MEAL Coordinator- Lego Playful Futures Project

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Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.

We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected.

Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.

We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.

We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 80 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.

ROLE PROFILE

Project name LEGO Playful Futures
Title MERL Coordinator
Functional Area Programmes
Reports to Project Director/MER Manager at Country Office
Location Kampala – Country Office Travel required to all project areas  
Contract duration 1 year 2021  
Effective Date May 2021 Grade  

about plan international uganda and the project

Plan International is an independent child rights and humanitarian organisation committed to children living a life free of poverty, violence and injustice. We actively unite children, communities and other people who share our mission to make positive lasting changes in children’s and young people’s lives. We support children to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to claim their rights to a fulfilling life, today and in the future. We place a specific focus on girls and women, who are most often left behind. We have been building powerful partnerships for children for more than 75 years and are now active in more than 70 countries.

Plan International Uganda is looking for a dynamic and motivated candidate for a position of Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Coordinator for its Playful Futures Project implemented in Kamuli, Buyende, Tororo, Lira, Alebtong, and Nebbi . The project is funded by the LEGO Foundation as part of their Play Our Part Community of Practice (POP COP). The other implementing members of the POP COP are VVOB and VSO, with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) acting as a Design and Learning Partner.

MERL Coordinator will lead the research, monitoring, evaluation, documentation and learning components of the project. The person will build capacity of Plan International staff in documenting replicable models that enhance learning. She/he will lead the development of the project M&E tools and MEL plan, checklists including supporting the project team to produce quality reports. S/he will take lead in documentation of project progress and change realized through routine monitoring, collection of most significant change stories on project implementation following established guidelines, as well as ensuring quality assurance of project data. The person will also work with consultants and external partners as well as members of the POP COP to deliver on the project’s stated ambition to measure and document impact through a rigorous impact evaluation.

The MERL Coordinator will ensure that effective Performance monitoring and evaluation plans are in place, implemented as intended, and reporting in a comprehensive and timely manner to facilitate project team deliver the project and achieve the desired objectives.

Accountabilities/roles and responsibilities

Technical MEL guidance

  • Design, Update (review) and Implement project monitoring tools as per project MEL plan and ensure use of appropriate tools in collection, compilation, analysis and utilization within the consortium to ensure consistency
  • Support the development and rollout of project targets and standards to ensure delivery of quality outputs.
  • Provide technical guidance on the utilisation and maintenance of the project M&E database.
  • Ensure the MERL framework is able to support the project’s approach to iterative learning and human-centred design.

Project planning and Implementation

  • Support Playful Futures Project Team to develop MEL section of project outlines (POs).
  • Support project team and partners to develop Detailed Implementation Plans in line with the proposal.
  • Consolidate, track and share on a quarterly basis the Project’s Detailed Implementation Plan to ensure timely implementation of project activities.
  • Support the project team to ensure that both the project targets and implementations factor in inclusiveness particularly for Children with special needs.
  • Further develop the project’s approach to iterative learning loops together with the rest of the project team.
  • Work with external consultants and/or partners to drive forward a rigorous impact evaluation of the project.

Project M&E, documentation, reporting and learning

  • Conduct monthly field support visits to project Intervention districts.
  • Support project team with documentation of project activities through consolidation of monthly monitoring reports.
  • Consolidate, track and share on a monthly basis action points agreed upon in all project meetings including review meetings.
  • Regularly track project progress and update the project logs in the online system to enhance efficient and effective implementation.
  • Quarterly consolidate, follow up and document best practices, case studies, lessons learnt, Most Significant Change Stories and reflection of the project to provide evidence on project impact including inclusiveness.
  • Together with the Project Director, review all project write ups and partners’ quarterly and annual progress report to ensure compliance to Results Framework and donor reporting requirements.
  • Monitor and consolidate project implementation findings against approved work plans and budgets to ensure timely and quality implementation as per contractual obligation.
  • Provide strategic leadership in the project’s research, project evaluations, organisational learning and documentation initiatives within the project.
  • Maintain and update project M&E database to ensure timely and quality data for evidence-based decision making and learning.
  • Work with Human-centered Design and Innovation persons to ensure alignment between MERL activities and Human-centered Design activities, including research, and analysis.
  • Plan, facilitate and conduct M&E capacity building activities for the project team and partners to enhance quality reporting and data management.
  • Collaborate and share learning with MERL persons from the broader POP COP

Plan system support to ensure compliance

  • Ensure Plan International and donor standards such as safeguarding children and young peoples’ policy, research protocols, knowledge management and MER standards and Guidelines are adhered to in the project.
  • Support to ensure that the entire project’s programming mainstream Gender, Disaster Risk Reduction and Child Protection.
  • Support the project team to ensure that the registered project risks are regularly mitigated, tracked and updated as required.
  • In consultation and agreement, perform any other functions as may be deemed appropriate by management.

