MERL Specialist

Freetown, Sierra Leone
Full Time
Sierra Leone

This role was posted on September 13, 2023. Please note that we will review applications on a rolling basis and prioritise those received within the first two weeks of posting.

As of March 1, 2022, Last Mile Health requires staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 wherever legally allowable and adhere to COVID-19 vaccination requirements to perform core work activities in all locations. To learn more, review our policy.

The Role

At Last Mile Health (LMH), we dig data. Have you implemented innovative monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning (MERL) plans to measure the progress, outcomes, and impacts of health system strengthening, community health workforce upskilling, and community-based primary care service delivery? If so, you may be our next MERL Specialist.

Reporting to the Programs Director, the MERL Specialist will play a pivotal role in our mission to extend essential healthcare services to underserved communities in Sierra Leone. In this capacity, the specialist will be responsible for developing and implementing fit-for-purpose MERL plans. These plans are designed to quickly measure progress, outcomes, and adaptive management needed across critical areas of our work aimed at building resilient community health systems where community health workers are skilled, salaried, supervised and supported by financing and data systems. 

Our Sierra Leone country program partners with the Ministry of Health to design and implement a robust system of measurement, evaluation, and learning to drive improvement of the Community Health Worker Program. They will collaborate with LMH staff and the Ministry to understand program goals and implementation and then bring responsive methods to assess and learn from progress towards reaching those goals. To support data use and adaptive management, the Specialist will analyze and share findings with country team programs, executive leadership, and identified external stakeholders including but not limited to LMH partners and Ministries of Health. This role, rooted in the pursuit of better healthcare access for vulnerable communities, offers a unique opportunity to make a profound impact on the lives of many.

This role is located in Freetown, Sierra Leone and is open to both Sierra Leonean nationals and international candidates located in or willing to relocate to Sierra Leone.  

What You'll Do

Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL)

  • Lead the development and implementation of MERL plans for projects inclusive of evaluation questions, methods, indicators, targets (as applicable), analytics, reporting, and dissemination.
  • Perform descriptive quantitative analyses for projects; specifically digital applications for clinical supervision and education of health workers
  • Support implementation of data management, quality assurance, and data cleaning procedures 
  • Collaborate closely with program teams, both within the organisation and externally to ensure MERL plans are fit for purpose and responsive to programmatic priorities and learning needs. Share findings with program teams and collaborate to use findings to refine strategies, strengthen programs, and improve activities
  • Develop data collection tools (e.g., surveys, key informant interview guides, focus group guides) and project management processes for digitising and implementing those tools
  • Provide technical support to the field-based deployment of MERL tools including process management and enumerator training. 
  • Create accessible, relevant, and timely data dashboards and visualisations to be used internally and externally for strategic decision-making. 
  • Coordinate the team to complete close-out reports for all programmatic activities
  • Assist with the management of Institutional Review Board proposal submission and compliance for research studies.
  • Participate in org-wide MERL Community of Practice to learn and share best practices and program learning with MERL colleagues. Promote MERL skills and functions among Sierra Leone team members to build capacity and strengthen the role of MERL in the country program.
  • Produce learning products that summarise MERL findings from the Sierra Leone program for both internal and external audiences. Contribute to data reviews, after-action reviews and internal learning initiatives. 

Program Design, Management and Performance Review

  • Support the implementation of program design best practices across LMH Sierra Leone programs (e.g. logic model development, process reviews, adaptive management)
  • Collaborate with global and Sierra Leone-based teams to support the development of logic models and theories of change related to short and long-term program strategy in Malawi.
  • Strengthen documentation related to the Sierra Leone country strategy; linking programmatic work to strategic objectives, leading team review on country strategy progress
  • Provide project management, deliverable tracking, reporting, and knowledge management for collaborative work streams 

What You'll Bring

  • Bachelor's degree in Public Health, Epidemiology, Health Policy, Health Economics, Demography, or other related fields. A Masters degree in these areas is preferred.
  • Progressive professional experience in public health and/or international development, with at least 1 year designing and leading MERL activities in community health programs. 
  • Demonstrated experience in quantitative and qualitative MERL methods.
  • Experience in building data collection forms in KoboCollect or Open Data Kit (ODK)
  • Experience in developing MERL reports, publications, whitepapers, toolkits, and factsheets using appropriate visualisations, and data-related infographics.
  • Demonstrated experience with stakeholder engagement and ability to collaborate with and provide technical support to internal teams, external partners, and government counterparts.

You’ll Impress Us If

  • Expertise with a statistical software package (Stata preferred); expertise in designing and performing statistical tests
  • Experience collaborating with and coaching program/implementing teams to support data use.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Experience building dashboards in District Health Information Software (DHIS2)
  • You have an understanding of community health systems and how they are evaluated.
  • You have experience designing evaluations for digital, educational, or health systems strengthening programs.
  • You have experience living and working in remote or hard-to-reach communities, especially in Sierra Leone.

Compensation Information

At Last Mile Health, we strive to reward our employees equitably and transparently. This means that we pay our employees based on a clear and consistent methodology and without regard to their identity or personal relationships. We have made this model fully transparent so that everyone has access to all information related to compensation. We hope this helps you better understand Last Mile Health’s values and commitments to our employees.

We look forward to answering any questions you may have during the hiring process.

Before applying to this role, please take a moment to learn more about our approach to compensation and how compensation works in each of the countries where we operate. Please find the link to our compensation model and benefits overview below:


Compensation for this position: 

The Band for this position: SLE-3

For Sierra Leone, the range is $15,693 - $27,107 USD dependent upon experience doing an equivalent role. Please note that this compensation is subject to Sierra Leone taxes. Alongside the published salary range for this position, employees receive both government-mandated benefits (transportation & housing) and LMH benefits (paid time off, child school fee benefit, data/airtime benefits, health insurance, life insurance, and more).

For International Staff, the range is $45,693 - $57,107 USD dependent upon experience doing an equivalent role. Please note that compensation is subject to Sierra Leone taxes. 

About Last Mile Health

Last Mile Health partners with governments to design, scale, strengthen, and sustain high-quality community health systems, which empower teams of community and frontline health workers to bring life-saving primary healthcare to the world’s most remote communities. LMH is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organisation. For more information, visit

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at LMH. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.


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