MER Senior Advisor

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 30 December 2019

Job Description


This position provides technical support in Monitoring and Evaluation, Research (MER), Learning, and Health Management Information System (MIS) within the Global Health Systems Innovation (GHSI) Unit, in the Evidence, Performance and Impact (EPI) practice area.

The MER Senior Advisor leads activities in MER and in Learning conducted by EPI. S/he uses a client-centered approach, serving MSH projects so they design and implement state-of-the-art MER and Learning systems and activities, and use information for decision-making, improving performance, and maximizing and measuring health impact. The MER Senior Advisor participates in the strengthening of local (national) MER, learning, and HMIS systems. The MER Senior Advisor actively supports the Implementation/Operational Research portfolio of MSH, and performs quantitative and qualitative analyses using a variety of statistical methodologies. S/he assures technical support to HMIS/DHIS2 initiatives, and synergies between local HMIS/DHIS2 with MSH’s customized DHIS2 system: DREAM@MSH. The position reports to the EPI lead.

Specific Responsibilities

Technical Support in Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning, and HMIS (60%)

  • Participate in developing the culture of data use for decision making within the organization.
  • Develop, manage, and enhance MSH MERL systems and activities, including through the development of standards and guidance, enhancing data use for decision making.
  • Provide direct support to selected field projects in MERL and in HMIS throughout the project life cycle, including developing and implementing M&E plans, ensuring data quality, ensuring data use, actively monitoring work plan implementation activities, strengthening the capacity of teams, etc.
  • Strategically guide field projects in the areas of MERL/HMIS.
  • Actively participates in work planning and budgeting for MERL activities within field projects and at home office.
  • Develop DHIS2 instances for MSH home office and for MSH projects to enhance data management.
  • Build capacity of MSH staff (in-country and home office) in MERL, and in DHIS2.
  • Strengthen the use of DREAM@MSH as a vehicle to strengthen local HMIS.

Technical Lead in Implementation/Operational Research (20%)

  • Develop capacity of MSH staff in designing, conceptualizing, and conducting implementation and/or operational research (IR/OR) in technical areas of priority and relevance to MSH projects.
  • Work with technical teams in GHSI in developing IR/OR priority agendas for technical areas of relevance to MSH technical groups and projects.
  • Work with technical teams and researchers to ensure adherence to MSH’s policy for protection of human subjects participating in applied research conducted by MSH.
  • Develop and implement effective dissemination approaches for applied research findings for strengthening their use in project implementation, performance improvement, and evidence-based policy development and implementation.
  • Perform statistical analyses (quantitative and qualitative).
  • Serve as PI or co-PI for studies.

Business Development (20%)

  • Provide support to business resource development/proposal teams in designing robust MER and learning approaches that are responsive to programmatic rationale and technical approaches to systematically measure performance and achievement of outcomes throughout the life of the project. This includes development of M&E plans, implementation and/or operational research studies, systematic documentation, data management and quality, and evaluation approaches.
Qualifications and Experience



  • Master’s Degree in Public Health, Sciences, or Statistics.


  • PhD in a similar field, and/or major in Health Information Systems.



  • At least 8 years of related experience.


  • At least 2 years living and working in an LMIC.

Knowledge and Skills:


  • Sound understanding of the status of MER systems and practices in low and middle income countries (LMICs), and how HIS links with M&E.
  • Demonstrated capacity to develop, manage, and enhance MER and learning systems and activities in LMICs throughout the project life cycle, with proven experience to assess and propose development plans and deliver direct technical assistance to strengthen MER teams and systems in LMICs.
  • Experience with global-level health projects in MER and in knowledge management, and experience working as part of an integrated support team.
  • Experience with developing HMIS and MERL sections of proposals.
  • Expertise in Implementation/Operational Research in LMIC (design, IRB approval, data collection, analysis, budgeting, report writing, abstracts, papers, etc.).
  • Demonstrated knowledge of DHIS2, functionality, configuration, and technical programming.
  • Expertise in data management systems such as Excel and MS Access.
  • Proven skills in statistical package software for quantitative data analysis (SPSS, STATA, R, etc.), and in qualitative data analysis (NVivo, ATLAS, ti, etc.).
  • Experience living or working in developing countries to understand program context, field realities, and technical needs.
  • Excellent writing, analytical, organizational, and communication skills, including organizing, scanning, summarizing, and presenting information.
  • Demonstrated time management skills.
  • Fluency in English (written and oral) required.
  • Enjoys learning; a team player and a self-starter who can use her/his own initiative to identify useful work.


