Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Director | Dakar, Senegal | 2024

Chemonics seeks a Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Director for the USAID-funded Sahel Regional Resilience Activity (RRA). RRA is designed to provide collaboration, learning, and adapting (CLA) support to a portfolio of resilience activities that will strengthen individual, household, and formal and informal institutions and networks to deliver improved natural resource management and the adoption of sustainable agriculture practices.

The MERL Director may be based in Dakar, Senegal or Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, with frequent travel to implementation countries including Burkina Faso, Chad, and Mauritania. The MERL Director will be a key member of the technical leadership team, making significant contributions to thought leadership and providing strategic oversight of the project’s monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning portfolio. The MERL Director will provide technical oversight, quality assurance, and supervision to the project team’s MERL staff and to subsequent Associate Award MERL staff. This position is responsible for ensuring that the project’s activities effectively contribute to improving learning and data and evidence generation, synthesis, and utilization to strengthen resilience policies and practice. We are looking for individuals who have a passion for making a difference in the lives of people around the world and in the Sahel region in particular.

Responsibilities include:  

  • Provide leadership and oversight of MERL activities including routine process monitoring, data collection, data analysis, data quality, timeliness, and reporting
  • Ensure MERL systems support the Sahel Regional Development Cooperation Strategy, are in line with USAID’s Collaboration, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) principles, and that real-time monitoring and learning is integrated back into strategy and implementation
  • Lead the design and operation of the program’s conflict-sensitive activity monitoring, evaluation, and learning plan (AMELP) to include “alternative”/remote monitoring MERL systems which may be necessary due to the potential shifting environment
  • Ensure standardization of MERL systems across Associate Awards in indicators, data collection, and reporting
  • Oversee the collection of and reporting on program management, output, and outcome indicators
  • Help strengthen capacity of regional and local organizations to conduct their own MERL activities
  • Ensure the creation and dissemination of program learning, products, and results of collaboration that improve implementation approaches with the broader community through strategic communication
  • Lead Pause and Reflect sessions where MERL processes and procedures will be reviewed
  • Performs other duties and responsibilities as required

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in evaluation research, statistics, data analytics, or a related discipline required; master’s degree preferred
  • Minimum eight years of experience designing and implementing MERL strategies with a focus on resilience indicators for large or similar donor-funded programs in developing countries. Experience in conflict zones and the Sahelian context is preferred
  • Prior experience working on USAID projects required. Proven track record of developing and managing USAID-compliant MERL plans and experience with CLA and adaptive learning approaches
  • Technical expertise in program monitoring and evaluation using mixed methods, preferably with experience in developing remote monitoring plans and context monitoring plans and indicators
  • Experience in utilizing digital solutions for data collection and analysis preferred (e.g. phone/video partners meetings, mobile phone surveys/feedback mechanisms, virtual site visits, virtual internal DQA, GIS/remote sensing monitoring, etc.)
  • Experience collaborating with diverse teams across different contexts, time zones, and languages
  • Experience working in a leadership role and engaging with a diverse set of stakeholders
  • Strong communicator, excellent verbal communication and writing skills.
  • Demonstrated leadership, versatility, and integrity
  • Fluency in French required; proficiency in English strongly preferred

Application Instructions:

Please apply using this link by July 15th, 2024. No telephone inquiries, please. Finalists will be contacted.

Chemonics is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in its selection and employment practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factors.

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