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Project Management Specialist -Evaluation

Description

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 

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The Evaluation Specialist will manage various aspects of performance management—including monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) with a focus on evaluation for all USAID-funded programs in the Mission. In addition, the incumbent will provide technical assistance to USAID staff and implementing partner staff on evaluations and other MEL needs.  His/her principal responsibilities include: 

Serve as the Mission’s Evaluation Specialist (65%) 

  • Serve as the Mission’s Evaluation Point of Contact; manage the Mission’s Evaluation Schedule and the Evaluation Recommendations Tracker; ensure the Evaluation Mission Order is up-to-date and utilized and advise Mission on Evaluation Policy compliance (as outlined in the Agency’s Automated Directive Service-ADS 201); present evaluation policies, provide guidance and ensure utilization of evaluation findings; disseminate and socialize findings with Mission staff and other relevant stakeholders. 
  • Oversee and manage the design of performance and impact evaluation statements of work (SOW) or objectives (SOO); incorporate effective evaluation approaches in activity and project design and implementation; manage procurement of independent evaluations. 
  • Identify technical assistance required for successful program planning and learning, including assessments, studies, and evaluations—both performance and impact. Guide and advise technical office staff on all evaluation matters, including selecting activities and projects for evaluation, working with technical teams to develop quality evaluation questions, methodology, budgets, and timelines, and reviewing draft and final evaluation reports. Synthesize evaluation methods, findings, and recommendations on every evaluation for consumption by the public, Mission management, USAID/W, other donors and Mission counterparts. Analyze evaluations submitted by external contractors for quality control and circulate for peer review. 
  • Track evaluation recommendations and other MEL lessons and findings and ensure that they are utilized in new Mission procurements and inform ongoing decision-making at both tactical and strategic levels within KEA. Support incorporation of recommendations from evaluations into new activity, project designs and portfolio reviews. Support a learning culture to improve collaboration, learning and adapting (CLA) surrounding Mission evaluations. 
  • Manage the development and implementation of capacity building programs, workshops, and other participatory activities that will broaden knowledge and practice of effective Mission evaluation, including Presidential and other special initiatives, and related activities at regional, national, sub-national (e.g. county), and partner levels. 
  • Track evaluation budget data and work closely with the Program Office Budget Team to ensure evaluations are funded appropriately and according to agency guidelines for MEL funding levels. 
  • Manage requisite contracts and other duties to potentially include approving key personnel, managing task order work plans, selecting peer reviewers and organizing peer reviews of evaluation documents, ensuring high quality and cost-effective products, and completing all other relevant Contracting Officer’s Representatives (COR) duties. Manage the contract budget as well as budget contributions from various technical offices. 
  • As COR/AOR, develop and implement annual work plans, schedules for budget allocation, obligation, and expenditure, portfolio reviews, audits, and closeouts. Support SPA, Mission, and USG efforts to ensure effective, cost-effective, and responsible programming and reporting in compliance with USG and USAID.

Lead and Manage Capacity Building in Performance Management (25%) 

  • Participate in relevant working groups and teams to provide technical expertise on performance and knowledge management and other related tools, systems, and issues, and lead such teams as necessary. 
  • Liaise and coordinate with key partners to build and strengthen relationships with relevant institutions to encourage optimal coordination, harmonization, and alignment of MEL processes. 
  • Collect and disseminate best practices and lessons learned at the bilateral and regional level. 
  • Support the Mission’s Collaboration, Learning and Adapting Strategy (CLA) to ensure more effective and efficient programs and processes through evaluation recommendations and other learning and adapting strategies. Establish working relationships with counterparts to enhance CLA. Collaborate with other Performance Management Team members in the development and implementation of learning management and dissemination systems for use by all Mission staff. Establish a regional community of practice for knowledge exchange.

c. Interagency Duties (10%) 

