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Regional Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Technical Lead – IRC jobs in Jordan


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Regional Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Technical Lead – IRC jobs in Jordan

  • Location: Amman, Jordan
  • Vacancy No: N/A 
  • Salary: N/A
  • Organization: IRC
  • Gender: Both
  • Deadline: N/A

Job Description

Years of war in Syria have pushed millions from their homes and into poverty, and millions more have become refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and further afield. Equally complex is the emergency in Iraq, where waves of fighting and displacement have overwhelmed infrastructure and services and pushed communities to the brink. The COVID-19 pandemic deepened these crises, bringing new health, economic, and social challenges throughout the Middle East, as well as interrupting access to all types of services and support. The effects of these crises have changed the entire region. In the Middle East (Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Libya, and Yemen) IRC responds to displaced people’s acute and longer-term needs with integrated programs that improve health and safety, prioritize children’s education, foster economic wellbeing, and empower communities to regain control over their lives.

After winning the inaugural MacArthur Foundation 100&Change competition for a $100 million grant to make measurable progress toward solving a significant problem from 2018-2023, the IRC and Sesame Workshop are continuing into the next phase of the Ahlan Simsim project. In the next phase of the project Ahlan Simsim will expand and deepen its interventions to bring vital early learning and nurturing care to more than nine million children and families affected by crisis and conflict in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq, while also starting work in new parts of the Middle East. The program seeks to reach children and families where they are with effective, scalable, and sustainable interventions to support child development, including NGO and government-delivered early education for children and support and training for caregivers using engaging multimedia content. Ahlan Simsim has developed and will continue to co-design and support partner-led interventions with key public and private stakeholders working across the many sectors that serve children and families, including health, protection, and livelihoods. For more information, please visit: https://www.rescue.org/ahlansimsim.


Reporting to the Regional Project Director, the Regional Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Technical Lead will manage country-level MERL leads, sit on the senior management team of Ahlan Simsim, co-design and be responsible for quality implementation of all monitoring, evaluation, and research activities, support implementation of overall project learning agenda (led by Regional Project Director) and lead on learning activities that use monitoring, evaluation, and research data. This portfolio has the following goals:

(1)    use small-scale testing and prototyping, human-centered design principles, and qualitative methods to support the design of appropriate, acceptable IRC and partner interventions in terms of targeting, content, and delivery;

(2)    monitor Ahlan Simsim work in real time, tracking progress against targets, creating systems to share monitoring data with IRC and partner teams in a timely fashion, and facilitating team learning from monitoring data to identify where course correction and adaptation are needed;

(3)    measure the impact of Ahlan Simsim’s work on children and their caregivers, using rigorous study designs, and collaborating with external research partners;

(4)    support IRC and partner implementing teams to use monitoring, evaluation, and research data to adapt and refine program models so that they are more scalable and cost-efficient via monitoring, implementation research, and prototyping;

(5)    disseminate learning from monitoring, evaluation, and research activities to IRC, Ahlan Simsim partners, and external stakeholders to contribute to advocacy and influence best practices in early childhood development programming in humanitarian and development settings; and

(6)    influence best practice in early childhood development monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning in humanitarian settings.


The Regional Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Technical Lead will have primary responsibility for fulfilling these goals for Ahlan Simsim within the context of the IRC and partner direct services and scaling initiatives. The full Ahlan Simsim project is a large project that includes partner-produced and managed mass media content and broadcasts as well.


The Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Technical Lead is responsible for four key objectives:

–          Lead design and implementation of learning systems to ensure that monitoring, evaluation, and research data are routinely shared in a relevant and timely manner so that IRC and partner teams can use them for Ahlan Simsim program design, adaptation, improvement, and scale up, as well as in advocacy to influence policy and practice;

–          Support Regional Project Director in design and implementation of the Ahlan Simsim project-wide learning agenda;

–          Oversee successful implementation of monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning activities in line with approved workplans and budgets, and in line with high-quality technical standards;

–          Co-design rigorous, but contextually appropriate monitoring, evaluation, research, learning, and adapting activities, in service of Ahlan Simsim goals;

–          Maintain strong relationships with external partners including Sesame Workshop, researchers and evaluators, government officials, and other humanitarian actors.


Responsibilities Include:

(1)    Leadership and management for high quality monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning activities:

·       Co-lead design and implementation of Ahlan Simsim learning agenda, drawing on lessons and priorities from first phase of the project.

·       Co-design systems to ensure that data and learning from monitoring, evaluation, and research are shared internally and externally in timely and useable ways so that IRC and partner teams can use learning for program and policy design and adaptation. Collaborate with IRC and partner program, management, and digital teams to ensure that these systems are usable and improve systems as needed over time based on feedback.

·       Provide technical leadership and direction for the design of all monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning activities. Support IRC and partners to use monitoring, evaluation, and research data to refine interventions’ theories of change and identify constraints and potential threats to the integrity of the intervention, and design appropriate and high-quality monitoring, evaluation, and research activities to support interventions’ learning, adaptation, and improvement. Activities will range from monitoring intervention outputs and outcomes, implementation research,  and randomized controlled trials.

·       Lead and advise on defining project monitoring indicators, plans, tools, systems, and timely sharing of results for IRC and partner teams. Provide technical guidance and support to IRC Country programs, as well as NGO and government partners, to implement and use data from these tools. Support IRC and partners in designing monitoring, evaluation, research, learning, and adaptation activities to fit Ahlan Simsim interventions operating in a variety of complex systems with different resource levels and needs, including NGO and government systems.

·       Provide technical advice and management support to allow IRC and partner monitoring, evaluation, and research staff to implement plans and protocols safely, ethically, and rigorously.

