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Monitoring Evaluation and Research Learning Manager

Date: 07-Apr-2021

Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone

Company: Plan International

The Organisation


Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organisation that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.


We believe in the power and potential of every child. But this is often suppressed by poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination. And it’s girls who are most affected.


Working together with children, young people, our supporters and partners, we strive for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children.


We support children’s rights from birth until they reach adulthood. And we enable children to prepare for – and respond to – crises and adversity. We drive changes in practice and policy at local, national and global levels using our reach, experience and knowledge.


We have been building powerful partnerships for children for over 80 years, and are now active in more than 70 countries.

Plan International Sierra Leone is seeking to recruit top-notch professional to fulfil the position of Monitoring Evaluation and Research Learning Manager (national position) based at the Country Office-Freetown to deliver the tasks outlined below:



The purpose of this role is to provide overall leadership on monitoring, evaluation, research, learning and CPIMS activities of Plan International Sierra Leone’s programmes (both development and humanitarian) in line with international best practices and relevant guidelines.


The MERL Manager leads Plan’s International Sierra Leone’s MERL unit which sits within the programme department. The purpose of the MERL Unit is to improve program quality and accountability through supporting and implementing high quality MERL in programs and projects and, to provide evidence for programme design, planning and effectiveness. The position is crucial to programme quality and effectiveness.



The post holder will ensure the establishment of a systematic monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning system for all programmes. The post holder will interface and support programme team members, support programme coordination and policy engagement. The role requires strong facilitation and organisational skills along with the ability to analyse and communicate complex information to all stakeholders.


The post holder will lead on knowledge management (KM) and institute practices and mechanisms, develop and socialize tools and templates for MERL work including participatory methodology tools and KM among programme staff at all levels in the organization and provide training for programme staff and partners on M&E. 



  1. Plan International Sierra Leone can provide evidence on the results and effectiveness of the Country Strategy (CS)
  • Lead the development of the MERL framework for the CS with the accompanying MERL framework for the annual plan
  • Lead the development of M&E plans for all grants
  • Ensure all strategic documents and projects are in SAP and sections including PO Log and PCR and properly filled and on time.
  • Lead the utilization and translation of the situation analysis to inform the CS development
  • Lead the development of Terms of Reference (ToR) for assessments, studies and evaluations
  • Dissemination of situation analysis report during CS development
  • Lead and manage the country strategy review process from development of the ToR to dissemination of CS review report.
  • Document lessons learnt and best practice.
  • Act as focal point for PMERL in the CO, ensuring its use for programmatic M&E and supporting project teams to use it in practice


 2 . High quality and evidence based projects through excellence in situational analysis, planning, monitoring, evaluation and research practices and knowledge management tasks

  • Dissemination of designed CS, CP, annual plans, Programme Area Overviews (PAOs) and Programme Area Updates (PAUs)
  • Ensure that all projects have basic MERL documents and meet Plan International’s MERL standards
  • Identify research opportunities to enhance Plan International Sierra Leone programming
  • Ensure that all research and evaluation initiatives comply with Plan global standards (including publications)
  • Ensure that all research and evaluation initiatives comply with global MERL standards
  • Prepare management responses for all evaluation findings
  • Consolidate and facilitate the incorporation of recommendations from project and programme Evaluations
  • Conduct annual quality analysis of all evaluation reports against criteria defined in Plan International’s evaluation standards and identify trends in findings for review and follow up by senior management
  • Complete the MERL quarterly report for the Regional Office
  • Set up and implement a knowledge management plan for the MERL unit
  • Put in place a mechanism to collect good practices and lessons learnt from programme implementation
  • Lead the development and sharing of good practices and lessons learned
  • Establish and maintain close working relationship with the Regional MERL network and actively and consistently participate in activities of the group
  • Contribute regularly to discussions and announcements on the WACAH MERL workspace
  • Ensure collaboration with other agencies and manage partnerships for MERL related purposes

    3.   Plan International Programme staff and partners have increased MERL capacity

  • Set clear objectives and develop strategy for MERL unit including budget
  • Conduct MERL capacity assessment with relevant positions at PIIA, CO and partners to identify gaps/ training needs
  • Provide training for programme staff for quality projects and programmes M&E processes and practices
  • Develop a MERL capacity building plan for Plan International Sierra Leone and organize its implementation
  • Manage integration of program and sponsorship and lead the implementation of sponsorship commitment 1-10. – Participate in the development and review of PAOs, PAUs, SCIs, WGCs and tracking of progress on especially Commitment #2


4.     Knowledge Management

  • Implement work plan to improve our knowledge and data management and sharing of information (internal, external): electronic filing, sharing of reports, stories of change
  • Document best practices and success stories for wider sharing and learning
  • Undertake knowledge management assessment and include budget for implementation of action plan for the organization
  • Coordinate with project managers and other sources to develop and mobilize resources to implement knowledge management action plan.

