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Measurement, Evaluation, Research & Learning (MERL) Project Officers

International Youth Foundation
Eastern Cape x1, KwaZulu-Natal x1
Closing Date:
Interviewing

About the Organisation

For 30 years, the International Youth Foundation (IYF) has coordinated and sustained actions that harness the talent and potential of the world’s young people. At the heart of our efforts is building partnerships, initiatives, and curricula that prepare young people to succeed as citizens and employees.

In South Africa, IYF partners to strengthen education and training systems—including public TVET colleges and employer-led learnerships for unemployed youth—so that they better equip young people to access and expand economic opportunity. We work with national government and TVET leaders to align courses with industry needs; we equip employers to deliver more impactful life skills training within their learnerships; and we create mutually beneficial partnerships between industry and education systems that improve young people’s lives while also delivering measurable business benefits.

The UK Government’s Skills for Prosperity Programme is funding High Gear implementation in KwaZulu-Natal Province, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation are funding project implementation in Eastern Cape Province. All three funding partners are supporting High Gear’s national stakeholder engagement and learning efforts.

About the Job

International Youth Foundation (IYF) seeks to fill the following 2 positions to be located in
KwaZulu-Natal (Durban) and Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth):

(Measurement, Evaluation, Research & Learning) MERL PROJECT OFFICERS

IYF South Africa recently launched High Gear, a partnership with the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) and the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) that is advancing South Africa’s public TVET college system. High Gear draws on industry knowledge and skills imperatives—along with IYF curricula enhancement tools—to strengthen the market relevance of select public TVET college courses. Ultimately, High Gear aims to demonstrate a model for greater industry involvement in TVET course design and delivery that generates positive returns for both young people and employers.

The Measurement, Evaluation, Research & Learning (MERL) Project Officers will be responsible for leading implementation of the High Gear MERL plan in KZN province (particularly eThekwini) and key metros of Eastern Cape Province. The successful incumbent will be providing targeted project implementation support.

Key Responsibilities

Key responsibilities of this position include but are not limited to:

  • MERL Plan Implementation: The Officer will lead implementation of the High Gear MERL plan in KZN, including leading on data collection and analysis for select indicators, working with the external evaluator to coordinate data analysis, and supporting the project learning strategy. The Officer will inform ongoing updates to all elements of the MERL Plan (e.g., theories of change, logical frameworks, risk management frameworks, performance monitoring plans, evaluation strategy, and data collection tools).

  • Data Management: The Officer will support the establishment of record guidelines, procedures, and tools for maintaining data integrity. The Officer will enter and manage performance data through IYF’s cloud-based data management system, and assist with data storage, cleaning, tabulation, and verification.

  • Risk Management and Value for Money (VfM): The Officer will support tracking of High Gear risk register and VfM indicators, to enable early detection of any obstacles for reaching project milestones, and to ensure IYF is implementing cost effective programming.

  • MERL Technical Support: The Officer will provide ongoing technical and data management support to colleagues and partners in KZN, to ensure the quality implementation of the High Gear MERL plan, including through regular coaching, data quality audits, monitoring visits, and problem solving.

  • Project Reporting & Dissemination: The Officer will support quarterly donor reporting, including reporting on key performance indicators, and support dissemination of project learning to provincial industry and TVET colleges, both through reports and presentations.

  • Adaptive Management: The Officer will collaborate with the national High Gear MERL team—including the external evaluator—to support High Gear project management staff to regularly use High Gear data and learning to inform strategic shifts.

  • Institutional MERL Support: Serve as a technical resource for IYF as part of the global MERL team and support institutional MERL priorities such as implementing the institutional learning agenda, contributing to the performance measurement framework, and facilitating sharing of MERL best practices and learning to internal and external audiences.

  • Project Support: The Officer will provide coordination for select project activities—as assigned by the Programme Manager (KZN)—such as scheduling, records management, contract approvals and management, and workshop/event logistical support.

  • Compliance: In collaboration with all High Gear team members, develop and maintain familiarity with donor rules/regulations to ensure compliance, including adherence to donor reporting guidelines and timelines.

Requirements

The MERL Project Officers must meet the following criteria:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field (e.g. economics, mathematics) or a social science with demonstrated monitoring, evaluation and learning training or specialized coursework

  • Minimum of 3 years of work experience in a related field, including two or more years of experience using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies in measurement, evaluation, and learning (MEL) activities for program performance. Prior experience with supporting performance monitoring for USAID or DFID-funded projects an added advantage

  • Experience conducting assessments and using qualitative and quantitative tools (focus group discussions, surveys, interviews)

  • Strong data management and analytical skills, with the ability to synthesize information to inform planning and strategy

  • Excellent computer skills and demonstrated experience using advanced Excel skills. Familiarity with statistical software (e.g. SPSS, R, STATA); data visualization software (e.g. Tableau, PowerBI); and cloud-based data management systems (e.g. Salesforce, MySQL) is strongly preferred

  • Prior experience providing general project support, such as implementation planning, event/workshop logistics, and contract management

  • Exceptional oral and written English communication skills

  • Adept at leading surveys and/or presentations with diverse audiences, including in the public sector and in the private sector. The candidate must be comfortable in external-facing roles

To apply

Please state clearly which region you are applying for.

Please send your CV, cover letter - for your cover letter, rather than summarizing your CV, please answer the following in 1-2 pages:

  • Imagine a project that has the ideal MERL structure, in terms of plans, resources, processes, and/or commitments (i.e. your “dream” MERL project structure).

