Regional Technical Advisor - MEAL, West Africa Region, Senegal

Position Title: Regional Technical Advisor- Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL)
Dept/Location: WARO Regional Office, Senegal/Dakar
Job Band: D
FLSA: Exempt
Reports To: Deputy Regional Director for Program Quality (DRD/PQ)
About CRS:
Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners, people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.
Background: Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is an international non-governmental organization (NGO) supporting transformational improvements at scale in the lives of the poor in Africa, Asia, Europe-Middle East and Latin America. As an organization that takes a holistic approach to relief and development, CRS strives for excellence in all that we do. To reach the scale and quality required by our aspirations, we focus on increasing our effectiveness and influence by deepening our expertise and performing at a world-class level in the following three Strategic Program Areas (SPAs): Emergency Response and Recovery, Agricultural Livelihoods and Health. CRS has further identified the following five core competencies for deeper cultivation and strategic investments: 1) Monitoring and Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL), 2) Information & Communications Technology for Development, 3) Partner Collaboration and Support, 4) Justice and Peacebuilding Integration, and 5) Global Brand Management.
In West Africa, Catholic Relief Services works in 12 countries implementing programs in Health, Education, Agriculture livelihoods, Water and Sanitation, Microfinance and Emergency Response and Recovery. CRS implements its work through partners including Catholic Church institutions, national governments, national and international non-governmental organizations, civil society networks and private institutions. All of CRS' programs are based upon shared values and operational relationships which capitalize on our complementary capacities to achieve the maximum, positive benefit for poor and marginalized people.
Job Summary:
CRS is seeking to hire a Regional Technical Advisor for Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL RTA) to assume advisory responsibility for half of the countries within its West Africa Region (WARO).
Monitoring and Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) is one of five Core Competencies that form a part of CRS’ 5-year (2013-2018) agency strategy.
In 2014 CRS finalized new policies and procedures for MEAL. These policies and procedures will go into effect starting 1 October 2015. CRS is currently assessing and strengthening MEAL systems and staff skills in preparation for complying with these policies and procedures.
In recent self-assessments against the new MEAL policies and procedures WARO country programs identified the following areas that need strengthening: Learning, Accountability, MEAL system budgeting and design, as well as building CRS and partner staff’s MEAL competencies.
A primary responsibility of the MEAL RTA is to support WARO country programs in the integration of MEAL as a core competency and to ensure they have the procedures, tools, skills and staff necessary to implement and comply with the new MEAL policies and procedures.
CRS has also prioritized as a core competency Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). As part of this core competency, CRS is developing ICT tools and platforms to support MEAL processes with the aim of improving their effectiveness (e.g., through more accurate and timely access to data) and achieving a minimum level of standardization in the way that data is collected across countries and projects to support agency evaluation and learning. In WARO CRS is rolling out ICT–based MEAL systems in six countries in projects in a range of sectors including agriculture, education, health and emergency response. The MEAL RTA plays an important role, in coordination with ICT specialists, to support the incorporation of ICT into the design and implementation of MEAL systems.
The MEAL RTA serves as a member of the WARO regional team providing leadership and support for high quality CRS programming in West Africa, as well as the global MEAL team comprising other RTAs and HQ MEAL staff. S/he works in collaboration with staff in headquarters and country programs to develop and guide CRS strategies for MEAL.
The MEAL RTA will be responsible for:
• Providing leadership in developing Learning and Accountability strategies and systems
• Ensuring high quality design of MEAL systems
• Deepening staff’s competencies in MEAL
• Supporting the incorporation of ICT in MEAL systems.
Specific Responsibilities
• Support the rollout and implementation of the CRS agency MEAL policies and procedures and the MEAL core competency strategic initiatives.
• In coordination with Heads of Programs (HOPs) and in line with agency learning strategies and guidance, support the development of country-level learning agendas and processes.
• Ensure high quality design of MEAL systems in proposal development and project start-up that comply with donor and CRS requirements, using CRS methods and tools and contributing to their continuous improvement.