Technical expertise, skills and knowledge

  • Bachelor’s degree in Statistics, Quantitative Economics, Social Sciences, Social Work, Development Studies or a related field. Additional training at Post-Graduate level in Monitoring and Evaluation, project planning and management or a related field is an asset.
  • At least 3 years of experience in providing M&E for Education and/or ECD projects
  • Demonstrated skills and experience in report writing, donor compliance and budget management
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work with people from diverse cultures
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English
  • Familiar with West Nile and/or Northern Uganda
  • Able to work in teams
  • Skills in qualitative and quantitative research methodology, incl. sampling strategies
  • Analytical skills
  • Demonstrated experience in capacity building, mentoring and coaching staff.
  • Proven computer skills and knowledge of Microsoft software including MS Word processing, Power point presentation, Excel spreadsheets, e-mail and web based research
  • Ability to work in hard to reach/hard to stay areas and familiar with programming for vulnerable children especially young girls and boys.
  • Experience with conducting rigorous impact evaluations and/or utilizing standardised assessment tools (e.g. IDELA, ASER, MELE/MELQO, or TIPPS) is an advantage.

Plan International’s Values in Practice

We are open and accountable

  • Promotes a culture of openness and transparency, including with sponsors and donors.
  • Holds self and others accountable to achieve the highest standards of integrity.
  • Consistent and fair in the treatment of people.
  • Open about mistakes and keen to learn from them.
  • Accountable for ensuring we are a safe organisation for all children, girls & young people

We strive for lasting impact

  • Articulates a clear purpose for staff and sets high expectations.
  • Creates a climate of continuous improvement, open to challenge and new ideas.
  • Focuses resources to drive change and maximise long-term impact, responsive to changed priorities or crises.
  • Evidence-based and evaluates effectiveness.

We work well together

  • Seeks constructive outcomes, listens to others, willing to compromise when appropriate.
  • Builds constructive relationships across Plan International to support our shared goals.
  • Develops trusting and ‘win-win’ relationships with funders, partners and communities.
  • Engages and works well with others outside the organization to build a better world for girls and all children.

We are inclusive and empowering

  • Seeks constructive outcomes, listens to others, willing to compromise when appropriate.
  • Builds constructive relationships across Plan International to support our shared goals.
  • Develops trusting and ‘win-win’ relationships with funders, partners and communities.
  • Engages and works well with others outside the organization to build a better world for girls and all children.

Physical Environment

  • Frequent travel to the project locations in Kamuli, Buyende, Tororo, Lira, Alebtong, and Nebbi .
  • The MERL Coordinator will be based in Kampala. S/he should have the ability and willingness to spend much of his / her time in districts throughout Uganda checking progress of project implementation
  • Regularly attend virtual Community of Practice (COP) meetings with partners working across Uganda, Rwanda, and Zambia and work with colleagues at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) on MEL deliverables
  • Basing on the above s/he should have excellent communication skills, be a calculative and sensitive communicator, when communicating to the target group and avoid being judgemental at all times

Level of contact with children

High level: Frequent interaction with children in the field of project operations.

Safeguarding Children & Young People Policy (mandatory for all staff)

  • Adhere to the Child Protection Policy, Code of Conduct and reporting any CPP issues. 
  • Responsible for the implementation of the CPP standards as they apply to area of responsibility plus the development of actions to address identified gaps and monitoring their effectiveness.
  • Ensure that all Plan International partners, visitors and associates in his/her area of responsibility are provided with, are made aware of and have signed and returned a copy of the child protection policy. Inform the partners, visitors and associates that they must comply with the policy in all contacts and communications with children during their visit.
  • Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Child Protection (CPP) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) are fully embedded in accordance with the principles and requirements of the policy including relevant Implementation Standards and Guidelines as applicable to their area of responsibility. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring staff and associates are aware of and understand their responsibilities under these policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), their relevance to their area of work, and that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.

Location: Kampala

Type of Role: 1 year fixed term

Reports to: Project Director & MER Manager

Closing Date: 14th May 2021

Early application is encouraged as we will review applications throughout the advertising period and reserve the right to close the advert early.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the very heart of everything that Plan International stands for.

We want Plan International to reflect the diversity of the communities we work with, offering equal opportunities to everyone regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.

Plan International is based on a culture of inclusivity and we strive to create a workplace environment that ensures every team, in every office, in every country, is rich in diverse people, thoughts, and ideas.

We foster an organisational culture that embraces our commitment to racial justice, gender equality, girls’ rights and inclusion.

Plan International believes that in a world where children face so many threats of harm, it is our duty to ensure that we, as an organisation, do everything we can to keep children safe. This means that we have particular responsibilities to children that we come into contact with and we must not contribute in any way to harming or placing children at risk.

A range of pre-employment checks will be undertaken in conformity with Plan International’s Safeguarding Children and Young People policy. Plan International also participates in the Inter Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. In line with this scheme we will request information from applicants previous employers about any findings of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment during employment, or incidents under investigation when the applicant left employment. By submitting an application, the job applicant confirms their understanding of these recruitment procedures.

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