  • Demonstrated knowledge of pharmaceutical-related MER and information systems in LMICs and how to enhance those is an asset.
  • Fluency in French.


  • Demonstrated ability to lead innovative portfolio in MER and learning in HMIS, to learn and follow the latest lessons learned concerning MER, learning, and HMIS in LMICs.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively with professional colleagues from multiple units and within various socio-cultural contexts.
  • Demonstrated ability to build capacity of teams in LMICs and at the home office.
  • Demonstrated flexibility and openness in responding to changing work priorities and environments, and working under tight deadlines.
  • Demonstrated competence in assessing priorities and solving problems using innovative, evidence-based solutions.
  • Highly detail-oriented, meticulous, and consistent in the execution of his/her work.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple priorities and projects at a time.
  • Demonstrated ability to proactively identify areas that need support and constructively come up with solutions to address these.

Physical Demands:

  • Keyboard use, pulling drawers, lifting papers <10 lbs.
  • Travel requirements: up to 35%.

About the Organization

Management Sciences for Health, an international nonprofit organization, is dedicated to closing the gap between what is known and what is done about public health problems. MSH saves lives and improves health by helping public and private organizations throughout the world to effectively manage people, medicines, money, and information. Working from more than 30 country offices and our US headquarters, our staff from 65 nations is highly regarded for its technical expertise, integrity, and commitment to making a lasting difference in health.

Management Sciences for Health (MSH) is a nonprofit international health organization composed of more than 2,000 people from 73 nations. Their mission is to save lives and improve the health of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health. Together with their partners, they are helping managers and leaders in developing countries to create stronger management systems that improve health services for the greatest health impact.


MSH takes an integrated approach to building high-impact sustainable programs that address critical challenges in leadership, health systems management, human resources, and medicines. Simply put, they support stronger health systems for greater health impact.

Their expertise in these areas falls into the broad categories of management functions—for example, leadership and governance or pharmaceutical management—and health areas like tuberculosis or maternal, newborn, and child health. They apply their expertise by

  • Partnering with governments, local organizations, and communities in developing nations to build their own capacity for long-term health impact;
  • Providing global leadership in critical areas of health management and health care delivery;
  • Bringing the best of MSH from around the globe to the people we serve, working as One MSH with a focus on lasting health system improvements.



Leadership, Governance, & Management

They work with in-country partners to build stronger health systems to improve:

    • the management and leadership of priority health programs, health organizations, and multisectoral partnerships such as The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, developing a critical mass of managers at all levels of the health system who can lead and inspire teams to achieve results;
    • the management systems of health organizations in the public and private sector, transferring practical approaches and skills to ensure that management structures contribute to sustainable organizational success;
    • the governance and management of health organizations and multisectoral partnerships, facilitating change and transferring knowledge to enable organizations to administer their resources efficiently and scale up their services.


Health Service Delivery

MSH combines extensive public health expertise, proven service delivery approaches, and evidence-based interventions in five critical areas:

    • HIV & AIDS
    • Tuberculosis
    • Maternal, newborn, and child health
    • Family planning and reproductive health
    • Other communicable diseases, including malaria and pandemic and avian influenza

Human Resources for Health

MSH helps governments develop multisectoral strategies and policies to plan and manage their health workforces. We use a comprehensive approach that addresses all the facets of human resources for health needed to achieve an adequate supply of well-trained and motivated health workers. MSH offers capabilities in leadership, human resource management, education, partnerships, policy, and finance to achieve these goals.

Pharmaceutical Management

Vital to our success is a participatory approach to project design and implementation, which cultivates broad-based support from all stakeholders. We also build and improve infrastructure and local capacity to effectively purchase, store, deliver, and use quality essential medicines.

Health Care Financing

MSH helps governments and NGOs assess their current financial situation and systems, understand service costs, and develop initiatives to use existing funds more effectively and generate additional revenue—all with the goal of supporting a nation’s health priorities.

Health Information

MSH has developed proven methods for rapidly strengthening the analysis and use of existing health data—normally at the province, district, and facility levels—without revising existing recording and reporting requirements. With an emphasis on learning through action, district teams undertake assessments of health services, identify gaps in performance, and design solutions to support better decision-making and, therefore, better management of improved services.

MSH has worked closely with the Health Metrics Network of the WHO to develop a comprehensive approach for enhancing the performance of health information systems and data by employing a practical, strategic planning process that can be carried out by national working groups.

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