3.1.1 Roles and responsibilities for MEL in humanitarian contexts

Roles and Responsibilities of a CARE Response ME(A)L Coordinator

• Ensure an appropriate ME(A)L system is in place and is functioning satisfactorily:
- appropriate indicators at the outset of the emergency response (drawing on CARE global indicators, Sphere a.o.)
- tools and plans for data collection, analysis and review
- reporting formats and calendar
• Periodically review and revise the system so that it is adapted appropriately to changing operating contexts.
• Ensure relevant and timely information regarding response progress, outputs and results is provided in user-friendly formats to key stakeholders, including CO response / senior management team for decision making, beneficiary communities, and donors.
• Provide training and mentoring for CO staff, esp. ME(A)L team
• Act as a focal point to organise and manage regular response reviews (RTR, RAR, AAR), external evaluations and multi-agency reviews/evaluations.

  • Overall responsibilities

Many team members will have responsibility for monitoring and evaluation activities in a humanitarian response whether full or part time, some of them might have already existing positions with MEL functions, others will be newly recruited.  To establish an efficient MEL unit and a coherent M&E System it is therefore important that a member of the response team is assigned to the function of a MEL Coordinator or Manager, considered a critical position in the management structure of a CARE response. This is usually a full-time position that will be responsible for bringing all staff members involved in M&E into an efficient unit.

It is critical that the CO’s MEAL unit is closely involved with the response team from the very outset of the humanitarian crisis. Thus ideally, the response MEL team should be led from the onset (including during needs assessments) by an experienced MEL Coordinator. Where this capacity does not exist, it is important for the CO to appoint or recruit a MEL Coordinator for specifically for the humanitarian operation as quickly as possible. The CARE emergency response roster can identify and mobilize additional capacities especially during surge and fast scale-up or adaptation phases.

With the adequate expertise and within the appropriate set up the MEL Coordinator function can be combined with the function of leading Accountability initiatives in order to lead the MEAL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning) approach.

For the Roles and Responsibilities of a CO Response ME(A)L Coordinator or Manager please see Box.

A generic MEAL Manager JD and a sample ME Manager JD can be found in the RESSOURCES Section of this chapter.

Other ME(A)L responsibilities for key positions involved in humanitarian responses by CARE include

Position Key responsibilities with regards to MEL in humanitarian contexts
Emergency Team Leader/Senior Management Team (SMT)
Lead Member Quality and Accountability Focal Point
  • Monitor implementation of MEAL systems for the emergency response and organise technical assistance and support as necessary.
Regional Humanitarian Coordinator (RHC)
  • Promote and guide quality in the emergency programme, and ensure critical gaps are identified and addressed.
Crisis Coordination Group (CEG)
  • Determine the crisis/emergency type and the response model, and
  • agree on the relevant MEAL benchmarks throughout the response management cycle such as the need, timing scale and scope for CARE monitoring visit(s), response reviews and external evaluations.
CI Humanitarian Monitoring, Evaluation & Accountability Coordinator (MEAC) Provide technical support to COs related to:

  • compliance with CARE’s humanitarian standards (CHS, HAF)
  • enhancing efficiency of MEAL systems for humanitarian programming
  • organisations and management of response reviews and organisations
  •  ‘learning in’ where lessons learned from previous humanitarian programmes esp. regarding MEA are applied in CARE’s emergency responses and
  • ‘learning out’ where lessons learned from the review of ongoing emergencies are captured and shared beyond the CO.


  • Specific responsibilities -> see stages (TBD) and specific sectors