Title: Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Adviser
Project: Australia Solomon Islands Partnership for Justice
Duration: Fixed, commencing October 2022- October 2024
Location: Honiara, Solomon Islands
Reports to: Team Leader
The Australia Solomon Islands Partnership for Justice (ASIPJ) is the third program of Australian support to the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) justice sector, being directly preceded by the Australia Solomon Islands Justice Program (ASIJP). Its goal is to work closely with SIG to enable justice agencies to maintain delivery of their existing, core activities while clearly identifying and engaging with fundamental problems and critical issues affecting their ability to contribute to stability and offer access to justice for citizens.
Subject to a finalised design, ASIPJ will be delivered through four key outcome areas:
i) Improving core service delivery capacity;
ii) Enhancing capacity for justice sector management and leadership;
iii) Enhancing collaboration with state and non-state actors to improve access to justice, and
iv) Increased sensitivity and responsiveness to those vulnerable to family and sexual violence. It is a four-year program with an option to extend to eight years.
ASIPJ aspires to be locally led, problem-oriented and learning driven. It will be pragmatic, practical, and adaptable, and will mainstream gender equality, disability and social inclusion (GEDSI). Deloitte is the Managing Contractor, leading an exciting coalition for change that includes Adam Smith International, providing the Operations Hub; Ninti One, for its Indigenous expertise; and The University of Queensland, to support critical research and knowledge generation.
The Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Adviser will be responsible for leading the implementation of the ASIPJ’s MERL framework, including regularly reviewing and updating the framework to ensure it remains fit for purpose. The adviser will manage the evidence collected through the MERL framework and will be responsible for providing regular updates on program progress and outcomes to the ASIPJ team, DFAT and SIG counterparts. The role will involve management and implementation of a suite of monitoring tools as outlined in the framework, to deliver a robust portfolio of evidence from which to track activity progress and generate learnings to improve program performance and impact. The adviser will also assist in the preparation of reports and presentations to evaluate program performance against the framework, drawing on a sound evidence base.
The MERL Adviser will report to the ASIPJ Team Leader and liaise closely with the Deputy Team Leader, program team and ASIPJ advisers.
Summary of Responsibilities
The MERL Adviser will undertake activities in the following key areas:
- Implementation of ASIPJ’s MERL Framework
- Support the production of key ASIPJ deliverables
- Program management, administration and reporting relevant to MERL
Oversee and implement ASIPJ’s MERL Framework
- Lead the implementation of the MERL framework for ASIPJ, following DFAT’s M&E Standards and ensure that the framework adheres to global best practice. This will include directing the collection of baseline data relating to agreed upon indicators in order to measure longituidual changes in agency and program performance. It will also involve reviewing and updating the framework on an regular basis to ensure it remains fit for purpose.
- Collaborate with the ASIPJ team to monitor progress and report against the framework, including ASIPJ’s progress towards meeting its intermediate and end of program outcomes as detailed in the Program Design Document.
- Assist ASIPJ advisers to ensure that they adequately capture and report on data against the MERL Framework’s GEDSI outcomes, taking into account the MERL-related recommendations contained in the Family Protection Act Review (2021) and the justice sector’s GESI Strategy, ‘Step-by-Step’ (2022).
Undertake key monitoring and evaluation activities
- Lead and/or support and provide quality assurance for research, analysis and the delivery of high-quality monitoring outputs.
- Work with ASIPJ advisers and/or SIG counterparts to determine appropriate monitoring of activities at the agency, and, where applicable, ministry levels, including working with the Justice Information Management System (JIMS) Adviser on the development of, and collection of, relevant agency and cross-agency data.
- Regularly meet with indiviudal ASIPJ advisers to monitor progress against their annual workplans and assist them with their indiviudal performance reporting.
- With ASIPJ management, assist in the development of ASIPJ’s annual workplan and undertake regular reviews of progress against outputs and outcomes contained therein.
- Collaborate with the ASIPJ team, external consultants, and/or Deloitte Technical Assistance, to produce analytical work and knowledge products to support the development of ASIJP’s evidence base and assist with future programming. In collaboration with the ASIPJ management team, this may include directly overseeing the inputs of external consultants, and/or Deloitte Technical Assistance.
- Support externally-engaged researchers (including those from the University of Queensland) – and broker relationships between them and local research partners as appropriate – to ensure that their research is of practical relevance to the program and that their reports clearly articulate actions for ASIPJ.
