Research design

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

Staff whose work requires or may require face-to-face 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 regarding accommodations related to this policy.


The MERLA Senior Advisor will oversee monitoring and research systems, technologies, and processes to ensure quality and consistency of MERLA across the entire humanitarian awards 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 improve the evidence base on humanitarian programs and thought leadership. Additionally, you will be a member of the Global One humanitarian team (from 1 August 2022) with the aim of strengthening Save the Children’s humanitarian evidence with a child-centred lens.

What you will do (essential tasks)

Manage and support MERLA systems and processes for donor-funded grants (50%):

  • Maintain relationships and provide ongoing support to key member rewards management teams, with a particular focus on SCUS due to their extensive humanitarian portfolio.
  • Ensure quality standardized MERLA systems across a multi-sectoral humanitarian portfolio, in line with global best practice and Save the Children policies.
  • Ensure MERLA requirements for major donors are understood by staff and incorporated into award proposals and activities. Major donors include USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM), WFP, UNHCR, among others.
  • Develop clear and standardized MERLA activity guidelines, protocols, templates and schedules for use by OHTT staff and field MERLA teams to ensure quality and consistency of program monitoring data.
  • Identify common MERLA-related issues across programs and address them where necessary, standardizing and incorporating improved technologies where appropriate.
  • Help staff and programs determine how to use data for program improvement and decision-making, and encourage the use of Collaborative, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) approaches.
  • Provide remote and in-country technical assistance (TA) to MERLA staff and program technical leads as required.

Donor reporting and compliance with MERLA guidelines (20%):

  • Assign coverage and ensure quality of MERLA sections for priority semi-annual and annual donor reports and ongoing deliverables as required by the donor.
  • Ensure compliance with key donor MEAL requirements, including (where applicable) USAID Open Data Policy (ADS 579), BHA Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) policies and guidelines, requirements 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 Bureaux.
  • Responsible for finalizing M&E plans, logframes and selection of indicators for priority global proposals, in collaboration with country office and program teams.
  • Ensure proposals are compliant and meet 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 that SC builds on, leverages and gives visibility to sector-specific humanitarian research.
  • Manage priority global humanitarian research partnerships, ensure design quality and oversee consultant deliverables and deadlines.
  • Raise the profile of SCUS and DHR research with donors, academics and implementing partners through presentations and participation in internal and external learning events and working groups
  • Write proposals, in collaboration with partner research organizations, to fund specific research or learning projects in humanitarian contexts.

Qualifications required

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s 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 in designing or managing logical/results frameworks, M&E plans, accountability mechanisms and program evaluations, quantitative household surveys and qualitative studies, including sizing sampling, selection of sampling methodology, development of data collection tools, training of interviewers and supervision of data collection.
  • Experience in developing and monitoring performance of program indicators and developing donor reports for emergency programs.
  • Experience performing quantitative and qualitative data analysis and interpreting results, and experience using statistical software, data visualization, and KoBo Toolbox, ODK, or other data collection software tools mobiles.
  • Ability to work under tight deadlines, manage multiple tasks simultaneously and work effectively independently and within multicultural teams.
  • Experience in conducting monitoring and evaluation for scholarships funded by USAID BHA (formerly FFP and OFDA), BPRM and/or UN agencies such as WFP or UNHCR.
  • Professional proficiency in the MS Office suite
  • Professional fluency 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 an 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 answer calls with field teams in other time zones.


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

Why should you join the Save the Children team…

Save the Children US offers exceptional benefits that include health, dental, vision and life insurance, pet insurance, short and long term disability coverage, employee assistance program, 403 (b ), generous vacations, personal sick leave, family leave, parental/adoption leave, commuter allowances, dress for the day and much more.

Click on here to learn more about how Save the Children US will invest in YOU!

About Save the Children

Whatever your role when you join Save the Children, every day you will challenge yourself to dedicate your skills, talent and expertise to changing the world for children. It’s an ambitious and meaningful goal no matter how you see yourself professionally: an accountant, writer, data analyst, teacher, driver, designer, or one of the hundreds of dozens of roles we’re looking to fill. complete each day.

You see, Save the Children believes that 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 to protect themselves 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 working together to identify and dismantle persistent systemic and structural racism, inequality and all other forms of discrimination in this country and beyond. As an anti-racism organization, Save the Children will not tolerate any form of discrimination – in our employment practices, among our staff, in our leadership or towards the people we serve. We stand in solidarity with everything people to fight for equal rights, justice, inclusion and belonging.

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

Save the Children is committed to conducting its programs and operations in a way that is safe for the children it serves and to helping to protect the children with whom we come into contact. All Save the Children representatives are explicitly prohibited from engaging in any activity that may result in any type of child abuse. In addition, it is Save the Children’s policy to proactively create and maintain an environment that aims to prevent and deter actions and omissions, whether deliberate or inadvertent, that expose children to any type of abuse. All of 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 that all receive training, support and information to reduce their exposure to risk while maximizing the impact of our programs for children and families. Our common duty, both individually and collectively, is to seek and maintain safe working conditions for all.

How to register

Please click here to apply for this position.