Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning (MEL) & Action Research (AR) Director or Manager
Title: Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning (MEL) & Action Research (AR) Director or Manager
Reports to: Senior Vice President of Programs & Impact
Location: Syracuse, NY (USA)
Travel: Yes, 20% of the time
Relocation: Relocation assistance is not provided
The NEF Family of Entities composed of Near East Foundation (Syracuse, NY, USA), Near East Foundation UK (London, UK) and NEF Belgium. NEF Family of Entities represents a network of three non-profit international organisations that support livelihoods recovery and community-based economic development in the Middle East, Africa, and Caucasus. Since 1915, NEF’s work draws on local teams, experience, and partnerships in the field 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 approximately 250 staff members and active programs in nine countries: Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Mali, Morocco, Sudan, South Sudan, and Syria. NEF’s work lies at the humanitarian-development nexus and is organised around three pillars: Inclusive Economic Development, Climate-resilient Development, and Stabilisation and Peacebuilding.
The MEL & AR Director/Manager is part of the MEL team within the broader HQ Program & Impact team within NEF headquarters (USA, UK, and Belgium). As part of the HQ MEL team, the position will require a high degree of coordination with the global MEL, program support, and partnerships and technical leadership teams. The MEL & AR Director/Manager is integral to the effectiveness of MEL and action research, impact, and knowledge product development across the whole organisation. They will provide a) support in the design, refinement, integration, roll out, and implementation of NEF organisation-wide policies, strategies, and systems; and b) direct MEL technical support to NEF country/regional teams and NEF HQ teams including business development.
The MEL & AR Director/Manager will support global NEF programs operating in the development, humanitarian and/or nexus space, and which may also include programmes operating in the innovative and alternative finance space such as the first refugee impact bond (Jordan and Lebanon), a forthcoming impact investment facility in Syria and an innovative financing facility in South Sudan.
Program-level research/knowledge products (60%):
- Oversee the production of key deliverables, such as impact studies and knowledge products, either as part of program deliverables or for program learning and adaptation.
- Contribute to the strengthening and development of existing processes, systems, and capacities for the delivery of program-level rapid and embedded action research/impact/knowledge products;
- Contribute to the development of pilot projects and project learning frameworks;
- Co-lead and support NEF’s global MEL and program teams to capture, analyse, document, and communicate evidence tailored to different audiences;
- Lead data analysis and interpretation of qualitative and quantitative evidence as part of action research and MEL initiatives;
- Provide targeted support to develop strategically important program-level rapid and embedded research/knowledge products;
- Oversee and build capacities of the global team engaged in the development of program-level research products including support for professional development opportunities and help to identify capacity development opportunities for relevant staff;
- Collaborate with project managers to prioritise and integrate research/knowledge products development into their management responsibilities to ensure coherence and consistency across country/regional teams;
Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (40%):
- Collaborate with the MEL global leadership team to update, strengthen and execute MEL global strategy and policy;
- Provide targeted MEL support to strategically important projects and programs;
- Oversee and optimize the design process of project and program log-frames, theory of changes, and MEL Plans;
- Oversee, optimize and build capacities of MEL country/regional staff with respect to the design of project and program log-frames, MEL plans and implementation, data analysis, and conducting program evaluations (internal and external);
- Contribute to the review and strengthening of and provide oversight for MEL coordination mechanisms, support functions, and quality assurance process and systems;
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.
Band 1: Manager; Band 2: Director
- A university degree in a relevant subject;
- Direct professional experience in MEL or action research/knowledge product development in the international development or humanitarian response field; [7 years for Band 1; 10 years for Band 2]
- MEL work experience devising M&E, Learning and/or knowledge systems, processes, or platforms; [5 years for Band 1; 8 years for Band 2]
- Proven work experience devising systems and processes for rapid action research, impact studies, or knowledge product development – proven experience in developing and delivering similar products; [5 years for Band 1; 8 years for Band 2]
- Proven work experience authoring internal and external technical learning products, including published MEL or action research/knowledge products;
- Experience on USAID, EU or UKAID funded projects (and/or other equivalent international development donors); [7 years for Band 1; 10 years for Band 2]
- Working knowledge of databases and data collection and analysis platforms;
- Proven experience leading or facilitating trainings, learning events etc. with colleagues and partner staff;
- 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 have the right to work in the BE, UK, US at the time of appointment.
Additional Desired Qualifications
- Experience in MEL/Action Research programming in fragile settings;
- Experience implementing USAID Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting practices;
- Familiarity in the design of innovative and/or alternative finance vehicles;
- Thematic experience in programmatic areas relevant to NEF;
- Experience in MEL 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 and/or French language skills are a plus;
- High degree of flexibility and adaptability;
- Willingness to travel to countries where NEF works;
- Ability to work effectively as a team player across a wide variety of cultural contexts;
- Understanding of effective and values-based partnership work;
- Strong communication and relationship building skills, particularly at a distance;
- Creative thinker; display solutions-oriented approaches in an innovative and frequently high-pressure environment.
NEF will accept rolling applications until the position is filled. Review of applications will begin on November 12, 2023. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
Please apply by submitting the following documents on the Near East Foundations Career page ensuring to select appropriate advertisement based on work location:
- Cover letter outlining relevant experience and availability;
- Curriculum Vitae;
- List of three references.
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.
Please note, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Total compensation for this role is market competitive. The anticipated salary range for this position based out of Syracuse, NY is estimated at Band 1: Manager position $69,500 – $95,000 annually; Band 2: Director position $95,200 - $115,000 annually. The actual salary will vary based on applicant’s experience, skills, and abilities, geographic location as well as other organizational needs. NEF offers competitive benefit options which includes: 20 Vacation days, 12 Holidays, medical, dental, and vision insurance, group life assurance, short/long term disability insurance, 8% employer 403B contribution, paid family leave, Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and more!
Any Employment with the Near East Foundation will be subject to the following checks prior to start date:
- A satisfactory Restricted Party Screening and/or Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check;
- Receipt of satisfactory references;
- Proof of eligibility to work in the national location for this role.