Iraq: MEL Manager – Data and Information Management – Iraq

Organization: Mercy Corps
Country: Iraq
Closing date: 20 Nov 2016

Mercy Corps works in places of transition, where conflict, disaster, political upheaval, or economic collapse present opportunities to build more secure, productive, and just communities. Providing emergency relief in times of crisis, we move quickly to help communities recover and build resilience to future shocks, and promote sustainable change by supporting community-led and market-driven initiatives. Recognizing both the great potential and the complex challenges faced by the Middle East, since 1989 Mercy Corps has been implementing a range of humanitarian assistance and development programs tailored to the specific needs of the region and of those communities where we work.
Mercy Corps has worked across Iraq’s 18 governorates since 2003, implementing relief and development programming, more than a third of which has focused on the specific needs of refugees and displaced persons. Mercy Corps Iraq current goal is to work with new and existing civil society, public and private sector partners to meet immediate and long-term needs by strengthening communities’ ability to rebuild amidst increasing crisis. Mercy Corps Iraq focuses on (1) a relief-to-resilience pathway to meet the needs of conflict-affected communities leveraging agency expertise in conflict management and civil society development (2) a humanitarian response that empowers conflict-affected populations to meet their own needs (3) partnering with conflict-affected adolescents to address their diverse needs, promoting leadership and linkages with civil society.

The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager for Information and Data Management is an important position in the Mercy Corps Iraq Program Performance team, which provides technical leadership to advance Mercy Corps’ principles, policies and best practices in program development, program management, and monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL), through the provision of guidance, tools, resources, capacity building and technology. This position serves as a bridge between country-level MEL staff and portfolio and programmatic MEL teams. S/he will lead the development and oversight of all data and information management systems across all programmatic sectors. The development and set up of the data management structure and necessary database(s), support clear and efficient data flow, and strengthening mobile data collection processes will take up the majority of this person’s time for at least the first 6 months. The MEL manager will ensure an effective and smooth transition to more effective data management thus freeing up time and resources to focus on data analysis.
S/he will be responsible for cross-cutting programmatic information management, monitoring and evaluation, ensuring that information collected is analyzed, reflected upon, used to improve ongoing programs, and is incorporated into consistently high quality reports and proposal development. In coordination with sector managers and team members, s/he will be responsible for developing, coordinating, maintaining and constantly improving the nation-wide MEL system, as well as implementing an internal M&E and ICT capacity building strategy that trains and mentors MEL staff and promotes a culture of learning through effective data management and utilization.

Technical Leadership
• Provide leadership and training in the development of information management systems, M&E tools, survey design, methodology, data analysis, and other services as may be required for program monitoring and evaluation.
• Assist in the recruitment of competent M&E program staff and organize the program teams to perform M&E activities. Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain an excellent M&E system, including the reflection on and analysis of program monitoring data.
• Provide guidance, recommendations, supervision, and leadership to ensure that the MEL data systems meet the needs of programs, managers, and senior leadership.
• Address shortfalls in monitoring, evaluation and information management that affect program implementation.
• Ensure programs use the necessary M&E systems and tools to inform and improve each individual program, as well as feed into a broader country-level data management system and country strategy.
• Coordinate with Mercy Corps’ HQ-based Program Performance team and HQ and regional Technical Support Unit (TSU) to guide process of ex-ante, ex-post and midterm evaluation, from the design, implementation and documentation phases.
Management of Data and Information Systems
• Develop, implement, and manage a comprehensive information management system to more accurately collect, monitor, and verify program activities.
• Work with the MEL and program teams to identify data collection needs including analysis plans.
• Manage all data collection, including setting up dashboards and prepping data for analysis. Conduct comprehensive data analysis, including using data visualization techniques and statistical analysis software as needed.
• Provide guidance, recommendations, and leadership on data management and analysis to ensure data use and learning and integral to M&E systems and meet the needs of Programs Managers and Country Leadership
• Review project/program reports to ensure that reports contain accurate, clear, and high-quality data.
• Refine program and operational reporting templates to facilitate the acquisition, aggregation and flow of information in programs.
• Develop database(s) as part of the information management system that meet the data management and analysis needs for each sector while meeting data security standards

Team Management
• Oversee data officers. Provide guidance and training regarding all data and infomormation management systems.
• Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain an excellent M&E system, and promote a culture of learning through systematic analysis of program data.
• Strengthen the knowledge management repository with best practices in M&E and ICT and ensure that it is accessible to all staff and partners.
• Promote accountability, communicate expectations, and provide constructive feedback via regular performance reviews. Supervise, hire and orient new team members as necessary.
• Work closely with Program Managers, Human Resources and Finance to ensure that M&E skills are incorporated into all program position descriptions and positions are budgeted for.
• Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

Internal and External Coordination
• Strengthen linkages with other internal resources, including the Digital Library, Hub, Connect, and Slack to enhance organizational learning where relevant to Program Performance.
• Provide support to and coordinate between all offices and programs in all aspects of Program Performance and data management in country.
• Participate in M&E-related working groups and maintain close working relationships with MEL counterparts in other relevant international NGOs, and local NGOs and associations in Iraq.

Accountability to Beneficiaries: Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Organizational Learning: As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve – we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

REPORTS DIRECTLY TO: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Director
WORKS DIRECTLY WITH: Program Sector Managers, Program Managers, MEL Managers, Reporting & Communications Officers, Finance, and Operations teams. Coordinates with HQ Program Performance team and the Technical Support Unit.

• BA/S or equivalent in IT or Information Management or a related field required; coursework in data management and statistical analysis.
• 3 – 5 years of active database and information management work experience in development programming required; ideal candidate will have both theoretical and practical background in M&E and skilled in qualitative and quantitative data analysis of projects in environments with limited to no access.
• Background in data management and information systems and digital data collection required.
• Strong background in database development for international development programs.
• Excellent computer skills, including expertise in: Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, SPSS, Access, mySQL, STATA and any other statistical packages, ARCGIS or other mapping software.
• Previous experience living and working in challenging or insecure environments.
• Proven ability to work productively with a variety of stakeholders to run participatory processes and meet tight deadlines with an emphasis on producing quality products.
• Experience with a range of institutional donors such as ECHO, GAC, USAID/OFDA, DRL, UNICEF, UNHCR, and DFID.
• Experience representing the organization and its interests to a diverse range of local and international government officials, local civil society organizations, other international organizations, the media and the public – preferred.
• Commitment to local capacity building and the ability to engage local stakeholders in the project design and implementation.
• Fluency in spoken and written English. Arabic or Kurdish skills are beneficial.

The successful candidate will have an ability to interact effectively with international and national personnel both in a technical advisory and training capacity and will also have an ability to support programmatic objectives with timely and meaningful information. A data-focused (data-savvy) perspective is crucial to success and the ideal candidate should have excellent organizational skills and pay impeccable attention to detail. A demonstrated ability to multi-task, meet deadlines, and process information in support of changing program activities is essential, as is a extremely high professional standard of M&E and reporting and a willingness and ability to ensure compliance with Mercy Corps and donor policies and procedures. The candidate must be willing to travel regularly to Mercy Corps project sites to provide oversight and guidance as needed.

This position is based in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq and is unaccompanied. This location is eligible for hardship allowance and R&R breaks. Travel within Iraq is required to support Mercy Corps Iraq’s offices and programs. This will include the Iraqi Kurdish Region, Center and South Iraq. Living conditions are in group housing: water, electricity and internet are present with some cuts.

Mercy Corps Team members represent the agency both during and outside of work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps’ policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.


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