Job Title: MEAL Program Manager
Department/Location: Pogramming / Islamabad
Reports To: Head of Programs
CRS Pakistan started its operations in 1954 and currently works in the areas of education, HIV/AIDS, drought mitigation, water and sanitation, livelihoods, legal assistance to refugees. Alongside this, CRS continues to work in the areas of emergency response, disaster preparedness and mitigation. CRS currently has offices in Quetta, Sukkur, and Besham in addition to the main office in Islamabad.
From Quetta, CRS responds to the needs of Afghan refugees, asylum seekers and victims of recent floods and earthquakes. From Sukkur, CRS implements emergency recovery activities in response to the 2010, 2012, and 2013 floods in Jacobabad and Kashmore Districts through WASH, livelihoods, and shelter activities. The Besham office implements an integrated education program alongside emergency relief efforts in response to the 2010 floods. The Islamabad office supports all of these programs as well as implementing a drought mitigation and disaster risk reduction program in southern Sindh and Balochistan, and a Global Fund HIV/AIDS program.
The Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Program Manager position will work across all programs to support high quality monitoring and accountability practices, and to ensure that learning is incorporated at all stages of the program cycle. The Program Manager will coordinate with other CRS offices to ensure the roll out of Program Quality (PQ) initiatives, and significant support to new program development (including writing).
The purpose of this position is to manage, strengthen, and provide strategic direction to the Pakistan MEAL system, ensuring cross-learning in MEAL among projects and offices, and to build capacity of MEAL staff. The MEAL Manager will be responsible for supervising MEAL activities, particularly during times of emergency, and assessments required for proposal development. The MEAL Program Manager will work closely with CRS program team and partner staff to develop high quality monitoring systems and tools which address indicators set out in project proposals. He/she will ensure that learning from projects is systematically captured and used throughout the country program. He/she will also take learning needs into account, and develop and conduct capacity building for MEAL and program staff, with support of the HoP and the RTA for M&E.
The MEAL Manager is expected to have a high level of self-initiative and use critical thinking skills to identify and fill gaps. The MEAL Manager will also work closely with the Head of Programs (HoP) to ensure that the Pakistan program complies with the agency’s regional and global MEAL systems and standards. The ability to effectively manage a team, work sensitively and positively with programming teams, and promote a learning environment is essential to the success of the post. The MEAL Manager must be comfortable working in field-based settings, and working with beneficiaries as well as MEAL teams.
- A. MEAL Strategy and Design (30%)
- Ensure that the Pakistan Country Program MEAL systems are in compliance with CRS’ global and regional policies, procedures, standards, and strategic initiatives;
- Provide strategic direction for the utilization of MEAL teams, the development and maintenance of MEAL systems, and the roll-out of new initiatives;
- Support Program Managers and MEAL team members in the design and implementation of assessments, gender analysis, stakeholder analysis, organizational capacity assessments, and other pre-program data collection and analysis.
- Provide strategic high level feedback, analysis and interpretation throughout the proposal development process;
- Develop and review Results Frameworks, ProFrames, M&E Plans, and Analysis Plans;
- Ensure the consistency of tools and indicators across all offices, sectors, and programs as appropriate, maintaining a bank of key program indicators;
- Support programming staff to incorporate participatory methods into community level M&E systems and tools;
- Collect and analyze lessons learned and best practices from previous and ongoing programs capturing the impact of activities, and ensure that these are incorporated into the design of new projects;
- Leverage lessons learned, best practices, program data, evaluations, and other information to generate donor communication pieces, proposal annexes, success stories, case studies, and other high-quality, results-based documentation;
- Ensure that all programs comply with the CRS accountability framework;
- Work with senior management to identify and pursue strategic opportunities for impact and sustainability evaluations.
- B. MEAL Implementation (30%)
- Lead emergency real-time evaluations, internal end-of-project evaluations, needs assessments, baselines, impact studies, case studies, and other evaluation efforts;
- Lead project monitoring initiatives including tool design, data collection, and analysis;
- Contribute to donor proposals and reports, through high quality analysis reports and interpretation of data;
- Support the MEAL team in strategically preparing and reviewing MEAL calendars;
- Develop MEAL binders or operation manuals to ensure that they are complete, up-to-date, high quality, and contain tools, data flow maps, and analysis plans that address all information needed for good program quality and donor reporting;
- Lead learning-to-action events and reflection sessions to systematically analyze data for programmatic use, and to document and incorporate lessons learned into program design and implementation;
- Ensure that MEAL and program teams regularly review and accordingly adjust MEAL plans and tools in the light of changes and needs in the field context based on monitoring data and reflection sessions;
- Ensure that transparent high quality accountability mechanisms are in place for all programs and are regularly monitored and evaluated;
- Ensure that beneficiary feedback is adequately captured, addressed, analyzed, and utilized by program teams.
