The Deputy Chief of Party

Activity: USAID/Zambia Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Platform Activity
Implementer: SoCha LLC
Company background:
SoCha (a portmanteau of Social and Change) is an independent Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (ME&L) firm that provides bespoke solutions to social challenges. Since our inception in 2010, we have grown into a fully-fledged MEL services firm that specializes in advancing innovative methodologies and changing the way donors find solutions to social problems.
Activity background:
USAID/Zambia Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Platform (Z-MELP) is defined as an implementing mechanism which gives the mission access to technical and advisory services to design and carry out specialized multiple, third-party, MEL tasks including practices, processes, and requirements that support Program Cycle implementation.
Overview of role:
The Deputy Chief of Party provides senior technical and managerial leadership across the platform and assume overall responsibility for the platform in the absence of the COP. S/he serves as focal point for the technical work request systems shared with USAID and manages the overall delivery of work requests within the team. Providing guidance and direction for staff the DCOP reviews technical products while directly engaging in their development. The vision for the role is transitional with increasing operational responsibilities as capacity of Z-MELP technical staff is strengthened.
Contract Management
Make key decisions and solve problems in short time frames while ensuring operational and program integrity.
Ensure contract is executed in compliance with contract requirements
Oversee Z-MELP’s work request and approval systems
Ensure high quality of deliverables submitted to USAID
Enhance both the Mission’s and implementing partners’ capacity in MEL
Provide a variety of on-demand MEL services to USAID/Zambia
Scope evaluations and assessments with the Mission
Remove roadblocks for evaluators in the field
Review final draft deliverables
Management of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Activities
Assume Chief of Party responsibilities for technical oversight in his/her absence
Assist Chief of Party in overall technical oversight of and support for activities across objectives
Advise the mission on MEL approaches, and identify and seize opportunities for promoting advanced and learning-driven MEL methodologies that promote the unique value of SoCha
Serve as lead for Evaluation Support Services
Lead delivery of work request such as review of evaluation statement of works, support the mnagement of missions, evaluations, special studies, operations research and coordinate evaluation cafe, and review of EMMP
Proactively provide support the delivery of work request across Z-MELP objectives and contractual deliverables, as needed
Program management, oversight, and reporting of contractor progress and quality of performance in meeting the activity undertakings
Define and guide team in executing the vision for implementation
Meet contractual targets and set targets when necessary
Work with client on daily basis to understand needs and respond with draft scope of works for work requests
Develop and execute against annual work plans
Assure the quality of MEL services provided by the local core team as direct Technical QA contact
Help each technical office develop and maintain PMELPs for each IR, ensuring that they align with the PMP and inform the data IPs collect in their AMELPs
Conduct annual reviews of the PMP to add or drop any indicators
Assign control and test groups for stakeholder engagement and data collection
Work with technical offices to scope quantitative and qualitative assessments, then develop an assessment plan (staff, schedule, deliverables, etc.)
Engage mission units to increase understanding of the MEL processes and outcomes
Work with the COR, PRM, and DOC team to scope external collaboration events
Communications and Information Management
Maintain clear lines of communication with the client, Z-MELP team, SoCha HQ, subcontractors and other stakeholders
Support COP in client relations across USAID/Zambia’s program office, technical offices, and front office
Lead and deliver presentations and weekly updates on request by Client or as needed for other parties
Prepare contract reports and client updates
Establish and socialize best practices for project plans and reports
Support COP at dissemination events as key personnel and senior member of staff
Meet with USAID technical teams to review draft SOWs and discuss evaluation objectives
Recommend evaluation methods, sampling levels to achieve statistical significance, timelines, and cost ranges
Consult AORs/CORs with activities that require EMMPs
Personnel Management
Oversee Z-MELP technical team, with direct line management of some of the team
Make final selections of personnel (LTTA and STTA) to be proposed to client
Motivate staff to perform effectively toward project objectives as a shared mission.
Coordinate with SoCha’s home office to recruit short-term expat expertise to supplement the core team when required
The tasks outlined above are indicative, but not exhaustive for the role and other tasks may be assigned by the COP or his/her designee.
7+ years of experience in MEL working on international development program
A minimum of three years of experience of working on USAID-funded activities or directly with the Mission
Experience with USAID’s program cycle
Familiar with ADS 201 MEL related requirements, incl. latest revisions
Extensive expertise in evaluations and at least two other of the following disciplines: performance management / monitoring; data management; CLA; and knowledge management
Experience in training and organizational capacity building, particularly in the disciplines above
Experience designing or delivering utilization-focused performance or impact evaluations;
Experience with EMMPs is a strong asset
An understanding of how to select optimal mixed methods during evaluation design;
English language proficiency; and
An advanced degree
This is delegated as a local hire position, open to Zambian citizens and residents.

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