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Monitoring, Evaluation , Accountability, Research and Learning (MEARL) Officer 9 views

Background

Terre des Hommes Netherlands (TdH NL) is an international child rights organisation committed to stopping child exploitation.

Our Vision: Terre des Hommes Netherlands works towards a world where all children have a decent life and can grow up to be independent adults. A world in which children are no longer exploited. We will continue our work until this is accomplished.

Our Mission: Terre des Hommes Netherlands prevents child exploitation, removes children from exploitative situations, and ensures these children can develop themselves in a safe environment.

Our vision and mission are inspired and guided by international human rights instruments and standards, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Council of Europe’s Lanzarote Convention, the International Labour Organisation Conventions and aligned with achievement of the SDGs, in particular Goals 5, 8 and 16.

In Africa, Terre des Hommes Netherlands is currently working in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Madagascar and remains committed to working in other geographical locations across Africa where child exploitation issues may arise.

In Kenya, TdH NL programmes are implemented in Central, Rift Valley, Coastal, Western and Northern regions of Kenya where we collaborate with other CSOs and networks in the execution of projects aimed at preventing child exploitation and providing assistance to exploited children and youth.

About Joining Forces for Africa project

The project “Joining Forces for Africa (JOFA) – protection of children during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond” is implemented by Joining Forces Alliance in five countries (Senegal, Mali, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda) for three years (August 2020- July 2023).

In Kenya, the project is implemented in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kibra, Korogocho , and Mathare informal settlement (Nairobi County), Kanduyi and Mt. Elgon Sub Counties (Bungoma County), and Teso North and Matayos sub-counties (Busia County). The project goal is to address the adverse effects that the Covid-19 pandemic could have on children and adolescent’s protection needs, against violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect, among other child protection concerns. This is informed with the understanding that children are the hidden victims, facing threats to their wellbeing and protection as a result of the increased risks of violence and abuse at both household and community levels.

JOFA Project intervention is therefore designed to mitigate and respond to the increased child protection risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, through a coherent set of activities addressing risk factors and enhancing protective factors at each level of the socio-ecological model: individual, familial relationship, community, and society.

The combination of the four outcomes addressing the protective environment around the child will contribute to the overall impact – Children and adolescents experience reduced levels of violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect in the time of COVID-19.

Specific objectives:

  • To strengthen national and local protection and response systems
  • To improve protection in resilient families, communities and institutions in the context of COVID-19 and during the recovery
  • To increase capacity and agency of children to prevent and respond to violence against them during COVID-19 crisis and recovery phase.
  • To increase learning and sharing of knowledge and best practice related to child protection approaches

Objective of the function

The Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability, Research and Learning (MEARL)Officer is expected to support the implementation of the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning system and processes in the JOFA project. She/He will be required to oversee all MEARL activities, standards and requirements within the JOFA project in line with the JOFA global program guidelines and per TdH M&E procedures.

With guidance from the Kenya Country Office(KCO) MEARL Officer and Regional R&PMEAL Coordinator, the incumbent will contribute to the development, and implementation of PMEL policies and systems to ensure quality management of the JOFA project. The post holder will be responsible for data collection, verification, analysis and utilisation with an aim of providing management with relevant and timely information for decision making and programme improvement. He/she will support quality programme design ensuring country plans incorporate key MEARL information for adaptive programming or management. The MEARL Officer will ensure strengthened knowledge management, effective performance management as well as quality and timely reporting as per TdH NL, JOFA and EU guidelines.

Position within the organisation

The MEARL Officer reports to the KCO MEARL Officer, with dotted lines to the Regional R&PMEAL Coordinator and Programme Manager. He/she provides functional M&E guidance and support to the JOFA project team in relation to quality project planning, monitoring, evaluation, research, learning and reporting.

