MEL Database Management Specialist
Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a global team of humanitarians working together on the front lines of today’s biggest crises to create a future of possibility, where everyone can prosper.

Our mission: to alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

 

 


 Section/Unit: Program
 Supervisor: MEL Manager
 No. of Post: 1
 Duty Station: Portsudan
 Duration: Full-time, Regular
 Closing Date: 24 June 2024

 
 Background:

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. 
In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions 
into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. 
Now, and for the future.

Department Summary 

The Monitoring Evaluation Learning (MEL) unit exists to strengthen the monitoring efforts of Mercy Corps’ programs. The MEL unit provides technical support service to programs and its one of the subunits under the Program Performance and Quality (PaQ) department. The aim of the MEL unit is to assist programs in specific activities that help quantify, analyze, and document the output, outcome and impacts of Mercy Corps’ programs including data collection, data management, data analysis, and mapping. The MEL Unit conducts surveys, manages program data, maps program activities, provides reports and participates in monitoring evaluation and learning activities. Mercy Corps is looking for an experienced, qualified and business minded Sudanese to fill the position of Database Management Specialist. 

 

General Position Summary 

Database Management is a crucial role in ensuring that Mercy Corps’ program participant data is organized, secure, and readily available for analysis and decision-making. The Database Management Specialist will ensure the smooth operation, efficiency, and integrity of Mercy Corps’ participant databases. The Specialist will be responsible for creation, maintenance, security, and accessibility of country portfolio-level and program-level databases. The Database Specialist will work with the MEL and PAQ Unit as part of a team to operationalize and improve the Mercy Corps Sudan MEL system, which heavily relies on a well-managed database. The Database Management Specialist will also be responsible for supporting Mercy Corps staff and local partners to regularly collect/ enter/ verify/analyze/ data and make timely database adjustments to measure the impact of Mercy Corps’ programs. 



 
 Duties and responsibilities:

Database Management and Innovation

  • Understand, innovate, and maintain a management information system that improves Mercy Corps’ ability to inform program implementation, analyze data, and present impact to donors, government, colleague agencies, and communities themselves.
  • Manage Tola Data ensuring all programs are updated regularly with complete data and information.
  • Manage country Power BI ensuring it is used for decision making and program adaptations.
  • Ensure all relevant program staff can utilize the system to analyze program information and results.
  • Design, adapt and maintain the MIS in conjunction with the MEL Manager and PaQ Director to match programs and country portfolio strategies.
  • Provide training to staff on use of database, pivot tables and pivot charts to staff members that require it, or support on exporting to MS Excel for data analysis.
  • Take lead in database administration tasks like user creation and role management.
  • Ensure the database is live and accessible to field offices.
  • Review data being entered in the database regularly to locate and fix problems with data entry or integrity.
  • Document system database contents, protocols, and update manuals for smooth functioning.
  • Troubleshoot database-related issues and resolve user queries.

 

Implement M&E System and Tools

  • Generate data (tables/graphs/reports) from the database at regular intervals, ensuring reports/information are available for program implementation staff when required. Facilitate data analysis with program implementation team as requested.
  • Whenever required, collaborate with Mercy Corps’ data analysts who have expertise in data visualization tools to create more complex and interactive dashboards.
  • Conduct regular field visits to ensure all elements of the M&E system and database are being utilized effectively by all stakeholders, assessing, and identifying breakdowns and areas that require clarifications and improvements.
  • Take lead in data migration and data warehousing.

 

Staff Training and Capacity Building

  • Work closely with the MEL team to develop and deliver staff/partner trainings, improving capacities in monitoring and evaluation and database management: data collection, entry, verification, and analysis; and other identified needs.
  • Follow-up on training by mentoring staff/partners to develop identified technical skills one-on-one.

 

Link M&E Results to Reporting

  • Review or edit data in reports as requested and required.
  • Produce analytical summaries: graphs, charts, and tables as requested to fulfill reporting requirements.
  • Conduct himself/herself both professionally and personally in such a manner as to bring credit to Mercy Corps and to not jeopardize its humanitarian mission in Sudan.
  • Other duties as assigned and agreed upon.

 

Security 

  • Implement data security measures like access controls and user permissions. 
  • Perform regular backups and disaster recovery planning to safeguard data.
  • Ensure compliance with security procedures and policies as determined by country leadership.
  • Proactively ensure that team members operate in a secure environment and are aware of policies.

 

Organizational Learning 

  • As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves. 
  • Keep up to date with the latest database technologies and best practices. 
  • Continuously learn new skills and tools to adapt to evolving database management systems.

Accountability to Beneficiaries 

  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically 
    to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility

None

Accountability

Reports Directly To: Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Manager.

Works Directly With: MEL officers, MEL Coordinators and the PAQ Manager.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

 

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives. 

We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today. Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.

 

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact.

We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. We will not tolerate child abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and

values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.

Ethics policies and reporting misconduct

 


 
 Minimum Qualification, Skills and Experience Required:

Knowledge and Experience 

  • A bachelor’s degree in computer science, Information Technology, or a related field is preferred.
  • Computer literacy in Mercy Corps’ preferred Data management and visualization applications like Commcare, PowerBi and Excel is essential.
  • Familiarity with Mercy Corps’ preferred cloud-based database solutions like Commcare, PowerBI, MongoDB, Microsoft Azure is required.
  • 5-8 years’ experience managing or designing databases.
  • The ability to understand and design data models that efficiently store and organize information is crucial.
  • Knowledge of data security best practices and techniques to safeguard sensitive information within the database.
  • Familiarity with scripting languages like Python or shell scripting can be beneficial for automating tasks and interacting with databases programmatically.
  • Understanding basic data analysis concepts and the ability to generate reports and identify trends from database queries is advantageous.
  • The ability to communicate technical concepts clearly and concisely to both technical and non-technical audiences is essential.
  • Troubleshooting database issues and resolving user queries requires strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Understanding core database administration concepts like user management, backup and recovery procedures, and performance optimization is necessary.
  • Knowledge of data integrity constraints, access controls, and security protocols to protect sensitive information.
  • Demonstrated skills in training, capacity building, and mentoring.
  • Good basic math and analytical skills as well as a general knowledge of statistical or monitoring and evaluation principles
  • Former experience in field survey/data collection techniques, data entry, data verification, and analysis beneficial
  • Fluency in spoken and written English

 

 

Success Factors 

The ideal candidate will have a strong curiosity for understanding and working effectively within the complex cultural, political, security and social environment of Sudan.  He/She will be an excellent communicator, multi-tasker, and able to work in ambiguous situations as well as possess a meticulous eye for detail to ensure data accuracy and consistency within the database.

 

He/She should be a tolerant and flexible individual, able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures.  The successful candidate will be focused on team building and capacity-building of staff; be a strategic thinker, have strong skills in design monitoring and evaluation of development programs and maintain a sense of humor.

 

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions 

The position is based in Port Sudan and requires up to 30% travel to different field locations across Sudan. 

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values always and in all in-country venues.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision. Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.




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