Monitoring and Learning Expert

DAI works at the cutting edge of international development, combining technical excellence, professional project management, and exceptional customer service to solve our clients’ most complex problems. Since 1970, DAI has worked in 150 developing and transition countries, providing comprehensive development solutions in areas including crisis mitigation and stability operations, democratic governance and public sector management, agriculture and agribusiness, private sector development and financial services, economics and trade, HIV/AIDS, avian influenza control, water and natural resources management, and energy and climate change. Clients include international development agencies, international lending institutions, private corporations and philanthropies, and host-country governments.

1. Project Background:

The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Program is a cross-ministry and multi-donor program to reduce stunting in Zambia. The National Food and Nutrition Commission (NFNC) implements SUN as part of the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) 1,000 Most Critical Days Program. SUN 2.0, the second phase of the program, has three major components: (1) Pooled Multi-Donor SUN Fund, (2) SUN Technical Assistance (SUN TA), and (3) SUN Learning and Evaluation. Working in parallel with the SUN Fund, the USAID/Zambia SUN TA program will provide support and direct technical assistance to sub-national local government officials in target districts to plan, implement, coordinate, and monitor integrated nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific activities to significantly reduce the rate of stunting among Zambian children under two.

USAID has identified two main objectives that address stunting, including (1) Adequate Quantity and Quality of Dietary Intake among Target Groups; and (2) Adequate Health Conditions for Biological Utilization of Nutrients. SUN TA interventions will increase access and availability of safe, diverse, nutritious food; adoption of better child feeding habits and household hygiene practices; and access to improved health, water and sanitation services. The project will prioritize sustainability by improving intra-household joint decision making and building capacity of local government and their stakeholders to ensure coordination, accountability, and learning, following the Scaling Up Nutrition model.

2. Location: Lusaka, Zambia, with frequent in-country travel

3. Objective:

  • The Monitoring and Learning Expert will oversee the implementation of all activity monitoring, incorporation of lessons learned from external evaluations and research, and capacity building of district and sub-district activities to achieve results.
  • This position will be responsible for sectoral leadership in monitoring and learning related capacity development.

4. Tasks and Responsibilities:

  • Provide overall vision, leadership, and guidance of the project’s monitoring and knowledge management approach for project staff, partnering organizations, host governments, other donors, and stakeholders. Serve as the primary technical point of contact with the SUN Learning and Evaluation implementing partner and the NFNC evaluation unit.
  • Serve as SUN TA’s internal leader for knowledge management, including both monitoring of performance and implementation and sharing of lessons learned.
  • Support and guide the design and adjustment of interventions by ensuring an effective flow of information from assessments to implementation plans.
  • Develop the Annual Monitoring Plan and its annual revision, as needed.
  • Develop the SUN TA Monitoring, Coordination, and Communication Plan with other key personnel, and evaluation staff of the NFNC, the SUN Fund Manager, and the SUN Learning and Evaluation partner, including ensuring specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound indicators and targets in work plans.
  • Monitor program progress toward results and oversee M&E planning, data collection, analysis, and reporting.
  • Provide expert-level oversight and quality control for all project data collection and research, including design and management.
  • Provide TA to build counterpart capacity for M&E at all levels, with a primary focus on improving data collection at the district level in collaboration with the NFNC and DNCC.
  • Manage the process of project learning to ensure knowledge and learning is effectively shared and applied throughout the activity’s offices and activities.
  • Oversee documentation and dissemination of key indicators, learning, and best practices.
  • Schedule and implement SUN learning events, both internal, to support adaptive management, and external, to share lessons and success of SUN TA with national and international stakeholders.
  • Other tasks as may be assigned by the Chief of Party for successful achievement of M&E objectives.
  • 5. Reporting and Supervision:
  • The Monitoring and Learning Expert directly reports to the DCOP in activity implementation and management. This position supervises the Lusaka-based Data Management Specialist and coordinates closely with the field-based M&E and Communications Officers.

6. Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in a relevant discipline; PhD preferred;
  • 10 years of progressive experience in program monitoring, capacity building in M&E of government, and reporting on large-scale project progress;
  • Previous experience as an MEL or CLA Director, Knowledge Manager, or equivalent senior management position for a project of similar magnitude and complexity is preferred;
  • Proven knowledge of different M&E tools, approaches, and methods in addition to experience working with grant making organizations;
  • Demonstrated successful use of data and research to inform program management and implementation;
  • Demonstrated ability to inform programming based on third party evaluations;
  • Working experience in training, coaching and mentoring teams in monitoring-related techniques and methods is desirable;
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to adapt communication styles to a range of audiences, including professional and community stakeholders;
  • Previous supervisory experience preferred;
  • Fluency in written and spoken English is required.

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