Save the Children
Job Title: Head of MEAL
Team / Programme: Program Development and Quality (PDQ)
Location: Nairobi, Kenya with frequent field visits
Grade: 2 (Competitive Package)
Contract Length: Fixed Term – 12 Months (renewable)
Child Safeguarding: Level 3 – the responsibilities of the post may require the post holder to have regular contact with or access to children or young people
Role Purpose: Save the Children International is a ‘full spectrum’ organization that seeks to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and create lasting change in children’s lives.
Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning (MEAL) is a core function in all Save the Children International programs globally, representing our commitment to accountability and transparency, and is crucial aspect of program quality management within Save the Children.
The Head of MEAL will be responsible for quality and accountability standards and their integration into a robust MEAL system throughout the Save the Children Kenya Country Office, including managing the relationship with partner research/evaluation institutions.
Key areas of accountability:
a) the development of effective and efficient Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning systems for programmes/projects (design of MEAL plans/tools etc.);
b) the management of MEAL systems;
c) the compilation and analysis of program data and learning and subsequent reporting at the country level;
d) the provision of technical assistance designing and implementing studies, research, surveys and evaluations. The main purpose of this role is to bring together program learning, innovations, research-based evidence and information for achieving breakthrough solutions in bringing immediate and lasting changes in the lives of children.
Scope of Role:
Reports to: Director of Program Development and Quality (DPDQ)
Dimensions: Save the Children has been operational in Kenya since the 1950s, providing support to children through developmental and humanitarian relief programs delivered both directly and through local partners. Current programming focuses on child protection, child rights governance, education, health, HIV/AIDS, livelihoods, nutrition and WASH.
In 2012, as part of a global reorganization process, Save the Children combined the programs of SC UK, SC Canada and SC Finland to create a single operation in Kenya.
In Feb 2014, we completed a second transition, which saw us join forces with the British INGO, Merlin, and merge their health and nutrition programs with our own.
Save the Children now has an operational presence in Bungoma, Dadaab Refugee Camp, Garissa, Mandera, Turkana and Wajir and we work through partners in many other parts of the country.
In 2016, Save the Children established a new project office in Madagascar whose operations are managed by the Kenya CO.
In total, we employ around 250 staff in both countries and had an operating annual budget in 2016 of approximately US$17.5million.
Staff directly reporting to this post: Five field-based and one Nairobi-based MEAL focal points; MEAL intern
Key staff engaging directly with this post: Thematic Technical Specialists; Communications Manager; Head of Advocacy & Campaigns; Awards Manager, Deputy Country Director – Operations; Director of Finance; Country Director; Area Program Managers; ICT Manager
Key Areas of Accountability: Together with the MEAL Team and in collaboration with Technical Specialists, Program Managers and partners, the Head of MEAL will have a key role in establishing and promoting program quality and innovation, which will be achieved through developing and improving monitoring, evaluation, impact evaluation, research, and learning methodologies; capacity building, technical advice and knowledge sharing.
The Head of MEAL will be responsible for establishing and promoting the use of MEAL systems to ensure that Save the Children Kenya’s Country Office:
- is informed on the extent to which both the emergency response and development interventions are affecting the lives of the targeted populations;
- has evidence-based knowledge on the positive and negative impact that both the emergency response and development interventions are having over the communities where SCI works; and
- Receives regular, timely and context-specific, meaningful feedback from our staff, partners, programme participants (who are or are not targeted by our interventions), and that feedback effectively informs and signals areas where strategic attention is required.
Under the direct supervision of the Director of PDQ and in close coordination with the Technical Specialists and Deputy Country Director (DCD) Operations, the Head of MEAL is responsible for:
1. Development, Implementation, and Management of MEAL Systems
- Lead the development and implementation of the MEAL strategy and establish an effective and efficient
- Monitoring, Evaluation and Accountability system for the Kenya CO (MEAL plans, project Indicator Performance Tracking Tables, Output Trackers, etc.)
