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Regional Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Coordinator

Vacancy #:   6761
Unit:   ORMACC-Regional Direction
Organisation:   International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:   Regional Office for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, San José, Costa Rica
Reporting to:   Regional Director - Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
Work percentage:   100%
Grade:   SP
Expected start date:   24 June 2024
Type of contract:   Indefinite
Closing date:   24 May 2024
IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) is a membership Union composed of both government organizations and civil society organizations. IUCN's mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies around the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature, and to ensure any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. With more than 75 years of experience, it leverages the experience, resources and reach of its more than 1,400 member organizations and the contribution of more than 15,000 experts. The IUCN is the global authority on the state of natural world and the measures needed to protect it. The IUCN Secretariat has offices located throughout the world and its headquarters is located in Gland, Switzerland.

Every four years, the IUCN membership adopts a Quadrennial Program that guides the work of the Union, especially that of the IUCN Secretariat. The Secretariat implements the IUCN Program through a growing portfolio of more than 400 projects around the world, designed to respond to the priorities of countries, donors and IUCN.

To support the implementation of the Program, IUCN implements a rigorous system of accountability, knowledge management and performance assurance, through the Institutional Performance Management and Evaluation Unit (IPME), based on the IUCN headquarters in Switzerland. The MEL Regional Coordinator works in close coordination with IPME Unit to ensure alignment with the IUCN MEL policies, practices, processes and institutional systems and contribute to strengthening MEL function of the Secretariat in the Region.

As the regional lead for planning, monitoring and evaluation work, this position has overall responsibility for ensuring the quality of MEL results across the regional portfolio. Participates in the region's management team to help guide the performance and assurance of the program and portfolio of projects implemented in the region and ensure quality in the design and development of the portfolio. He/she also leads the regional implementation of MEL policies, practices and institutional systems in the region. This position provides subject matter expertise in MEL to support programs and projects implemented in the region from design to closure. Provides functional line management to project MEL officers and manages evaluations, both at the regional office level and at the project level.
As the regional lead for planning, monitoring and evaluation work, this position has overall responsibility for MEL function in the region and the quality of MEL outputs in the regional portfolio. He/she will participate in the region’s management team to contribute to steering the performance and assurance of the programme and portfolio of projects implemented in the region and ensuring quality in the design and development of the portfolio.

He/she will also lead the regional implementation of institutional MEL policies, practices and systems in the region. As a focal point for the PPME function, this position is expected to liaise with the global PPME Unit (and regional leads in portfolio/programme management, HR, Finance, Legal, and IT) to collaboratively build the Secretariat’s MEL capabilities in the region with regards to relevant policies, processes, practices and systems.

This position provides subject matter expertise in MEL to support programme and projects implemented in the region from design to closure. She/he will provide functional line management to MEL officers, contribute to the recruitment, onboarding and training of MEL officers, and will manage project evaluations.

This position will report to and work closely with the Regional Director and will support the development and implementation of the regional portfolio of projects.

Regional portfolio planning, monitoring, reporting, risk and performance

Lead, coordinate and assure the planning, monitoring, evaluation, learning and risk management functions in the region, specifically:

1.Planning, monitoring and reporting

•Coordinate regional input from project and programme managers to institutional Annual Cycle of planning, monitoring and reporting (for both unrestricted and restricted funding).
•Develop and implement regional performance measurement framework, aligned to Secretariat performance framework.
•Contribute to the development and implementation of regional performance criteria to steer a strategic and effective portfolio (pipeline management).
•Track, monitor and evaluate regional project portfolio implementation in the IUCN Programme and Project Portal and through any tools used in the region (e.g. Smartsheet).

2.Evaluation and learning

•Develop and ensure adequacy of regional evaluation framework in consultation with the Regional Programme Coordinator (or equivalent) and maintain the register of evaluations.
•Support project and programme evaluations, including: advise on evaluation ToRs and evaluation management, ensure projects comply with the IUCN Monitoring and Evaluation Policy requirements for evaluation.
•Facilitate learning across the portfolio by applying international best practices to enable adaptive management and organisational learning and participating in regional and global exchanges.
•Support resource mobilization efforts for MEL in the region, through the provision of subject-matter expertise on MEL requirements, and by ensuring projects are designed with performance frameworks, meet ESMS standards, and budget appropriately for MEL staff time and activities (implementation of the project costing framework).

