Senior Advisor, Humanitarian Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning, and Accountability (MERLA)

Staff whose work requires or potentially could require any in-person interaction with Save the Children colleagues, partners, or beneficiaries must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless otherwise required by law. Save the Children complies with federal, state, and local laws with regard to accommodations related to this policy.

The MERLA Senior Advisor will oversee monitoring and research systems, technologies, and processes to ensure the quality and consistency of MERLA across the humanitarian award portfolio, with a focus on U.S. based donors. In this position, you will also support external partnerships with the NGO community and academic organizations to enhance the evidence base on humanitarian programs and thought leadership. In addition, you will be a member of the Global One Humanitarian Team (from August 1st 2022) with the aim to strengthen Save the Children’s humanitarian evidence with a child focus lens.

What You’ll Be Doing (Essential Duties)
Manage and Support MERLA Systems and Processes for Donor-funded Awards (50%):

  • Maintain relationships and ensure consistent support to key member award management teams, with a special focus on SCUS due to their large humanitarian portfolio.
  • Ensure quality, standardized MERLA systems across a multi-sectoral humanitarian portfolio, in accordance with global best practices and Save the Children policies.
  • Ensure that MERLA requirements for key donors are understood by staff and incorporated into proposals and award activities. Key donors include USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM), WFP, UNHCR, among others.
  • Develop clear and standardized MERLA guidelines, protocols, templates, and activity schedules for use by OHTT staff and field-based MERLA teams to ensure the quality and consistency of program monitoring data.
  • Identify common issues related to MERLA across programs and address as necessary, standardizing and incorporating improved technologies where appropriate.
  • Support staff and programs in determining how to use data for program improvement and decision-making, and encourage the use of Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) approaches.
  • Provide remote and in-country Technical Assistance (TA) to both MERLA staff and technical program leads as needed.

Donor Reporting and Compliance with MERLA Guidance (20%):

  • Assign coverage and ensure quality on MERLA sections for prioritized semi-annual and annual donor reports and ongoing deliverables, as required by donor.
  • Ensure compliance with key donor MEAL requirements, including (as applicable) USAID’s Open Data Policy (ADS 579), BHA monitoring and evaluation (M&E) policies and guidance, BPRM M&E requirements, and UN agency M&E requirements.

Resource Mobilization (15%):

  • Assign and ensure quality support for priority humanitarian proposals as requested by Country Offices and Regional Offices.
  • Responsible for finalizing M&E plans, logical frameworks, and indicator selection for prioritized global proposals, in collaboration with country office and program teams.
  • Ensure proposals are compliant and responsive to donor M&E requirements as well as Save the Children MERLA policies and best practices.

Manage and Coordinate Humanitarian Research and Learning across Sectors (15%):

  • Directly lead, coach, develop, and manage at least one staff member.
  • Convene MERLA staff to coordinate humanitarian research and learning across sectors, and ensure SC builds on, leverages, and gives visibility to sector-specific humanitarian research.
  • Manage priority global humanitarian research partnerships, ensuring quality of design and overseeing consultant deliverables and timelines.
  • Raise the profile of SCUS and DHR’s research among donors, academics, and implementing partners through presentations and participation at internal and external learning events and working groups
  • Write proposals, in conjunction with partner research organizations, to fund specific research or learning projects in humanitarian contexts.

Required Qualifications

  • Minimum of a Bachelor Degree or equivalent experience, plus at least 7 years of relevant experience
  • Experience in international development, with demonstrated experience related to humanitarian MERLA, research, and/or knowledge management.
  • Experience designing or managing logical/results frameworks, M&E plans, accountability mechanisms, and program evaluations, quantitative household surveys and qualitative studies, including calculating sample sizes, selecting a sampling methodology, developing data collection tools, training enumerators, and supervising data collection.
  • Experience developing and tracking program indicator performance and developing donor reports for emergency programs.
  • Experience conducting quantitative and qualitative data analysis and interpreting results, and experience using statistical software, data visualization, and KoBo Toolbox, ODK, or other mobile data collection software tools.
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines, manage multiple tasks simultaneously, and work effectively both independently and as part of multicultural teams.
  • Experience conducting M&E for awards funded by USAID BHA (formerly FFP and OFDA), BPRM, and/or UN agencies such as WFP or UNHCR.
  • Professional proficiency in MS Office suite
  • Professional proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with individuals and teams at all levels, both internally and externally
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering and maintaining and environment of diversity, inclusion, and belonging.
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally up to 30% of the time.
  • Willingness and ability to occasionally work irregular hours to accommodate calls with field teams in other time zones.


  • Experience developing and conducting training programs for field staff including curriculum design, presentation and teaching skills, and training-of-trainers methods.
  • Experience giving public presentations.
  • Professional proficiency in Spanish, French, or Arabic

Why you should join the Save the Children Team…
Save the Children US offers outstanding benefits that include health, dental, vision and life insurances, pet insurance, short-term and long-term disability coverage, an Employee Assistance Program, 403(b), generous vacation, personal sick leave, family leave, parental/adoption leave, commuter benefits, dress for your day, and much more.
Click here to learn more about how Save the Children US will invest in YOU!

About Save the Children
No matter your role when you join Save the Children, each and every day you will challenge yourself to devote your skills, talent and expertise to changing the world for kids. It’s an ambitious goal, and a meaningful one no matter how you see yourself professionally: an accountant, a writer, a data analyst, a teacher, a driver, a designer, or any one of the hundreds of dozens of roles we’re looking to fill every day.
You see, Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.

Our work for children and their families requires that we commit—at every opportunity—to work together to identify and dismantle persistent systemic and structural racism, inequality, and any other forms of discrimination in this country and beyond. As an anti-racist organization, Save the Children will not tolerate discrimination in any form—in our employment practices, amongst our staff, in our leadership or toward the people we serve. We stand in solidarity with all people to fight for equal rights, justice, inclusion, and belonging.

We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and qualified applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, ancestry, sexual orientation, national origin, age, handicap, disability, marital status, or status as a veteran. Save the Children complies with all applicable laws.

Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a manner that is safe for the children it serves and helping protect the children with whom we are in contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any kind of child abuse. In addition, it is Save the Children’s policy to create and proactively maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter any actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that place children at the risk of any kind of child abuse. All our representatives are expected to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this commitment and obligation.

Save the Children is committed to minimizing safety and security risks for our valued employees, ensuring all are given training, support and information to reduce their risk exposure while maximizing the impact of our programs for children and families. Our shared duty, both agency and individual, is to seek and maintain safe working conditions for all.

Apply here!