- Establish, develop and support the implementation of a data management system that informs planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programs.
- Ensure MEAL budgeting in all proposals/programs, ensuring the minimum budget is allocated to MEAL activities including accountability to children and communities
- Contribute to ensuring children’s participation, reporting back to children, and child-led MEAL
- Ensure accountability systems to share information and gather/respond to feedback from beneficiaries to effectively improve the quality of our program design and implementation, strengthen the relationship and acceptance by the communities, reduce the risk of inefficiency and reduce the risk of harm to children and other beneficiaries.
2. Program Design and Quality Programs
- Ensure that MEAL resources are included in proposal development and work creatively to secure funding from diverse sources.
- Program design – support the drafting of project log frames in each project
- Program design – support in proposal development through provision and/or review of programmatic evidence
- Lead on MEAL integrated programming, including development of cross-project quality benchmarks, accountability frameworks in all CO and partner projects and engagement with donors’ technical advisers.
- Ensure MEAL standards (log frames, smart indicators, targets disaggregated by gender and age, baselines and evaluations, reference to quality standards, participation and accountability, etc.) are reflected in MEAL checklist during proposal development
3. Accountability, Representation, and Program Reporting
- Ensure that all staff at all levels, including senior managers and directors, fully understand and promote accountability in general and to children in particular, through training and coaching.
- Ensure that accountability to beneficiaries becomes a core element and success indicator for all program activities and engage beneficiaries and stakeholders in evaluations and research activities
- Ensure participation of beneficiaries and children in monitoring and evaluating Save the Children development/emergency projects and programm. This includes introduction of context specific and functioning accountability systems.
- Build on progress to date on integrating accountability to beneficiaries (and particularly children) within programs through securing funds, hiring staff and establishing feedback mechanisms and producing information materials in a way which mainstreams accountability across all programs.
- Develop a robust system for capturing and reporting against accountability-related indicators and conduct regular trend analysis of complaints and feedback for learning and improvement.
- Design and implement appropriate feedback mechanisms that are contextual, effective, accessible and safe for beneficiaries and that ensure that feedback is recorded, reviewed and acted upon.
- Prepare MEAL portions in program, donor, CO annual reports, reflecting compliance with internal SC requirements and any relevant external donor requirements.
- Development and regular sharing of MEAL reports and complaint/feedback databases with all concerned (SMT, PDQ and Ops) staff for action
- Contribute to representing the principles and evidence-based work of Save the Children International to donors, United Nations, NGOs and INGOs, government, media and other stakeholders when required.
4. Humanitarian Program and Standards
- In collaboration with the MEAL Coordinators, ensure and support integration and implementation of MEAL systems that are compliant with the Core Humanitarian Standards (CHS)
- To ensure that the minimum standards are maintained in accordance with the CHS Charter for emergency response programs in Kenya.
- Oversee and carry out regular MEAL visits to humanitarian programs in order to support the development of MEAL tools and gather evidence that will inform the design of new emergency interventions and ensure quality programming for beneficiaries
5. Knowledge Management and Learning Culture
- Lead the development of a MEAL-focused knowledge management system
- Manage and use all Save the Children Kenya program and MEAL data to support the storage, retrieval, and analysis for improved programming, participation, and accountability for children and communities
- Ensure inclusion of ‘Quality and Innovation’ as a standing agenda item at SMT meetings for management actions and meeting the global Program Quality Key Performance Indicators
- Drive the Kenya CO forward to be among the MEAL+ hubs which have institutionalized the MEAL approach, displaying excellence across the MEAL spectrum, knowledge management and research
- Develop frameworks to integrate impact assessment and learning and knowledge management into the program and project cycle of both development and emergency interventions;
- Support the PDQ team in the establishment and operation of a system that will enable SCI staff to access centralized data and information and ensure the setting up and maintenance of a resource library
- Lead staff towards project research/study to collect and analyze data, and translate and implement research findings together with other project team members, partners and consultants;
- Promote learning throughout the organization, particularly on issues of program quality, policy analysis and advocacy. Ensure new/secondary data analysis and information is constantly available.
