BASIC FUNCTION OF POSITION
Although significant challenges remain, Liberia’s health has made substantial progress since the civil war ended in 2003. Liberia’s civil wars, which spanned 1989 to 2003, decimated basic infrastructure, including water and sanitation, electricity, roads, education, and health services – factors that contributed to the spread of disease and premature mortality. More than a decade following the end of the conflict, Liberia still remains among the poorest countries in the world, facing significant public health challenges as well as weak systems for delivering basic health services. Supply chain systems remain weak leading to recurrent stock-outs of basic supplies and medications, availability of skilled health workers is still low by regional standards, management capacity at all levels remains thin, and service provision in many areas is dependent on support from donors and NGO partners. Health systems weaknesses were among the factors that enabled the 2014 Ebola outbreak to quickly escalate into a full-scale national emergency, and threatening to further reverse years of progress made in improving the health status of Liberians.
The Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Specialist will join the Mission Health Team which presently consists of 14 positions including three US Direct Hires (USDHs), and a combination of US and Third Country National (TCN) Personal Services Contractors (US/TCN PSCs), and locally engaged Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs). The team is organized into two sub-teams, each headed by a USDH Foreign Service Officer: the Service Delivery Sub-team, and the Health Systems Strengthening Sub-team. The Health Systems Strengthening Sub-team leads management of the Mission’s flagship wrap-around technical assistance activity, Collaborative Support for Health Systems Strengthening (CSH), and coordinates the health portfolio’s WASH activities which cut across both the Service Delivery and the Health Systems Strengthening Sub-teams. The Service Delivery Sub-team leads management of a Government-to-Government (G2G) Fixed Amount Reimbursement Agreement (FARA) the Ministry of Health (MOH), as well as a diverse portfolio of technical assistance and support in cross-cutting areas of primary health care service delivery including maternal/reproductive and child health. In addition, the health portfolio has a strong and extensive President’s Malaria Intiative (PMI) that, coupled with the Global Fund investment, covers the entire country.
The Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) position will join the Health Office at USAID/Liberia to oversee and coordinate the monitoring and evaluation of all health program activities in Malaria, Maternal & Child Health (MCH), Family Planning & Reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS, Ebola, and health systems strengthening. The Office of Health’s monitoring and evaluation functions include, but are not limited to: project performance monitoring (including participation on an advisory level in the Ministry of Health’s stewardship and M&E oversight); program level data gathering/validation; trend monitoring and reporting; implementation of public health evaluations and special studies; and strengthening of health management information systems, national surveillance systems and population based surveys. The specialist will be an integral member of the Health team providing leadership and technical guidance to effectively monitor and evaluate the full range of program progress and results.
The M&E Specialist will also serve as the Program Office liaison on behalf of the Health Team around monitoring, evaluation, and learning. The Specialist will lead planning, logistics and implementation of key programmatic activities, such as the annual performance plan and report, operational plan, annual and semi-annual reporting (including USAID’s PPR, ad-hoc reporting required for special initiatives, etc.), monthly Congressional mandated reporting for Ebola activities, partners’ M&E plans, work-plan reviews, and health portfolio review. The M&E Specialist will also interact closely with the broader health team; the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) members, and the interagency Ebola Team and will collaborate on programmatic responses from headquarters. The Specialist will interact with the Government of Liberia (GOL), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, USAID implementing partners, and any other key stakeholders involved in health programming. The Specialist will also lead the development, streamlining and implementation of strategic processes, tools and systems across the board for the Health Office.
The Specialist is expected to complete assigned duties with little direct supervision and will work extensively through diverse teams. While the incumbent will report directly to the Health Team Leader, he or she is expected to work closely and collaboratively with the Service Delivery and Health Systems Strengthening Sub- teams as appropriate.
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The M&E Specialist performs a variety of duties and must possess the ability to multi-task. Good organizational skills, attention to detail, and understanding systems, databases and associated authorities are required. In particular the incumbent will be responsible for the following activities:
A. Provide technical leadership for the Health Team’s Assessment, Monitoring Evaluation, and Learning priorities and activities
- Serves as the team’s expert and champion in charge of coordinating assessments, monitoring and evaluation of activities – including both impact and program/process evaluations of health development activities - in close coordination with the Program Office M&E Specialist and mission partners, including implementers, contractors, and the Government of Liberia.
- Leads the development of the team’s assessment, monitoring and evaluation systems and frameworks; keeps team members informed of developments in program assessments, monitoring and evaluation activities; and provides technical guidance on how these may be applied within the Mission setting.
- Works with the team’s A/CORs to better determine internal programmatic information needs for contract/grant management, learning and adaptation, and reporting purposes for both routine and special initiative reporting – such as for the Global Health Security Agenda, the Presidents Malaria Initiative (PMI).
- Assists AOR/CORs to determine and utilize the most effective performance indicators that meet the needs of USAID for both reporting, as well as performance management.
- Serves as the team’s technical expert for design and implementation of USAID/Liberia’s health sector performance monitoring plan (PMP) and alignment of activity-level M&E plans.
- Participate as the Health team representative to the Mission-wide Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) working group, led by PPD. Working group member’s primary function will be to serve as M&E/CLA “champions” within their teams, keep PPD informed of M&E and Collaborative Learning and Adaptation (CLA) needs, and to support the Mission’s efforts to further the M&E and CLA agendas, ensure higher quality M&E work, and share lessons learned.
- Works with PPD’s Collaboration, Learning, and Adaptation (CLA) Advisor and implementing partner(s) to champion CLA in the Health Team’s day-to-day activities, champion development of a health team learning agenda, and support COR/AORs to operationalize the Mission’s learning agenda in the Health team.
