Project Management Specialist (Strategic Information & Monitoring Evaluation and Learning) at USAID Zambia
- Company: USAID Zambia
- Location: Zambia
- State: Lusaka
- Job type: Full-Time
- Job category: Administrative/Secretarial Jobs in Zambia
The USAID Project Management Specialist (Strategic Information/Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (SI/MEL) is located in the Economic Development Office and plays a lead role in the development of effective economic development strategic information and monitoring, evaluation, and learning systems in support of the full range of Contracting/Agreement Officer’s Representatives (C/AORs) managing Mission economic development programs/projects/activities. The Contractor reports directly to the Economic Development Office Director and applies evaluation research to the monitoring of program/project/activity implementation in order to document results, and to translate SI and MEL and other data into meaningful policy and program improvements. The Contractor serves as a subject matter expert and key contributor to strengthening the capacity of information systems, providing senior-level technical guidance to Economic Development Office leaders, the broader USAID Mission, implementing partners (IPs) involved in approximately $200 million worth of economic development program monitoring and evaluation, and within the host government. The Contractor serves as a C/AOR or Activity Manager, responsible for providing technical and programmatic guidance to assigned activities.
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
a. Program/Project/Activity Performance Management and Reporting
- Provides senior/high level technical guidance to the Economic Development Office, Mission staff, IPs, and other USG agencies on MEL concepts, processes, design, training, and best practices.
- Provides expert direction and technical guidance in the implementation of the Economic Development Office portions of the Mission Performance Management Plan (PMP), and Economic Development Office responsibilities from Mission PMP; and, SI and MEL services and support to IPs in the development and implementation of program/project/activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plans.
- Provides guidance to IPs in understanding of the Performance Monitoring Plan systems, and their role in the process, and advises on specific measurement techniques appropriate for their programs/projects/activities.
- Provides technical strategic information (SI) and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) expertise to the Program Office, USAID/Washington, and other USG agencies in order to plan and manage Economic Development Office responsibilities related to the PMP, including collection, assessment of validity, and improving data quality.
- Develops innovative and cross-cutting monitoring tools, including Data Quality Assessment and Improvement (DQA/I) tools in coordination with the Program Office and SI/MEL contractors; tracks and maintains multiple sets of key indicators, common indicators related to standard components in all USAID programs/projects/activities, indicators at the strategic objective level, and detailed indicators at the activity level; and, ensures proper collection of data, and that indicators serve is an appropriate measure of their corresponding result.
- Provides technical leadership to CORs/AORs and IPs to ensure activity work plans and monitoring plans include relevant and effective performance measures, which together provide greater results and more accurate measurements.
- Leads, designs and performs assessments/studies/research requiring independent analysis and interpretation, on a regular and recurring basis; studies and research are cross-cutting, and include substantive and often sensitive Mission and Economic Development Office topics. Briefs Economic Development Office and Mission leaders on findings and makes recommendations to impact strategic, operational and programmatic direction.
- Provides expert guidance to Economic Development Office technical staff on defining measurable indicators and targets for desired results addressed by their program/project/activity, and edits quarterly, semi-annual, and annual performance Reports.
- Leads USAID’s economic development data and information systems, including the development and management of a Mission level repository for data within the Economic Development office’s purview, including biodiversity, trade, agriculture, climate change, energy and co-management of data with the Health Office for nutrition and water and sanitation activities.
b. Evaluation and Organizational Learning
- Provides technical guidance and leadership to ensure evaluations are properly planned and carried out in a high quality and professional manner, by aiding Economic Development Office CORs/AORs to draft appropriate Scopes of Work (SOWs) for evaluation Teams, by actual participation in and/or leading evaluation Teams, and by ensuring that Team comments on draft evaluation reports are reflected in final reports.
- Leads a team in the development and execution of an evaluation plan that ensures compliance with USAID Evaluation Policy. Advises thematic teams/working groups and technical specialists on planning, designing, and implementing appropriate Evaluation Plans.
- Provides technical guidance and leadership to other USG agencies in the development, preparation, and dissemination of results of economic development evaluations, climate assessments, etc.
- Leads cross-cutting evaluations, and supports prioritization and implementation of recommendations, as required.
- Manages the Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) action plan of the Economic Development Office, including the associated Learning Agenda and recurring and regular Learning activities.
- Organizes and leads roundtables and consultations with Economic Development Office staff, IPs, and other stakeholders to develop/implement a Learning Agenda for economic development interventions; identifies mechanisms for implementing research; and, manages implementation of research and evaluation activities and dissemination of results.
- Provides technical leadership and oversight to various Ministries (Agriculture, Commerce, Land and Natural Resources, Tourism, Energy, etc.) and other host-country government staff to ensure that national-level data is available and reliable, and works with inter-agency Heads of Departments and senior technical staff to ensure that USG data contributes to an accurate picture of the situation on the ground, that double-counting is avoided, and that results are attributable to USAID (and USG) interventions.
c. Project Management
- Serves as a C/AOR and/or Activity Manager for SI/MEL programs/projects/activities awarded through the Economic Development Office, providing financial and programmatic oversight to ensure contracts and grants achieve anticipated results, and are linked to and enhance attainment of the Economic Development Office, Mission, and USG objectives.
- Conducts site visits as required in order to monitor progress, and to provide technical and programmatic recommendations to ensure effectiveness, efficiency and judicious use of USG funding.
- Represents the Economic Development Office, Mission, and USG at national and/or international technical and programmatic meetings, and in consultations with other social sector donors, government officials, and IPs.
- Provides technical and strategic leadership in the preparation of key annual and mid-term planning reporting documents including the Country Operational Plan, Operational Plan, Congressional Budget Justifications, Technical Notifications, Quarterly, Semi-Annual and Annual Progress Reports.
- Drafts talking points and/or speeches for the Office Director, Mission Director, Ambassador and others, as required, and prepares briefing papers, presentations, and coordinates site preparations for VIP site visits.
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October 8, 2021