Country MEL Specialist - Nigeria at Mercy Corps

Experience: 5 -7 years

Location: Abuja

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, and its influence spreads across the continent. Yet, inequality and insecurity have consistently undermined Nigeria's development. Mercy Corps Nigeria was established in 2012 to respond to these challenges. The Nigeria team is headquartered in Abuja, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), with offices throughout Nigeria. With a strong and growing team of over 200 staff, Mercy Corps is currently serving over 600,000 beneficiaries across the country with programming in Lagos in the South; Kaduna, Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau in the Middle Belt; Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa in the North; and Borno in the complex crisis of the Northeast. Programs include girls’ education and financial inclusion, community peace-building, market-based livelihoods and a multi-sector humanitarian response. With the vision of a Nigeria in which all people are empowered, engaged, resilient and secure, Mercy Corps Nigeria focuses on the root causes of conflict, governance, humanitarian needs, and market systems development.

General Position Summary

The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Specialist is a key position in Mercy Corps and is responsible for cross-cutting programmatic information management, monitoring and evaluation. A key focus will be to ensure that information collected is reflected upon, used to improve ongoing programs, and is incorporated into consistently high quality reports and proposal development. Ensuring feedback loops will be an integral to the role and ensure learning and capacity building of both MEL staff and program teams. The MEL Specialist will be responsible for developing (in partnership with project staff), coordinating, maintaining and constantly improving the nation-wide Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning system, as well as training MEL staff in each office. In addition, the position holder is responsible for ensuring that the reports generated by each field office are timely, of a high quality, and validated. This will be achieved through staff capacity building and necessary training.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Vision

  • Develop the country MEL strategy, provide leadership to field offices in developing individual program level MEL systems that inform and improve each program, as well as feed into the broader nation-wide MEL system and country strategy.

  • Lead the MEL country team in developing and maintaining a system that improves the country’s ability to analyze and represent impact to donors, government, colleague agencies, and communities themselves.

  • Provide in-country program design, MEL and research planning as well as guide the incorporation of all best practices of MEL in proposal design stage for effective program management during implementation and up until award ends. High quality, utility focused evaluations must feed into program design, planning and strategy.

  • Provide leadership in ensuring the culture of learning in program management is understood by staff and parrt of impact, influence and innovation

Program Management

  • Use existing Mercy Corps resources to train MEL and program teams in the area of monitoring and evaluation and report writing.

  • Build the capacity of all relevant team members to develop and maintain a robust MEL system, including training on Tola (digital tool developed by MC) and CommCare (ODK-based mobile data collection tool) and the periodic reflection and analysis of program monitoring data to disseminate learning.

  • Build capacity of all relevant team members to understand and implement MEL related tasks, including systematic reflection and analysis of program MEL data. Work with senior leaders and HR to ensure MEL skills are built in to all program PDs and all staffs responsibilities and that there is a system of accountability

  • Develop plans to mentor and coach staff to build their capacity to enable them to develop excellent reports and other documents.

  • Regularly conduct project site visits to provide hands-on training to field staff on how to capture and organize information for accurate documentation and reporting.

MEL System Development

  • Lead efforts to establish a functional MEL unit across all offices that will facilitate MEL for all programs and collaborate closely with Program Staff in developing and establishing of the MEL system.

  • Support all country programs independent MEL efforts to ensure high quality MEL at the program level as well as build a nationwide system that captures and presents results at a national level.

  • Design and maintain MEL systems with utility and program quality in mind, providing Specialists and their teams real time information that can steer program implementation as well as informing donors and strategic program direction and that helps strategize future program interventions.

  • Work with senior management to address shortfalls in MEL that affect program implementation and conduct internal DQAs.

Monitoring and Evaluation/ Assessments

  • Assist in designing programs that incorporate Mercy Corps’ standards on design, monitoring, and evaluation.

  • Coordinate and play a role in assessments as requested. Provide input as to MEL systems and act as a link to HQ MEL technical staff.

  • Set up and supervise the country MEL programs including hiring, orienting and supervising MEL staff as appropriate.

  • Lead the program’s research and learning initiatives, in coordination with program management in order to generate learning on key questions concerning different technical areas in the country portfolio

Team Management

  • Develop the capacity of the team, deepen understanding of their roles and assist with career development.

  • Assist team members with information, tools and resources to improve performance & reach objectives.

  • Promote accountability, communicate expectations and provide constructive feedback informally and formally via regular one on ones and performance reviews.

  • Create and sustain a work environment of mutual respect where team members strive to achieve excellence.

  • Play an active role in hiring, orienting and leading team members as necessary.


  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.

  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

Organizational Learning

As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.

Accountability to Beneficiaries

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Knowledge and Experience

  • BA/S or equivalent, preferable in business administration, public administration or international development. MA/S in relevant field strongly preferred.

  • 5-7 years of experience in the areas of program development and monitoring and evaluation, including relevant experience building and managing an MEL system and team, relevant experience supervising data collection and data validation exercises, and building staff capacity.

  • At least 3 years expertise in designing and implementing MEL for Market Systems development programs

Success Factors

The ideal candidate will have a strong curiosity for understanding and working effectively within the complex cultural, political, security and social environment of Nigeria. S/he will be an excellent communicator, multi-tasker, and able to work in ambiguous situations. S/he will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures. The successful candidate will be focused on team-building and capacity-building of national staff; be a strategic thinker, have strong skills in design monitoring and evaluation of development programs and maintain a sense of humor.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in the capital city Abuja. The location is accompanied and generally secure. Housing, health care, water, electricity and consumer goods are all reasonably accessible and there are good international and domestic travel options from Abuja Airport. Air travel is necessary to get to some field locations. Mobile phones services are widely available. Internet is available in all Mercy Corps offices with some inconsistencies in the most remote sites. There is a wide variety of schools with different education philosophies and curriculum (British, American, French, and German to name the few). This position requires 40% travel by road and air to field offices that are located in highly insecure locations.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a short term assignments. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and Mercy Corps' policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

Method of Application

Interested and qualified? Go to Mercy Corps career website on to apply

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