Senior MEAL Officer – FASTER Project at Catholic Relief Services May, 2020 96 views

Catholic Relief Services – Zambia Country Program

About CRS

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) 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 part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and commitment to serving those in need.

The CRS Zambia program office opened in September 1999, following an extensive and participatory assessment in collaboration with the Zambian Catholic Commission for Development (CCD). Programming has transitioned from its early stages augmenting CRS private resources with outside public funding. Opportunities abound in Zambia for quality programming that meets the needs of the poorest in a country where the vast majority (80%) lives below the poverty line and approximately 14% are HIV positive. The overall programming focus of CRS Zambia is HIV and Food Security.

Background

Through the Faith-Based Action for Scaling up Testing and Treatment for the Epidemic Response (FASTER) project, CRS plans to catalyze a game-changing enabling environment and create operational guidance, tools, training, and practical evidence that will allow provinces, districts and sites with high unmet need to address key gaps in the child and adolescent HIV treatment cascade. FASTER is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to accelerate pediatric ART in four African countries. To accelerate efforts to end pediatric HIV in Zambia, CRS will address structural and policy barriers, innovate, and facilitate scale-up of what works. FASTER will work with the Ministry of Health (MOH), national technical working groups, and other pediatric implementers nationwide.

Position Summary

Based in Lusaka, the Senior MEAL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning) Officer provides overall guidance and implementation of MEAL requirements for the FASTER project, ensuring compliance to the Country Office MEAL Policies and Procedures and industry best practices. S/he will oversee the management of MEAL in an integrated multi-sectoral project working in close collaboration with local implementing partners and donor/technical partner. S/he will work closely with program staff to ensure that the project has user-friendly and robust MEAL systems that promote efficient capturing and management of high-quality data related to project activities and outcomes and provide timely and relevant information for reporting to donors, managing for results internally, learning, showcasing impact and meeting the needs of other stakeholders. The Senior MEAL Officer will assist in change management and encourage partners to document their success stories.

Key Responsibilities

  • Oversees the implementation of a robust MEAL system that systematically and efficiently collects, analyses and reports on project results that meet CRS and donor MEAL requirements
  • Follow recommended CRS MEAL methodologies including SMILER (Simple Measurement of Indicators for Learning and Evidence-Based Reporting) to draft a MEAL plan that captures all donor-mandated and performance indicators with clear channels of communication
  • Oversees the collection, management, aggregation, reporting of quality data and sharing of information and knowledge with key stakeholders and beneficiaries throughout the life of the project
  • Plan and conduct regular field monitoring visits to assess project implementation status as guided by the MEAL plan, highlighting project anomalies to the Project Director for corrective action and decision making
  • Conduct evaluations as required, which may involve coordination with external evaluators as needed
  • Participate in periodical data quality audits at all levels of the data flow
  • Plan and monitor MEAL activity expenditures in the project budget
  • Coordinate the timely analysis of qualitative and quantitative performance data and support report writing as required
  • Ensure deliverables are accurate, complete, and submitted to the donor in a timely manner
  • Facilitate review of progress on a quarterly basis, supporting problem solving processes and development of remedial actions ensuring any disparity between planned and actual outputs are addressed
  • Build capacity of FASTER project staff in MEAL, conducting technical trainings/presentations and encouraging co-development of monitoring tools to ensure ownership of processes and understanding of MEAL system, indicators and tracking tools
  • Work with internal and external teams in the design and implementation of surveys, assessments, studies, and evaluations
  • Meet with field staff frequently to jointly analyze and reflect on project monitoring data in order to produce action items with assigned responsibilities
  • Conduct regular visits to project sites with partners to provide relevant, clear, high-quality, and timely onsite technical support and mentoring
  • Perform periodic data quality audits to ensure that partners are capturing and recording data correctly and in line with donor requirements and CRS standards.
  • Organize and facilitate learning meetings to review yearly targets and benchmarks and to promote learning
  • Foster active knowledge management and organizational learning based on MEAL findings
  • Coordinate with CRS program staff, MEAL staff and local partner organizations to produce human interest stories, articles, working papers, lessons learned, and other publications for internal and external circulation
  • Perform any other function assigned to him/her by the Program Manager

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Statistics, Operations Research or Degree in Social Sciences and a diploma in M&E
  • Three-five (3-5) years’ relevant experience in a position with similar responsibilities, preferably with an international NGO, Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and related implementing agencies active in Zambia, particularly at the level of field operations
  • Experience in collaborating, learning, adapting (CLA) or other continuous learning approaches desired
  • Experience of building and/or maintaining databases and undertaking regular data quality checks.
  • Understanding of ethical standards when managing data related to vulnerable children
  • Experience engaging with partner organizations.
  • Experience in working with international donor funded projects and /or international donor agencies in grant management
  • Knowledge of budgeting planning and preparations
  • Knowledge of USG donor funding regulations and reporting standards. Knowledge of PEPFAR/OGAC indicators and reporting a plus
  • Knowledge of ICT for Development (ICT4D)
  • Excellent verbal and written English skills, including ability to synthesize data into narrative reports
  • Experience using MS Windows and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information management systems, statistical software and data analysis packages and ability to learn new platforms as required

Personal Skills

  • Analytical and organizational skills
  • Ability to make sound judgment
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Ethical conduct in accordance with recognized professional and organisational codes of ethics
  • Proactive, resourceful and results-oriented
  • Communication (oral and written) skills
  • Relationship management skills

Travel Required: 50%

Key Working Relationships

Supervisory: MEAL Officer

Internal: MEAL Coordinator, FASTER Project Director, FASTER Project Officers, Head of Programs, CRS Zambia MEAL Working Group, Regional and HQ MEAL Manager and technical advisors

External: Partner project managers, Partner field officers, partner M&E officers 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.

  • Trusting Relationships
  • Professional Growth
  • Partnership
  • Accountability

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

Disclaimer:

This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.

Note: By applying to this job, I understand and acknowledge that CRS requires its staff to treat all people with dignity and respect and to actively prevent harassment, abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking. Further, I understand that if I am a successful candidate, I will be subject to a comprehensive background check, and my personal/professional references will be asked to evaluate my behaviors related to the above safeguarding-related topics.

Applicants Instructions:

Please email a cover letter, and curriculum vitae which should include three references to: [email protected]

 

The closing date for applications is 31st May 2020. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Only candidates can apply for this job.

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