Institutional MEL applied in the region

3.In collaboration with the PPME Unit at Headquarters, implement Secretariat MEL policies, practices and systems in the region, specifically:

a)Institutional annual cycle (planning, monitoring and reporting)
b)Project Guidelines and Standards (PGS), including Project Appraisal and Approval System (PAAS)
c)Programme and Project Portal (project data forms and project workflows that control project status)
d)Enterprise Risks Management Policy and internal control framework
e)Independent evaluation function
f)Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS): oversee ESMS quality assurance, supported by the ESMS Coordinator at HQ.

4.Guide regional implementation of policies and standards for MEL, ensuring policy understanding of managers and providing a control and quality assurance role.

5.Act as a subject matter expert and the focal point in the region, briefing, training, and coaching project managers and project MEL officers to effectively implement the policies and practices.

6.Provide project assurance through:

oManage evaluations for projects including facilitating appropriate feedback on draft reports, compliance with the IUCN M&E Policy, and facilitating the preparation of management responses.
oLead and participate in project supervision missions.

7.Advocate for and facilitate the proactive use of MEL information in decision-making and adaptive management across the portfolio.

8.Share lessons, provide advice, raise issues, and identify current or emerging risks to the implementation of the policies and controls – with both PPME Unit and the Regional Director.

Supervise and build capacity for project MEL

To enhance project management for results delivery, supervise project MEL officers and support project managers with MEL and risk management:

9.Coordinate, advise and ensure consistent application of institutional project management standards.
10.Contribute to the recruitment, hiring and onboarding of new project MEL officers.
11.Provide direct reporting line management to project MEL officers. Provide functional line management to regional project managers for project MEL.

12.Brief, train and coach project staff on MEL. Occasionally lead MEL work for projects (max 25% of the role, with a view to decrease this).

IUCN standards and expectations for MEL within projects include:

oDevelopment of the MEL components of the project proposal aligned to IUCN Programme and indicators (theory of change, results framework, e.g. logframe, and budget for MEL activities and staff time).
oDevelopment and timely implementation of the project MEL plan.
oReporting to donors against project results framework and indicators.
oInstitutional reporting against IUCN indicators.
oFacilitating adaptive management and learning throughout the project.
oFinalizing and closing projects according to IUCN requirements.
oPlan for required independent project evaluations, including contributing to ToR development and evaluation management when required.

13.Perform other duties as may be assigned from time to time.

Please Note: The above TORs contain the main responsibilities and duties of this position. However in an ever evolving organisation such as IUCN staff members are 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.
  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in environmental studies, biodiversity conservation, natural resource management, planning, management or social sciences, economics, public policy or management engineering, or a related subject matter, business administration, etc.

• At least 8 years of experience in programme and project performance management, with specific experience required in MEL of at least 5 years.

• Proven experience with the implementation of institutional performance and assurance approaches and systems.

• Knowledge of the application of environmental and social safeguards, working experience in this area a plus.

• Demonstrated experience in results measurement methods and management in conservation, development or other relevant sectors.

• Demonstrated experience designing, implementing and managing complex, multi-country, multi-partner and multi-sectors projects in conservation, development or other relevant sectors in the region.

• Experience with leading bilateral and multilateral donor funded projects is an asset.

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

• Experience with change management and the people skills to build a culture of accountability and learning.

• Excellent group facilitation skills and experience with application of monitoring and evaluation methodologies

• Ability to deliver analytical reports to facilitate management decision-making.

• Proficiency in data management and analysis, with strong statistical skills highly desirable

• Proficiency with data management software and tools, project management software or tools (e.g. Smartsheet, Kobo toolbox, etc), SQL and other related tools highly desirable.

• Experience with institutional knowledge management and learning is an asset.

• Capacity to work collaboratively within a diverse team.

• Fluency in Spanish is a requirement as well as proficiency in English, Portuguese would be consider as a plus.

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.