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United States of America: Technical Advisor - Software Quality Assurance

NGO/UN Job Vacancy

Organization: Mercy Corps
Country: United States of America
Closing date: 15 Jul 2017

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.

Program / Department Summary

To ensure that we can anticipate and adapt to changes in the toughest challenges around the world, Mercy Corps must continue to seek ways to enhance our organization's culture and functionality. This requires ensuring we have the right people, capacities and systems to not only implement programs but to ensure learning is used and leveraged to enable influence and impact throughout implementation. As part of the Program Performance mission, Mercy Corps is undertaking the development and roll-out of a software solution, called TolaData, to support learning and adaptive program management by improving the quality of program data and ensuring we retain the evidence necessary to support the results we report on our programs.

The global TolaData team helps a program or country analyze their current portfolio and provide custom solutions based on our well-defined and tested templates and standards in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT). These solutions create a holistic M&E and learning system flexible enough to meet the ever-changing team demands while providing new opportunities to share and aggregate data. We are taking an agile approach to both the rollout and development of Tola by continuously gathering feedback, testing and making changes to ensure the product is of value to the users. This approach puts the ownership of the system in the hands of the users and has developers working directly with users collecting requirements simultaneously with system development. Agile and continuous iteration are coupled with near real-time data to enable timelier informed decisions that ultimately improve programming.

General Position Summary

The TolaData Technical Advisor is a key member of both the ToldData Technical Development and Support Team and Training unit, ensuring a quality global rollout and adoption of TolaData. The post holder is responsible for contributing to the agile and innovative development of TolaData and support for its users, including promoting the use of M&E and ICT Systems built on Open Data and Open Source standards to provide a dynamic platform for data discovery and high-impact analysis. TolaData is a project-based initiative with this position following the time and scope of the project.

Essential Job Responsibilities

Support application development, rollout, maintenance, and troubleshooting

  • Support the Lead Application Developer and development team in all areas of development from design to development to testing.

  • Perform Quality Assurance and User Acceptance testing of new software features, identify and report bugs, and support fixes for all TolaData modules.

  • Actively seek and encourage feedback from TolaData users to assist with prioritizing product features and service roadmaps that continue to fuel innovation and learning in the TolaData platform.

  • Manage Tola.Work and the support issues submitted through the system; create tickets for requests submitted via Slack or other communications channels, and ensuring all users' issues are responded to either directly in Tola.Work or forwarding them to the appropriate channel for resolution.

  • Populate and manage TolaData documentation and other user support tools, including sending periodic release updates, ensuring TolaData users have the necessary tools to promote the use of the TolaData system.

  • Contribute to the scope of work documents for enhancements and fixes to each of the TolaData modules.

  • Contribute to the analysis and documentation of existing systems and tools in each country as they relate to TolaData and provide integration advice and support for existing systems to work with the TolaData System.

  • Work with country/regional/sectoral teams to gather requirements for additional features needed for reports, dashboards and/or visualizations that facilitate deeper analysis, adaptive management, and organizational learning.

Capacity building and staff development

  • Support team members in developing technical skills that complement rapid technology adoption and promotes a culture of learning.

  • Provide technical training and support to country teams to take advantage of the platform's built-in feedback loops that directly inform program managers and enable iterative improvements to program implementation

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.

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.

Knowledge and Experience

  • BS in Information Systems, Computer Science, or other technical/analytical field required, or equivalent work experience.

  • 2+ years' experience in application management and end-user support.

  • Exposure to web development using JavaScript, Python,CSS, HTM + Django, MongoDB and SQL.

  • Familiarity with version control concepts and systems (Git preferred).

  • Experience working with a software development team, particularly supporting front-end development and user interface.

  • Experience managing a support queue.

  • Quality assurance experience in software development environment.

  • Exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills.

  • Experienced in the application of Agile project management principles.

  • Experience creating end user support documentation.

  • Excellent organizational, communication and presentation skills.

  • Experience working in a nonprofit setting, experience supporting programs in developing country environments, and familiarity with program monitoring and evaluation concepts are strongly desirable.

Success Factors

The Technical Advisor will aim to provide advice and quality support to Mercy Corps team members using the TolaData system. S/he must demonstrate patience, flexibility and the ability to take the initiative to solve problems and meet deadlines. S/he has a strong understanding of applying technology solutions and strong interpersonal skills to assist others in learning and utilization of software tools. The successful candidate will have proven experience working with a cross-cultural team and make effective communication a priority in all situations. The successful candidate will demonstrate a strong commitment to delivering quality products and building great teams.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY 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 at all times and in all in-country venues.


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