Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Director

  • Posted on 20 May 2020

Job Description


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

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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