Regional Monitoring, Evaluation, & Research Advisor, Africa

Helen Keller International
March 26, 2019
Dakar, Senegal
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
5-10 Years
Education (minimum)
Travel Required?
Base Salary
Not specified



Helen Keller International


 Regional Monitoring, Evaluation, & Research Advisor, Africa
(Dakar, Senegal)


Co-founded in 1915 by Helen Keller, Helen Keller International is dedicated to saving and improving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable. We combat the causes and consequences of blindness, poor health and malnutrition with more than 120 programs in 20 African and Asian countries, as well as in the United States. Renowned for our reliability, efficiency and high level of technical expertise, Helen Keller International promotes the development of large-scale, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing issues in public health.

We are currently seeking a Regional Monitoring, Evaluation & Research (MER) Advisor for the Africa region.



In Africa, HKI’s principal programs focus on promoting nutrition, broadly defined, and combating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). All of HKI’s programs are implemented in close collaboration with host-country government partners and a broad range of national and international stakeholders.


HKI implements the Essential Nutrition Actions (ENA) framework to deliver an integrated package of cost-effective nutrition actions that are proven to reduce maternal and child under-nutrition and associated mortality and morbidity. These ENAs include the promotion of optimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF), support for improved women’s nutrition, the nutritional care of the sick and malnourished children, and the control of micronutrient deficiencies. To address vitamin A deficiency, HKI is a major actor in promoting vitamin A supplementation, both through campaigns as well as through routine service delivery in health centers. HKI also promotes an integrated module that combines community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) into existing child survival and preventative nutrition programs in order to provide a holistic approach to prevent and treat malnutrition. Also central to HKI’s nutrition strategy are a number of nutrition-sensitive programs, including our signature Enhanced Homestead Food Production (EHFP) program targeting women with young children to enable them to grow and consume their own nutrient-rich foods. These women and their families are also supported to adopt optimal ENA and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices through targeted behavior change communication strategies that draw on interpersonal communication, community mobilization and mass media.  HKI also supports programs aimed to increase the production and consumption of biofortified vitamin-A-rich orange-fleshed sweet potato, in which woman farmers (and their families) are targeted and receive agricultural training as well as support to adopt optimal ENA practices. HKI also supports the large-scale micronutrient fortification of staple foods by building the capacity of local food companies and national governments to ensure quality standards in addition to supporting regional harmonization of these standards across West Africa.

HKI implements multi-country integrated programs to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), including mass drug administration (MDA) and morbidity management and disability prevention (MMDP). HKI works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), donors and partners to build country capacity and design strategies to reach the most marginalized and hard-to-reach populations, and to monitor and assess program impact with respect to five major NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths, and trachoma) in line with global and country-specific NTD elimination goals.


Functional Relationships

The Regional MER Advisor will be a member of HKI’s Regional Management Team and will report to the Vice President for Africa. S/he will work closely with colleagues at all levels of the the organization including global management. technical advisors and program managers at both the Africa regional office and the US headquarters, as well as with Country and Deputy Country Directors (CDs and DCDs) and program teams in the 12 HKI countries in Africa. The position periodically plays a supervisory role with regard to researchers, fellows and interns. External collaboration includes working with representatives of governmental, international, university and non-governmental organizations, as well as some donors. The Regional MER Advisor will also represent HKI at relevant regional and global meetings.


HKI has a matrixed reporting structure that respects both the line management and authority within geographical hierarchies; and the accountability and oversight duties of subject matter experts and multi-country program managers wherever they are located.  Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally, are essential to make this structure thrive.


Scope of Position

The Regional MER Advisor will lead the design and implementation of HKI’s M&E work in Africa in a manner that conforms to HKI’s global M&E standards, and will also provide advice on research studies, as relevant.

The focus will be on multi-country regional programs and country-specific projects and programs to ensure alignment and capacity to implement a consistent M&E approach, including program design and quality assurance measures. The MER Advisor assists the RDs, CDs, and other regional staff with recruitment and technical supervision of program staff and provides training, guidance and mentorship to country office M&E staff to strengthen their capacity to deliver quality M&E and research work. In the context of designing new programs, s/he also plays a role in HKI’s business development function. In practice, the role has been heavily focused on supporting nutrition programming in the region, but the Regional MER Advisor will be expected to support HKI’s work in NTDs, especially as new initiatives in NTDs come on board, and is expected to stay well informed of HKI’s NTD work in the region.

