and innovative solutions.
- Support the development of a results framework for assigned projects, including identification of appropriate indicators, measurement methods and critical assumptions.
Quality Assurance & Capacity Building
- Ensure the quality at entry of new projects/grants with IRUSA’s Programs policies and procedures, including with IRW’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) framework in the case of international operations.
- Ensure that the design of new projects/grants is aligned with programs quality norms and standards such as CHS, SPHERE, and InterAction ones when applicable.
- Review the grant applications received from IRUSA’s domestic and international partner organizations, particularly the project log frame indicators, and M&E sections, and provide feedback to the project review teams in a timely manner
- Promote the use of current IRUSA and IRW MEAL guidance and Programs Quality (PQ) references (including CHS, SPHERE, InterAction Standards, etc.) in own assignments and in the capacity building of field staff.
- Provide technical assistance (guidance, coaching/mentoring) on Programs Quality and Standards to the IRUSA funded projects.
- Contribute to the capacity needs assessment of grantees and partners and identify relevant solutions to address them.
- Organize tailor-made training workshops on design, results measurement and learning systems to Programs’ staff.
- Participate in field-level project review meetings to support and validate the data collected and suggest for improvement.
Information Systems & Knowledge Platforms & Dissemination
- Support the implementation of data quality controls to ensure the integrity of project data.
- Support project M&E data quality audits, as required.
- Contribute to the design/maintenance of IRUSA’s Grants Management System (GMS) and ensure that it includes all features needed to capture, analyze and report on programs’ results.
- Coordinate the automation and inputting of qualitative and quantitative data collected in the field and accompany IRUSA grantees and partners’ staff doing this.
- Produce monthly portfolio performance analysis for both US and International Programs and present it to the Programs Division and the Executives.
- Ensure the aggregation and supply of data on IRUSA’s outputs and outcomes is delivered periodically to Marketing, Fund Development, Public Affairs and the Executives
- Organize and lead knowledge sharing events (workshops, webinars, and roundtable) to disseminate key learning to internal and external stakeholders.
- Advise project teams and programs management on means and ways to enhance quality and impact of IRUSA and to achieve IRUSA’s strategic goals and mission
- Establish and improve communication mechanism on sharing information and reports to improve quality of programming.
- Develop and implement monitoring and compliance systems to promote and communicate program effectiveness.
- Contribute to the development and robustness of a Knowledge Hub that serves as an institutional database and facilitates the collection and dissemination of learning internally.
Strategy, Policy, and Processes
- Ensure the development of effective Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) plans, data collection tools for routine monitoring, project databases and reporting formats for existing and new projects.
- Provide input into the design, implementation and dissemination of evaluations, special studies and assessments.
- Contribute to the development of common programs quality policies, procedures for greater efficiency.
- Contribute to assess risks, review compliance, and gather information for due diligence about problems in projects under grants of US program, International Program, Gift-In-Kind and DRT
- Perform other duties as assigned
Qualifications and Competencies:
- Bachelor’s degree in international development, economics, statistics, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
- At least 7 years of work experience in the field of monitoring and evaluation, including design and implementation of project and program monitoring and evaluation plans.
- Excellent knowledge of monitoring, evaluation and learning methodologies.
- Knowledge and experience with proposal writing and donor reporting requirements.
- Demonstrated ability to produce high quality M&E reports and other program documents.
- Ability to translate technical programmatic jargon and statistics into easily-digestible information.
- Effective communication and problem-solving skills and ability to manage day-to-day work challenges.
- Solid track record of solutions-driven teamwork, outstanding project-, process-, time-management, and organization skills.
- Exhibits sound decision making, prioritizes work appropriately, and requires minimal supervision.
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to perform effectively in a highly professional and respectful manner with diverse work styles and personalities under tight deadlines and in a fast-paced environment.
- Ability to handle multiple priorities in a fast-paced work setting with diplomacy and composure.
- Ability to manage a variety of activities in a fast moving environment and meet deadlines with attention to detail and quality.
- Demonstrated ability to work effectively in developing countries.
- Fluent in English and preferably in one other foreign language.
- Ability to travel internationally and domestically (up to 40% travel).
- Must be eligible to work in the United States.