• As part of MEAL system design, ensure the incorporation of M&E tools that focus on measuring outcomes and impacts including changes in behavior, relationships, actions, and activities in the people, groups, and organizations CRS and partners work with directly.
• Support WARO Country Programs in the development of staff competencies in Accountability and the integration of Accountability tools and practices into country program and project MEAL systems, especially as it relates to accountability to the people served by CRS programming.
• Support the identification of country MEAL staffing needs, recruitment, onboarding and strengthening of CRS and partner staff’s MEAL competencies based on the CRS MEAL competency model.
• Work with regional sector leads to identify learning questions and define common sector impact indicators for identified WARO Signature and Emerging Program Areas.
• Support the appropriate incorporation of ICT in the design and implementation of MEAL systems. As applicable, support the use of the e-Valuate ICT MEAL system.
• Promote Country Program’s use of the Gateway system to manage MEAL documentation that is part of the Project Archive and as a space for sharing learning.
• Lead a WARO MEAL community of practice to facilitate the exchange of lessons learned and good practices in the rollout of the agency MEAL policies and procedures and strategic initiatives.
• Participate actively in the global CRS MEAL community, including in the annual MEAL global summit. Contribute to the refinement and development of materials and processes supporting the agency MEAL strategy
• Share and disseminate agency strategies, priorities and best practices in MEAL throughout WARO. Promote and share WARO MEAL initiatives and products with HQ and other regions.
• Stay abreast of Agency and external trends in MEAL and lead MEAL innovations in WARO
RTA for MEAL Competencies:
RTAs for MEAL are expected to use these competencies in the accomplishment of their responsibilities
• MEAL in Proposal/Project Design
• Monitoring
• Evaluation
• Accountability
• Learning
• Analysis and Critical Thinking
• ICT for MEAL
• Management in MEAL
*Agency-Wide Competencies:
These are rooted in the mission, values, and principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.*
• Serves with Integrity
• Models Stewardship
• Develops Constructive Relationships
• Promotes Learning
Key Working Relationships
Internal: Country program MEAL staff, Country Representatives, Heads of Program, Regional Technical Advisors, Deputy Regional Directors, Global MEAL staff in the Program Impact and Quality Assurance department (HQ), Global Knowledge and Information Management department (HQ),
External: Partners (including but not limited to the Catholic Church), national governments, national and international non-governmental organizations, civil society networks and private institutions, consultants, academic institutions, professional networks and donors, especially USAID.
• Master’s degree or equivalent experience in Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning relevant to a senior Learning position in an international NGO.
• Thorough familiarity with mixed method (quantitative and qualitative) approaches to M&E; experience in data collection, survey design, enumerator training and data analysis with appropriate software.
• Experience with accountability systems that include appropriate and frequent identifying information sharing, participatory work, discussions and decision making, formal complaint and feedback systems, staffed with competent personnel who make timely data available to stakeholders for learning and decision making.
• At least 7 years of progressive responsibility in overseas relief and development programs; at least 5 years’ experience working for an international agency on monitoring, evaluation, learning and accountability and at least 3 years living overseas.
• Thorough technical knowledge and experience in MEAL.
• Strong network with key institutions and donor agencies active in MEAL
• High degree of competency and comfort with information and communication technology used for MEAL
• Demonstrated experience in knowledge management and transfer: capturing, documenting, and facilitating the use of lessons learned. Experience with developing and managing learning agendas.
• Demonstrated ability to transfer knowledge to diverse audiences through participatory adult training, mentoring, distance education and other formal and non-formal methods.
• Strong group process design and facilitation skills, including developing and leading workshops
• Equally process and results-oriented
• Flexibility and ability to motivate
• Team-oriented and strong interpersonal skills
• Ability to work well in a diverse, multi-cultural team setting
• Ability to work effectively under pressure and to organize and prioritize a variety of initiatives
Physical Requirements/Environment:
Normal conditions for an office environment. This position will require travel of 50-60%
Foreign Language Required: Advanced or native fluency in written and oral English; professional proficiency in French.
This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skills, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position
CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.