Creative Associates International is a fast-growing, social impact company that specializes in the areas of education, economic growth, democratic transitions, and stabilization in post-conflict environments.
Based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, this global development organization has a field presence is more than 25 countries and a strong client portfolio of that includes the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department.
Since its founding in 1977 by four enterprising women, Creative has earned a solid reputation among its clients and is well-regarded by competitors and partners alike.
Creative Associates seeks a Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Lead for a n upcoming USAID-funded project, that seeks to increase the empowerment, productivity, and community engagement of youth, and in particular for out-of-school youth aged 15-25.
The primary objectives of the Cross-Sectoral Youth Activity will be to (1) increase and improve access to basic educational, life, and entrepreneurial skills resources, (2) provide youth with opportunities to participate in activities that foster physical and mental well-being, and (3) build or strengthen existing networks that support youth development and community engagement.
The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Lead is responsible for all monitoring, evaluation and learning activities. The MEL Lead must ensure that all activities are in line with USAID policy.
The MEL Lead will also be responsible for designing, developing and implementing an effective system to monitor progress, impacts and successes of project activities and performance at all levels.
S/he gathers, analyzes, and processes complex information related to all aspects of project activity implementation. S/he will conduct impact assessments, baseline studies, surveys and need assessments to identify necessary changes and future project opportunities.
The MEL Lead will ensure that the project complies with USAID performance reporting requirements.
The MEL Lead will also lead Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) activities and will be expected to incorporate youth voice and decision-making into MEL and CLA efforts.
The MEL Lead will work closely with the COP and DCOP on adaptive management and applying lessons learned to implementation.
Reporting & Supervision
The MEL Lead reports to the Chief of Party and works closely with the Senior Director of Monitoring Evaluation and Learning based in the Washington, D.C. office.
- Develop and update the Project MEL Plan, including review of its theory of change, results framework, indicators, relevant and applicable baseline data collection strategies and methodologies, and the financial and human resources needed to successfully implement the MEL strategy.
- Design and lead CLA efforts , strategy and tools and work closely with the COP and DCOP on leveraging learnings and evidence to guide implementation decisions.
- Ensure CLA systems meet the needs of end-users including technical teams, implementing partners, country stakeholders including youth ensuring evidence-based action.
- Organize and implement learning events and processes, including ‘pause and reflect’ events and resulting adaptive management analysis, decision-making, program/ approach adjustments, training and follow-through.
- Establish and maintain relationships and continuous engagement with USAID, other donors, peer organizations, research and other institutions. Ensure appropriate and continued coordination and joint planning with USAID and other donor activities, Tanzanian government initiatives, and private sector engagement.
- Encourage the participation of youth stakeholders in M&E tools and appr oaches and ensuring a beneficiary feedback mechanism.
- Develop tools for data collection and protocols (quantitative and qualitative) for performance monitoring as well as baseline, midline and endline and other assessments as needed.
- Conduct field visits, as necessary, to develop monitoring / performance management plans with and train technical teams and partners ;
- Elaborate annual plans related to the MEL component as well as budgets for relevant activities.
- Ensure regular communication of MEL activities to all key stakeholders and contribute to the quarterly, annual report and project reporting to USAID.
- Manage MEL resources and ensure that M&E information and resources are up-to-date, available to staff and widely disseminated; and
- Other related duties as assigned.
Required Skills & Qualifications
- Master’s degree in international development, education, statistics, social sciences, or other related field required;
- Minimum of seven years’ experience of Monitoring and Evaluation international development program, including seven years implementing ME L systems for USG-funded projects in youth programming, civic engagement, workforce development, health , education and/or inclusion ;
- Experience integrating youth and community voice in MEL activities, preference for experience supporting youth-led research;
- Experience in designing and leading CLA activities to influence strategic implementation , including push and reflect sessions , developing and implementing learning agendas, and supporting consortiums in collective learning and sharing exercises ;
- Strong quantitative and qualitative skills and demonstrated capacity and experience in data analysis, data collection; statistical analysis; and reporting; including experience with computer-based statistical packages and databases (Epi Info, ACCESS, SPSS, NVivo, MAXQDA, etc.) required;
- Familiarity with Positive Youth Development theory and practice as well as USAID’s Positive Youth Development Measurement Toolkit;
- Commitment to providing equal benefit to youth from diverse backgrounds and proven experience in applying gender equity and social inclusion (GESI) principles and approaches;
- Experience designing and implementing M&E training / capacity building programs for international and local organizations required;
- Experience with USAID’s rules and regulations required, including recent MEL guidance, strongly preferred;
- Excellent organizational skills , attention to detail , and a bility to establish priorities and meet deadlines and to initiate and implement activities with minimal oversight and supervision , supervision required;
- Excellent interpersonal skills and teamwork. Effective communication skills, able to make formal and informal presentations both orally and in writing and produce professional and analytical reports and program documents ; and
- Proficiency in written and spoken English and Kiswahili required.