Title: Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Director
Reports to: Regional Director
Eligible Locations: Amman, Jordan; Baghdad, Iraq; Erbil, Iraq; or Beirut, Lebanon.
Travel: up to 30%
Eligibility: This is not an expatriate position. Candidates must be legally authorized to live and work in Amman, Jordan; Baghdad, Iraq; Erbil, Iraq; or Beirut, Lebanon without company sponsorship now or in the future.
**this position is cross posted. Please ensure you select the appropriate work location based on your workplace authorization**
The Near East Foundation (NEF) is seeking candidates for a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Director to be based in one of NEFs offices in Amman, Jordan; Baghdad, Iraq; Erbil, Iraq; or Beirut, Lebanon.
NEF is a non-profit international development organization that has supported livelihoods recovery and community-based economic development in the Middle East, Africa, and Caucasus since 1915. NEF draws on local teams, experience, and partnerships in these regions to create community-led solutions to improve livelihoods and local governance among conflict and crisis-affected groups, while maintaining neutrality and ensuring inclusiveness in our approach. Working through a network of country offices and local partners, NEF currently has operations in ten countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Mali, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. Our programs are organized around three pillars: Inclusive Economic Development, Climate-resilient Development, and Stabilization and Peacebuilding.
The MEAL Director is part of the MEAL regional team within the global Program & Impact team. This new position will have a particular focus on 1) accountable and objective monitoring systems and processes, 2) timely and objective feedback and complaints mechanisms, 3) participatory monitoring, and 4) adaptive management contribution and capture. The MEAL Director will contribute to or lead on the upgrade and strengthening of regional MEAL systems and processes, coordination and delivery functions, and quality assurance processes.
Strengthening regional capacity and provision of technical support to NEF country teams to build a robust accountability mechanism within MEAL processes (including downward, upward, and horizontal accountability):
- Review, upgrade, build capacity/systems, and continuously assess and improve feedback mechanisms, complaint and response mechanisms, or other forms of reporting as well as other effective accountability systems that ensure programs are carried out in an ethical, transparent, and participatory manner, with the involvement of stakeholders and the communities we serve.
- Implement accountable and efficient monitoring processes to ensure that activities are implemented in compliant manner and according to plans and to identify areas for improvement.
- Foster a culture of accountability by promoting awareness and understanding of accountability mechanisms among project staff and partners.
- Conduct regular trainings and capacity-building sessions for project staff and partners on effective communication, conflict resolution, and handling complaints.
- Ensure that accountability mechanisms are applied consistently across all projects, countries, and partners, emphasizing adherence to ethical and transparency standards.
- Analyze feedback and data to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement, and share findings with relevant stakeholders to inform decision-making.
- Regularly report on the effectiveness and impact of accountability mechanisms to senior management and program teams, suggesting improvements and corrective actions where necessary.
- Collaborate with program and MEAL teams to design and implement robust activity monitoring tools aimed at ensuring activities are transparently managed and documented, delivered in a fair and equitable manner, and aligned with program objectives and indicators.
- Work closely with the MEAL team to develop and maintain project databases for storing and analyzing monitoring data and ensure its accessibility to relevant stakeholders.
Supporting regional monitoring, evaluation and learning systems and processes:
- Collaborate with the MEAL global leadership and country teams to upgrade and strengthen regional MEAL systems, coordination and support functions, and ensure value for money considerations are considered and monitored.
- Work with MEAL teams to regularly review and update monitoring tools and guidelines to ensure compliance with donor guidelines, best practices and industry standards.
- Provide support on the execution of quality assurance assessments to ensure that data is high quality and collection methods are robust, consistently applied, and in alignment with donor requirements and expectations.
- Identify bottlenecks or areas of inefficiency through monitoring processes.
- Capture appropriate cost and financial information to track money indicators, including benchmarking information to analyse program effectiveness and cost-effective inputs.
- Support and foster a culture of continuous improvement, where data is regularly collected, analysed, and used to inform adaptive management and program evolution.
- Lead on or support the delivery of program-embedded knowledge and action research products.
MEAL broader engagement:
- Participate in the development of project proposals, including log frames, indicators, and MEL plans.
- Support periodic regional or local program portfolio reviews.
