Creative Associates International is a dynamic and fast-growing professional services firm that specializes in international development in areas of education, democratic transitions, and stabilization in post-conflict environments. Based in Washington, DC, the firm has a field presence in 30 plus countries worldwide with a strong and diverse portfolio that includes global contracts with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and other clients including the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense. The firm has earned a solid reputation among its clients and missions worldwide and is well respected by competitors and partners alike.
The five-year USAID-funded Bar ama Baro (“Teach or Learn” in Somali – BAB) program is a comprehensive primary education program designed to support the government of Somalia in providing quality non-formal education services to marginalized children across the country. Through working at both the national and local level, BAB systematically and strategically assists government and community actors in designing and delivering comprehensive non-formal education services to children most in need of accelerated education assistance. Specifically, the BAB project aims to increase student enrollment in accelerated basic education centers (ABE), improve student safety, monitor improvements in literacy, numeracy and socio-emotional skills, and improve the Federal Government of Somalia’s capacity to standardize and regulate the accelerated education space.
Creative Associates International, Inc. (Creative) is seeking a Director of Monitoring, Evaluation, Research & Learning (MERL) for USAID-funded, BAB an education project in Somalia. S/he will be responsible for leading the implementation of monitoring and evaluation activities and information system to track project delivery against its performance management plan. The MERL Director will be in charge of producing timely, high quality M&E data and reports with the purpose of evaluating project outputs and outcomes and guiding management decisions and adjustments to project activities. S/He will be responsible for developing/adapting data collection tools, protocols, and standard procedures to ensure that data is gathered in a technically sound manner compliant with USAID data quality standards. The MERL Director is also responsible for data management, quality assurance, analysis, and production of evaluation reports.
Reporting & Supervision
The Director of MERL reports to the Chief of Party.
- Implementation of project MERL system, and eventual changes in its design, in consultation with the COP and technical/implementation team.
- Review and revise/update existing project monitoring and evaluation tools, and develop/adapt new tools as needed, in consultation with the project technical/implementation team.
- Monitor the implementation of a MERL work plan to ensure all data collection and analysis tasks are carried out in a timely manner.
- Lead the MERL team to collect and analyze the project monitoring and evaluation data and make recommendations to the BAB Senior Management Team for necessary program adaptation.
- Identify MERL training needs for BAB’s local partners and organize the capacity building of local partners to respond to these needs.
- Conduct secondary verification of all monitoring and evaluation data received from partners, including conducting verification visits, as appropriate.
- Guide reporting processes amongst technical staff and consolidate program reports, promote learning and knowledge sharing of best practices and lessons learnt.
- Support all the technical staff in MERL functions and manage any MERL-related staff in the program.
- Ensure MERL activities are in line with the USAID Evaluation Policy and USAID Education Strategy.
- Ensure periodic reports (oral and written) are made to USAID and manage collaboration with third-party evaluator and external monitoring contractor
- Lead the design and execution of project research and learning activities.
- Collaborate with HQ MERL technical team to ensure project data flow into the companywide MERL system (MEDAL).
- Actively participate in HQ MERL Community of Practice events and professional development opportunities to ensure the project benefits from new advancements in MERL field.
- A Master’s Degree in education, research methods or another relevant social science.
- An advanced degree (PhD) from an accredited university in research design/evaluation (or a relevant field) is highly desired.
Skills and Experience:
- At least seven (7) years of experience designing and implementing MERL activities for integrated foundational skills and access education programs in developing countries.
- Expertise in quantitative and qualitative research, including skills with relevant statistical software (e.g., SPSS or Stata).
- Strong organizational, analytical, and writing skills for monitoring and reporting on program outcomes and impacts to support project supervision.
- Demonstrated experience in setting up and managing MERL systems that track performance as per the performance management plan of the project.
- Ability to translate MERL results into concrete recommendations for project/activity adjustments based on the data.
- Demonstrated experience working in complex environments, working across different cultures, and managing diverse teams to deliver impacts within agreed timelines.
- Professional level of oral and written fluency in English is required.
- Proficiency in Somali is highly desired but not required.
Only finalists will be contacted. Please no phone calls.
Creative Associates International Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer (gender/race/disability/veteran) and provides equal opportunity to all individuals regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state, federal, or local law.