Sr. Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Specialist

Posted Date 2 weeks ago(11/17/2023 6:29 PM)
Job ID
Clearance Required
Other Clearance
Facility Access Clearance (Public Trust)

Position Description

XL Associates, Inc. (XLA) has provided institutional support services to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for over twenty years.  XLA is now seeking candidates to fill the Senior Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Specialist to support the Bureau for Resilience, Environment, and Food Security (REFS) under a contract that was recently awarded. Through REFS, USAID works to advance inclusive agriculture‐led growth, resilience, nutrition, and water security, sanitation and hygiene initiatives in priority countries around the world to help them accelerate and protect development progress. 


The Senior Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Specialist will conduct robust research, analysis, and technical engagement in support of their Office or Center objectives. They will conduct monitoring, evaluation and learning of REFS-related programs and activities, may collect and analyze data and develop decision support software, service, or products. The MEL Specialist will provide all functions needed to support Bureau or Operating Unit leadership and teams to operate effectively, and to meet overall objectives.


The Senior MEL Specialist will support functions of the Technical Supervisor to which they are assigned and carry out on-going and day-to-day work assignments. Daily activities will include aspects of program performance monitoring, evaluation and assessment, knowledge management, communications and outreach, resilience and adaptation-related strategy and policy analyses, and program management.


The REFS Center for Resilience (CR) supports USAID’s response to emerging threats, helps reduce recurrent crises by promoting risk management and resilience in the Agency’s strategies and programming, and disseminates learning. The Center is responsible for ensuring the incorporation of resilience into Agency-level policies, strategies, and programs, and leads on the climate adaptation directive. The Center curates evidence and learning products for resilience, and coordinates with REFS/FTF-PAE on performance management, analytics, and learning. The Center houses the Secretariat for the Resilience Leadership Council. The Center has a Strategy and Learning Team and two divisions:

  1. The Strategy and Learning Team takes the lead in generating, capturing, and sharing information about USAID’s resilience-related work in the field. The team promotes resilience as a goal for the Agency, in coordination with internal and external stakeholders.
  2. The Division for Resilient Livelihoods and Markets (REFS/CR/RLM) supports the design and implementation of resilient investments and develops and promotes the latest advances in the design of strategies, programs, projects, and activities.
  3. The Division for Resilient Communities and Systems (REFS/CR/RCS) provides technical and thought leadership to the Bureau and the Agency on areas related to the intersection of resilience with other technical domains, including the management of natural resources and the risk of disasters, social protection, and climate adaptation. The division develops and disseminates technical guidance. It provides technical support to USAID’s Missions and support and thought leadership to advance the President’s Emergency Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE).

This position will be a member of the REFS/CR Strategy and Learning team leading CR monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) workstreams in the areas of resilience and climate adaptation; providing high quality technical support to USAID Bureaus and Missions on best practices for MEL; and, advising CR senior management on resilience and climate adaptation evidence gaps. The position will be expected to collaborate and work closely with other REFs Bureau staff focused on resilience and climate-related metrics and analytics. The position will report to the Senior Strategy and Impact Advisor and also work closely with REFS staff outside the Center who are focused on resilience and climate-related metrics and analytics. International travel will be required.

Key Responsibilities:

Research and Analysis

  • Contribute to the collection, aggregation, synthesis, analysis, and interpretation of data
  • Contribute to or conduct quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods analyses and assess reporting data
  • Review research, surveys, and or evaluation reports and make recommendations to improve quality
  • Conduct review and analysis of data in the Development Information Solution (DIS) system


Program Monitoring, Evaluation, and Assessment

  • Lead and/or contribute to the design and review of monitoring and evaluation studies and plans including Performance Management Plans (PMPs) and Activity MEL Plans (AMELPs)
  • Lead and/or contribute to the review, evaluation, and assessment of programs designed by USAID Missions, implementing partners, contractors, and research partners as appropriate
  • Lead the design and/or management of activity evaluations to determine impact and value and to improve strategy or performance
  • Develop tools and other materials on evaluation and performance monitoring topics, based on review and analysis of evaluations, best practices and literature


Presentation of Findings and Recommendations

  • Lead the synthesis of evaluations and monitoring results and their presentation through written summaries, oral presentations, and other means
  • Lead the preparation and presentation of evaluation findings, reports, and articles for appropriate audiences. Present findings and recommendations to USAID and external audiences
  • Assist in identifying and locating appropriate data, stories and reports as needed to respond to internal and external requests;
  • Manage the use of evaluations and monitoring data


Technical Assistance

  • Remain up-to-date on Bureau, Agency, and Federal policies affecting REFS programs and MEL activities
  • Provide technical assistance for assessing, measuring, and/or evaluating resilience and climate adaptation programs, processes and/or policies to USAID Missions and Bureaus, as needed
  • Provide technical and programmatic guidance to REFS and Mission staff to guide MEL activities for resilience and climate adaptation programming
  • Support development and management of data collection and aggregation systems
  • Build capacity of staff at USAID headquarters and Missions in areas of resilience and climate adaptation MEL
  • Contribute ideas and participate in actions to effectively visualize, communicate, and disseminate MEL of resilience measurement data for a variety of stakeholders, including external audiences as part of the Center’s learning agenda and communications strategy.


Collaboration, Communication, and Administration

  • Collaborate with staff and contribute to efforts to support Mission program, project, and activity monitoring
  • Lead and/or contribute to evaluation projects/studies with other program and technical staff
  • In coordination with other operating unit and bureau staff as appropriate, define and/or revise indicators to monitor performance of USAID resilience and adaptation programming
  • Engage as required with external stakeholders including implementing partners to consult and advise on resilience and adaptation metrics and methods
  • Collaborate and coordinate as needed with



  • An MA/MS and a minimum of 5 years’ experience in program monitoring, evaluation and assessment
  • In lieu of a Master’s degree, candidates may substitute a Bachelor’s and 7 years’ experience, an Associate’s and 11 years’, or a Diploma and 13 years’ experience
  • Experience with monitoring, evaluation and assessment approaches for food security, resilience, and/or climate adaptation programming strongly preferred.
  • Ability to work independently and in small and large teams.
  • Ability to obtain a USAID Facilities access clearance
  • Experience using statistical software, programming languages, or other analytical platforms (e.g. Tableau, R, Python, STATA)
  • Excellent oral, interpersonal, and written communications skills to effectively interact with government clients, high-ranking officials, and other stakeholders
  • Strong prioritization and organization skills with keen attention to deadlines
  • Understanding of metrics, indicators, data, data integrity
  • Excellent anticipatory skills and proactive approach to work
  • Positive and professional attitude and demeanor
  • Detail-oriented and interested in producing quality work products
  • Proficiency in Google Suite of products
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Suite of products including excel, word, and PowerPoint
  • Experience with USAID, USG or other related organizations is a plus


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