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Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) Specialist

Vacancy #:   6413
Unit:   Institutional Performance Management and Evaluation Unit (IPME)
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Headquarters, Gland, Switzerland
Reporting to:   Director, Institutional Performance Management and Evaluation
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   P2
Expected start date:   01 November 2023
Type of contract:   Max-term (3 months with possibility of renewal)
Closing date:   18 May 2023
The Institutional Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (IPME) is a team situated in the Corporate Services under the Deputy Director-General. The unit's purpose is to support IUCN's strategy and programme execution at all levels. As such, it drives greater accountability, performance, assurance and overall organisational effectiveness.

As the organisation's centre of expertise and excellence on programme, portfolio and project management, strategic planning and implementation, performance management, assurance, and risk management, the unit leads on these functions from establishing normative and operational frameworks to ensuring their optimal implementation. The unit is therefore the custodian of many IUCN policies, normative/operational frameworks and guidelines. It is responsible for ensuring their relevance to institutional needs through continuous monitoring, improvements and change management. It ensures that owned policies and frameworks are appropriately implemented by monitoring their respective level of compliance, making continuous improvements, and providing direct support and capacity building to relevant IUCN staff.

The unit takes a holistic approach by addressing staff skills, mindsets, and behaviours alongside processes, methodologies and tools through the use of business analysis, solution development and monitoring and evaluation. Through the development of performance and assurance management capability, the unit assists IUCN in achieving greater impact.

IUCN is a membership Union of government and civil society organisations that works to advance sustainable development and create a just world that values and conserves nature. Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of our more than 1,400 Member organisations and 15,000 experts. This diversity and expertise make IUCN the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. The IUCN Secretariat has offices located all around the world and is headquartered in Gland, Switzerland.

Every four years, the IUCN membership adopts a quadrennial Programme that guides the work of the Union, especially that of the IUCN Secretariat. The Secretariat implements the IUCN Programme through a growing portfolio of over 400+ projects across the world that are designed to respond to country, donor, and IUCN priorities. For the IUCN Programme 2021-2024, IUCN intends to increase its programmatic effectiveness by consolidating and improving its performance and assurance business capabilities across the organisation, and by ensuring accountability, effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of its quadrennial Programme.

The MEAL Specialist supports IUCN strengthening and managing business capabilities. This entails working as part of a team that will be putting in place the necessary policies, processes, practices and tools for staff to contribute in improving institutional and programme performance and assurance.
Under the supervision of the Head of the Programme Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) Unit, the MEAL Specialist provides enterprise-level support to performance planning monitoring, evaluation and reporting for IUCN’s strategic impacts and objectives.

Through analyses, management and internal relations, s/he will: (a) support IUCN’s corporate planning and reporting cycles; (b) support performance and result-based management within the organisation; and (c) support the management and development of IUCN’s MEAL function.

Lead and coordinate the design, implementation and upgrading of the IUCN MEAL system:
• Lead the Unit's efforts in streamlining and harmonizing policies, practices and tools related to portfolio, programme and project management and results-based management.
• Work with the Head of Programme Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME) and the Risk & Accountability Officer to revise and implement, the Programme Guidelines and Standards (PGS), the Project Appraisal and Approval System (PAAS), the Monitoring and Evaluation Policy, the Enterprise Risk Management policy and the Internal Control Framework.
• Initiate business analyses and evaluation of operational practices, to improve IUCN’s performance and assurance environment.
• Contribute to IUCN’s programme and project management operational efficiency by playing a supporting role in monitoring and oversight on programme and project managers activities. This includes contributing to the coordination of institutional efforts, supporting and advising staff on policies, procedures and tools, and participating to quality controls at different levels – all with the purpose of maintaining and improving efficiency.
• Conduct ad-hoc data extraction and analysis from the IUCN portfolio to inform the strategic management of the organisation – as relevant.
• Participate in designing and testing the new developments made to IUCN's internal software for project and portfolio management.
• Support MEAL Coordinator and Regional and Center MEAL Coordinators in the roll out of the new digital solutions within the organisation.

Support the Head of Programme Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation and the MEAL Coordinator in strengthening the capacity of managers, programmatic and project staff to conduct planning monitoring, evaluation and learning activities:
• Support and train programmatic staff on MEAL principles and practices, with the aim of building an IUCN MEAL community of practice able to design and implement industry standard planning, monitoring and evaluation methods.
• Update and revise the current MEAL methodologies, guidelines, tools and templates.
• Support the MEL Coordinator in developing materials and a replicable outreach and training programme for programmatic staff on planning, monitoring and evaluation principles and practice.

Provide direct support and advisory services to MEAL needs of specific units, programmes or projects set either by the Head of Programme Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, or by others IUCN units. This work can include, but is not limited to:
• Manage and accompany external consultants hired by the PPME Unit.
• Development of the MEAL components for an intervention aligned to IUCN Programme and indicators (theory of change, results framework, e.g. logframe, and budget for MEAL activities and staff time).
• Development and timely implementation of the intervention MEAL plan.
• Reporting to donors against intervention results framework and indicators.
• Institutional reporting against IUCN indicators.
• Facilitating adaptive management and learning throughout an intervention.
• Manage independent evaluations and reviews, including contributing to ToR development, evaluation management and quality assurance.

Provide support to the Head of PPME in both internal and external representation:
• Internally, interacts with leadership, management teams and Centre, Regional and Corporate staff.
• Externally, interacts with donors on performance and assurance management issues, and with peers in other organisations.

These TORs contain the main responsibilities and duties of this position. In an ever-evolving organisation such as IUCN, staff members are nonetheless expected to show flexibility in their approach to work and be willing to undertake other tasks that are reasonably allocated to them but which are not part of their regular TORs. Where any task becomes a regular part of staff member’s responsibilities, the TORs should be changed in consultation between the manager, the staff member and the HR Unit. Any one of the three may initiate the consultation.
  • Graduate degree in monitoring & evaluation, research, environmental studies, natural resource management, business administration, economics, public policy or any other relevant field

• 5-10 years of professional experience in the field of performance management and organisational development, with a particular focus on planning, monitoring, evaluation and research methodologies

• Demonstrated experience in results measurement and performance management

• Good understanding of project management principles, and the purpose of MEAL systems

• Specialised training in performance management and evaluation is an asset

• Ability to deliver analytical reports to facilitate strategic decision-making

• Proficient in data management and analysis

• Experience coordinating the production of reports or deliverables with inputs from a large variety of stakeholders

• Capacity to provide quality assurance services

• Field experience in project management is an asset

• Experience with leading bilateral and multilateral donors is an asset

• Experience with project evaluations or programme audits desirable

• Excellent organisation and communication skills with a proven ability to engage across levels of an organisation and across geographies

• Capacity to work collaboratively within a diverse team

• Fluency in English is a requirement and proficiency in French and/or Spanish is highly desirable

Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the "Apply" button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: https://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,400 Member organisations and around 16,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.