Monitoring and Evaluation Learning Advisor
International Social Impact | New York, NY | Full Time
About Sesame Workshop
Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. We’re active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically-funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities we serve. For more information, please visit www.sesameworkshop.org.
About the project
Launched in 2018 across Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria and beyond, Sesame Workshop’s (SW) Ahlan Simsim program provides displaced and crisis-affected children with critical early childhood development (ECD) services, strengthens national ECD services, and influences the global humanitarian system to prioritize ECD in emergencies using a unique combination of educational multimedia content and direct services.1 Featuring original Muppet and animated characters, the Ahlan Simsim television show is broadcast across more than 20 countries in the region and engages children through joyful and culturally relevant storylines while teaching the social and emotional skills they need to overcome adverse experiences, such as displacement, and that all children need to succeed in school and in life. This role will be based in New York or Erbil and iis anticpated to be a 24 month project.
In partnership with USAID/Iraq, over the course of the 3-year activity starting July 1, 2021, SW will implement Ahlan Simsim Iraq. Ahlan Simsim Iraq will leverage Ahlan Simsim’s unique approach that combines locally driven, crisis-sensitive and age-appropriate interventions to increase resilience capacities among children, families and communities impacted by conflict and violence. Using a combination of original multimedia that promotes inclusion and reflects the diversity of Iraqi society, direct services that reduce the vulnerability of children, and youth engagement programming that lays the foundation for self-efficacy and participation, Ahlan Simsim Iraq will help USAID reach its goal to contribute to a stable, sovereign Iraq that is able to respond in a timely and transparent manner to the needs of its citizens.
The overall goal of the project is for families and communities impacted by conflict and violence to create and participate in inclusive ECD opportunities and have increased resilience capacities that help to counter malign influences. This will be achieved through four strategic objectives, as follows:
Strategic Objective 1: Children have improved foundational skills including learner readiness, social and emotional learning, and mutual respect and understanding
Strategic Objective 2: Facilitators have improved effectiveness
Strategic Objective 3: Youth have increased assets, agency, contributions, and access to an enabling environment.
Strategic Objective 4: The project has improved quality and relevance through the use of data and evidence
This position will be responsible for delivering on Strategic Objective 4 in particular.
Who we are looking for
Sesame Workshop seeks a Monitoring, Evaluation, Adaptation, and Learning Consultant to plan and deliver monitoring and collaboration, adaptation, and learning activities and deliverables for a 3 year, USAID-funded early education and social cohesion program in Iraq. The Consultant is responsible for creating the systems that will enable efficient, effective monitoring, evaluation, collaboration, adaptation, and learning. They will provide relevant technical leadership and support to other colleagues as needed as part of project start up. They will work with the Senior Education Advisor to ensure the quality of procured needs assessments and conflict analyses. Specific deliverables are outlined below.
The Consultant can be based anywhere, though significant preference for an Iraqi national, based in Iraq (or the region). We encourage women or other people who have been historically excluded to apply. This is likely a full-time consultancy. Depending on performance, the Consultant may become the full-time hired staff person.
The Consultant will report to the Project Director.
The following two deliverables are due by September 30, 2021, to USAID. Each of the deliverables below will received review and feedback or comments from USAID and will subsequently be updated by October 15, 2021. Sesame Workshop assumes that each of these deliverables will be reviewed at least once by the project team prior to submission by USAID, and will require significant collaboration and coordination with project staff and partners to be successful.
A Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan (see USAID Guidance here). The Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan must include a list of indicators that the project will use for monitoring, initial commitments to learning or evaluation activities, a collaboration, adaptation, and learning plan, data storage and management requirements, and other details that the project will need in order to create a system.
Final list of activities for the project’s collaboration, learning, and adaptation objective. The current program description lists illustrative activities only. Finalizing the list of activities will require coordination and collaboration with the Senior Education Advisor, the Project Director, and consortium partners.
Other deliverables include:
Launch a monitoring and collaboration, learning, and adaptation system by October 1, 2021.
Write relevant sections of the Quarter 1 report (narrative only), due by October 20, 2021.
Write indicator reference sheets for all indicators that will be used by the project, due by October 31, 2021. (see USAID template here).
Review and provide feedback on the rapid education risk and needs assessment (done by a third party contractor) during inception, implementation, and at the reporting writing phase.
With the Senior Education Advisor, draft the Conflict Sensitivity Plan (submission to USAID by December 31, 2021). This Plan will have a strong link to the MEL and Collaborate, Learn, and Adapt program activities.
Train partner staff on the M&E Plan, indicators, associated tools; activities linked to collaboration, learning, and adaptation; expectations around data security and management or other ethical issues; project reporting requirements.
Provide review or input into the budget, staffing, partnership, or operational approaches for collaboration, learning, and adaptation approaches.
7+ years of experience managing monitoring, evaluation, collaboration, adaptation, and learning aspects of early childhood projects (from an education, health, protection, or multi-sector perspective), including 3 years of experience working in crisis settings
Prior experience with the development and implementation of monitoring, evaluation, collaboration, adaptation, and learning systems in crisis-affected contexts
Demonstrated understanding or experience with the most common challenges and solutions in monitoring, measuring, or evaluation topics like early childhood education or development, social cohesion, youth-led stabilization, or early childhood education and peacebuilding
Able to communicate, train, and present in Arabic strongly preferred, Iraqi Arabic preferred
Proficient in written and spoken English required
Experience with USAID-funded projects (development or stabilization) preferred, but not required
Demonstrated commitment to equity and inclusion in the workplace.
Ability to establish and maintain good working relationships with partners, donors and other stakeholders in a sensitive environment
Equal Opportunity Employer/Minorities/Females/Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity