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Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Specialist (MERL) at Kenya Water and Sanitation Civil Society Network (KEWASNET)

Reporting to    Head of Programmes
Reportee(s)     Communication and Knowledge Officer
Physical Location    Nairobi, with frequent visit to counties

Job Purpose

The MERL Specialist is a member of the middle-level management team, and will be responsible for general program monitoring, evaluation, research and learning. The staff member will be in charge of general operation and use of KEWASNET’s web-based information management system; developing indicators for monitoring performance; developing and maintaining the KEWASNET performance management plan and project-level monitoring and evaluation plans; supporting project design; producing monthly/quarterly/ biannual/annual performance reports; and supporting KEWASNET to learn from and make decisions based on monitoring and evaluation data. In addition to having a basic technical background in M&E and research methods, we are looking for an individual who has strong communication skills so as to build collaborative support for uptake of strategically relevant M&E methods and the use of evidence for decision-making. The individual will also have a proven ability to lead consultative processes and work in teams both internally and externally as well as a track record for working under tight timelines and with minimum supervision.

Key Responsibilities

Key Areas    Responsibilities

  • Monitoring and Evaluation    Design measurement standards, guidelines, manuals for KEWASNET programming while ensuring benchmarking against international measurement standards, and incorporating internal learnings related to same
  • Support further development, maintenance and regular updating of the web-based information management system
  • Support the programme and projects to set up M&E systems to capture key performance indicators for purposes of regular reporting and data use across all levels.
  • Oversee data capturing and reporting using monitoring tools to track program indicators and targets.
  • Support the programme in implementation of continuous quality improvement activities.
  • Take lead in the programme/project evaluations/surveys i.e. Baseline, MTE, EOP, and other necessary assessments.
  • Capacity build and mentor programme staff, network members and implementing partners on monitoring and evaluation activities.
  • Research and Learning    Coordinate delivery against collaborative agreements with external partner (academia or consultants) to provide high quality evaluation services, research and studies in relevant aspects of KEWANET’s operation
  • Cultivate linkages with WASH Learning Centers, academia and other institutions to support their collaboration on research-related endeavors.
  • Develop scientific communication products (abstracts, posters, papers) for internal and external sharing of KEWASNETs programming results in collaboration with others as appropriate;
  • Lead or collaborate on the development of scientific manuscripts for publication.
  • Support and lead KEWASNETs learning agenda including establishment and management of a knowledge hub and information sharing.
  • Contribute to institutional knowledge building and improvement of methods and techniques, initiate, foster and nature a culture of learning within KEWANEST.
  • Promote the integration of best practices, recommendations and lessons learnt in programme planning and future programming.
  • Networking and Collaboration    Strengthen collaboration and networking between project stakeholders and relevant GoK ministries on MERL functions.
  • Organize and facilitate quarterly, semi-annual and annual or regular program review meetings with programme staff and partners and give feedback on monitoring, evaluation, research and learning.
  • Take part in development of new programme proposals and support the preparation of project concept notes, proposals and logical frameworks.
  • Support the communication functions of KEWASNET
  • Represent KEWASNET in various functions, forums as will be assigned from time to time.
  • Programme Reporting     Support in the development of high quality programme reports, including progress, monthly, quarterly, annually and other donor reports.
  • Collaborate with other programme staff and network members in the development of programme reports

Required Qualifications
Area    Qualification

  • Education     Master’s level degree in development studies, social policy or a related subject
  • Experience     Previous experience (at least 5 years) in M&E of WASH programmes and strong understanding of M&E principles and processes, including database management, reporting etc.
  • Demonstrated experience in the nurturing of organizational learning in programmes.
  • A strong understanding of the management of knowledge within NGOs or development organizations and an ability to link this to system development.
  • Strong understanding of research methodologies and the nature of evidence which will influence key decision makers in the area
  • Experience in preparing papers for peer review publications.
  • Job Knowledge     Demonstrated ability in data analysis, project design, monitoring, and evaluation of development activities.  
  • Experience developing results frameworks, logical frameworks, or similar tools for project design is required.  Experience developing and/or using performance management plans or similar tools is required.  
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in monitoring and evaluating programmes including indicator development, study design, and data analysis
  • Experience using knowledge management software or database is highly desired.  
  • Skills, Abilities and Competences     Excellent computer skills, including excel, word processing, spreadsheet programs and data base management
  • Excellent analytical skills and the ability to summarize information in a clear and concise manner
  • Excellent research and data collection methodology skills
  • Skills in supporting staff with a variety of levels of knowledge and capabilities
  • Strong organizational skills in order to balance competing priorities
  • Ability to work independently to efficiently meet deadlines  
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Oral and written communication skills to deal effectively with senior management, network members, partners, the host government, and the local communities.   
  • Ability to apply institutional regulations and procedures to daily work requirements

Position Elements

  • Travel Requirements:  In-country travel will be required to monitor and evaluate programmes, conduct assessments, and host funding partners.  International travel may be required for training and conferences related to the position.
  • Nature, Level and Purpose of Contacts: Daily direct contact with the Senior Management Team (SMT), contacts with outside organizations, network members and implementing partners are required in order to fulfill the responsibilities described above.
  • Authority to Commit: The staff member has the authority to prioritize own work load, but will not make commitments on behalf of KEWASNET.
  • Supervision Exercised: In addition to the stated roles and responsibilities, the staff member will supervise the communication and learning officer, and support/work closely with external thematic experts/consultants.
  • Work Environment: Normal office environment.
  • Hours of Work: Forty (40) hours per week, Monday to Friday, official working hours from 8.00am to 5.00pm with one (1) hour lunch break from 1pm to 2pm.

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