MERL Director – USAID Tanzania SBC

FHI 360

The proposed Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Director will work in close collaboration with the Chief of Party to ensure monitoring and evaluation (M&E), Activity collaboration, learning, and adapting (CLA), and research strategies are sound and support the results and goals of the anticipated Tanzania Social and Behavior Change (SBC) Activity. The MERL Director will collaborate with MERL and other staff members to monitor program results and ensure the quality and accuracy of technical data and reporting. The MERL Director manages the activities of the MERL team. Based in Dar es Salaam, this position is contingent on funder approval and award to FHI 360.



  • Lead the design and implementation of the project’s M&E activities, including 1) the development of the Activity M&E Plan; 2) development and monitoring of Activity indicators; 3) implementation of baseline and ongoing monitoring studies; 4) oversight of data collection and analysis; 5) synthesis of data and study outcome reports; and 6) quality assurance and auditing of data.
  • Lead the design and implementation of the Activity’s research agenda, which may include formative research, performance evaluations, impact evaluations, and rapid/special studies.
  • Provide technical leadership in the design and implementation of the Activity’s evaluation.
  • Ensure that data from the Activity is collected, analyzed and used by stakeholders for learning and policy development and on-going adjustments.
  • Build capacity of staff and partners in M&E, data collection and management, and research and learning methods.
  • Ensure research implementation and data collection, management, and use adheres to FHI 360, international, and Tanzanian policies and standards and remains technically and ethically sound.
  • Oversee the dissemination of information on successful and promising approaches, lessons learned, and other project results to local, national, and regional-level intergovernmental bodies, donors, partners and other stakeholders.
  • Promote forums that facilitate collaboration, learning, and data for decision-making efforts.
  •  Contribute to work plans, quarterly and annual reports, financial reports, and other reports and papers summarizing project results and evidence.
  • Serve as the technical lead and key MERL technical point of contact for partners, including participation in technical meetings, conferences, and coordination platforms.
  • Direct and guide technical staff with training and developing process improvement initiatives to ensure compliance with FHI 360 standards related to data collection and use.
  • Support performance management and professional development of direct reports, including ongoing feedback, coaching and career support.
  • Identify and consult with executive management on technical recommendations to make better business decisions.


Applied Knowledge & Skills:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of concepts, practices, and procedures related to project management and MERL, ideally within SBC projects.
  • Excellent and demonstrated organizational and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent and demonstrated project management and MERL technical skills.
  • Ability to exercise judgment within generally defined practices and policies in selecting methods and techniques for obtaining solutions.
  • Proven ability to ensure budgets, schedules, and performance requirements are met.
  • Ability to motivate, influence and work well with others to achieve project goals.
  • Articulate, professional, and able to communicate in a clear, positive manner with clients and team.
  • Must be able to read, write and speak fluent English; excellent oral/written communication skills in Kiswahili strongly preferred.


Problem Solving & Impact:

  • Works on problems of complex scope that require analysis of situations and data of various factors.
  • Exercises judgment within broadly defined practices and policies in selecting methods and techniques for obtaining results.
  • Decisions made will generally have major implications on the management and operations of a project.


Supervision Given/Received:

  • Provide director supervision to a team of Technical Advisors and Officers
  • Lead the MERL team to meet project and organizational goals.
  • Coordinate with the Chief of Party and Deputy Chief of Party to develop and monitor the budgets, methods, and strategies of the project.
  • Recommend solutions to management on strategy, operational, and business decisions that affect the project.
  • Reports to the Chief of Party.



  • Master’s Degree or its International Equivalent in public health, communication/behavior change, social sciences, international development, research, or a related field.
  • Project Management (PM) Certification preferred.



  • Requires 10+ years of relevant technical experience in M&E and research related to public health projects (including 3+ years of leadership and line management skills), with preference for demonstrated experience working on MERL for SBC projects.
  • Experience working in a non-governmental organization (NGO).
  • Experience working in one or more of the following health areas is required: FP/RH, MNCAH, GHSA, HIV/AIDS, malaria.
  • Demonstrated understanding of social and behavioral theories and models.
  • Strong experience in use of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.
  • Strong experience in developing, implementing, and disseminating a learning agenda.
  • Demonstrated experience in target setting and reporting against USG health initiatives, ideally within Tanzania.
  • Excellent knowledge of data collection protocols for quality data collection and verification.
  • Proven ability to analyze multiple sources of data to identify data trends and provide recommendations on project implementation.
  • Demonstrated experience and familiarity with behavioral surveillance surveys, research methodologies, qualitative and quantitative research methods, data analysis, sampling methods, and establishment of M&E systems in developing country contexts.
  • Demonstrated track record of achieving results in a development context and working in teams and fostering partnerships, including private sector.
  • Demonstrated ability to create and maintain effective working relations with host country government personnel, stakeholders, NGO partners, and international donor agencies.
  • Proven ability to work as an effective team member.
  • Excellent oral/written communication skills in English; excellent oral/written communication skills in Kiswahili strongly preferred.
  • Ability to set priorities while multi-tasking and meet deadlines.

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