Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Director

  • Added Date: Thursday, 21 May 2020
  • Deadline Date: Tuesday, 30 June 2020


Management Sciences for Health (MSH) seeks a Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Director for its USAID-funded Accessible Continuum of Care and Essential Services Sustained (ACCESS) program in Madagascar. The purpose of the program is to build the capacity of Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) actors at the district level and below in all districts in the implementation regions, to design, develop, manage, deliver, monitor and evaluate health services and programs in their catchment areas. The activity will also engage with regional health authorities with limited interventions to ensure coordination, planning and effective management of health activities in their districts. Work at the national level will focus on informing policy, guideline development, as well as advocacy on key health service delivery issues. ACCESS will work to improve the clinical skills and health governance skills of primary health care providers to deliver high quality, accessible preventive and curative health services. To expand the reach of the public health system, the activity will work to improve the skills and motivation of community health volunteers to deliver quality health services and ensure they work under the supervision of their respective CSB. Finally, ACCESS will promote positive health behaviors, including care seeking behaviors in the target communities through a comprehensive and contextualized social and behavior change (SBC) approach and improve the capacity of the MOPH and local institutions to design, implement, and monitor and evaluate SBC activities


The MERL Director will be in charge of the monitoring, evaluation, learning, and research components of this project. S/he will develop monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) systems and research. The MEL system will include appropriate indicators, baseline data, and implementation results. The MERL Director will be responsible for designing the M&E system in alignment with the USAID results framework, lead the project data collection, data analysis to inform the project implementation and to produce timely, accurate and complete reporting. S/he will be responsible for the overall management of monitoring and evaluation and research system for the project.

S/he will ensure the smooth operation and quality performance of technical efforts and field activities by coordinating and overseeing quality programmatic reporting, quality of data management and strategic information. S/he is responsible for leading the development and implementation of a plan to monitor progress, evaluate effectiveness, and disseminate results, as well as overseeing operations research and other data based analysis to facilitate evidence-based improvements in project performance and expand understanding and lessons learned. S/he will ensure adherence to monitoring of project activities using developed tools and indicators. S/he will also be responsible for building the capacity of the Government of Madagascar, Ministry of Health (MOH) and other stakeholders in the collection, utilization, and dissemination of data as well as ensuring that all monitoring and data collection activities are harmonized and information is shared. S/he will also assist the MOH to monitor programs and assess the robustness of implementing
organizations’ data collection and M&E mechanisms. This involves strategic collaboration, systematic and continuous learning, and adaptive management.

Specific Responsibilities

  1. Provide in-country technical leadership and support for monitoring and evaluation.
  2. Ensure the integration of M&E activities into all project components.
  3. Lead the design and implementation of operational research.
  4. Collect and analyze information and report on project activities.
  5. Conduct a gender assessment and ensure that where possible collect, compile gender disaggregated data.
  6. Assist the project director and other implementing partners to use data for decision-making and program adjustments.
  7. Ensure that the project responds to new information generated by the M&E system.
  8. Design and implement strategies to collect data on key affected and vulnerable populations
  9. Ensure timely and complete reporting from in-country executing partners in accordance with approved reporting formats, especially supported health facilities reporting into the national health database and reporting into USAID reporting formats
  10. Monitor and evaluate progress towards annual work plans, expected outputs, including selecting and monitoring progress in meeting indicators.
  11. Assist the project director in the preparation of work plans/selection of indicators and annual implementation plans in line with the project’s M&E requirements.
  12. Coordinate the preparation of all quarterly progress reports, annual project report, inception report, ad-hoc technical reports, and success stories for USAID funding in line with the required formats.
  13. Collect data for annual M&E plan and use those data to improve project performance.
  14. Adapt and implement tools and techniques to improve the quality and use of data for decision-making.
  15. Assist the project director with decision-making on resource allocation based on project priorities and performance.
  16. Participate on behalf of the project in appropriate technical meetings and conferences.
  17. Provide support to institutional and human capacity building activities at the national, regional, district, and community levels.
  18. Lead the write up of operation research finding and routine M&E data for peer reviewed journals publication
  19. Carry out any such duties as may be assigned by the Project Director.

Qualifications and Experience

  • PhD or Master’s degree in a relevant discipline (statistics, quantitative/qualitative data analysis, management, public health).
  • 10 years of demonstrated experience designing, and implementing monitoring and evaluation activities and special studies for health programs in developing countries.
  • 5 years’ experience collecting, analyzing and managing donor funded project data of health projects.
  • Knowledge of implementing maternal and child health, family planning, WASH programs required.
  • Excellent analytic skills coupled with proven ability in using visuals like graphs, chart, maps, and GIS.
  • Excellent ability in using data systems like EPI-Info, SPSS, SAS, DHIS2 or other softwares for reporting or analysis.
  • Must have extensive knowledge in collaboration, learning and adapting concepts to health projects.
  • Demonstrated decision making ability operating in a management culture built on consensus and results. Ability to work as part of a team and as an individual.
  • Experience working in USG supported projects preferred.
  • Knowledge of and experience in training and capacity building.
  • Experience establishing data quality assurance systems.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English and demonstrated capacity to effectively communicate and document, including the writing of quality reports and detailed analysis of strategic information

This vacancy is archived.