  • Describe what you consider to be the key elements that makes this the ideal MERL project structure. and complete the AA bio summary form in MS word format tomelissa@actionappointments.co.za

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About the Organisation

For 30 years, the International Youth Foundation (IYF) has coordinated and sustained actions that harness the talent and potential of the world’s young people. At the heart of our efforts is building partnerships, initiatives, and curricula that prepare young people to succeed as citizens and employees.

In South Africa, IYF partners to strengthen education and training systems—including public TVET colleges and employer-led learnerships for unemployed youth—so that they better equip young people to access and expand economic opportunity. We work with national government and TVET leaders to align courses with industry needs; we equip employers to deliver more impactful life skills training within their learnerships; and we create mutually beneficial partnerships between industry and education systems that improve young people’s lives while also delivering measurable business benefits.

The UK Government’s Skills for Prosperity Programme is funding High Gear implementation in KwaZulu-Natal Province, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation are funding project implementation in Eastern Cape Province. All three funding partners are supporting High Gear’s national stakeholder engagement and learning efforts.

About the Job

International Youth Foundation (IYF) seeks to fill the following 2 positions to be located in
KwaZulu-Natal (Durban) and Eastern Cape (Port Elizabeth):

(Measurement, Evaluation, Research & Learning) MERL PROJECT OFFICERS

IYF South Africa recently launched High Gear, a partnership with the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) and the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) that is advancing South Africa’s public TVET college system. High Gear draws on industry knowledge and skills imperatives—along with IYF curricula enhancement tools—to strengthen the market relevance of select public TVET college courses. Ultimately, High Gear aims to demonstrate a model for greater industry involvement in TVET course design and delivery that generates positive returns for both young people and employers.

The Measurement, Evaluation, Research & Learning (MERL) Project Officers will be responsible for leading implementation of the High Gear MERL plan in KZN province (particularly eThekwini) and key metros of Eastern Cape Province. The successful incumbent will be providing targeted project implementation support.

Key Responsibilities

Key responsibilities of this position include but are not limited to:

  • MERL Plan Implementation: The Officer will lead implementation of the High Gear MERL plan in KZN, including leading on data collection and analysis for select indicators, working with the external evaluator to coordinate data analysis, and supporting the project learning strategy. The Officer will inform ongoing updates to all elements of the MERL Plan (e.g., theories of change, logical frameworks, risk management frameworks, performance monitoring plans, evaluation strategy, and data collection tools).

  • Data Management: The Officer will support the establishment of record guidelines, procedures, and tools for maintaining data integrity. The Officer will enter and manage performance data through IYF’s cloud-based data management system, and assist with data storage, cleaning, tabulation, and verification.

  • Risk Management and Value for Money (VfM): The Officer will support tracking of High Gear risk register and VfM indicators, to enable early detection of any obstacles for reaching project milestones, and to ensure IYF is implementing cost effective programming.

  • MERL Technical Support: The Officer will provide ongoing technical and data management support to colleagues and partners in KZN, to ensure the quality implementation of the High Gear MERL plan, including through regular coaching, data quality audits, monitoring visits, and problem solving.

  • Project Reporting & Dissemination: The Officer will support quarterly donor reporting, including reporting on key performance indicators, and support dissemination of project learning to provincial industry and TVET colleges, both through reports and presentations.

  • Adaptive Management: The Officer will collaborate with the national High Gear MERL team—including the external evaluator—to support High Gear project management staff to regularly use High Gear data and learning to inform strategic shifts.

  • Institutional MERL Support: Serve as a technical resource for IYF as part of the global MERL team and support institutional MERL priorities such as implementing the institutional learning agenda, contributing to the performance measurement framework, and facilitating sharing of MERL best practices and learning to internal and external audiences.

  • Project Support: The Officer will provide coordination for select project activities—as assigned by the Programme Manager (KZN)—such as scheduling, records management, contract approvals and management, and workshop/event logistical support.

  • Compliance: In collaboration with all High Gear team members, develop and maintain familiarity with donor rules/regulations to ensure compliance, including adherence to donor reporting guidelines and timelines.

Requirements

The MERL Project Officers must meet the following criteria:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field (e.g. economics, mathematics) or a social science with demonstrated monitoring, evaluation and learning training or specialized coursework

  • Minimum of 3 years of work experience in a related field, including two or more years of experience using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodologies in measurement, evaluation, and learning (MEL) activities for program performance. Prior experience with supporting performance monitoring for USAID or DFID-funded projects an added advantage

  • Experience conducting assessments and using qualitative and quantitative tools (focus group discussions, surveys, interviews)

  • Strong data management and analytical skills, with the ability to synthesize information to inform planning and strategy

  • Excellent computer skills and demonstrated experience using advanced Excel skills. Familiarity with statistical software (e.g. SPSS, R, STATA); data visualization software (e.g. Tableau, PowerBI); and cloud-based data management systems (e.g. Salesforce, MySQL) is strongly preferred

  • Prior experience providing general project support, such as implementation planning, event/workshop logistics, and contract management

  • Exceptional oral and written English communication skills

  • Adept at leading surveys and/or presentations with diverse audiences, including in the public sector and in the private sector. The candidate must be comfortable in external-facing roles

To apply

Please state clearly which region you are applying for.

Please send your CV, cover letter - for your cover letter, rather than summarizing your CV, please answer the following in 1-2 pages:

  • Imagine a project that has the ideal MERL structure, in terms of plans, resources, processes, and/or commitments (i.e. your “dream” MERL project structure).

  • Describe what you consider to be the key elements that makes this the ideal MERL project structure. and complete the AA bio summary form in MS word format tomelissa@actionappointments.co.za

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