MERL Manager

Job Description

Title: MERL Manager

Company Name: Development Alternatives Inc (DAI)

Vacancy: 1

Job Location: Anywhere in Bangladesh

Employment Status: Full-time

Educational Requirements:
∎ Masters degree in any discipline
∎ Master's degree or higher in a social sciences field emphasizing data collection and/or research methodologies is preferred.
∎ Skills Required: Monitoring and Evalaution, USAID

Experience Requirements:
∎ At least 5 year(s)
∎ The applicants should have experience in the following area(s): Agriculture, Data Analysis, Data Collection, Digital Tools, Geospatial Analysis, GIS Tools, Monitoring and Evalaution, USAID

Job Context:
∎ Project Background
∎ Digital Frontiers is a $74.4 million buy-in mechanism available to USAID Bureaus and Missions from 2017-2022. DAI implements the Digital Frontiers project, which works closely with USAID`s Global Development Lab (GDL), the Center for Digital Development (CDD), USAID Missions, the private sector, and international and local development organizations to identify successful and sustainable digital development approaches and scale their impact globally.
∎ As the U.S. Government`s global hunger and food security initiative, Feed the Future (FTF) works to give families and communities in some of the world`s poorest countries the freedom and opportunity to lift themselves out of food insecurity and malnutrition. By equipping people with the knowledge and tools they need to feed themselves, the program is addressing the root causes of poverty and hunger, helping people end their reliance on aid, and creating important opportunities for a new generation of young people-all while building a more stable world. Over the past eight years, over $300 million of US Government investment has been used to implement FTF activities within the program`s Zone of Influence (ZOI) and Zone of Resilience (ZOR) in Bangladesh, which have an estimated population of approximately 30 million people. However, the maximum number of beneficiaries reached over this period has been less than 3 million and the sustainability of these FTF interventions beyond the cessation of USAID funding is yet to be fully proven.
∎ USAID/Bangladesh, working with Digital Frontiers, therefore seeks to promote the efficient and effective use of digital tools and technologies to build the capacity of value chain actors (e.g. livestock service providers, market vendors, artificial inseminators, and feed dealers/distributors) under a market systems approach. These value chain actors should then be able to use the same tools to sustainably and effectively build the capacity of their clients/customers (smallholder farmers, pregnant/lactating women and vulnerable households) during and beyond the period of Activity implementation.
∎ To enable the interventions of FTF activities to reach more beneficiaries and to better ensure the sustainability of these interventions beyond the period of USAID-supported implementation, this Activity will pilot existing digital tools and scale up those that are proven to be effective to build the capacities of value chain actors. The Activity will also motivate these value chain actors to use digital tools to build the capacities of their clients and customers towards improving their agricultural productivity, resilience and household nutrition. Increased agricultural productivity will sustainably increase the competitiveness of value chain actors` agricultural products and services, and enhance domestic, regional and international trade, increasing the country`s foreign exchange potential and making it less vulnerable to malign influence. Finally, this Activity will also sustainably increase the number of clients and customers reached by FTF activities as these value chain actors will continue building the capacity of new and existing clients and customers during and beyond the period of USAID-supported implementation.
∎ This is anticipated to be a two-year Activity with the possibility of extension.

