Global Communities

MEL Advisor - Integrated School Feeding

Location : Location
US-MD-Silver Spring
Additional Locations
US-CA-San Diego
Location : Country


Global Communities works at the intersection of humanitarian assistance, sustainable development and financial inclusion to save lives, advance equity and secure strong futures. We support communities at the forefront of their own development in more than 35 countries, partnering with local leaders, governments, civil society and the private sector to achieve a shared vision of a more just, prosperous and equitable global community. 


The Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Advisor for Integrated School Feeding focuses on strengthening the technical design, implementation, and standardization of robust MEL systems and approaches across Global Communities’ USDA-funded McGovern-Dole Food for Education (MGD-FFE) portfolio. This position provides technical support to the design of new integrated school feeding programs and provides technical direction to define and advance priorities that strengthen MEL systems, tools, approaches, and staff capacity in existing MGD-FFE programs. S/he also contributes to efforts to ensure the quality and rigor of monitoring, evaluation and learning that provide Global Communities with evidence on the effectiveness and impact of our programs while contributing to the organization’s visibility and competitiveness.


 Technical Support to New and Existing USDA/MGD-FFE Projects (60%)

  • Develop and/or strengthen project-level MEL frameworks and plans, ensuring that systems and tools produce relevant, timely, quality data that are responsive to organizational and project-level learning priorities, accountable to program participants and stakeholders, and align with donor policy and requirements.
  • Lead the design, implementation, and use of project- and portfolio-level learning agendas, special studies, and evaluations.
  • Lead MEL plan and indicator adjustments if/when grant award amendments are necessary.
  • Develop and implement approaches and processes to ensure quality programmatic data are regularly analyzed and utilized to assess and improve program quality and project performance. This will include the use of MERL Technology, like project- and portfolio-level dashboards, for data visualization and analysis.
  • Develop and implement capacity strengthening activities of relevant internal and partner staff in data management, analysis, reporting and utilization of findings for data-driven decision making and knowledge management.
  • Draft and/or strengthen technical documents, including donor reports, project or study briefs, or other dissemination products to ensure stakeholder accountability, promote learning, and enhance visibility efforts.
  • Lead and/or facilitate stocktaking exercises such as pause and reflect sessions, results utilization activities, before action reviews, after action reviews, critical reflection workshops and others to give and receive stakeholder feedback and identify lessons learned.

Technical Support to New Business Development (15%)

  • As part of the MGD-FFE proposal team, lead writing, developing, and/or reviewing of all technical and MEL-related components of proposals; this will include Evaluation Plans, Theory of Change, Results Frameworks, Performance Indicator Reference Sheets, Learning or Research Agendas, Knowledge Management Plans, and staffing and resource needs.
  • Guide technical area specialists in determining indicator results during the activity design process.
  • Lead MEL plan refinements during USDA’s new award negation process.
  • As part of proposal teams, lead in the identification and/or formation of strategic partnerships to support rigorous performance monitoring, evaluation, research, and applied learning.

Technical Thought Leadership (25%)

  • Provide specialized support and thought leadership in key technical areas to strengthen Global Communities technical standards, tools, and approaches for existing and future USDA/MGD-FFE programming in the following ways:
    • Develop and/or strengthen MEL-specific guidance, tools, and approaches for evidence-based design of new USDA/MGD-FFE programming for use throughout the program design and proposal development phase. programs, including ensuring theory of change in program design and management.
    • Strengthen capacity of relevant internal and implementing partner staff in areas that include data management, analysis, reporting and utilization of findings for data driven decision making, knowledge management, and learning through one-on-one mentoring, virtual and in-person workshops/trainings, and/or the development of technical “how-to” guidance documents, tools, and templates.
    • Support the identification and optimization of use of internal program and data and knowledge across existing USDA/MGD-FFE programs, with a focus on facilitating utilization of data and knowledge for technical learning, program improvement, and enhancing visibility of programs.
    • Faciliate organizational strategic coordination and learning around MEL, including related knowledge sharing between teams, departments, projects and countries through peer-to-peer networks and knowledge exchange activities such as a technical community of practice


