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Save The Children Specialist-- Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning, and Accountability (MERLA) in Washington, District Of Columbia



This position supports monitoring, evaluation, research, learning, and accountability (MERLA) for multi-sectoral awards within the Department of Humanitarian Response (DHR). It provides support on MERLA systems and processes, and supports training and capacity building on MERLA for colleagues at SCI Country Offices and emergency award field teams.

The position will provide consistent support to global programs on data analysis, indicator development and tracking, target setting, accountability systems, MERLA-related donor deliverables, research, and evaluations. This position will work with program teams to ensure that the data collected is appropriately used for program improvements and learning. In addition, this position will support proposal development and explore innovative uses for technology in MERLA.

What You’ll Be Doing (Essential Duties)

Support to Global Programs’ MERLA Systems and Processes (50%):

  • Supports programs and sectoral technical staff in selecting indicators and setting ambitious yet realistic indicator targets to measure program progress and achievements.

  • Supports program teams with routine data collection and analysis, including through innovative platforms such as KoBo Toolbox and Power BI. Supports the development of program databases as needed.

  • Supports data quality assessments to identify and address data quality problems.

  • Contributes to design and development of research and evaluation tools for baseline studies, final evaluations, post-distribution monitoring surveys, and special studies.

  • Contributes to remote and in-person MERLA trainings and capacity building for program staff; promotes cross-fertilization of ideas and information exchanges across programs.

  • Ensures that programs have appropriate accountability mechanisms in place.

  • Provides in-country technical MERLA support to programs as needed, in accordance with SCUS travel guidance.

  • Supports programs in determining how to use their data for program improvement and decision-making, and encourages the use of Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) approaches.

  • Provides other MERLA-related support as needed.

Donor Reporting and Compliance with MERLA Guidance (20%):

  • Ensures quality and contributes to MERLA sections for semi-annual and annual donor reports and ongoing deliverables, as required by donor. Verifies the quality and correctness of data included in these reports, and contributes advanced analysis of data as needed.

  • Ensures program compliance with donor requirements, including (as applicable) USAID's Open Data Policy (ADS 579), BHA monitoring and evaluation (M&E) policies and guidance, BPRM M&E requirements, and UN agency M&E requirements.

Program Learning and Innovation (10%):

  • Contributes to development of learning agendas for programs. Works with colleagues to develop research scopes of work, protocols, research methods, tools, and reports. Leads on submissions to Save the Children’s Ethics Review Committee (ERC).

  • Develops MERLA-related communication documents (case studies, newsletters, etc.) for use by senior managers, donors, and external partners.

  • Stays abreast of new and innovative MERLA technologies, and adopts them on programs when useful. Shares the new technologies with team members when relevant, and may conduct capacity building on them as needed.

  • Coordinates with internal and external MERLA stakeholders to identify and communicate MERLA training and speaking opportunities for program managers and technical staff.

Resource Mobilization (10%):

  • Supports development of M&E plans, logical frameworks, selecting indicators, and indicator selection for proposals, in collaboration with country office and program teams.

  • Participates on behalf of Save the Children and DHR at internal and external learning events and working groups, and presents data and research at public events.

Participates in MERLA meetings at the agency level and contributes to agency-wide MERLA and research best practices (10%):

  • Contributes to MERLA components of DHR and Save the Children strategy.

  • Participates in the Save the Children MERLA Working Group.

  • Works closely with other Save the Children departments on MERLA topics of mutual interest, especially as they apply to global and/or multi-country programs.

Required Qualifications

  • 3-5 years of experience in international development and/or humanitarian contexts.

  • A minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent.

  • Fluent professional English communication and writing skills.

  • Demonstrated professional proficiency in a second language.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of logical/results frameworks, M&E plans, and program evaluations.

  • Proven experience contributing to the development of program indicators and donor reports.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of how to design and conduct quantitative surveys and qualitative studies, including calculating sample sizes, selecting a sampling methodology, developing data collection tools, training enumerators, and supervising data collection.

  • Proven experience conducting quantitative or qualitative data analysis and interpreting results, and experience using statistical software.

  • Demonstrated experience writing and disseminating reports or fact sheets/case studies.

  • Demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Office.

  • Proven ability to work under tight deadlines, manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and work effectively both independently and as part of multicultural teams.

  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally up to 30% of the time (Note: As of this posting, International travel is currently paused due to COVID-19, and travel would not be required until agency guidance permits), occasionally to emergency or humanitarian contexts.

  • Willingness and ability to occasionally work irregular hours to accommodate calls with field teams in other time zones.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience working overseas in a development or humanitarian context.

  • Experience using phone or tablet based data collection software (Open Data Kit, KoBo Toolbox, etc.).

  • Familiarity with USAID BHA (formerly FFP and OFDA), BPRM, and/or UN agencies such as WFP or UNHCR.

Why you should join the Save the Children Team…

Save the Children US offers outstanding benefits that include health, dental, vision and life insurances, pet insurance, short-term and long-term disability coverage, an Employee Assistance Program, 403(b), generous vacation, personal sick leave, family leave, parental/adoption leave, commuter benefits, dress for your day, and much more.

Click here to learn more about how Save the Children US will invest in YOU!

About Save the Children

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and helping protect the children with whom Save the Children is in contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of child abuse. In addition, it is Save the Children’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of child abuse. All our representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this commitment and obligation. Any violations of this policy will be treated as a serious issue.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, or status as a veteran. Save the Children complies with all applicable laws.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)