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USAID 2019/05 Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Specialist (MEL)

Please follow the check lists and submission guidelines, posted on the official website:

POSITION: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Specialist (MEL)

SALARY:    FSN-11 ฿1,288,038 per annum (Starting salary)


The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok is seeking an individual for the position of a Development Assistance Specialist (M&E) or Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Specialist (MEL) of the Office of Program Development Office (PDO) in the U.S. Agency for International Development/Regional Development Mission for Asia (USAID/RDMA), located at Athenee Tower, Wireless Road, Bangkok.


The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Specialist (MEL) serves as an advisor on and/or support designing and implementing Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) plans, as well as leads and ensures quality and compliance with Agency MEL Policy and requirements at all levels for USAID/RDMA. The Specialist will be responsible for the development, operation and maintenance of a Geographic/Management Information System (G/MIS) and the Mission’s performance management information in both database and mapping formats to improve coordination, collection, management, analysis and use of performance management data. S/he will liaise with RDMA’s technical and support offices and implementing partners in the development and implementation of the Mission’s overall MEL strategy. The incumbent will manage individual evaluation contracts and the Mission-wide performance management system. S/he will also lead learning through MEL capacity building efforts and data use such as assisting technical offices on M&E data analysis and ensuring that evaluation recommendations are used in adaptive management of current projects/activities and in new designs. The incumbent will report to Program Development Officer or his/her designee.


1. Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning of Activities and Programs (50%)                            In coordination, consultation, and negotiation with staff of relevant technical and support offices at RDMA, the Specialist will be responsible for the following functions in relation to MEL of Activities/Programs for USAID/RDMA’s four Operating Units (Asia Regional, China, Lao PDR, and Thailand).  As required, the Specialist may also provide leadership, guidance, and support in MEL in similar manners for USAID bilateral missions and country offices throughout Asia. 


  • Provides leadership and supports to RDMA technical staff and those of implementing partners (IPs) to ensure that performance monitoring systems operate effectively, established indicators meet quality standards, and partners’ performance monitoring systems/reports are in compliance with USAID and RDMA requirements.
  • Leads the Data Quality Assessment (DQA) process and track DQA of required indicators.
  • Supports monitoring efforts undertaken by technical staff and IPs by conducting periodic site visits to monitor works of IPs, assessing their MEL systems, and working with relevant stakeholders to strengthen the system.
  • Supports development of RDMA’s Performance Management Plan (PMP). Provides guidance on, manages, maintains and regularly updates PMP indicators, their targets and actual results of the four OUs. 

Evaluation & Other Special Studies

  • Manages the entire evaluation/special study process from statements of work development to selection of contracting mechanisms and contractors, as well as manages all aspects of the contracts.
  • Provides guidance to staff at RDMA and the IPs on appropriate types of special studies/research, and improvement of the IPs’ internal evaluations and other types of studies.


  • Assists USAID staff and IPs on integration of Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) into mission-wide strategies, projects, and/or activities. Develops, executes and updates mission-wide CLA plans.
  • Conducts organizational learning needs assessment and prioritizes Mission-wide and office-specific learning priorities with relevant staff. Updates learning priorities and/or CLA plan and updates mission on changes in CLA policies/guidance and good practices. Provides technical support on the development of learning agenda and learning questions in MEL plans, as well as procurement of learning services/products.
  • Works closely with other staff members to periodically compile, analyze and/or review program performance, results from evaluations/other studies, learning activities and other available data. Documents "lessons learned" to inform future strategy of the Mission and helps articulate USAID strategic direction on each technical/program portfolio. Ensures that findings and recommendations derived from evaluations and/or other studies are used in adaptive management of existing and future projects/activities.
  • Leads and/or supports the design of Mission-wide portfolio reviews, twice yearly.
  • Develops guidance, procedures and practices to improve knowledge management and institutional memory, support effective knowledge transfer between outgoing and incoming staff, and support continuous learning. 

Overall MEL

  • Develops and updates Mission-wide Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Plan annually, by reviewing all Activities in all portfolios/sectors, proposing potential MERL activities, and coordinating with relevant stakeholders within and beyond RDMA for inputs/comments to finalize the plan. Guides process for Mission’s approval of the Plan and incorporates the MERL Plan into annual Operational Plan (OP). 
  • Serves as RDMA Program Backstop for technical teams in MEL-related areas such as diagnostic of development challenges and opportunities for USAID programming, and implementing U.S. foreign assistance priorities in accordance with current and new foreign assistance initiatives and priorities.
  • Reviews, provides comments on and clears project/activity MEL plans as assigned.
  • Develops and convenes MEL strategy and related activities among MEL Community of Practice that comprises of MEL experts from U.S. Government agencies and various external entities in Asia.
  • Serves as RDMA Point of Contact for performance monitoring, evaluation, CLA, and annual performance reporting (PPRs) and Mission-wide Portfolio Reviews as assigned.
  • Be a Subject Matter Expert on the Foreign Assistance Coordination and Tracking System (FACTS Info NextGen), the foreign assistance planning and reporting system for USAID and Department of State. 