  • Ability to travel, including to remote or resource-limited areas, within GC’s USDA/MGD-FFE portfolio (up to 30%).
  • Supports MEL-related mentoring, professional development, and technical capacity strengthening of MGD-FFE project staff, implementing partners, MELI and FECS headquarter staff, and other staff members.
  • Participate in Global Communities organizational initiatives.
  • Promote and advance a culture of learning within the organization through advancing personal learning and subject matter expertise in relevant areas.
  • Stay up to date on industry best practices and incorporate them in GC processes, guidance, and tools.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Knowledge of best practices and international standards in designing and implementing robust MEL systems.
  • Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative MEL methods, including quasi-experimental evaluation design and special studies rigorous sampling methodologies.
  • Demonstrated use of tools and approaches for facilitating data utilization, including data visualization and presentation, and facilitating learning and reflection activities.
  • Strong writing skills to support proposal development, prepare and review reports and to contribute to publications and promotional materials.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and work with a diverse set of technical and non-technical counterparts and stakeholders, including global headquarter staff, country stakeholders, host government, non-governmental organizations, and community representatives.
  • Demonstrated skills to mentor staff with various levels of technical capacity and experience.
  • Highly motivated, organized, and able to produce results in a fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment.
  • Familiarity with and sensitivity to diversity, equity, and inclusion and gender issues.
  • Ability to use statistical analysis software, such as STATA, SPSS, and MERL Tech software, such as CommCare and PowerBI, a plus.
  • Second language abilities in Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, etc. a plus; language abilities in French preferred.


  • Undergraduate degree in a related discipline and a minimum of four years of related work experience or a minimum of eight years of related work experience.
  • Minimum two years of demonstrated work experience leading technical support efforts to strengthen performance monitoring, evaluation, and applied learning to USG-funded programs with a technical focus in integrated school feeding, multi-sectoral agriculture programming, value chain development, and/or market systems approaches Experience with USDA/MGD-FFE or USDA/Food for Progress highly desired.
  • Ability to support new program design and proposal development for USDA/MGD-FFE and/or USDA/Food for Progress highly desired.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and proficiency of program and relevant MEL policies and requirements of USDA, USAID, and/or other USG donors.
  • Professional proficiency in Spanish is required; professional proficiency in French highly desired.
  • A passion for the mission and values of Global Communities.


Application Instructions 

To be considered for this position, please apply (including your resume and cover letter) by 4/2/2024 . Applications received after this date may be reviewed on a rolling basis until the job has been filled. 


Location and Work Schedule 

This selected candidate can be based in San Diego, CA, and Silver Spring, MD. Candidates must be authorized to work in their preferred country without any restriction.


This role is on a hybrid/telework schedule. The selected candidate is expected to work at least twice as week (Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday) from either our San Diego or Silver Spring office and the remainder of the week from an approved remote location.


Salary and Compensation

The estimated salary for this position is between $75,578 - 94,473. Final salary will be based on several factors including qualifications, geographic location, experience, and internal equity. Global Communities provides a comprehensive benefits package; please note that this position is not eligible for allowances. 


COVID-19 Policy

As an organization working to advance public health, Global Communities has an obligation to model best practices and to do all we can to protect each other, our partners, and the communities where we work.  To ensure the continuity and effectiveness of our business operations, Global Communities is adopting a policy to safeguard the health of our visitors, employees, families, and the larger global community from COVID-19.  Effective January 3, 2022, all U.S.-based Global Communities employees are required to provide proof of having received full dosage of COVID-19 vaccine that is FDA approved, approved for emergency use authorization, or have an approved medical or religious exemption on file with Global Communities, as a condition of employment.


Safeguarding Policy

Global Communities holds strict safeguarding principles and has a zero-tolerance policy for conduct of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment. In the process of recruitment, selection, and appointment, Global Communities will conduct robust reference and background screening checks, including international vetting as a signature of the Global Misconduct Disclosure Scheme to ensure children and vulnerable adults are safeguarded, and abuse is prevented.  The incumbent is required to carry out their duties in accordance with Global Communities Safeguarding policy and the Standards of Conduct.



Global Communities is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or status as a protected veteran.


Global Communities complies with all applicable provisions of the ADA and makes reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities unless it provides undue hardship to the organization. If reasonable accommodation is necessary to participate in the recruitment process, please contact 


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