Term: Short-term (Up to 105 days to December 31, 2024, with an option to extend for another year.)
Location: Remote, with periodic travel to Honiara, Solomon Islands
Reports to: Team Leader
Working Hours: The MERL Specialist is expected to be available for consultation during Solomon Islands working hours.
The Australia Solomon Islands Partnership for Justice (ASIPJ) continues Australia’s long-running support to the Solomon Islands justice sector. ASIPJ’s goal is to work closely with the Solomon Islands Government (SIG) to enable justice agencies to maintain delivery of their existing, core services 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.
ASIPJ aspires to be locally led, problem-oriented and learning driven. It is pragmatic, practical, and adaptable, mainstreaming gender equality, disability and social inclusion. Deloitte is the Managing Contractor, working with Adam Smith International (ASI) who provides the program operational support.
The short-term MERL Specialist will be responsible for providing technical inputs on MERL and supporting the implementation of ASIPJ’s MERL framework and systems, including regularly reviewing and updating the framework to ensure it remains fit for purpose. The role will involve the 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 effectiveness. The specialist will also assist in the preparation of reports to evaluate performance against the framework, drawing on a sound evidence base and demonstrating results through case studies, knowledge products on program leanings and achievements to a wider audience, including DFAT, SIG and other stakeholders.
The MERL Specialist will work collaboratively with the ASIPJ team, engaging regularly with the full-time Solomon Islands-based MERL Officer, agency-based advisers, the program management team and staff of Deloitte and ASI.
Summary of Responsibilities
The MERL Specialist will be responsible for the following:
- Supporting the implementation of ASIPJ’s MERL framework and systems inline with DFAT’s Design, Monitoring and Evaluation standards and ensuring the framework represents best global practice.
- If required, providing technical inputs to the ASIPJ design refresh (due to commence in October 2023) including participating in consultations and online workshop/s as required.
- Following the upcoming ASIPJ design refresh, review and update the MERL framework as required to ensure it remains fit for purpose.
- Assisting ASIPJ advisers to ensure they adequately capture and report on data against the MERL framework’s indicators and outcomes. This will include assisting with the development of adviser annual workplans and adviser six-monthly reports.
- In collaboration with the Deputy Team Leader, working closely with the Solomon Islands-based MERL Officer including engaging on the Officer’s annual workplan, working collaboratively to implement agreed activities, and providing tailored professional development support.
- Providing technical inputs and overseeing the collection of data against agreed indicators in order to measure changes in agency and program performance.
- Working with ASIPJ advisers and/or SIG counterparts to determine the appropriate monitoring of activities at the agency-level and provide technical inputs on learning events involving the ASIPJ team, SIG stakeholders, program grant recipients and/or DFAT.
- In collaboration with the MERL Officer and ASIPJ management, play a key role in organising ASIPJ’s Reflection and Planning Workshops.
- Reviewing and providing comments on ASIPJ’s deliverables ensuring they are of a high quality and include accurate and up-to-date MERL data. Working with the MERL Officer, this will entail 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.
- Collaborating with the ASIPJ team, external consultants, researchers and others to produce and/or review knowledge products to support the development of ASIJP’s research base to inform program strategies and decision making and assist with the implementation of relevant findings/recommendations.
- Supporting the ASIPJ Mid Term Review (scheduled for mid-2024), including reviewing terms of reference, preparing ASIPJ and stakeholders for the review process, and providing documents and advice during the review process.
- Working closely with the Gender Equality, Disability and Social Inclusion (GEDSI) Adviser and Solomon Islands-based GEDSI Officer to ensure that GEDSI monitoring is mainstreamed across the program and is effectively measured at all levels of the MERL framework.
- If required, support and provide technical inputs and guidance to ASIPJ grant recipients and SIG counterparts to strengthen their approaches to MERL.
- Other tasks as agreed upon.
- An annual workplan within the first month of engagement.
- Program six monthly and annual reports.
- Reflection and Planning sessions and associated reporting.
- Summary reports following each visit to Solomon Islands.
- Monthly reports when working remotely.
- Specific reports and deliverables as agreed upon.
All deliverables will be provided in a format to be agreed upon to the Team Leader.
Skills and Experience
The ideal candidate will have strong MERL experience and credentials, bringing significant evaluation experience to the role. Specifically, the specialist should have:
- Extensive experience in designing, adapting and providing MERL services with a preference for experience working on law and justice, governance and/or institutional strengthening programs.
- Significant experience working on international development programs, including in-country experience, ideally in the Pacific region.
- Demonstrated experience incorporating GEDSI into MERL processes and providing reporting on cross-cutting priorities.
- Exceptional written communication skills, with demonstrated experience delivering high quality outputs for donor bodies (progress reports, studies/research etc).
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to communicate with a wide variety of stakeholders including cross-culturally and remotely.
- Preferable: experience providing MERL services in the Pacific and applying DFAT’s Design, Monitoring and Evaluation Standards.
Tertiary qualifications in a relevant area such as monitoring and evaluation, international development, governance/public policy or economics.
This position will be primarily a remote-based role with periodic travel to Honiara.
How to Apply
Please submit your application by Wednesday 11 October 2023 11:59pm Solomon Islands Time to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the following subject line in your email: ‘Application for MERL Specialist’.
Applications should include a cover letter of no more than two pages addressing the position responsibilities, a CV of no more than four pages and the contact details of two professional referees.
If you have any questions about the recruitment process, we encourage you to reach out to the ASIPJ HR Team via email@example.com or call the ASIPJ Office on +677 26530.