This position will contribute to HKI’s global M&E Community of Practice, and will contribute to the ongoing development and implementation of HKI’s minimum program standards (MPSs) related to M&E. S/he will be the lead within the region to support MER elements of HKI’s Strategic Plan. The position will be based in the HKI Africa Regional Office (AFRO) in Dakar and requires at least 30 percent travel, primarily in Africa.

Key Responsibilities

Harmonization and coordination of M&E systems and tools

  • Coordinate with other MER staff and technical area leads across HKI to develop and implement new tools, standards and guidance for use by country offices, and support the roll out of these across the AFRO region.
  • Contribute to the ongoing development and implementation of HKI's global knowledge management systems for M&E and operations research.
  • Encourage an M&E culture of 'data for decision-making' with regional and country colleagues to foster the use of information generated for program management, quality and performance improvement, and advocacy.
  • Serve as regional lead for specific data collection and collation activities including HKI’s annual Strategic Metrics data collection and other specific initiatives (e.g., Charity Navigator results compliance).
  • Contribute to a Global Community of Practice of M&E staff in HKI.

Program development, program quality and technical assistance

  • Assist in the identification of new program initiatives, including operations research, that are innovative, evidence-based and in line with HKI’s mission and organizational Strategic Plan.
  • Provide technical assistance to support country and regional programs in design of programs/projects, their related M&E plans, and operations research. This necessarily involves periodic support of business development efforts with respect to program design and MER functions.
  • Support regional and country program teams to adopt the relevant program/project management formats (particularly concerning MER) consistent with HKI’s Minimum Program Standards. Specifically, this includes:
    • development of program impact pathways and theories of change;
    • design of overall MER system that meets the information needs of program managers, donors and other stakeholders;
    • design of data quality assurance procedures and tools; formative supervision tools; design of surveys including sampling and questionnaires; and
    • ensuring that monitoring data is systematically used by project managers to strengthen implementation in a timely fashion.
  • Using HKI’s approval guidelines related to surveys and research, provide guidance and support to country and regional program staff in design and conducting baseline, midterm and endline surveys to ensure quality and alignment to project proposals and donor requirements. This will include a review of sampling methodology, questionnaire design, analysis plans, and final reporting.
  • Support proposal development for new projects by providing advice, review and/or writing-up M&E, research and learning sections of proposals, as well as ensuring budgeting for adequate financial resources for these activities.

Dissemination and use of information

  • Assist program teams in the accurate and timely reporting of program results, including providing written documentation of M&E activities and indicator results for donor reports.
  • Proactively share information across countries and expand the sharing of learning with other countries (including Asia-Pacific) where HKI has similar programs.
  • Assist country offices to document and publish relevant programmatic findings and lessons learned.
  • Analyze and interpret data, provide guidance on data visualization for decision-making, assist in drafting reports and implementation briefs, and contribute to manuscript preparation for publication.
  • Contribute, with US teams and Asia- Pacific M&E Advisor, to the development of global knowledge management and learning systems for M&E and operations research.
  • Represent HKI at appropriate global and regional meetings related to M&E or research

Staff development

  • Work with relevant colleagues to develop strategies to ensure that regional and country program staff have the necessary capacity to implement rigorous M&E, design operations research, perform data quality assurance, and oversee data collection and analysis.
  • Promote integration of M&E issues and lessons in all relevant meetings.
  • Provide input to hiring of M&E staff in country programs and feedback for their performance evaluation.

Qualifications & competencies

  • Minimum of a master’s degree in Epidemiology, Monitoring and Evaluation, Public Health, Statistics, Economics, Demography or equivalent (Doctoral degree preferred) plus at least seven years of related work experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and implement monitoring and evaluation systems for public health programs in low and middle-income countries, including selecting appropriate indicators for program activities and ensuring timely data collection, analysis and reporting.
  • Experience in developing results frameworks, logical frameworks, program impact pathways or similar tools for project design and implementation is required.
  • Proven expertise in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies, as well as strong understanding and ability to guide the design and implementation of operations research and surveys.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the health management information systems in low- and middle-income countries. Experience using digital data collection technologies (e.g., ODK, CommCare) and the DHIS2 information system preferred.
  • Demonstrated track record in promoting the dissemination and use of data, including the ability to write policy briefs and articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Demonstrated ability to build MER capacity of other staff, and the range of ways in which this can be conducted and assessed.
  • Strong analytic skills and working knowledge of Stata software.
  • Technical knowledge of nutrition, gender equality, and neglected tropical diseases programs preferred.
  • Strong interpersonal skills in dealing with external contacts, as well as internal colleagues.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills – Excellent English and French are required. Portuguese is a plus.
  • Ability and willingness to undertake extensive field travel (at least 30%).


To Apply

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to noting the job title in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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