- Lead the design and implementation of end-of-project impact evaluations;
- Lead CRS teams in conducting internal impact and sustainability evaluations, and supporting external impact and sustainability evaluations.
C. Capacity-Strengthening (25%)
- Lead the CRS Pakistan MEAL Community of Practice to share learning, resources, and support across offices;
- Develop and co-facilitate MEAL workshops and modules for staff and partners to share country program, regional, and global MEAL tools, processes, and best practices to cultivate a culture of learning;
- Conduct orientations for new MEAL and program staff on CRS systems and key MEAL resources;
- Provide mentoring/accompaniment to CRS and partner staff to increase capacity and to achieve annual performance and development plans;
- Remain updated with developments among the CRS MEAL community and worldwide MEAL trends and resources, and ensure that the Pakistan MEAL team is applying CRS MEAL guidance and policies appropriately and in a timely manner;
- Conduct field monitoring visits events frequently with project teams and implementing partners;
- Provide feedback to senior project and MEAL staff to improve the overall MEAL system and ensure quality implementation of MEAL activities.
- D. Information and Communications Technology for MEAL (10%)
- Support MEAL and program teams in effectively using SharePoint for knowledge management and communication;
- Work with MEAL and IT staff to ensure a database system exists for the entry, storage, and analysis of all data. The system should allow for field-based entry and beneficiary tracking to prevent activity duplication and accurately report beneficiary numbers. Additionally, the database should allow for easy aggregation across projects, or disaggregation by demographic characteristics such as gender;
- Support programming teams to develop strong project tracking, record keeping and filing methodologies for all activities;
- Work with MEAL and IT staff to maximize the value and utility of ICT4MEAL initiatives including the use of iFormBuilder in the Sukkur Office, or the roll out of similar initiatives to other offices;
- Document best practices and lessons learned in the use of new and existing technology.
As CRS/Pakistan responds to disaster situations, staff may be called upon to support emergency operations. Willingness and flexibility to perform tasks other than described in this job description and work longer hours than normal as necessary to complete critical tasks is required.
Key Working Relationships:
Internal: Head of Programs, Sukkur MEAL Program Manager, MEAL Officers, Heads of Office, Program Managers, Program Quality Manager, Program field staff.
External: Local partner staff, community members, government, NGOs, donors, Regional Technical Advisor for MEAL, and CRS MEAL community.
- Master’s Degree in Economics / Development Studies / Statistics, or related field;
- Minimum 3-5 years of managerial experience with an NGO, including significant experience in MEAL. Experience with an INGO is preferred;
- Excellent written and oral English and Urdu– demonstrable experience in writing proposals and reports in English is required;
- Strong understanding of the principles, methods, theory, and terminology of MEAL in the INGO and international development setting;
- Strong analytical skills;
- Excellent data management and analysis skills with experience using Microsoft Excel, Access, SPSS, STATA, SAS, R, etc.
- Demonstrated experience and a high level of comfort developing qualitative and quantitative data collection tools;
- Demonstrated experience and a high level of comfort analyzing qualitative and quantitative data;
- Experience with facilitation, capacity strengthening and partnership building, with the capacity to empower staff through opportunities for growth, development and delegation of appropriate authority and responsibility;
- Excellent planning and organization skills and experience with information management systems;
- Supervisory experience and management and team building skills, especially in a multicultural setting;
- Preference for computer programming, database development, ICT4D or ICT4MEAL experience.
- Excellent inter-personal skills; demonstrating diplomacy and tact;
- Values differences and recognizes exemplary performance;
- Values learning and takes a strong interest in new developments in the field of MEAL;
- Ability to provide opportunities for continuous learning;
- Ability to motivate individual, team and department performance, and take necessary actions to improve;
- Proactive and self-motivated approach to work, with an enthusiasm for learning and openness to adapting;
- Willingness to spend 50-60% of time in the field in remote parts of Pakistan;
- Physically fit, able to go to remote villages for more than 4 hours.
Note: List of responsibilities, professional and personal skills are considered indicative and not exhaustive; actual duties may differ or change depending on office and agency priorities at the time.