Job Responsibilities:
∎ Objectives
∎ Digital Frontiers seeks a MERL Manager for the USAID-funded Feed the Future Bangladesh Digital Agriculture Activity. With the support of other Activity staff, Digital Frontiers, and a pool of short-term technical advisors, the MERL Manager will support the implementation of a series of tasks designed to more effectively measure the effectiveness, reach, and sustainability of digital agriculture tools that aim to improve food security in the ZOI and ZOR. This will include developing measurement approaches for the following objectives:
∎ 1. Increase availability of appropriate and gender sensitive agricultural digital tools
∎ 2. Enhance digital literacy and capacity of value chain actors to understand and utilize digital agricultural tools
∎ 3. Improved utilization of agricultural digital tools by value chain actors for capacity building of their clients and customers
∎ Position Objectives
∎ The MERL Manager will be responsible for providing leadership on issues related to monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning activities. S/he will play a significant role in helping to manage and strengthen systems to assess and monitor Activity performance across interventions in different regions of Bangladesh, ensuring that data relevant to the Bangladesh context is integrated into country-specific as well as project-wide reporting and analysis. S/he will coordinate closely with the Bangladesh Digital Agriculture Activity team in Dhaka and several field offices and will manage a staff of up to six MERL and GIS Officers in Dhaka and the field.
∎ The MERL Manager will also manage the team's approach to the collection and analysis of georeferenced data to help target and more effectively report on the scope and impact of Activity investments. Collecting and analyzing geographic data with GIS technology is considered integral to increasing aid effectiveness. The Bangladesh Digital Agriculture Activity will collect geolocation data and explore data sharing approaches between FTF Bangladesh activities to maximize utilization of resources, under the guidance of the M&E and GIS Manager.
∎ S/he will continually reinforce Bangladesh Digital Agriculture Activity's agreed-upon core purpose and principles, and ensure all decision-making is rooted in Digital Frontiers' purpose and principles. S/he will contribute to fostering a learning environment in which personal and team growth is supported, with a shared understanding that the "team" always comes before the "individual."
∎ Responsibilities
∎ The MERL Manager will be responsible for the following:
∎ Design and manage data collection and reporting, supporting the development of systems that produce consistent, cost-effective, reliable, and timely data and inputs for Activity reporting.
∎ Analyze and integrate geospatial data collected by Activity team members into project reporting and communications products, including the development of activity-specific custom maps, graphs, and other related products.
∎ Work closely with technical Activity teams to develop targets for project indicators.
∎ Support the compilation of performance indicator data to be captured in workplans and reporting.
∎ Conduct data quality assurance activities, including spot checks and data quality assessments (DQAs).
∎ Manage Activity reporting to the Feed the Future Monitoring System (DIS) on an annual basis.
∎ Play a coordination role in the compilation and analysis of any shared FTF Bangladesh data among FTF implementing partners, serving as the Activity's M&E representative to external parties.
∎ Learning and knowledge management: identify, analyze, and synthesize lessons learned from Activity implementation and facilitate the incorporation of those lessons into broader MEL efforts and project-wide reports.
∎ Reporting
∎ The MERL Manager will report to the Country Lead.
∎ Supervisory Responsibilities
∎ The MERL Manager will supervise a MERL and GIS Officer in the Dhaka office and a MERL Officer
∎ The MERL Manager may also supervise short-term consultants hired to provide targeted support for technical activities relevant to Activity data collection and reporting. S/he will coordinate closely with fellow Digital Frontiers team members in Bangladesh as well as remotely based Digital Frontiers colleagues contributing monitoring, evaluation, and learning support to the project.
∎ Qualifications
∎ Local Bangladeshi candidates are highly encouraged to apply for this position.

Additional Requirements:
∎ Work Experience
∎ 5 - 10 years of experience providing monitoring and evaluation support to a donor-funded project, with a preference for experience managing MERL on a USAID-funded project.
∎ At least 3 years of experience working with geospatial analysis.
∎ Preference for experience providing MERL and data analysis support to a USAID project focused on agriculture.
∎ Preference for experience with data coordination between multiple stakeholder groups or across multiple implementing partners
∎ Preference for experience in learning and knowledge management
∎ Knowledge about digital tools, especially in the areas of agriculture and private sector, preferred
∎ Skills
∎ Good understanding of USAID monitoring, evaluation, CLA, and data collection policies and principles.
∎ Good understanding of GIS data analysis, tools, and approaches.
∎ Good understanding of Microsoft Office / Office 365 program suite, including SharePoint, Teams, Outlook, Word, and Excel.
∎ Ability to communicate/collaborate effectively across cultures, including with team members based in other countries.
∎ Critical thinker, self-starter, and able to work with minimal supervision and within established deadlines.
∎ Flexible, willing to perform assigned and additional duties and work under unpredictable conditions.
∎ Professional fluency in English and Bengali.

Job Source: Online Job Posting.

Application Deadline: 7 Jul 2021

Company Information:
∎ 23 Jun 2021
∎ Development Alternatives Inc (DAI)
∎ Address : 7600 Wisconsin Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814
∎ Web :
∎ Business : DAI is an international development company. For more than 50 years, we have worked on the frontlines of international development, tackling fundamental social and economic development problems caused by inefficient markets, ineffective governance, and instability. Currently, DAI is delivering results that matter in some 80 countries. Our development solutions turn ideas into impact by bringing together fresh combinations of expertise and innovation across multiple disciplines. Our clients include international development agencies, international lending institutions, private corporations and philanthropies, and national governments.

Category: NGO/Development