Main duties, responsibilities and Result areas

1. Programme design and planning

  • Provides high quality technical input into inclusive ideation, programme and project development processes, particularly on logic of intervention (Theory of Change, logical frameworks and PMEL plans), with an emphasis on ensuring sound understanding of how changes happen and sound programme logic and objective setting that is informed by contextual information
  • Provides guidance to JOFA project team in ensuring that programme quality is embedded in the project and that TdH NL and JOFA quality standards are met.
  • Guides and supports project team on quality information/data gathering and analysis to facilitate informed and evidence-based programming and reporting
  • Supports the team to monitor MEARL budgets and spending in line with donor requirements.
  • Oversees full adoption of the the robust M&E plan and strategy under the JOFA project
  • Supports the team to translate the project plan into a concrete and achievable work plan for project execution.
  • Ensures project execution based on the work plan drawn up; directs the project team to this end, checks the progress of the project in terms of time, budget and quality
  • Develops and monitors implementation of work plans for the JOFA project
  • Oversees risk mitigation through an up-to-date risk register throughout the project cycle to help in effective management and mitigation of risks

Results: Quality project planning, implementation with sound understanding of how change evolves .

2. Project monitoring, evaluation research and learning

  • Support in the development and/or implementation of a MEARL system and strategy in accordance with TdH NL and JOFA project standards, regulations and instruments – including the definition of specific processes, methodologies and tools– for an optimal accountability process with regard to implemented policies and programs and/or projects.
  • Provide technical advice, training, coaching and support to the JOFA team in various aspects of planning, monitoring and evaluation to ensure overall quality in data collection, data management, and analysis processes.
  • Lead in information and knowledge management to ensure appropriate information/data is collected by project teams and aligned to both JOFA and TdH NL’s strategic objective areas and progress on KPIs (including the indicator tracking table and output tracker as provided for in JOFA), which is needed for an effective M&E system.
  • Promotes the utilisation of the collected data at county and country level in monitoring of strengths, weaknesses and gaps in the implementation of the JOFA project, adaptation of monitoring plans to ensure achievement of envisaged outcomes and strategic use of information for improvement of project impact.
  • Facilitates local analysis and interpretation of PME information as an input to regular narrative reports covering progress of the JOFA project. This includes ensuring regular updates of the project on PRIMAS.
  • Oversees quality assurance of feedback and complaint mechanisms and sharing of accountability findings with programme teams and senior management.
  • Document, package and disseminate the learning agenda as outlined in the JOFA learning agenda document
  • Collaborate with other partner M&E teams to facilitate knowledge sharing and cross learning
  • Preparation of quarterly/annual project progress reports in line with Terre des Hommes Netherlands and JOFA/EU reporting guidelines.
  • Provide regular/routine project implementation updates to KCO management team
  • Monitor meaningful engagement of children in the implementation and management of the project.
  • Oversees continuous assessment of child protection needs and gaps in Kenya in order to ensure that these are appropriately reflected in current and future project implementation strategies and interventions.
  • As and when relevant, coordinates the activities of assigned consultants for specific tasks, such as evaluations, learning agenda, etc.
  • Work closely with the PM, the Senior Communication Advisor at the Regional Office to consolidate, package and disseminate project best practices, success stories, case studies
  • Ensures appropriate reporting, including ensuring monthly and quarterly reports are of high quality, on time, accurate and as per TdH NL´s requirements
  • Has an active contribution to the continuous process of quality improvement for the provision of services in the specific policy area.

Result: PM&E system that supports timely data collection, analysis and dissemination; documents and disseminates learning

3. Strategic research support

  • Supports identification of CE issues in Kenya
  • Guided by the strategic plan, provides support on research, evidence generation and use of research products in lobby and advocacy
  • Supports identification and on-boarding of strategic research partners including academia, research think tanks, policy institutions, research NGOs and other local research partners
  • Contributes to strategic research or learning components with TdH NL Regional Office research and advocacy teams
  • Supports research activities, including advising on methodology, sampling and tool development for relevant research initiatives aligned to TdH NL’s policy and project needs.
  • Contributes to program development by monitoring the changing research, identifying opportunities in line with TdH NL strategy and monitoring international best practices and development trends
  • Monitors and follows up on utilisation of recommendations from researches and surveys including establishing key learning and recommendations to inform future research work.

