Job Opportunity at Abt Associates, Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Director – Health Facility Electrification (HFE) and Digital Connection Activity at
Position: Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Director – Health Facility Electrification (HFE) and Digital Connection Activity Job Description
Abt Associates seeks a Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) Director for an anticipated Health Facility Electrification and Digital Connection activity. The activity will advance Africa’s goals to improve health and well-being of communities in sub-Saharan Africa by drawing on private sector capacity and resources to provide rural and semi-rural health facilities with clean, reliable electricity generation and internet connectivity.
The activity will address the above challenges in health electrification through a market-based approach, leveraging technical and financial resources. These efforts will complement USAID’s Global Health Strategy and the forthcoming USAID Climate Strategy through the promotion and uptake of cleaner, renewable energy solutions that power health facilities and, in turn, mitigate air pollution and carbon emissions from this growing sector while improving progress toward health goals.
The MERL Director will provide strategic and operational leadership for HFE MERL strategies and strengthening the global evidence base for electrification efforts. S/he will provide direction to develop and implement robust monitoring, evaluation and learning, support monitoring of country implementation, and lead project-wide efforts to reflect on performance and learning to inform continual program improvements.
They will promote the results of the program, disseminate evidence and results, and identify strategic opportunities to transfer knowledge to multiple stakeholders at project and country levels. Reporting to the activity Director, and supervising the MEL and research leads, the MERL Director will be an integral part of the activity management team and will oversee, coordinate, and collaborate with the HFE country implementation teams in sub-Saharan Africa so that MERL approaches and processes are rigorous, consistent, and adaptive.
This position is contingent upon award and the successful applicant will be expected to travel up to 20% of the year. This position may be based in a country Abt currently operates, including but not limited to, the United States, England, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Key Roles and Responsibilities
Provide leadership in MERL and foster a culture of innovation and learning through routine reflection of project performance, identification of lessons learned, and use of evidence to inform programming decisions to maximize HFE activity results and impact
Manage and ensure technical rigor of activity-wide MERL approaches, including management and support to MERL teams
Guides and collaborates with country based MERL leads to develop MERL strategies for country and regional activities based on the HFE results framework.
Provides oversight for the collection of and reporting on impact, output, outcome and program management indicators by the country teams
Develops the MERL structure and systems, in collaboration with activity partners, to facilitate and ensure all teams collect and report on impact, output, outcome, and program management indicators. This includes standardized reporting, performance monitoring, and evaluation for the activity, and integrating performance data into program management and adaption plans
Leads the design and operation of the MERL systems for data capture, data management, data analysis and use, and reporting
Regularly reviews data collection processes, perform data quality assessments, and make adjustments as needed
Leads development of the learning agenda and strategy in collaboration with the clients, partners, program managers, and technical leads
Analyzes data and results across the region for benchmarking and to identify trends and outliers
Provides thought leadership on the analysis, synthesis and sharing of project results and evidence, and work closely with technical, communications and knowledge management staff and partners to communicate information in compelling ways
Participates in strategic planning and work planning meetings
Other duties as assigned
PhD in Economics, Statistics, Research Methods or related field preferred.
At least 10 years of experience in the development and implementation of MERL frameworks, systems, and processes for complex international development programs or a Master’s and at least 15 years of relevant experience
Experience working on M&E methods for energy, climate or health programs.
Proven capacity to communicate data in accessible and engaging ways – experience in innovative visualization of results highly preferred.
Demonstrated expertise and experience in data utilization strategies and ability to identify innovative data sharing techniques.
Solid analytical skills and ability to use MS Office, SPSS/STATA, qualitative analysis packages, and MS Excel.
Experience with MERL systems (such as DHIS2 or other platforms)
Proven written and oral presentation skills in English.
Supervision and coordination of MERL activities across multiple staff preferred.
Ability to work collaboratively and effectively with colleagues from a diverse set of partners in both public and private sectors.
Experience managing complex MERL programs required; experience managing global programs highly preferred.
Must be able to speak and write in English.
French language skills preferred.
Bachelor’s Degree + Fifteen years of relevant experience, or Master’s Degree + Twelve years of relevant experience, or PhD + Ten years of relevant experience
Abt Associates is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer committed to fostering a diverse workforce. Abt Associates provides market-competitive salaries and comprehensive employee benefits. Local candidates strongly encouraged to apply.
Disclaimer: Abt Associates will never ask candidates for money in exchange for an offer of employment.
The International Development Division focuses on improving the lives and economic well-being of people in lower and middle-income countries. We command technical expertise in health, agriculture, climate change, food security and governance—as well as in international evaluation. Our multi-layered health portfolio includes policy, health promotion and disease prevention, health finance, and health systems management. In partnership with government clients and local experts, our high-quality programs in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East are known for impact and innovation.
At Abt Associates, we are committed to creating a lasting culture of equity, diversity and inclusion and recognize that in order to achieve full participation, our practices must be free of prejudice, discrimination, and bias that result in inequitable outcomes. We are actively working to advance equity for everyone, and while we still have much work to do, we know that racial and cultural diversity are an asset to our business and the communities where we live and serve. Our ongoing commitment is focused on creating business practices that advance racial and social equity, investments in community impact programs for the benefit of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), and expand upon project work related to racial equity and social justice.