Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Manager

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Job Description

StrongMinds ( Zambia (SMZ) is a fast growing and dynamic social enterprise, and the only organization scaling an intervention to deliver lifechanging mental health treatment to vulnerable African women and adolescents suffering from depression. Our cost-efficient, rigorously tested therapeutic model uses Group Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT-G)—a WHO-recommended first-line treatment for depression in resource-poor settings. Since 2014, StrongMinds has provided mental health treatment to more than 230,000 clients in Uganda and Zambia, transforming their psychological health, increasing their economic security, and improving the well-being of their family.
StrongMinds has earned an impressive reputation in the global mental health space. In addition to media coverage in the New York Times, Forbes, BBC World Service, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, we are described by UK organization Founders Pledge as the most cost-effective mental health organization working in the developing world.
Following many successful years in Uganda, StrongMinds has grown significantly from when it established its operations in Zambia in 2019 with a small team of 8 staff and an annual budget of $300,000 delivering IPT-G to just under 2,500 clients, to today where we have a staff of over 55, an annual budget exceeding $1 million and are expected to treat more than 50,000 clients in this calendar year alone.
StrongMinds Zambia expects to treat over 100,000 clients in the next 12 months and recognizes that scale will only be achieved by prioritizing the integration of its proven group interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT-G) model through partnerships – within existing community, government, and NGO structures.
The Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Manager will be a strategic, key member of the senior management staff of StrongMinds Zambia. This position reports directly to the Zambia Country Director. The successful candidate will be responsible for monitoring and evaluating initiatives, programs and projects, both new and established, providing efficiency and success from start to finish. S/he will be responsible for establishing, modifying and monitoring key performance indicators to report and will record progress for specific programs and projects within all Programs of StrongMinds Zambia.
The MERL Manager will play a critical role of overseeing regular project progress reports and will update the organization and the department with a vision, framework and strategic plan for its M&E unit. They will coordinate with the Global Research Director, as well as MERL Managers in other locations.
Data Management

Improve data collection and management processes.
Perform field visits to ensure the quality of data collected by field staff.
Analyze KPI data to make recommendations to Program staff.
Ensure that donor, partner, and senior management data queries are addressed in an accurate and timely manner.
Run project evaluations Data Collection processes simplified (tools updated).
Data Quality Assurance SOP developed and disseminated.
Data Analysis reports shared.
Regular Progress review reports shared (Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly and Bi- Annual)
System Development
Propose strategies to increase data use and demand amongst Program staff.
Support project/program staff on ways to properly document, organize and capture program progress.
Drive research and learning agenda at SMZ ensuring learning feeds into program design and system development.

Management of the Monitoring and Evaluation Team

Manage a team of M&E in SMZ by, delineating their responsibilities in order to support programmatic activities of SMZ Projects and ensure these are monitored and evaluated in a timely, efficient and effective manner.
Coach, train, and mentor M&E Officers with the aim of strengthening their technical capacity.

Reporting and Dissemination of Findings

Prepare and ensure donor reports are of high quality and are submitted on time.
Assess organizational and performance gaps within the SMZ program and report on corrective actions needed.
Clarify the core information needs of management and provide relevant and timely information to the Management.
Document the lessons learned and best practices of the SMZ program and projects.


Grade 12 Certificate with 5 ‘O levels including Mathematics and English.
Bachelor’s Degree qualification in Social Sciences, Development studies, Quantitative economics, Statistics, population studies or other related field with postgraduate qualification in M&E preferred.

Job-related experience, Knowledge and Behaviors

At least (4) years of professional experience in an M&E position responsible for implementing M&E activities of development projects.
Experience in designing, implementing, and operating project M&E systems from project initiation to closeout stages.
Designing and managing beneficiary monitoring and database systems.
Indicator selection, target setting, reporting, database management, and developing M&E and performance monitoring plans.
Knowledge of the major evaluation methodologies (e.g., qualitative, quantitative, mixed-method, and impact) and data collection and analysis methodologies.
Planning and managing surveys, Developing and refining data collection tools and Data quality assessments.
Technical: Strong Excel / Google Sheets skills required. Experience with Stata / SPSS / R / Python preferred. Languages: Excellent written and spoken command of English.

The successful Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Manager will also be expected to embrace and role model the core values of Strongminds:

We are people focused.
We think big and act fast.
We are data driven.
We do what we say and say what we do.
We believe in collaboration, not competition.

Send your application letter, outlining why you want to work for StrongMinds Zambia and why you believe you are a great fit for the role based on the job description including your salary expectation. The CV should be a maximum of 2 pages  highlighting how your experience directly relates to the role (attached as one document) indicating 3 professional referees, two of the three should have been direct supervisors to [email protected] not later than 13th October, 2023. Please clearly indicate MONITORING, EVALUATION, RESEARCH AND LEARNING (MERL) MANAGER Application in the subject line.
StrongMinds Zambia is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates are therefore encouraged to apply at the earliest opportunity; however, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
StrongMinds is committed to prioritizing the safety and well-being of children and young people, therefore all successful applicants will be required to sign onto our safeguarding/Child Protection Policy, Code of Conduct and complete a Police Check Clearance.

Job Summary

Zambia Location
Full Time Job Type

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