The Senior MEAL Officer will build field level internal MEAL capacity by: (a) supporting our partners to strengthen their MEAL capacity; (b) securing adequate technology to effectively capture and communicate evidence of impact; and (c) Ensuring that the donor’s MEAL programmatic compliance issues are adequately met and are operating in line with the Organizational MEAL minimum standards, and positively contributing to the organizational-wide MEAL strategy and learning ambitions. This position will contribute towards strengthening Action Against Hunger Uganda’s brand and thought leadership through effective networking with donors, peer-organizations, government, civil society, and the private sector – as well as – publication of our results to influence donor investment decisions and innovative programming within the industry.
Key Duties & Responsibilities
Objective 1: Set up and implement a robust MEAL System.
• Contextualizes MEAL standards and builds an integrated system that enables us to efficiently monitor the progress and outcomes of all Action Against Hunger supported projects at the field office level.
Works with sector technical specialists to standardize output, outcome, context and learning indicators across all programs and sectors.
• Leads the process of developing/adapting and digitalizing data collection tools which are used by our staff and partners to continuously monitor program implementation and impact.
• Builds the capacity of staff and partners to “own and execute” monitoring of their projects.
• Develops/adapts and digitalizes reporting tools which enable us to effectively report progress and impact to donors, government and other stakeholders.
Develops and implements a robust quality assurance framework (including routine data quality assessments) which preserves the integrity of our program operations and impact.
• Act as a donor focal point for MEAL components of Programmes/Projects at the field office.
Objective 2: Coordinate Research and Evaluative efforts (Including baselines, Midterm Reviews, End-lines, Post distribution monitoring, Market surveys etc.)
• Lead and contribute (as appropriate) to analysis, evaluation, and research for data-driven evidence generation and use in the area of responsibility.
• Develops an informative Research Plan and coordinate all baselines and evaluations (including drafting terms of reference; recruiting suitable consultants who will deliver high-quality MEAL services on our behalf that represent good value for money, and managing consultancies which support evaluations).
• Ensure research findings are validated and disseminated to stakeholders and management response and action plans generated to inform and guide project implementation (Including ensuring that evaluation findings are applied to strengthen project designs and outcome benchmarks and targets).
Maintains partnerships with academic institutions and reputable journals and ensures that key evaluation findings are published to strengthen our thought leadership.
• Support utilization of results for better planning and decision making; translate MEAL findings into organizational learning; plan and implement learning events/workshops and design appropriate learning products.
Objective 3: Contributes toward fundraising efforts.
• Conducts context analyses which form the basis for designing new programs
• Contributes towards developing solicited and unsolicited project concept papers and proposals.
• Ensure resources for MEAL are appropriately budgeted in proposals at the field office, including by providing guidance on minimum staffing and resources required for the implementation of high-quality MEAL activities.
• Ensures that all program designs include robust MEAL plans and budgets
• Promotes digitalization of program MEAL processes
• Develops and operationalizes “essential tracking tools” to enable effective tracking of contractual obligations and deliverables across all programs.
• Leads the process of ongoing context analysis and uses the information generated therefrom to improve the quality of program designs, implementation and M&E.
• Continuously analyzes information which is generated by the MEAL system and uses different innovative products and platforms to effectively communicate evidence of impact.
Objective 4: Establish an accountability system (feedback and complaints handling mechanism).
• Identify, plan for, implement, and strengthen different mechanisms for community engagement and feedback in monitoring, evaluation, accountability, and learning.
• Coordinate the design and implementation of accountability systems for Action Against Hunger projects working closely with the program team and technical specialist.
• Build the capacity of Action Against Hunger field office staff and Implementing Partners’ staff to plan and implement effective accountability systems for the existing programs and projects.
• Design and develop core processes and standard operating procedures for the feedback, reporting, and complaints mechanism.
• Act as the organizational focal point on Core Humanitarian Standards, ensuring local compliance and reviews across all standards.