·       Lead establishment of monitoring, evaluation, and research annual workplans, budget, and deliverables. Lead on  annual workplans, budgets, and deliverables for learning activities focused on monitoring, evaluation, and research data, and contribute to annual workplans, budgets and deliverables for overall project learning. Identify and agree on course corrections with the Regional Project Director, Ahlan Simsim partners, and external evaluation and research partners to keep priorities on track. Provide oversight and management of monitoring, evaluation, and research, budget and implementation, and contribute to management of overall project learning budget and implementation.

·       Oversee monitoring, evaluation, and research staff and operations at regional level. Provide supportive management to IRC’s country MEAL and research staff for Ahlan Simsim activities, research, including management guidance, technical guidance, and operational troubleshooting.

·       Ensure high-quality collection, management, and security of IRC’s data. Provide training and support to IRC country and partner research teams for data quality control, cleaning, and management.

·       Oversee the development of risk mitigation strategies for research.

·       Ensure that IRC and  in-country IRB protocols are followed.

·       Support monitoring, evaluation, and research staff by creating and maintaining a work environment that promotes teamwork, trust, mutual respect and empowers staff to take responsibility.


(2)    Translating monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning into adaptation and improvement of practice and policy:

·       Work with IRC technical coordinators and partner teams to create systems to share results of monitoring, evaluation, research and learning activities and facilitate their use to adapt and improve programming over time.

·       Assure that monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning activities provide timely, relevant information for policy-influencing opportunities (governmental or humanitarian).

·       Work with programs, communications, and advocacy teams to convene policymakers, practitioners, and researchers to share practical program and policy lessons from Ahlan Simsim.

·       Create user-friendly publications and presentations that synthesize and highlight the policy implications of key research results for academic audiences (e.g. journal articles), for practitioners, and for governments.

·       Leverage existing IRC staff and partner expertise or build capacity as needed to assure front-line staff and study participant community participation in the interpretation and application of results, as well as design of research, monitoring, and learning agendas and plans.


(3)    Collaboration and accountability with internal stakeholders

·       Report to Regional Project Director about progress against approved workplans and budgets through formal and informal debriefings;

·       Contribute to implementation of project learning agenda (led by Regional Project Director) and lead on learning activities that primarily use monitoring, evaluation, and research data;

·       Oversee high quality and timely reporting of monitoring, evaluation, research, and related learning data and activities of IRC and partners as part of donor reporting and other IRC regional or global initiatives.

·       Maintain open communication with program leads at the country level in order to assure coherence and reasonable sequencing of work;

·       Support in creation of new or use of existing client feedback mechanisms to ensure client feedback is accounted for in program design, implementation, and adaptation, and that monitoring, evaluation, and research results are shared with clients.


(4)    Collaboration and accountability with external stakeholders

·       Establish and maintain solid cooperation with partner organizations and government officials to, under leadership of Regional Project Director,  co-design and implement the Ahlan Simsim learning agenda as well as the monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning activities needed to answer key project learning questions.

·       Work with partners, governments, and other humanitarian actors to design appropriate, scalable, and sustainable monitoring and learning systems for Early Childhood Development that are feasible and useful for their specific needs, resources, and existing systems;

·       Establish and maintain research and evaluation partnerships with academics and researchers from countries where Ahlan Simsim activities take place, including Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq; co-lead research and evaluation of Ahlan Simsim interventions with these partners.

·       Work closely with staff of Sesame Workshop and other Ahlan Simsim partners to assure that the all monitoring, research, and evaluation activities, are high quality, policy-oriented, ethical, and coherent and contribute to achieving overall project learning goals.


Key Working Relationships:


·       Position Reports to:  Regional Project Director, Ahlan Simsim

·       Position supervises: 2-3 regional monitoring, research, and information management staff

·       Technical supervision: country-level Ahlan Simsim monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning staff, in partnership with country-level MEAL coordinators (matrix management/dual reporting lines)

·       Indirect Reporting: Director, Education Research (IRC-HQ);

Other Internal and/or external contacts:

·       Internal: IRC country program staff; Regional staff such as MEAL, Communications ,and Advocacy; other technical units within IRC (Education, Health, Violence Prevention and Response, Economic Recovery and Development, Governance, Gender Equality)

·       External: Senior Director, Research, Sesame Workshop; Managing Director, Sesame Workshop; external evaluation and research partners; Host Government officials; implementing partner organizations; community representatives.




·       At least 7 years of progressive, relevant work experience. Important that work experience demonstrates technical skills, management skills, operations experience, as well as an understanding of humanitarian contexts. In lieu of 7 years of work experience, can accept 5 years of progressive, relevant work experience and a post-graduate degree.

·       Significant training in and a strong technical understanding of monitoring, evaluation, and research, and their use for program learning and adaptation.

·       Training and experience in quantitative and qualitative research methods, including implementation research; measure development, adaptation, validation; and dissemination of research results for use in program and policy learning and adaptation. Training and experience in randomized impact evaluations a plus.

·       Exposure to monitoring and evaluation methods in a humanitarian context and/or early childhood development is desirable.

·       Excellent communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively in a multi-cultural environment with international and local academic researchers, government officials, NGO partners, study participants, etc.

·       Solid organizational skills: the ability to be flexible and work well under pressure, dealing with competing priorities, in a fast-paced team environment.

·       Passion for connecting rigorous research to policy makers and practitioners and communicating what works and what does not work in humanitarian contexts.

·       Interest in and ability to think and plan at the ‘big picture’ level.

·       Demonstrated management and interpersonal skills.

·       Solid understanding of the Middle Eastern context, with previous experience working in the region preferred;

·       Strong communication and analytical skills, both oral and written.

·       Fluency in English and Arabic is required.

Working Environment:

·       Standard office work environment; partial remote work possible.

·       Travel required 25-40%

·       Position can be based in Jordan or Lebanon.


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