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MERL Director - LAC

FHI 360

FHI 360

Posted on Saturday, April 27, 2024

The anticipated USAID-funded LAC Regional Fund for Basic Education intends to transfer money and services to an implementing partner or consortium of partners to address barriers to access and increase the quality of basic education for marginalized groups in selected countries of the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region (countries may include Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Paraguay, and Eastern Caribbean States). USAID anticipates this will be done through the financial and technical support of a new or existing regional fund or platform in LAC that will provide grants and technical support to local entities in select countries that are currently engaged in or have ideas for innovative and/or scalable activities that aim to address existing systemic barriers and improve access and foundational learning outcomes, specifically for marginalized and vulnerable groups in the region.

USAID also anticipates this activity will include rigorous measurement to inform the adaptation and scaling of such interventions in the future. USAID is open to working jointly with other donor organizations on a new or existing regional funding platform, both in terms of catalyzing additional funding as well as technical collaboration for knowledge sharing and implementation. They also encourage implementing partners to be thinking about ways of mobilizing other donor and private sector investments and cost sharing as part of this activity. This activity is expected to be around USD25M for five years.

Position Description:

The MERL Director will play a pivotal role in ensuring that the program is on track to achieve its goals and make a lasting impact. S/he will lead the design and implementation of a comprehensive Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Plan with appropriate indicators, implementing systems to safeguard the collection and management of program data, and recommending changes to annual work plans or data collection techniques as needed. S/he will also oversee the development and implementation of the Collaborating, Learning and Adapting strategy, including the program’s Learning Agenda. The MERL Director will collaborate with and oversee sub-grantees to provide feedback on research activities, data collections, and indicators; analyze data reported from sub-grantees; and support capacity strengthening in MERL and quality assurance methods. S/he will liaise with USAID on MEL reporting requirements, project learning strategies, and protocols for modifying the MEL plan. The MERL Director will report to the Chief of Party (COP) and liaise regularly with the MEL Backstop in HQ.

This will be a country-based assignment within the LAC region, possible countries include Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador. This position is contingent on project award.


  • Designs and oversees the monitoring, evaluation, and learning activities of the project; leads the design, development, planning, annual revisions, and implementation of the MEL plan and project evaluation activities, including the development and dissemination of tools, materials, reports, papers, and intervention-linked research
  • Provides ongoing oversight and technical assistance to consortium partners in implementing monitoring and evaluation system, ensuring data and analysis are of high quality. Coordinates knowledge sharing with technical teams
  • Leads the development of the project learning agenda, designs and implements learning activities and research studies
  • Focuses on strengthening the MEL system, strengthening capacity of partners and staff, and improving alignment and support to host-country MEL systems
  • Develops systems for the timely collection, management, analysis, and reporting of valid and reliable data that meet donor reporting requirements
  • Works closely with the technical team to co-design monitoring tools, select indicators, and determine field monitoring responsibilities
  • Ensures tool compatibility and coordination within the MEL framework, and consistency with national and donor requirements
  • Co-coordinates the project’s Collaborating, Learning, Adapting (CLA) framework
  • Undertakes periodic reviews of program and/or country MEL systems, and participates in planning MEL system strengthening actions
  • Provides guidance on information systems for quality assurance, as well as best practices for documentation and reporting
  • Ensures submission of datasets and other relevant reports and data to USAID knowledge management systems
  • Provides high quality and timely submission of all required project reports, including documentation of success stories, analysis of data for indicator calculation, summary of qualitative findings, etc.
  • Oversees the publication and dissemination of information on successful and promising approaches, lessons learned, and other program results to appropriate counterparts, donors, program partners, and other key stakeholders


  • Master’s degree in evaluation, demography, social science, economics, or other relevant discipline
  • At least 12 years of experience related to monitoring, evaluating, and reporting on education or social-sector programs required; at least 8 years of MEL experience in the education sector preferred
  • Demonstrated expertise in rigorous quantitative and qualitative methods, research, management information systems, reporting, data quality analysis and data analysis
  • Proficiency with relevant software (Excel, ODK/Kobo, PowerBi, Stata, SAS, SPSS, Epi Info, Atlas)
  • Experience in design and implementation of MEL systems with USAID-funded projects preferred
  • Expertise in education research and/or integrating gender equality and social inclusion into MEL systems
  • Experience with Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) Frameworks and related data utilization
  • Ability to work effectively and collaboratively with stakeholder counterparts, partners and FHI 360 US- and LAC-based counterparts
  • Strong report writing, analytical, and communication skills, including oral presentation skills; ability to articulate technical information clearly and effectively to both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Strong facilitation skills for training enumerators, counterparts and project and partner staff; additional experience strengthening the capacity of local partners preferred
  • Ability to collaborate effectively with program staff and supervise and develop junior staff
  • Experience in the education sector in LAC Region strongly preferred
  • Fluency in speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish required, and English fluency preferred.

This job posting summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. Management reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.

FHI 360 is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer whereby we do not engage in practices that discriminate against any person employed or seeking employment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, protected Veteran status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law.

Our values and commitments to safeguarding: FHI 360 is committed to preventing any type of abuse, exploitation and harassment in our work environments and programs, including sexual abuse, exploitation and harassment. FHI 360 takes steps to safeguard the welfare of everyone who engages with our organization and programs and requires that all personnel, including staff members and volunteers, share this commitment and sign our code of conduct. All offers of employment will be subject to appropriate screening checks, including reference, criminal record and terrorism finance checks. FHI 360 also participates in the Inter-Agency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme (MDS), facilitated by the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response. In line with the MDS, we will request information from job applicants’ previous employers about any substantiated findings of sexual abuse, exploitation and/or harassment during the applicant’s tenure with previous employers. By applying, job applicants confirm their understanding of these recruitment procedures and consent to these screening checks.

FHI 360 will consider for employment all qualified applicants, including those with criminal histories, in a manner consistent with the requirements of applicable state and local laws.

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