• Ensure complaints are correctly and timely entered into the CRM Database and beneficiaries are communicated on the status of their complaints/feedback. Ensure verification of complaints registered & timely resolution of the complaints & closure of the feedback loop.
• Plan and conduct quarterly accountability surveys for complaints satisfaction assessment.
• Develop accountability framework with clearly defined CRM indicators and ensure they are routinely updated on monthly basis.
Objective 5: Results Monitoring and Program Quality Support
• Support the creation of the project, program, and country-based log frames and M&E plans, ensuring that indicators are SMART.
• Collate all project indicators and support Program Managers to use pre-agreed indicators for core areas of work.
• Review, improve, finalize, and roll out data collection tools, such as surveys and questionnaires, and methods developed by the MEAL Team.
• Oversee and participate in quantitative and qualitative data collection activities and analysis (e.g. key informant interviews, focus group discussions, and human-interest stories).
• Guide the regular sharing of the outputs and the M&E findings with Action Against Hunger staff and Implementing Partners.
• Provide suggestions for information management solutions, including design, key features, user interfaces, automatic analysis, data mining, and automated reports.
• Contribute to project kick-off, review, and close-out meetings to present on achievements and highlight cross-project components aimed at replicating good practices and strengthening synergies between projects or programs.
• In cooperation with the Head of MEAL, provide capacity building to MEAL and non-MEAL staff of both Action Against Hunger and Implementing Partners in key areas of project planning, monitoring, evaluation, accountability, qualitative and quantitative research techniques, and analysis, including advising on and/or contributing to data collection processes, analysis, and report writing.
• Plans and effectively manages M&E Interventions and budget, and ensure timely implementation through the development of an integrated field level MEAL work plan and effective resource management.
• Maintain a centralized data management system that enhances real time accurate data capturing of all projects as well as easy retrieval, extraction and analysis for project teams and Senior Leadership Team.
• In cooperation with the Head of MEAL, ensure processes and protocols for data protection, storage, sharing, and security in the area of responsibility are established, maintained, and followed.
Objective 6: External Reporting and Representation
• Ensure external accountability to donors through the implementation of timely and quality MEAL activities leading to timely and accurate reporting.
• Ensure that high quality analysis reports to illustrate Relief International’s impact and assessment findings are produced, including evidence of good practice and replicable programs, and that they are communicated at appropriate events.
• Ensure that Action Against Hunger International is represented at relevant Donor, inter-NGO, and government level meetings at the field level (related to MEAL) to enhance inter-agencies best practices sharing and learning.
• Maintain close engagement with Head of MEAL, and contribute to global Action Against Hunger MEAL projects.
• MUST have Masters’ degree in Monitoring and Evaluation, Statistics, Mathematics, Quantitative Economics, Business Statistics or any development field.
• At least 6-7 years’ management and/or field level MEAL leadership experience in a both emergency and development contexts, preferably with solid experience in more than one of the Action Against Hunger priority sectors: Food security, livelihood & Resilience; Health and Nutrition, WASH and Advocacy.
• Solid experience in setting up MEAL systems (including design, digitalization and operationalization).
• Experience conducting project evaluations, including using different survey methodologies such as cluster sampling and LQAS.
• Strong results orientation, with the ability to challenge existing mind-sets.
• Extensive understanding of MEAL standards used by key donors (i.e., USAID, SIDA, DFID, WFP, EU, UN, etc.)
• Ability to present complex information in a succinct and compelling manner
• Ability and willingness to dramatically change work practices and hours, and work with incoming surge teams, in the event of emergencies
• Excellent analytical, team management and communication skills
• Excellent knowledge of digital data collection and accountability systems.
• Excellent advanced quantitative and qualitative data analysis skills using SPSS and/or Stata as well as Nvivo/Atlas.ti software, coupled with knowledge of mobile data collection tools such as Kobo Collect, ODK, CommCare, ONA HMIS etc.
Commitment to Action Against Hunger values.
Closing Date : 5th May, 2023