- Identify, join and actively participate in relevant communities of practice/ networks; internal or external.
Management and recruitment:
- Functional management of country-based MEL staff, ensuring accountability and segregation of responsibilities, and conducting regular supervision and performance check-ins.
- Support professional development opportunities and help to identify capacity development opportunities for managed staff.
- Participate in the recruitment of local MEL staff.
Key Internal Contacts:
- Country Program: Senior Management Team members, program staff
- Global NEF: Executive Team, Business Development, Finance, Grants and Contracts, Human Resources, Program Quality and Technical Units, Strategy, Communications
Key External Contacts:
- Public and private donor agencies
- Private sector
- International and national NGOs
- UN agencies
- Partner organizations
We encourage all individuals who believe they have the skills necessary to succeed within this position and thrive at NEF to apply for this role, even if you do not meet 100% of the qualifications.
- A university degree in a relevant subject.
- Proven experience devising MEAL platforms or systems.
- Direct professional experience in MEAL in the international development or humanitarian response field.
- Experience with USAID, EU, and BPRM projects among other donors.
- Proven experience designing rigorous methodologies for monitoring, evaluation or impact assessments.
- Proven experience designing qualitative and quantitative data collection tools and survey instruments.
- Working knowledge of database and smartphone-based data collection applications.
- Proven experience in organizational learning and knowledge production.
- Proven experience leading or facilitating trainings, learning events etc. with field teams.
- Demonstrated experience supporting multiple projects simultaneously.
- Advanced Excel skills, including pivot tables and descriptive statistics.
- Applicable knowledge working with statistic software such as SPSS, SAS, STATA.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and the ability to clearly articulate key messages for multiple audiences and stakeholders.
- Demonstrated proficiency with MS Office suite.
- Candidates must be legally authorized to live and work in Amman, Jordan; Baghdad, Iraq; Erbil, Iraq; or Beirut, Lebanon without company sponsorship now or in the future.
Additional Desired Qualifications
- Experience in MEAL programming in fragile settings.
- Experience in third-party MEAL programming.
- Thematic experience in programmatic areas relevant to NEF.
- Experience in MEAL for innovate finance programming.
- Experience and success with proposal development and fundraising for NGOs.
- Previous field experience in one or more countries in an NEF region of interest is a plus. understanding of context and operating environment.
- Arabic language skills are a plus.
- Strong communication skills, with excellent written and spoken English.
- High degree of flexibility and adaptability with a willingness to travel to countries where NEF works.
- Ability to work effectively across a wide variety of cultural contexts.
- Ability to communicate with colleagues and partners at a distance.
- Understanding of effective and values-based partnership work.
- Strong relationship building skills, particularly at a distance; effective team player; able to develop and maintain working relationships within a disperse and dynamic team.
- Creative thinker; display solutions-oriented approaches in an innovative and frequently high-pressure environment.
- Address Erbil or Baghdad
- How to apply NEF will accept a rolling application until the position is filled. Review of application will begin on February 19, 2024. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. To apply: Please apply by submitting the following documents in the English language: Cover letter outlining relevant experience and skills based on the requirements outlined above Curriculum Vitae List of three references (including one from current, or most recent, employer) Please note only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Near East Foundation by visiting the NEF website at www.neareast.org The Near East Foundation promotes Equal Employment Opportunities for all applicants seeking employment and NEF employees. Pre-employment Checks Any Employment with the Near East Foundation will be subject to the following checks prior to start date: A satisfactory Restricted Party Screening. Receipt of satisfactory references. Workplace Verification Check. NEF's strength is its people. Our team is our fuel to achieving the innovation, quality programming, community focus, mutual trust, sustainability, and learning needed to realize our mission. To help our team thrive, we support a working structure that prioritizes flexibility, personal commitments, and staff well-being while promoting a work culture of teamwork, collaboration, respect, integrity, and excellence. As an international organization, we value a truly diverse workforce and prioritize a culture of inclusivity and belonging. We strive to create a high-achieving work environment informed by different cultures, perspectives, and experiences. With a commitment to diversity, equality, equity, and inclusion in all we do, our aim is to ensure that people feel heard, protected, and empowered to contribute to NEF's mission from day one.