  • Support the Mission’s annual Performance Plan and Report (PPR) and portfolio review processes. 
  • Lead the MEL components of strategic planning, assessments of proposed programs, changes in the development environment, and other sector-specific and cross-sectorial assessments. 
  • Build and strengthen relationships with key relevant partner institutions and other key national, regional, and non-governmental institutions to encourage optimal coordination, harmonization and alignment of MEL processes, data dissemination tools and other developed knowledge management systems. 
  • Regular coordination with other donors and MEL staff in Kenya and the East Africa region.
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POSITION ELEMENTS

  1. Supervision Received: The incumbent will report to the Mission’s MEL Team Lead. The supervisor will provide overall supervision to the incumbent; however, the incumbent will exercise independent judgment in planning and carrying out tasks, resolving problems and conflicts, and taking steps necessary to meet deadlines.
  2. Supervision Exercised: Supervision of other employees is not anticipated at this time.
  3. Available Guidelines: Guidelines include USAID’s ADS Series, USAID’s Evaluation Policy, Africa Bureau procedural guidance, Mission Orders, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR), and professional development literature.
  4. Exercise of Judgment: Projects assigned to incumbent include a variety of duties and processes requiring extensive exercise of judgment, decision-making, and communications management. Initiative, creativity, and patience is expected in working with USG personnel, as well as with representatives from other organizations/partners/host governments to resolve challenges. The Specialist will be required to follow and adhere to USAID’s Code of Ethics and Conduct and must ensure that his/her input into official U.S. Government documents is consistent with the goals of the Program Office and the Mission and reflects its strategic thinking. Good judgment and sound reasoning will be required in organizing and maintaining complete program documentation that allows easy retrieval of information.
  5. Authority to Make Commitments: The Specialist will speak with authority on USAID project implementation requirements and regulations, acting as both a specialist and an information resource to contacts in both public and private sectors. S/he is expected to represent USAID/KEA with high level government and other counterparts; however, s/he cannot make financial commitments on behalf of the U.S. Government.
  6. Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: Contacts will be at both high and working levels with the Mission, USAID/Washington counterparts and potentially other U.S. Embassy staff and that of other bilateral and multilateral donor organizations. Contact will be of a continuous nature through day-to-day meetings and periodic review sessions.
  7.  Time Expected to Reach Full Performance Level: One year (12 Months).

Education Bachelor’s Degree

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree with specialized study in Statistics, Mathematics, Monitoring and Evaluation, Research Methodology, International Development studies or related fields.
  • Post Entry Training: Introduction to Project Cycle, Project Development, Collaborating, Learning and Adapting, Five Disciplines of a Learning Organization, PDT Essentials AOR/COR Training, Rapid familiarization with a wide range of USAID policies, procedures and regulations. Training in USAID Project Design and Implementation, MEL courses, COR/AOR courses, and sector specific knowledge related to backstopping responsibilities will be arranged, as feasible and available. On the job training in relevant methods and techniques listed above. Appropriate technical training may be supported where necessary. 
  • Language Proficiency: Level IV English and Kiswahili are required. Ability to develop, write and present comprehensive reports.

More Details on Experience

  • Prior Work Experience: Minimum five years of specialized experience in strategic process, outcome, cost-benefit, and/or impact program evaluation and evaluation design and implementation with an International Development Assistance organization, non-governmental organization, Donor Agency or Embassy.
  • Job Knowledge:   The incumbent must have a solid understanding of monitoring, evaluation, and learning systems, regulations, and objectives. The incumbent must be well versed in performance evaluations and their respective tools, including developmental evaluation, impact evaluations, end of program evaluations, process evaluations, diagnostic studies, benchmark data collection, participatory evaluations, and theory based, quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods. The incumbent will also be familiar with impact evaluations and their relevant designs including experimental, quasi-experimental and non-experimental. The incumbent must be experienced in translating evaluation findings into actionable learning and have a good understanding of the nature of development program goals and U.S. foreign policy.

More Details on Skills

Skills and Abilities: The candidate should have demonstrated initiative, responsibility, strong presentation skills and creativity. Candidates will be expected to show experience in performing successfully at high levels, with minimal supervision and daily direction. 