2. Geographic/Management Information System (G/MIS) (30%)                                       

The overall objective is to develop and maintain a dynamic database that facilitates the use of geographic information system technology, geospatial analysis, and cartographic products as tools to improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of USAID/RDMA’s development assistance. Responsibilities include: 

  • Leads development of RDMA G/MIS database for complex portfolios; ensuring compliance with relevant Mission and Agency policy and guidance. Assures, with mission Activity Managers, and in close consultation with RDMA’s Executive Office and MEL Team (as well as USAID/Washington, D.C), that the system is aligned with performance management needs.
  • Ensures data system is compatible with those of the Agency’s other key systems. Maintains and updates the G/MIS database continuously to reflect changes in the Mission’s MEL Plans at all levels. This also includes review and timely update of list of awards/implementing mechanisms to ensure that the database is up-to-date. 
  • Identifies information gaps for creating effective datasets and maps.
  • Safeguards the system and information/data and upkeeps security protocols in collaboration with the Mission’s systems administrator. Develops and maintains proper user authentication roles, procedures, passwords and user lists to allow USAID’s and IPs’ staff to use the system properly.
  • Develops user manuals and training curriculum and conducts training on the system requirements and utilization.
  • Sources data through public sources as required. Implements query features to allow users to conduct searches and analysis for reporting purposes.
  • Conceptualizes, analyzes, prepares and produces high quality cartographic (including layered GIS maps), data visualization, and information products including reports and other media to inform decision making, design, and reporting requirements. As appropriate, advises on improving/upgrading the G/MIS system as well as disseminates changes and/or new instructions in the G/MIS system to all relevant parties.
  • Leads and coordinates solicitation efforts as well as manages G/MIS related procurements and/or awards/implementing mechanisms, if needed.
  • Represents RDMA in G/MIS related meetings and events. 

3. Lead and/or Support other Program Cycle Tasks at RDMA (20%)               

  • Contributes to project and/or activity design, either as a design team member or ad hoc advisor.  This may require inputs or a leading role in developing logic models, theories of change, critical assumptions, MEL requirements and plans, appropriate indicators and targets and ways to integrate them into all levels of the results chain. 
  • Contributes and/or advises on strategy formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign assistance priorities in accordance with new foreign assistance initiatives and priorities.
  • Coordinates inputs and consolidates responses to taskers from USAID Washington, DC and beyond in relation to program cycle, particularly on MEL.  


All applications must address each selection criterion detailed below with specific and comprehensive information supporting each item in DS-174 block no. 19-22. If the application submitted fails to demonstrate eligibility, the application will be marked unqualified.  It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide all pertinent information. 

(1) Education: A minimum of Bachelor Degree in Social Sciences, Public/Business Administration, Development Studies, Statistics or relevant field is required.  

(2) Experience (20 points): 

  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible, professional-level experience in monitoring and evaluation; international development project/program design, planning and/or management; as well as one or more of the following experience with a development agency or international organization; knowledge management, analysis and interpretation of complex and large amounts of data, organizational and/or strategic learning.
  • Proven professional-level experience in database design and management, particularly in establishing and operating a user-friendly database system. Experience use of any database software (e.g., MapInfo, ArcGIS, and MS Access) or image manipulation software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop/ImageReady) is also required.   

(3) Language:  Level IV (fluent) English language and Thai proficiency is required  

(4) Knowledge (40 points):  Understanding of the economic, social, cultural and political characteristics of international development assistance is required. Strong, comprehensive knowledge of current best practices of monitoring and evaluation; quantitative and qualitative research design, data analysis and interpretation; geographic/geospatial/management information technologies/systems utilization and management, and organizational learning and adaptive management.   

(5) Skills and Abilities (40 points): 

  • Advanced technical and systems skills and ability to independently lead the design and implementation of complex monitoring, evaluation and learning plans, as well as to manage and maintain G/MIS systems.
  • Advanced knowledge and skills in the use of common office software packages such as MS Word/Excel/PowerPoint/Access, Google mail and other applications, typical internet technology, as well as ability to quickly learn and use other Agency-standard computer programs.
  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills to be able to work in a collegial and persuasive fashion in a team environment to achieve consensus, and to affect staff behavior/attitude change and to coordinate work processes/requirements across the Mission as well as among implementing partners.
  • Ability to conduct training, lead/facilitate discussions/meeting or events among multi-disciplinary teams, and convene people in large organizations.
  • Strong organizational, prioritization, multi-tasking, teamwork, planning and management skills within a multi-cultural and fast paced work environment.
  • Ability to work independently with no or minimal supervision, take initiative, and follow guidance, once guidance is provided.
  • Strong analytical and data analysis skills.
  • Flexibility and capacity to adapt to and operate in a complex and rapidly-changing environment.
  • Ability to effectively communicate in written and oral forms, including effective presentation skills, writing reports and policy briefs. 


Applications will be initially screened and scored for eligibility in accordance with the required qualifications and points mentioned above. To be considered for candidacy, applicants must address each criterion in their applications as to how they meet the minimum qualifications for this position.  Top-ranked candidates who meet the minimum qualification will be given a recruitment test. Applicants with passing marks from the recruitment test and with a valid TOEIC score of 855 or above will be invited for an interview. The recruitment test and the interview will be structured around the selection criteria above and will be conducted in USAID/RDMA Bangkok, Thailand. Only shortlisted candidates for final interview will be notified of the selection result. Reference checks will be conducted once the applicant pool is narrowed down to the top candidate(s).Internal candidates must have successfully completed a one year probationary period of employment before being eligible to apply. USAID/RDMA will screen for nepotism/conflict of interest in determining successful candidacy.


Please follow the check lists and submission guidelines, posted on the official website: carefully and submit complete application package thru before the deadline.

 Failure to follow the instructions will invalidate your application. 


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