- Develop a countrywide knowledge management system that facilitates the capturing, storage, dissemination and use of key learning emanating from various internal and external sources.
- Communicate program learning (through document sharing, presentations, etc.) internally to provide guidance and technical input on strategic direction and program design, and externally with key stakeholders (NGOs, government partners, working groups, etc.).
- Coordinate with sectors’ technical coordinators and program staff to ensure that lessons learned are properly documented and are incorporated into program implementation and design.
- Lead and foster learning based on best practices, lessons and feedback captured from program participants (adults and children) to influence and guide the design and implementation of our programs and regularly produce and report on best practices and case studies.
6. Research, Evaluation, and Innovations
- Lead on and ensure all research and evaluation are conducted after securing approvals from relevant bodies such as Institutional Research and Ethics Committee (IREC), the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) or others as appropriate
- Lead on program research and establishing the evidence base for program development and advocacy, researching and developing frameworks for annual project/program reviews, leading participatory impact assessments, and advising Senior Management Team and other appropriate program staff on the outcomes;
- Lead on baselines, evaluations, studies and applied research by liaising with Save the Children members’ technical advisors and/or research partners to define scope and TORs, support in identifying potential consultants, and recruit and train data-collector teams;
- Lead on technical assessments in coordination with other SC thematic areas and/or other external sector agencies, ensuring assessment findings are documented and that all assessments include a specific analysis of children’s needs and gender disaggregation.
- Compile and analyze quantitative and qualitative program evaluation data, and learning and subsequent reporting at the country level
- Lead on external reviews, evaluations and documentation, and identifying resources, including technical resources, both within SCI and externally
- Lead on internal and external program/project evaluations as necessary and ensure the review of MEAL processes and methodologies for the provision of sound baseline information, and taking corrective action where necessary
- Lead in the management of information systems, such as the development of required formats, key indicators, needs assessments and frameworks for evaluation,
- Identify opportunities for innovative work addressing issues and promoting program quality
- Contribute to actively disseminating and communicating program findings and research outcomes widely, and in particular – to the Government, donors and to other humanitarian and development actors.
7. Capacity building and staff management:
- Ensure appropriate staffing within the MEAL Team and all staff understand and are able to perform their MEAL roles in both humanitarian and development contexts
- Working closely with the development and emergency program teams, lead on identifying technical staffing needs for integrated programming and MEAL-focused recruitment, induction and training.
- Develop learning needs assessment, professional development, and capacity building plans for both SC and partner staff, linking capacity building initiatives to wider opportunities identified via program coordination and partnership meetings, and coach them accordingly.
- Manage the performance of supervisees through: effective use of the Performance Management System including the establishment of clear, measureable objectives, ongoing feedback, periodic reviews and fair and unbiased evaluations; coaching, mentoring and other developmental opportunities; recognition and rewards for outstanding performance; documentation of performance that is less than satisfactory, with appropriate performance improvements/ work plans
- Support and build the technical capacity of and equip the MEAL team with relevant data collection, management, and analysis tools and skills using the state-of-the-art software (STATA and/or SPSS, ATLAS.ti) to ensure quality and timely analysis of program and MEAL data to inform timely decision-making for learning and quality programming
- Oversee that all technical MEAL staff proactively build and maintain technical skills and competencies required for leading and/or advising programs – both development and humanitarian programs
8. External Relationships and Partnerships Management
- Represent Save the Children in selected international and national initiatives regarding monitoring and evaluation, research, accountability, and learning
- Lead and manage the relationship with research institutions and consultants hired to conduct external evaluations, representing the organization in technical MEAL and research for a as delegated
- Ensuring close working relationships and regular communication on MEAL issues with project partners at all levels (district, provincial and national), including with government and other organizations working in the project area, to ensure efficient and effective project implementation;
- Lead or support on drafting MEAL-focused program partnership documents and/or sections in partner agreements or memorandums of understanding
- Take the initiative in documenting lessons learnt, best practice and case studies to shape in-country MEAL strategies and evidence-based program approaches, and contribute to broader MEAL-focused learning.