Result: High quality research in line with the 2021 – 25 strategic plan is generated and informs the strategy phases and actions. Interventions are developed informed by high quality data and evidence.

4. Evidence based Learning and Reflection

  • Supports the programme teams in extracting lessons learnt and good practices, and documenting case studies which demonstrate qualitative and quantitative changes.
  • Analyse and provide monitoring data generated from PMEL systems and used for management purposes in line with appropriate decision making, course adjustments and future designs through reflection and learning forums, events and periodical reviews organised on a regular basis.
  • Supports JOFA project team in documenting and disseminating evidence from the technical approaches, innovations and new research findings in line with TdH NL´s learning framework
  • Documents and packages learning based on the JOFA project learning agenda and evidence from the technical approaches
  • Oversee and provide technical advice in execution of research activities within JOFA project

Results: A system for evidence based learning and reflection is in place and utilised by staff for adaptive management.

5. Maintain relevant partnerships

  • Maintains internal and external contacts associated with the function: research, evidence sharing, knowledge exchange etc .
  • Builds and maintains a network of relevant stakeholders/organisations.
  • Supports information and knowledge transfer to influence relevant practices or policies and provides information and advice to internal and external stakeholders.

Result: Contacts have been maintained in such a way that the organisation is well represented in external MEARL circles.

Knowledge and skills

  • A degree or equivalent in Monitoring and Evaluation, Project Management, Statistics, Demography, or a related field is required. (Masters degree will be an added advantage)
  • At least 4 years practical experience with an INGO/child rights agency in managing data intensive programs and designing, monitoring, and evaluation methodologies.
  • Knowledge of designing and managing MEARL systems for effective generation of monitoring data used in tracking programme and improved service delivery and inform adaptive management
  • Experience in designing and guiding research, project evaluations and evidence based advocacy with ability to translate knowledge into practice is desirable.
  • Good understanding of implementing results based monitoring, evaluation and learning systems, results frameworks and theory of change methodology.
  • Skills in developing, implementing and evaluating policies.
  • Experience in designing MEARL methodologies and tools, and the ability to coach and train others in their use is desirable.
  • Experience with qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods, including tracking outcome indicators, is desirable.
  • Ability to work with interdisciplinary teams and a wide range of program/project activities
  • Proven conceptual and analytical skills, ability to take an evidence-based approach to programming.

Competence profile

A. Analytical capacity

Understanding the essence of complex issues by logical reasoning, investigation of potential causes, separation of key messages from the mass of detail and acknowledgement of their interdependence.

– Supports and involves others in the immediate vicinity in issue analysis while demonstrating exemplary behaviour.

B. Driving for quality

Setting stringent requirements for the quality of your own or other people’s work; striving for continuous improvement.

Sets high standards for the quality of work within the organisational entity and encourages continuous quality improvement.

C. The power of persuasion

Expressing opinions convincingly, demonstrating interaction and debating effectively, thereby generating acceptance of viewpoints and ideas.

Defends and argues points of view with tact and in a clear and convincing manner while taking another opinion into account.

D. Networking

Builds relationships and networks that are helpful when realising objectives and utilises informal networks to get things done.

Actively builds relationships and maintains contacts related to the achievement of personal objectives.

How to apply

Please send your motivation letter and curriculum vitae (indicating your expected remuneration) by e-mail to: recruitment.africa@tdh.nl clearly demonstrating how you meet the qualifications for this position, no later than by Wednesday, 27th July, 2022 1700hrs (EAT). The application email subject should be: MEARL Officer, JOFA Project- Kenya. For more information about this position, you can contact us through the same email address.

Note that due to the expected large response, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

The selection procedure will also include an assessment test, and checking of recent professional references.

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