Conduct learning activities and reporting
- Facilitate regular learning events with the ASIPJ team, SIG stakeholders, program grant recipients and DFAT, including the ASIPJ annual program reflection and review workshop (or similar).
- Report, present, and provide advice, drawing on the MERL evidence base, to the ASIPJ team and management, SIG stakeholders, DFAT, and development partners as required.
- Support ASIPJ reporting, including collecting and analysing necessary qualitative and quantitative data, collaborating on the drafting of key reports, including Six-Monthly and Annual Progress Reports, incorporating analysis of evidence and outlining progress towards intermediate and end of program outcomes.
- Support/complete exception reports when required.
Work closely with cross-agency advisers as follows:
- Work with the GEDSI Adviser to ensure GEDSI monitoring is mainstreamed and effectively incorporated and measured at all levels of the MERL framework.
- Work with the Professional Development (PD) Adviser to ensure the MERL Framework effectively captures PD progress within agencies and supports agency performance management processes.
- Work with the ASIPJ Communications Adviser as required to provide MERL evidence for communication activities.
- Work with the JIMS Adviser to ensure that JIMS captures relevant justice sector data and is effectively used for staff/agency performance monitoring and reporting purposes.
- Work collaboratively with ASIPJ grantees to ensure grant monitoring and data is incorporated into the ASIPJ MERL framework. Where appropriate, support grant recipients to strengthen their M&E approaches and systems.
- As agreed, undertake capacity-building for select SIG officials (particularly those involved in planning) on the MERL elements of their roles.
- Other tasks as agreed upon.
In undertaking the above, the adviser will work in a collaborative manner with SIG counterparts, donors, advisers, civil society organisations and others who work on MERL issues. The adviser will work closely with ASIPJ’s cross-cutting advisers, specifically those working on professional development; communications; gender equity, disability and social inclusion; and the Justice Information Management System (JIMS).
- Workplan:An individual annual workplan to reflect the contents of this TOR to be completed on a date to be agreed upon.
- Exception reports:as required.
- Exit report, one week prior to completion date:Outlining a concise situational analysis and a frank assessment of the challenges and successes of the adviser’s inputs. The Exit Report should contain recommendations for future ASIPJ engagement on MERL issues.
- Regular Program Reporting and MERL Reports: as required, including contributing to weekly program updates and briefing DFAT/others as requested.
All reports will be provided to the Team Leader, ASIPJ.
Reporting and Performance Management
The MERL Adviser will report to the Team Leader, ASIPJ, who will monitor performance and delivery of outputs in accordance with this TOR and with the adviser’s approved workplan.
Tertiary qualifications in a relevant area (i.e., social or international development, governance/public policy, economics, monitoring and evaluation).
Skills and Experience
The MERL Adviser will have very strong MERL experience and credentials, bringing significant evaluation experience to the role. Specifically, the adviser should have:
- Significant experience working on international development programs, including in-country experience, ideally in the Pacific region.
- Significant monitoring and evaluation experience on commensurate development programs (i.e., in the fields of governance, justice or similar).
- High level analytical skills, both qualitative and quantitative, including an understanding of developmental evaluation.
- Sound knowledge of issues surrounding GESDI, ideally in the Pacific.
- Exceptional written communication skills, with demonstrated experience delivering high quality outputs for donors (progress reports, studies/research etc), ideally DFAT.
Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders including cross-culturally and remotely. Tok Pisin, Bislama or Pijin language skills would be an advantage.
ASIPJ team members are required to adhere to COVID-19 policy requirements for the purposes of entry to Solomon Islands’ government offices. This includes being double vaccinated.
How to apply
Please submit your application before 02 September 2022 11:59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) to: firstname.lastname@example.org and copy Rami Alkhatib at Rami.Alkhatib@adamsmithinternational.com
Please use the following title: Application for MERL Adviser, ASIPJ Program
Applications should include two pages cover letter addressing the job specifications and relevant qualifications and experience and a CV of no more than four pages and two professional referees.
ASIPJ is committed to building a diverse team. Applications from Solomon Islanders, citizens of other Pacific island states or indigenous Australians are strongly encouraged, even where you do not meet all of the stated criteria.
If you have any questions about the recruitment process, we encourage you to reach out to ASIPJ HR Team via email@example.com or call ASIPJ Office +677 26530.