- Pro-actively identify MEAL opportunities, case studies and research opportunities which link with wider organizational and programmatic strategic objectives, and turn these into action.
- Play a leadership role in shaping MEAL-focused communications in line with MEAL-focused knowledge management, acting as a spokesperson when required.
- Contribute to identify the capacity of present and potential partners in quality programming and ensure that MEAL support is provided.
- Ensure that MEAL aspects of programs implemented by existing partners are enforced.
Skills and Behaviours (our Values in Practice)
- Holds self-accountable for making decisions, managing resources efficiently, achieving and role modelling Save the Children values
- Holds the team and partners accountable to deliver on their responsibilities – giving them the freedom to deliver in the best way they see fit, providing the necessary development to improve performance and applying appropriate consequences when results are not achieved
- Sets ambitious and challenging goals for themselves (and their team), takes responsibility for their own personal development and encourages others to do the same
- Widely shares their personal vision for Save the Children, engages and motivates others
- Future orientated, thinks strategically
- Builds and maintains effective relationships, with their team, colleagues, Members and external partners and supporters
- Values diversity, sees it as a source of competitive strength
- Approachable, good listener, easy to talk to
- Develops and encourages new and innovative solutions
- Willing to take disciplined risks
Honest, encourages openness and transparency
Qualifications and Experience
- At least a Master’s degree in statistics, research, education or relevant social sciences
- Recommended minimum of six years of experience working in Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Accountability and Learning including a senior management position in an NGO setting, preferably with solid experience in more than one of the Save the Children priority sectors: education, child protection, child rights governance, child poverty, health and nutrition, and emergencies.
- Significant senior M&E experience with a minimum of 4-years post-Master’s graduation working in planning, monitoring, research, and evaluation in an NGO setting or other think-tank institutions
- Proven experience of undertaking evaluations/research or leading evaluation/research teams, with outstanding skills in qualitative and quantitative research and data analysis using relevant software such as STATA or SPSS and ATLAS.ti (to be assessed)
- Proven experience with quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis and ability to review technical reports using relevant software such as STATA or SPSS (to be assessed)
- Technical expertise in various data analysis software and proven experience using mobile technology for data collection with experience of electronic data collection using tablets or other devices (to be assessed)
- Knowledge and/or experience of working on accountability initiatives, such as child participation, information sharing and complaints response mechanisms (to be assessed)
- Ability to lead and drive the organization towards more action-research focused and child-centered integrated programming by using participation and listening to beneficiaries, including children, as one of the main mechanisms for program implementation.
- Ability to work both in an advisory and a hands on implementation capacity
- Proven capacity to supervise, train and coach staff
- Ability to write clear and well-argued assessment and project reports. Excellent communication skills; excellent written and spoken English
- Politically and culturally sensitive with qualities of patience, tact and diplomacy
- The capacity and willingness to be flexible and accommodating in difficult and sometimes insecure working circumstances.
- Commitment to the aims and principles of SC. In particular, a good understanding of the SC mandate and commitment to child participation.
- Previous experience of remote team management
- Prior experience with Save the Children International highly desired
- Experience in both implementation and design desirable
- Experience with beneficiary communications desirable
How to Apply
The application process is now open and will close on Tuesday, 18th April 2017.
To apply for these positions visit the SCI Kenya Website: https://kenya.savethechildren.net/jobs.
The system allows CVs & Cover letter as One(1) document.
Applicants are advised to clearly state the tittle of the position they are applying for in the subject line of their email.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.