- Identifies and prioritizes projects for external evaluation, coordinates/advises development of evaluation Scopes of Work, reviews and provides input to draft evaluation data and narrative report to ensure quality, and ensures that resulting monitoring and evaluation findings are disseminated.
- Serves as the Health Office’s ‘Point of Contact’ for all related assessments, monitoring and/or evaluation efforts.
· Conducts and/or coordinates periodic analyses of program and M&E reporting data and presents findings for collaboration, learning and adaptation and other periodic mission needs, such as to support portfolio reviews or annual results reporting, or for reports presented internally or externally.
· Serves as the health team focal point to establish, review, and maintain the Mission-wide Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP).
B. Provide management, coordination and/or oversight of Monitoring, Evaluation, Data
Management and Reporting activities
· Is responsible for coordinating the development, presentation, analysis and reporting on indicators for all projects supported by USAID/Liberia’s Health Office through the yearly Performance Plan and Report (PPR) and monthly Ebola Supplemental Funding reports, working in close collaboration with CORs/AORs/Activity Managers and implementing partners to ensure overall conformity with USAID guidance.
· Actively participates in the Mission’s Program and Project Planning process.
· Works with USAID Health implementing partners and contractors to ensure timely and quality data reporting into USAID/Liberia’s M&E reporting database (presently the Performance Indicator Database System (PIDS), which is managed by an external contractor). The M&E Specialist will work with PPD and the contractor to propose additions and refinements and work with Mission AOR/CORs and Health DO Implementing Partners to ensure programmatic data integrity and compliance.
· Develops plans for conducting regular site visits to review implementation of M&E efforts in close collaboration with CORs/AORs/Activity Managers. Based on information collected during field visits, communicate findings and recommendations for strengthening M&E activities to the Health Team and, as appropriate, implementing partners and GOL counterparts.
· Reviews Implementing Partner Activity/Programmatic M&E Plans for Agency compliance with standard / required indicators and data reporting, Mission strategy, and Liberian context; assists DO Team AOR/CORs to track data quality assessment needs and follow-up to ensure findings are addressed.
· Maintains an inventory of M&E data, reports, tools, and other information related to the health sector and USAID health programs. Assures Health Team compliance with USAID policies regarding performance measurement and evaluations.
· Provides the team with input in the development of award solicitations to integrate assessments, monitoring and evaluation guidance.
· Assists in developing a DO team monitoring and evaluation plan in line with the team’s targets, as well as ensures that partners develop project monitoring plans and report in a timely manner on their activities.
· Develops plans for conducting regular site visits to review implementation of M&E efforts in close collaboration with COR/AOR/Activity Managers. Based on information collected during field visits, communicate findings and recommendations for strengthening M&E activities to the Health Team and, as appropriate, implementing partners and GOL counterparts.
· Independently conducts formal or informal reviews to assess program accomplishments; Analyzes program processes and impact, and makes recommendations for effective changes; Leads Health Team in coordination and presentation at the Annual Strategic Portfolio Review.
· Coordinates design, and as assigned participates as Health Team activity manager / point of contact for external evaluation teams, and ensures effective Mission management of health mid-term and end-of project evaluations in collaboration with relevant Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR) and Assistance Officer’s Representative (AOR) and the Mission M&E Specialist in the Program and Project Development (PPD) team.
· Works with USAID Health implementing partners and contractors to ensure timely and quality data reporting into USAID/Liberia’s mission M&E reporting database (presently the Performance Indicator Database System (PIDS) system, which is managed by an external contractor). The M&E Specialist will work with PPD and the contractor to propose additions and refinements and work with Mission AOR/CORs and Health DO Implementing Partners to ensure programmatic data integrity and compliance.
Other duties as assigned
a. Education: A Master’s degree in public health, public administration, economics, international development or international relations.
b. Prior Work Experience: The M&E Specialist will have at least 5 years of professional experience in designing and implementing Monitoring and Evaluation activities in progressively responsible positions, with demonstrated field experience in assessment, monitoring, evaluation, and analysis of program operations.
c. Technical Experience and Skills
· Demonstrated ability to provide expert technical advice and leadership in the design and implementation of M&E activities
· Strong analytical skills and experience in the collection and analysis of data
· Demonstrated in-depth knowledge of state of the art approaches in monitoring and evaluation of development or public health programs
· Familiarity with USG policies and requirements preferred but not required.
· Demonstrated experience working collaboratively with technical host-country counterparts, donors and other stakeholders at national and decentralized levels.
d. Teamwork and Interpersonal Skills
· Demonstrated strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in a multi-cultural setting.
· Demonstrated ability to work in a team – oral and written interpersonal communication is critical.
· Demonstrated experience working closely with government decision-makers and program managers at central and decentralized levels in a developing country.
e. Language, Communication and Computer Skills
· Strong written and verbal communication skills. Must be fluent in English (FSI Level 4) and have proven ability to communicate quickly, clearly and concisely in both speech and writing. Excellent writing skills must include ability to produce and edit documents in a timely manner.
· Able to facilitate meetings and make logical and persuasive oral presentations to senior officials and partners in a multi-cultural context. Ability to communicate technical information to health and non-health audiences.
· Excellent written communication skills are required to prepare regular and ad hoc reports, activity documentation and briefing papers.
· Strong working knowledge of word processing and data management tools (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint); knowledge of statistical analysis programs a plus but not required.
f. Post Entry Training: USAID’s in-house courses for monitoring & evaluation and other Agency courses, as needed.
g. Language Proficiency: Must have proven ability to communicate quickly, clearly and concisely – both orally and in writing in English (Level 4). Demonstrated ability to make sensitive oral presentations logically and persuasively to senior USG and other donors;