Head of Monitoring & Evaluation, Research and Learning - Cambodia

from Save the Children
Closing date: 15 Nov 2019

Save the Children is seeking a Head of Monitoring & Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) for an anticipated five-year USAID-funded Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) program in Cambodia. The proposed program may focus on promoting nurturing care for the most-vulnerable newborns and young children, starting before birth, through evidence-based integrated programming in early-childhood development to provide for children’s health, nutrition, safety and security, responsive caregiving for social and emotional well-being, and opportunities for early learning. Proposed activities may specifically address stunting through improving nutrition service delivery at health facilities and community, supporting nutrition sensitive agriculture, and promoting safe and secure environments to help children meet critical cognitive and physical developmental milestones. Program objectives may include improving cognitive skills of vulnerable and at-risk children, decreasing stunting rates for children under five, and increasing the number of vulnerable and at-risk children in caring and safe family environments. Particular attention will likely be given to supporting the early identification of children with disabilities.

The MERL Lead will provide oversight of Monitoring & Evaluation, Research and Learning, institutionalize evidence uptake and learning practices, and bring consistency and quality in research and use of evidence in the program. They will also develop, implement, and continuously improve monitoring and evaluation systems for all program activities, leading but not limited to the production of high quality reports. The MERL Lead incorporates best practices in overseeing data collection, compilation, analysis and use, leading strategic design and cultivating data and evidence use, including developing approaches for community analysis and using data for strategic decision making. They will also be actively involved in establishing and promoting a learning agenda and will facilitate use of these findings to improve the program and achieve the objectives and to inform broader learning on the program.

This position is contingent upon donor approval and funding. Qualified local nationals are strongly encouraged to apply.

What You'll Be Doing (Essential Duties)


  • Develop and implement an Evidence and Learning Agenda for the program, securing buy-in across USAID and government stakeholders;
  • Collaborate with the Chief of Party and technical staff to ensure data from the M&E and learning systems is used for adaptive management to ensure approaches are grounded in evidence and improve program effectiveness, including facilitate routine reviews of programming to assess alignment to targets and indicators contained in the program proposal;
  • Lead on the development and implementation of a coherent and coordinated Research, Evaluation and Learning plan aimed at improving quality outcomes and achieving education, child protection and nutrition objectives for children in Cambodia;
  • Provide leadership, training and mentoring to develop M&E Plans, M&E tools, survey design, methodology, and data analysis to assess program progress and impact and feed into adaptive management;

  • Develop systems to capture and use data and relevant information on program activities, beneficiaries, outputs, outcomes, and impact;

  • Effectively rollout M&E collection and reporting systems to all staff and partners through training, site visits, manuals, supportive supervision and other technical support as needed;

  • Provide on-going leadership to maintain M&E systems; identify skill gaps and build capacity among the program team;

  • Support all program reviews and evaluation activities, including coordinating baseline, mid-term and final evaluations, and supporting donor and external reviews;

  • Contribute to high quality, accurate and timely reports for Save the Children, program partners and donors as required.

  • Provide leadership in MERL community of practice and collaborate and share best practices with other USAID funded programs in Cambodia

Research, Evaluation and Learning, including Dissemination

  • Use USAID’s CLA Collaboration Learning and Adapting (CLA) framework and set of practices to help improve development effectiveness throughout the program life cycle, valuing and using all forms of knowledge—tacit, experiential and contextual—for design and adaptive management.
  • Undertake analytical work on quality education, child protection, and nutrition programming to generate cross-thematic learning on trends and opportunities for the program and SCI to achieve better outcomes for children.
  • Lead the development of strategic learning products such as policy briefs, policy position papers, publications, and other that share innovation and key learnings with USAID and stakeholders;
  • Lead the management and implementation of learning outlets for the program through Webinar Series, and professional talent development of program staff in Education, Child Protection Programming, and Nutrition, Community Development Approaches, MEAL and Research, among others;
  • Be a champion in the development of an organizational culture in the country office and within the program team for knowledge sharing and cross learning. Documenting, disseminating, and using knowledge and learning internally and among partners and local and regional actors to help spread effective practices widely for improved development.
  • Prepare and submit electronic reports to USAID Development Experience Clearing House, and datasets including data dictionary and other related documents to USAID Development Data Library.

Team Management and Development

  • Manage and provide oversight and technical support for MEAL staff and data analysis support staff
  • Participate in talent development of MEAL and research staff, including partner staff

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in education, public health, applied statistics, or related field is required, with a sound understanding of different research, evaluation and monitoring methods relevant to Education, Child Protection, and Nutrition;
  • Seven to ten years of experience in monitoring and evaluation related to integrated community-based programs in nutrition, child protection, early childhood development or education;
  • Experience with USAID MEAL standard requirements and processes;
  • Advanced training in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including database management;
  • Strong analytical skills and an understanding of monitoring, evaluation and assessment tools to promote evidence-based learning;
  • Knowledge and demonstrated experience of designing and managing research and evaluations;
  • Experience in knowledge management, translation and organizational learning in order to help drive improvements in evidence appreciation and uptake, including experience presenting information in different formats for different audiences;
  • Excellent influencing skills that demonstrate an ability to create acceptance and support for ideas from staff across teams and to build the capacity of others; Sound critical and strategic thinking and planning skills, including ability to think creatively and innovate and to set priorities, manage work plans and evaluate progress;
  • Strong oral and written communication skills in English with a clear ability to produce and disseminate research and evaluation outputs to a variety of audiences;
  • Willing and able to travel to support field teams and lead particular pieces of work.
  • Advanced skills in statistical applications (SPSS/STATA) and computer assisted qualitative data analysis applications (NVivo/Atlas ti.);
  • Advanced knowledge in impact evaluation design and analysis using econometric modelling and advanced statistical techniques;
  • Extensive experience in designing and managing MEAL plan, MEAL systems and frameworks especially with USAID or US government funded projects/programs or organizations.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Extensive MERL experience and analyzing child protection, education, and/or nutrition principles frameworks;
  • Considerable experience in the writing of policy papers, research and evaluation reports;
  • Strong knowledge of care system and government structure in Cambodia is an advantage;

  • Familiarity with the political, social, and cultural context of Cambodia;

  • Fluency in Khmer.

Qualified local candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

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.

How to apply:

Qualified candidates should apply directy through the website at: https://recruiting.ultipro.com/SAV1002STCF/JobBoard/7d92e82b-af74-464d-8...