Monitoring Evaluation Research and Learning (MERL) Coordinator

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Title : Monitoring Evaluation Research and Learning (MERL) Coordinator

Reporting Unit/Supervisor : Area Programme Manager-West Nile Region

Stakeholder : Country Manager

Location : Arua, Uganda

About the Aga Khan Foundation

The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) is an Agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), a group of private, non-denominational development agencies that share a mission to improve the living conditions and opportunities for marginalized communities across some target countries in Africa and Asia. AKF was established by His Highness the Aga Khan in Switzerland in 1967 and began working in East Africa in 1974. Globally, AKF seeks sustainable solutions to long-term problems of poverty, hunger, illiteracy, and ill-health, with special emphasis on the needs of rural communities in mountainous, coastal, and other resource-poor areas. AKF was established in Uganda in 1994 and has been implementing programs focused on Education, Early Childhood Development and Civil Society, aimed at improving the quality of life of all boys and girls, women, and men in the Central and West Nile regions of Uganda. All the Uganda Country programs are embedded in government and community interests and structures, and work to promote social inclusion, equity, and pluralism.

Position Description

The Monitoring Evaluation Research and Learning (MERL) Coordinator will provide overall leadership of the M&E across AKF’s growing education portfolio in the West Nile region of Uganda. This will include leading the successful inception, design, implementation, and management of all M&E frameworks. for all new and existing projects. Some of these projects are delivered in partnership with Aga Khan Development Network sister agencies or other development partners. AKF’s education programmes focus on dismantling the barriers to education and learning for all children. As part of this, there is an explicit focus on enhancing the ability of vulnerable primary aged and adolescent girls living in refugee and host communities to have the abilities and opportunities to learn and actively participate in and contribute to a pluralistic society.

The MERL Coordinator reports to the Area Programme Manager, West Nile Region.

Key responsibilities

1. Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning

Establish and implement a gender responsive Performance Management Framework (PMF) for the education programme portfolio in West Nile. Ensure this includes core indicators for all projects, data comparability between projects, and all appropriate indicators, data collection needs, and analytical frameworks. Establish and operationalise all gender responsive education project PMF under the West Nile education programme PMF. Ensure these are compliant with internal and donor requirements.

  • Ensure M&E data needs are integrated into programme quality tools and do not exist as separate M&E or data collection tools and processes.
  • Develop the capacities of programme technical teams to collect gender sensitive M&E data effectively and accurately as an integrated part of their roles and responsibilities.
  • Design programme data quality assessment system including data auditing protocols and process, and conduct data verification, validation and quality assurance.
  • Lead the M&E team to effectively establishing a high-quality, cross programme, end-to-end M&E data management system integrating ICT where appropriate. Ensure all data management systems adhere to AKF’s safeguarding and data protection policies.
  • Lead in mainstreaming adoption of online technologies in M&E including being focal persons for the Awards Information Management System (AIMS), Global Reach System (GRS), PROMISE3 among others
  • Ensure high quality data analytics and visualisations that cross analyse data sets to provide deeper learning about AKF’s education programme performance Ensure input of accurate M&E data into all donor and AKF reports (quarterly, semi-annual, and annual). This will include the timely data input into AKF’s internal programme management systems.
  • Ensure all data, analysis, and evaluations are made available to project managers to enable them to submit timely internal and donor reports with high quality, robust, and reliable data to substantiate the narrative.
  • Lead on developing Terms of Reference for external consultants or researchers
  • In collaboration with internal education and research colleagues and external consultants, contribute to the design and delivery of all studies and research, including impact evaluation processes, under the education portfolio in West Nile.
  • Perform other relevant duties as and when assigned, by or via the Country Manager, Programme Manager and senior management team.

2. Programme Quality and Learning

  • Collaborate with the education team to work through the data and data analysis to generate high quality evaluations of education programme performance to inform project and organisational reviews and programme adaptions and iterations
  • Ensure data management system has feedback loops to enable all project staff to access and understand project progress and challenges and promote participatory project planning and reviews
  • Support in the implementation of the education programme learning agenda by ensuring lessons learnt are regularly distilled from programme work, documented and progressively consolidated in the lessons learnt register for each project
  • Support in the implementation of the education programme risks management framework by ensuring the project risks, assumptions and issues are regularly reviewed, updated, documented and progressively consolidated in the risks management register for each project
  • Collaborate with AKF East Africa (EA) senior leadership and technical advisors to establish and manage a gender responsive programme quality system to assess programme quality and project interventions, and ensure that proposed changes are informed by reliable data and evidence

3. Capacity Development and Human Resources

  • Foster participatory planning and monitoring by involving project stakeholders and staff in the M&E of activities.
  • Identify capacity gaps across the education and M&E team and provide capacity development workshops to support internal team
  • Design and deliver M&E courses for internal and external partners as required
  • Effectively manage, supervise, and appraise all staff reporting directly to you; providing relevant technical support, coaching and mentorship, including specialised support as may be required/deemed necessary
  • Ensure all staff reporting to you have access to and understand internal policies and procedures
  • Ensure you follow AKF’s child protection and safeguarding policies at all times, bit internally and externally.
  • Committed to acting ethically and upholding safeguarding standards towards all staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries of the organisation

Required Skills & Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Development studies, statistics, economics or related field. Post Graduate qualifications in M&E is an added advantage
  • Relevant M&E experience of at least 5 years, experience in education programming is desired
  • Strong computer and analytics skills, along with experience managing complex data sets, using different analysis tools is required
  • Strong report writing skills
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively with diverse audiences in English.
  • Evidence of understanding of and commitment to child protection and safeguarding as well as other vulnerable populations

How to apply

Candidates interested in this unique career opportunity with AKF should submit a two-page cover letter and a maximum three-page CV including the names and contact information of three professional referees by 4:30pm on 30 th June 2021.

Click on the link to apply: www.akdn.org/careers

Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

“AKF Is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is Committed to Safeguarding and Promoting the Welfare of Children and Vulnerable Adults and Expects all Staff and Partners to Share this Commitment.”

The Aga Khan Foundation is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network ( www.akdn.org )

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