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MEAL Specialist

Date Posted
19th April 2017
Research, Monitoring & Evaluation
Job Type
Not Disclosed

Job Summary

The purpose of this position is to design, manage, strengthen and provide strategic direction for the MEAL component of the Reforestation Project.

Job Description

The MEAL Advisor will work across CRS and consortium staff to build capacity of MEAL and project staff. S/he will be responsible for coordinating and supervising MEAL activities and assessments required for learning and adaptive management. The MEAL Advisor will work closely with CRS program team and USAID to develop high quality monitoring systems and tools that address indicators set out in project proposal. S/he will ensure that learning from project is systematically captured and used throughout the country program. S/he will also take learning needs into account, and develop and conduct capacity building for MEAL and program staff, with support of the Chief of Party (COP), Deputy Chief of Party (DCOP) and Regional Technical Advisors (RTA) for MEAL.

The MEAL Advisor is expected to have a high level of self-initiative and use critical thinking skills to identify and fill gaps. S/he should can work sensitively and positively with the team and promote a learning environment – success of the post relies on this.


Job Responsibilities:

MEAL Strategy and Design

  1. Provide strategic high level feedback, analysis and interpretation throughout the program startup and implementation processes.

  2. Ensure that the MEAL systems are in compliance with CRS’ global and regional policies, procedures, standards and strategic initiatives, and USAID MEAL and Reporting Policies and guidance.

  3. Provide strategic direction for the development and maintenance of MEAL systems and the roll-out of new initiatives.

  4. Support the project team and MEAL team in the design and implementation of assessments, gender analysis, stakeholder analysis, organizational capacity assessments and other pre-program data collection and analysis.

  5. Ensure the consistency of indicators and tools across all partners, sectors, and programs as appropriate, maintaining a bank of key program indicators.

  6. Support programming staff to incorporate participatory methods into community level MEAL systems and tools.

  7. Collect and analyze lessons learned and best practices from previous and ongoing programs capturing the impact of activities to ensure they feed into the project strategy as appropriate.

  8. Leverage lessons learned, best practices, program data, evaluations and other information to generate donor communication pieces, proposal annexes, success stories, case studies and other high-quality, results-based documentation.


MEAL Implementation

  1. Lead mandated evaluations, needs assessments, annual surveys, case studies and other research efforts.

  2. Manage agency level MEAL requirements (e.g. annual data quality assessments, beneficiary count reporting and MEAL Policies and Procedures self-assessments).

  3. Contribute to donor reports through high quality project data interpretation and report inputs.

  4. Lead the project MEAL team to strategically prepare and review MEAL calendars and work plans.

  5. Support learning-to-action events and reflection sessions to systematically analyze data to promote adaptive management and to document and incorporate lessons learned into program design and implementation.

  6. Ensure MEAL and program teams regularly review and adjust MEAL plans and tools as needed by the project context.

  7. Ensure that transparent high quality accountability mechanisms, including beneficiary feedback and response mechanisms, are in place for the project and are regularly discussed at the appropriate level with necessary responses and feedback documented.

  8. Ensure that beneficiary feedback is adequately captured, addressed, analyzed and used by program team.


Capacity Strengthening

  1. Collaborate with the Haiti MEAL Manager to share learning, resources, and support across offices.

  2. Develop and co-facilitate MEAL workshops and modules for staff and partners to share country program, regional and global MEAL tools, processes and best practices to cultivate a culture of learning.

  3. Conduct orientations for new program staff on CRS systems and key MEAL resources.

  4. Provide mentoring to CRS and partner staff to increase capacity and to achieve annual performance and development plans.

  5. Remain updated with developments among the CRS MEAL community and worldwide MEAL trends and resources to ensure the DFSA MEAL team is applying CRS MEAL guidance and policies appropriately and in a timely manner.

  6. Conduct field monitoring visits events frequently with project teams and implementing partners.

  7. Provide feedback to senior DFSA program and MEAL staff to improve the overall MEAL system and ensure quality implementation of MEAL activities.



  1. Support the DFSA MEAL and program team to develop strong project tracking, record keeping and filing methodologies for all activities

  2. Work with MEAL and IT staff to maximize the value and utility of ICT4D in MEAL initiatives.


Program Manager Competencies

These are rooted in the mission, values and principles of CRS and used by each program manager to fulfill his or her responsibilities and to achieve the desired results.

  1. Sets clear goals and manages toward them

  2. Collaborates effectively with staff and stakeholders

  3. Manages financial resources with integrity

  4. Applies program quality standards to project design and organizational learning


Typical Background, Experience & Requirements:

  • Master’s Degree or equivalent experience in monitoring and evaluation, statistics, research methods, or related field.

  • At least 5 years of relevant monitoring and evaluation experience, demonstrating increased level of responsibility.

  • Proven ability to articulate technical information clearly and effectively to both technical and non-technical audiences.

  • Demonstrated experience in successfully translating data and findings, including from GIS data and analysis, into program actions.

  • Strong interpersonal, oral and written communication skills.


Required/Desired Foreign Language

Spoken and written fluency in English and French or Haitian Creole especially with the ability to produce quality written reports for the donor in English on a timely basis

Travel Required (include percentage of required travel, if applicable)

Ability to travel nationally as required up to 30% of the time


Working Relationships

Key Working Relationships:


Internal: Country Representative, Head of Programs, Resource Management Coordinator, Deputy Regional Director, Regional Technical Advisors, HQ specialists (in PIQA & IDEA)
External: All project partners, Government officials, public and private sector stakeholders, donors, industry experts, local/international NGOs, and local and international Catholic agencies.



Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff):

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

• Serves with Integrity

• Models Stewardship

• Cultivates Constructive Relationships

• Promotes Learning


Competencies Relevant for the Specific Position:

  1. MEAL in Design: Developing project-level Theories of Change, Results Frameworks, Proframes, related MEAL system tools and components, and accompanying MEAL narratives.

  2. Monitoring: Implementing monitoring activities, including timely collection of quality data, set up and maintenance of databases, facilitation of participatory reflection on monitoring results, and submission of timely progress reports.

  3. Evaluation: Supporting project and program evaluations and reviews by ensuring the quality of evaluation methods, tools, and data and facilitating the use of evaluation results to inform decision-making and enhance learning

  4. Accountability: Improving our accountability to a range of stakeholders through increased participation, transparent communication, responsive feedback mechanisms and adherence to internal and external quality standards and requirements.

  5. Learning: Promoting excellent knowledge management and collaborative learning processes at the project, program and institutional levels, generating robust evidence for project and programmatic learning that leads to action, decision-making and influence.

  6. Analysis and Critical Thinking: Engaging with data, challenging biases and assumptions, posing thoughtful questions, pursuing deeper understanding of evidence through reflection and perspective-taking, and making informed programming decisions.

  7. ICT for MEAL: Applying knowledge on information and communication technologies (ICT), both hardware and software, for opportune and accurate data collection, database management.


Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.

This position is contingent upon project award and funding.


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