Due to frequent interaction with external stakeholders in high stakes environments, the jobholder must be able to perceive, use, understand, manage, and handle emotions and communicate effectively to ensure positive working relationships are maintained, in addition, sound judgement and the ability to effectively and diplomatically collaborate with a variety of customers. The individual must be able to develop and maintain an extensive range of contacts with senior and working level staff throughout the Mission as well as key development partners, donors, GOK officials and other stakeholders.  The incumbent will be expected to demonstrate experience in performing successfully at high levels, with minimal supervision. 

The incumbent must be able to work independently and collaboratively in a team and know how to build consensus; demonstrate strong research and interpersonal skills. Skills to analyze and resolve a wide range of challenges in project and program MEL are necessary. S/he must be comfortable developing outreach strategies and presentations. Good coordination and organizational skills within a multicultural work environment is required along with the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and work effectively under pressure. The individual will handle many different overlapping tasks and projects characterized by shifting priorities. The individual must therefore apply the highest analytical skills and judgment to determine the best solution from the range of possible alternatives.  S/he must have demonstrated computer skills, including intermediate to advanced level mastery of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as statistical software.  Monitoring and evaluation system development and maintenance skills, including data management, are required.

Development Program Assistant-SPA

MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Development Program Assistance (40%) 

The DPA will prepare basic reports from the Mission’s management systems – developing tables, graphs, and similar documents on Performance Management and Learning using information from the Mission’s M&E systems and similar databases (e.g., FACTS Info and the Development Information Solution (DIS). In addition, S/He will collect and consolidate information for management reviews and external audits; prepare briefing and other materials for and coordinate program office-led meetings (e.g., Partners’ meetings or consultations, Front Office and Program Office leadership meetings) and assist in public events as needed. 

The DPA coordinates development portfolios within SPA, providing support related to program monitoring and implementation, partner communications, interfacing with relevant support offices, etc.  In addition, the DPA will provide budget preparation, briefing preparation, presentations, and similar requirements that pertain to the activities and projects for which they are responsible. 

The DPA supports AORs/CORs in maintaining activity records and status reports, including quarterly technical and financial reports, accruals, and budget tracking tables, preparing and updating project documentation. In addition, the DPA collects information from other sources (implementing partners, donors, host government, etc.) as needed to identify opportunities to strengthen programs. 

The DPA will support the MEL team to initiate GLAAS actions, requisition and modification for MEL goods, services, contracts, and agreements, as well as assist in filing, follow up, and clearances such as action memos for any MEL related procurements. 

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (30%) 

The DPA will work with the team of monitoring and evaluation specialists to support performance management policies and procedures, including the office’s and implementation partners’ compliance.  The DPA will support the management of indicators, including quality control, collection and reporting, monitoring and analyzing activities/projects (including field visits and other interaction with implementation partners’ work), organizing and facilitating data quality assessments, and providing portfolio reviews. The DPA may also support AORs/CORs in ensuring that compliance monitoring systems are in place, e.g., Initial Environmental Examination, Branding and Marking, and any/all other relevant agency policy or regulation. 

S/He supports the development of evaluation plans and assessments and actively participates in their implementation. 

Program Administrative Support (20%) 

The incumbent shall provide logistical and administrative/secretarial support to SPA staff, complementing the work of office secretaries. In the absence of the SPA secretary, s/he may be called upon to provide back-up support.  In addition, S/he is responsible for logging and tracking actions assigned by the SPA team. 

The incumbent will provide miscellaneous administrative and secretarial services to assist team members, including but not limited to: preparing travel and related requests, arranging meetings and appointments, receiving and directing calls and other inquiries from program teams, filing official records and references, logging and tracking actions assigned to the MEL team, and others secretarial duties. 