Internal contacts

  • Head of Programmes
  • Business Development Manager
  • Technical Specialists
  • Programme Implementation and Influencing Area Managers and Programme and Project Managers
  • M&E staff


External contacts

  • Implementing Partners
  • Consultants



Essential Skills

  • Master’s degree in statistics, demography, measurement and evaluation, planning, monitoring & evaluation, development studies, social sciences or other relevant field 
  • Skills in managing qualitative and quantitative data collections
  • Understanding of integrated development issues and critical analysis of child poverty and gender
  • Knowledge of theories of child-rights programming, child protection (programmatic and safe-guarding), gender transformative programming
  • Knowledge of development issues, trends, challenges, opportunities and implications to community development
  • Demonstrated experience as a development professional in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating programs/ projects
  • Knowledgeable on participatory M&E tools and systems
  • Knowledgeable on tool design for qualitative and quantitative research
  • Knowledge of strategic planning processes
  • Demonstrated experience in team management.


  • At least six (6) years of experience in design, planning, monitoring, evaluation and research in community, national and international development, preferably in education, health, child protection, household economic security, DRM, gender and inclusion.
  • Understands Plan’s work, and implements processes and practices that support achievement of organisational objectives
  • Understanding of ethics and safeguarding principles for MERL activities
  • Strong planning and organizational skills
  • Skills in managing decentralized teams
  • Working experience in community participation in development/programming
  • Skills for data base management (design, entry, analysis)
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Ability to deliver to tight deadlines
  • Demonstrated facilitation and active listening skills
  • Strong facilitation and coaching skills
  • Solid writing skills (report writing, concept paper writing, etc.)
  • Skills in using Microsoft Office and other software applications relevant to MER (e.g. MAXQDA, STATA, SPSS, epi-info, CSPro or similar)
  • Coaches and builds capacity of staff
  • Promotes innovation and learning
  • Communicates clearly and effectively
  • Strong team building and motivational skills
  • Demonstrates clear respect to all and especially children and women without discrimination
  • Involves others in setting and achieving goals
  • Demonstrates honesty and transparency in holding self and others to account to deliver on agreed goals and Plan’s standards of behaviour
  • Balances future vision with practical delivery
  • Acts as a team player, willing to get the best outcome overall, adjusting own priorities if necessary
  • Promotes a strong learning culture in the organisation
  • Remains calm and positive under pressure and in difficult situations



  • Travel to Programme units and activities is required as necessary to ensure that programmes are effectively monitored.
  • The post holder has medium contact with children. It is expected that children shall be protected at all times.



Ensures that Plan International’s global policies for Child Protection (CPP) and Gender Equality and Inclusion (GEI) are fully embedded in accordance with the principles and requirements of the policy including relevant Implementation Standards and Guidelines as applicable to their area of responsibility. This includes, but is not limited to, ensuring staff and associates are aware of and understand their responsibilities under these policies and Plan International’s Code of Conduct (CoC), their relevance to their area of work, and that concerns are reported and managed in accordance with the appropriate procedures.


Ensure staff understand Plan International’s commitment to driving a feminist agenda within the organization, and the ambition for gender equality and gender transformative leadership is embedded in our value-based leadership framework.


Plan International’s Values


To apply for this job, kindly click on "Apply" Your application should include: 

  • A cover letter
  • A comprehensive CV including details of two referees, one of whom should be your current or most recent supervisor

    Only short-listed candidates shall be contacted. References will be taken and background and anti-terrorism checks will be carried out in conformity with Plan International’s Safeguarding Children and Young People’s Policy.
    Plan International follows an equal opportunity policy and actively encourages diversity welcoming applications from all especially women and people living with disability.
    Early application is encouraged as we will review applications throughout the advertising period and reserve the right to close the advert early.

Location:             Country Office-Freetown

Type of Role:      Evaluation and Research Learning Manager

Reports to:          Head of Programmes

Grade:                 E

Closing Date:     21st April,2021


Early application is encouraged as we will review applications throughout the advertising period and reserve the right to close the advert early.


Equality, diversity and inclusion is at the very heart of everything that Plan International stands for.


We want Plan International to reflect the diversity of the communities we work with, offering equal opportunities to everyone regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex or sexual orientation.


Plan International is based on a culture of inclusivity and we strive to create a workplace environment that ensures every team, in every office, in every country, is rich in diverse people, thoughts, and ideas.


We foster an organisational culture that embraces our commitment to racial justice, gender equality, girls’ rights and inclusion.


Plan International believes that in a world where children face so many threats of harm, it is our duty to ensure that we, as an organisation, do everything we can to keep children safe. This means that we have particular responsibilities to children that we come into contact with and we must not contribute in any way to harming or placing children at risk.


A range of pre-employment checks will be undertaken in conformity with Plan International's Safeguarding Children and Young People policy. Plan International also participates in the Inter Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. In line with this scheme we will request information from applicants previous employers about any findings of sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and/or sexual harassment during employment, or incidents under investigation when the applicant left employment. By submitting an application, the job applicant confirms their understanding of these recruitment procedures.