Monitoring and Evaluation (MERLA) Manager

Monitoring and Evaluation (MERLA) Manager

Job summary



The MERLA Manager is charged with overseeing accurate data analysis, reporting, learning and decision-making at multiple levels across various stakeholders. This includes overseeing responses to data requests, analyses and reporting; conducting data analyses and interpreting findings; strengthening capacity for high quality data collection, analysis, reporting and use; facilitating learning across multiple stakeholders; and contributing to global best practices around monitoring, evaluation, research, learning and adapting (MERLA).  Serves as key liaison with the donor, implementing partners, and other stakeholders.  Develops short-and long-term project goals and oversees progress towards those goals. 


BACKGROUND: Task Force for Global Health, founded nearly 40 years ago to advance health equity, works with partners in more than 150 countries to eliminate diseases, ensure access to vaccines and essential medicines, and strengthen health systems to protect populations. Expertise includes neglected tropical diseases and other infectious diseases; vaccine safety, distribution and access; and health systems strengthening. For more information, visit




Based at the Task Force for Global Health in Decatur, GA, and affiliated with Emory University, the Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center (NTD-SC) aims to optimize operational research to eliminate neglected tropical diseases which threaten the lives and well-being of millions of people in some of the world’s most marginalized communities. This work, conducted in close coordination with partners, addresses challenges facing each phase of the programs targeting the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs):  effectively scaling up to reach those at risk, successfully scaling down when their goals are reached, and finally sustaining the reductions achieved in disease prevalence.




  • The NTD Data Center MERLA Manager is charged with overseeing accurate reporting, learning and decision-making at multiple levels across various stakeholders for neglected tropical disease (NTD) programs.
  • To achieve this, the MERLA Manager will manage day-to-day implementation of the NTD Data Center and the NTD Information System (NIS) specifically. 
  • This includes:


Oversee High-Quality Data Submission, Analysis and Reporting:

  • Lead development and implementation of data submission and reporting processes that meet USAID reporting requirements for NTDs, in collaboration with USAID, implementing partners and TFGH staff
  • Strengthen capacity of NIS users within countries and at headquarters levels to enter, review, interpret and report data
  • Submit routine data reports to USAID
  • Collaborate with USAID, implementing partners and TFGH to identify and prioritize data analysis questions that address key programmatic barriers and facilitate programmatic decision-making
  • Organize and oversee process for responding to planned and ad hoc data requests from USAID, implementing partners, NTD Data Center, or other stakeholders; includes managing timelines, assigning tasks, communicating with requestors, interpreting data and disseminating findings
  • Conduct data analysis as needed, in collaboration with other NTD Data Center staff
  • Serve as key liaison with the donor, implementing partners, database developer, internal TFGH staff, and other stakeholders


Facilitate Learning at Multiple Levels:

  • Facilitate a culture of data-driven learning across USAID’s NTD programs through increasing access to and use of raw and synthesized data
  • Convene pause and reflect sessions with USAID, implementing partners and other stakeholders to review and interpret data, in order to inform strategic programmatic decisions
  • Facilitate cross-country learning through convening periodic virtual roundtable discussions, including with host government and in-country implementing partner staff as well as other partners as appropriate
  • Lead and collaborate on development of presentations, publications and technical briefs
  • Explore opportunities to link programmatic data with OR data



Contribute to Global MERLA Best Practices:

  • Provide technical support to WHO (HQ, regional offices, and/or country offices) as needed to facilitate achieving WHO’s 2030 Road Map goals; this may include defining indicators, assessing policy and/or implementation gaps, or providing other MERLA subject matter expertise
  • Provide technical assistance with developing M&E Frameworks, developing learning agendas, convening learning events, strengthening capacity for data analysis and decision-making upon request


Contribute to NIS Development:

  • Contribute to strategically prioritizing NIS development, aligned with USAID’s needs and facilitating high-quality data collection, analysis, reporting and use
  • Develop clear definitions of indicators to be included in NIS
  • Draft and/or review NIS requirements, work flow processes and training materials
  • Liaise with USAID, implementing partners and NIS developer to solicit and incorporate input
  • Oversee change management process


Other MERLA Duties as Required:

  • Develop short-and long-term NTD Data Center goals and oversees progress towards those goals
  • Contribute to business development efforts
  • Participate in relevant Communities of Practice
  • Assist NTD Data Center Director with special projects as necessary
  • Participate fully as a member of the Task Force for Global Health by contributing, assisting and participating in projects, activities, and initiatives as requested by Task Force management 


TRAVEL: Up to 10-20% domestic and/or international travel





Education and Experience:

  • A master's degree in public health, epidemiology, international development or a related field is preferred
  • Experience working on USAID or other U.S. government funded awards related to global health, preferably NTDs
  • Demonstrated experience in quantitative data collection, management, analysis, visualization, use and reporting
  • Experience with qualitative data collection, management, analysis, and use preferred
  • Proficiency with statistical data analysis packages including SAS, STATA, and/or R preferred
  • Experience convening learning events and developing learning products, including pause and reflect sessions, webinars, reports, conference abstracts, blogs, peer-reviewed journal manuscripts, job aids and/or technical briefs
  • Experience strengthening capacity among multiple stakeholders to implement MERLA activities
  • Experience working directly with Ministries of Health in NTD-endemic countries preferred
  • Demonstrated program/project management skills
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office applications
  • Previous experience using DHIS2 preferred



  • Ability to analyze monitoring and evaluation and other programmatic data, and to synthesize findings as learning for programmatic use
  • Ability to translate data into easily understandable information
  • Robust understanding of MERLA theory and concepts
  • Effective organizational skills, detail oriented, and hard-working
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate effectively in a team while also taking initiative to prioritize and complete multiple complex tasks with high quality and within tight timelines
  • Understanding of international development issues and importance of capacity strengthening, sustainability and self-reliance
  • Strong desire and ability to foster an environment of inclusion, equity, belonging, and respect for diversity
  • Strong English oral and written communication skills (native speaker or professional-level fluency)
  • Intermediate oral and written French proficiency preferred  




A bachelor's degree and 7-10 years of experience, or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience. 

Previous experience implementing monitoring, evaluation, research, learning and adapting (MERLA) approaches in global health programs/projects required. 


NOTE: This role will be granted the opportunity to work from home temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic, with intent to return to an Emory University location in the future.  Emory reserves the right to change remote work status with notice to employee.