Director, Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning

Website Helen Keller International


Director, Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning

Guided by the remarkable legacy of its co-founder, Helen Keller, Helen Keller Intl partners with communities striving to overcome long standing cycles of poverty. By delivering the essential building blocks of good health, sound nutrition and clear vision, we help millions of people create lasting change in their own lives. Working in 20 countries – across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States – and together with a global community of supporters, we are ensuring every person has the opportunity – as Helen did – to reach their true potential.

We are seeking a Director – Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) to lead the design and management of data collection systems, data analysis, and determination of gaps for the anticipated USAID Integrated Nutrition project in Nepal. The Director will provide strategic and technical oversight and lead all aspects of MERL and capacity building for Helen Keller and all key project stakeholders. This is a local hire position based in Kathmandu, with frequent travel within Nepal. This anticipated five-year position is contingent on Helen Keller being awarded funding.

USAID Integrated Nutrition’s primary goal is to improve the nutrition status of women, adolescents, and children in Nepal’s underserved and marginalized communities. The activity will tackle direct and underlying determinants of malnutrition in Nepal while strengthening the national and local enabling environment to implement multisectoral nutrition programs through four synergistic intermediate results. Achievement of the purpose will be measured by improvements in indicators of nutrition status among women of reproductive age, adolescents, and children.

Functional Relationships
Helen Keller has a matrixed reporting structure. Regular communication and a spirit of teamwork among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally, are essential to make this structure thrive.

Reporting to the Deputy Chief of Party-Programs, this key personnel position will be part of the Project Leadership Team (PLT) and will provide guidance for all project staff. As the MERL lead they will serve as a co-manager with line managers to ensure technical guidance is incorporated to maximize performance.

Specific Responsibilities

Overall Management and Leadership

As a member of the PLT:

  • Participate in strategic planning and direction setting for this multi-sectoral project, lending your unique perspective and expertise to the process;
  • Provide regular updates on the portfolio and learning. Make recommendations based on analysis of progress to date and challenges encountered; and
  • Participate in an intentional approach to making decisions and adjustments in response to new information and changes in context.
  • Act as donor focal point for all MERL related programming.
  • Represent USAID Integrated Nutrition through participation in and/or organization of conferences, workshops, and seminars, and through a range of technical reports, briefs, publications, and presentations.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Portfolio

  • Serve as the focal point for all Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning related activities of the program consortium led by Helen Keller.
  • Provide technical leadership and oversight on design, implementation, analysis and use of the USAID Integrated Nutrition MERL system.
  • In coordination with technical leads and partners, ensure efficient planning and implementation program activities including selection of appropriate short-term technical assistance and identification and support to operations research opportunities;
  • Provide high quality evidence based guidance and support on key activities to the USAID Integrated Nutrition technical teams and MERL team, in addition to mentoring and coaching team members.
  • Ensure timely data analysis, interpretation and reporting on all survey and study data for adaptive management over the lifecycle of the project.
  • Identify and establish opportunities for capacity building of local partners in MERL and develop an annual capacity development plan for MERL components.

Collaboration, Learning, and Adaptive Management

  • Lead collaborating, learning, and adapting (CLA) approaches within the project to identify, analyze and apply learnings over the duration of the project.
  • Develop an annual learning cycle/plan by determining relevant sources of learning for your program, identify the best ways to analyze the learning, and ensure that systems are in place to adapt learnings into programming. Lead development of learning agenda and learning indicators for the program.
  • Identify priorities for operational research and oversee revisions to USAID Integrated Nutrition MERL plan
  • Promote program learning through sharing of MERL data and analysis among USAID Integrated Nutrition staff so that state-of-the-art approaches are understood and can be incorporated into interventions.

Required Qualifications/Competencies

  • Education: Master’s degree or higher in nutrition, public health, or a related field.
  • Experience: Minimum 10 years of experience in monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning, in the context of development programs; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Substantial experience in managing monitoring evaluation and learning activities of large-scale project. At least 6 years of experience must include managing diverse teams to successfully implement development/health programs.
  • Demonstrated track record in:
    – Monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning tools and methodologies, as well as experience applying learnings in program design, implementation, and monitoring.
    – Program research design, research methods and analysis.
    – Collaborating, Learning, and Adaptive Management using data.
    – Capacity building, training, and mentoring both one-on-one and for groups of various sizes on evaluation-related subjects.
    – Strong analytical and operations research skills.
  • The ability to work effectively with a broad range of diverse groups as evidenced by excellent listening and communication skills, balanced and reasoned approaches to problems, ability to inspire trust and confidence, and flexibility and openness to differing points of view.
  • The ability to make decisions in a dynamic environment, with an appreciation for how future needs may affect those decisions: a willingness to iterate a strategy and approach, with the ability to recognize the need to course-correct as necessary.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the synergy between the programmatic, operational, and financial components of public health initiatives.
  • Excellent time management, personal organization, capacity building, team building, management, and coordination skills. An ability to delegate responsibilities effectively and coach and mentor staff.
  • Excellent English language skills, both in written and spoken forms, complemented by strong interpersonal communication abilities.
  • Fluency in Nepali.
  • Highly computer literate with proficiency with software relevant to the job duties.
  • Well-established and practiced organizational and planning skills.
  • Collaborative, flexible and solution-oriented.
  • Demonstrable respect for all persons regardless of religion, ethnicity, class, or gender, with a high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

In the spirit of our founder and namesake, Helen Keller is dedicated to building an inclusive workforce where diversity is fully valued.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, caste, age, disability, or any other status that has no bearing on the ability of an individual to perform the functions of the job.

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