Mission wide Support (10%) 

The DPA will support the MEL team in coordination of other technical offices in the Mission and beyond on MEL activities, including coordinating the MEL Working Group and the annual Performance Plan and Report (PPR). In addition, the DPA may participate in Mission efforts related to sustainable development, e.g., County Liaison Teams (CLTs), Local Development Organization (LDOs) and other Organization Development (OD) tasks. 

POSITION ELEMENTS 

Supervision Received: The incumbent is supervised by the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Team Leader, who is in turn supervised by the Deputy Office Director and SPA Office Director. The supervisor will provide overall supervision to the incumbent; however, the incumbent will exercise independent judgement in planning and carrying out tasks, resolving problems and conflicts and taking steps necessary to meet deadlines. 

Supervision Exercised: The position exercises no supervisory control.

Available Guidelines: 

Guidelines include USAID’s ADS 201, USAID’s Evaluation Policy, Africa Bureau procedural guidance, Mission Orders, the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM), Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR), and professional development literature.

Exercise of Judgment: 

Projects assigned to the incumbent include a variety of duties and processes requiring extensive exercise of judgment, decision-making, and communications management. Initiative, creativity, and patience is expected in working with USG office personnel, as well as with representatives from other organizations/partners to resolve challenges. The Assistant will be required to follow and adhere to USAID’s Code of Ethics and Conduct and must ensure that his/her input into official U.S. Government documents is consistent with the goals of the Program Office and the Mission and reflects its strategic thinking. Good judgment and sound reasoning will be required in organizing and maintaining complete program documentation which allows easy retrieval of information. 

Authority to Make Commitments: 

Within the scope of the assignment, the Assistant is not authorized to independently commit the USG to the expenditure of funds.

Nature, Level, and Purpose of Contacts: 

Contacts will be at both high and working levels with the Mission, USAID/Washington counterparts and potentially other U.S. Embassy staff and that of other bilateral and multilateral donor organizations. Contact will be of a continuous nature through day-to-day meetings and periodic review sessions.

Time Expected to Reach Full Performance Level: One year (12 Months).

Education Diploma Of Higher Education

  • Education: At least two years of collegiate education in Project Management, Research, Statistics, Social Sciences or related study is required.
  • Post Entry Training: Introduction to Program Cycle course, Project Development, Collaborating, Learning & Adapting, Financial Management and Accruals training; GLAAS Requisitions and Records Management. DIS OU manager training, Phoenix training, A/COR USAID Assistance FCR 110 course, M&E essentials and Records Management training.
  • Language Proficiency: Fluent (Level IV), outstanding verbal and written English communication skills, analytical ability, and interpersonal relationships are required.

More Details on Experience

  • Prior Work Experience: A minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience in development-related work for an International Development Organization, Non-Governmental, Donor Agency or Embassy.
  • Job Knowledge: The job holder must have a good understanding of monitoring, evaluation, and learning systems, regulations, and objectives. The job holder should have an understanding of the nature of development program goals and be familiar with U.S. foreign policy. Familiarity with Donor Agencies, International Organizations or other Development Assistance programs is required. Strong computer word processing skills are required, specifically knowledge of MS Word, MS Excel, and/or database applications are required and the potential to acquire knowledge of computer graphics software. Experience in using the internet for research and collect information is required. Knowledge of economic, political, social and cultural characteristics of Kenya is also required. The incumbent must be knowledgeable about how organizations work and know how to get things done through formal and informal channels.

More Details on Skills

Skills and Abilities: 

The candidate must have initiative, responsiveness, sound judgement and the ability to effectively and diplomatically collaborate with a variety of customers. S/he must be able to work independently and collaboratively in a team and know how to build consensus; demonstrate strong research and interpersonal skills. Good coordination, prioritization and organizational skills within a multicultural work environment are required along with the ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously and work effectively under pressure. The incumbent will handle many different overlapping tasks and projects characterized by shifting priorities. S/he must therefore apply the highest analytical skills and judgment to determine the best solution from the range of possible alternatives. S/he should have demonstrated computer skills, including intermediate to advanced level mastery of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as statistical software.

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