Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Director

Monitoring and Evaluation Dili, Timor-Leste (East Timor)


About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible.
In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions
into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within.
Now, and for the future.

Country Summary

Since establishing operations in Timor-Leste in 2004, Mercy Corps has earned a reputation for innovative and high quality programming. We promote a community-led, market-based approach to addressing the key relief, recovery and resilience challenges alongside the people of Timor-Leste. We currently have a portfolio of eight active grants and contracts covering the sectors of financial inclusion, markets development agriculture, food security, nutrition, resilience, disaster risk reduction, sustainable energy, gender equality, and aquaculture. To date, this programming has reached over 55% of all rural households nationwide. Our Vision is for improved wellbeing through greater resilience, resolved root causes of poverty, and inclusive economic growth. Our 5 year goals in Timor-Leste include: 30,000 individuals move beyond chronic vulnerability, inequality, poverty and malnutrition (at least 50% women or youth girls); 1,115 groups, businesses, associations, and institutions able to drive inclusive economic growth and resilience nationwide – particularly for the most vulnerable; and 45 at risk communities are Disaster Ready. Our six country strategic objectives will lead to achieving these goals include: inclusive economic growth; improved nutritional outcomes; gender equality; responsive governance; disaster ready communities; and top tier human capital and systems.

General Position Summary

The Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Director is a key leadership and management position for Mercy Corps Timor-Leste. The MERL Director is a key member of the Senior Management Team (SMT). S/he is responsible for ensuring all members of the Mercy Corps Timor-Leste team have the M&E information they need, when they need it, in a format they can master – and the information is reliable – in order to foster learning, comply with our reporting requirements, and make critical decisions. The MERL Director drives critical research and learning processes at both the program and country levels. S/he is responsible to ensure all MERL evidence is complete, safely stored and protected in an easily retrievable manner. S/he ensures our workflow system serves the needs of its key users and stakeholders, while supporting team members’ capacities to surpass Mercy Corps’ PM@MC Minimum Standards. The MERL Director also plays a critical role in new programming development, both internal and external communications, and engagement with our external stakeholders including government, peer organizations, universities, donors, and the private sector.


Essential Job Responsibilities

Strategy & Planning

  • Country MERL Strategy should be relevant to programs and context and operationalized.
  • Ensure Country MERL work plan is being achieved and adapted.
  • MEL team is playing a critical role in identifying and designing new programs
  • Program teams are highly engaging and mutually accountable with the MERL team?

Monitoring & Evaluation

  • Ensure there is a clear and standard set of processes and tools for developing Performance Monitoring Plans (PMPs), including comprehensive and user friendly indicator plans (IPs).
  • Verify all programs have complete PMPs.
  • Have all PMPs & IPs coded to MCTL’s list of approved standard indicators.
  • High frequency sex and age disaggregated monitoring data being collected accurately, consistently, and efficiently.
  • Ensure systems are in place and functioning to uniquely track Beneficiaries MCTL.
  • Monitor data being pushed into our database accurately, consistently, and efficiently.
  • Ensure M&E Manager Team members actively oversee and document data verification processes in the field, including consistent spot checks of each program and all partners.

Information & Evidence; its Utilization & Protection

  • Ensure M&E data is valid, reliable, timely, precise, and have high integrity.
  • All MCTL data and evidence is complete, safely stored and protected, and easily retrievable.
  • Solely from our data, tell a compelling and comprehensive story about our sequenced, layered, and integrated engagement with our partners and beneficiaries.
  • Ensure donor reports contain accurate, complete data and findings in visually compelling formats.
  • Team members actively using data to reflect on representation, participation and utilization of program interventions by vulnerable groups, particularly women.
  • Ensure MCTL’s workflow activity tracking system is responding effectively, with consistent positive feedback, to program tracking and data retention needs, and in accordance with Mercy Corps’ PM@MC minimum standards.

Learning & Research

  • Ensure both M&E and Program teams are reporting that programmatic reflection and learning processes are inclusive, efficient, relevant, and result in clear, actionable decisions.
  • Critical research and learning initiatives are resulting in influence over external stakeholders. Drive new, innovative thinking resulting in bold, doubling-down on what we (or our peers) find works.
  • Leverage technology for monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning.
  • Country and regional evidence of impact is being adequately leveraged in program development.

Thought Leadership, Communication & Engagement

  • Tell data-driven stories about our work every year.
  • Ensure MCTL is being developed audience specific case studies documenting lessons learned, success stories or best practices for Mercy.
  • Have a comprehensive photo repository with appropriate acknowledgements.
  • Leverage social media presence and ensure they stand out with key stakeholders.


Capacity Development & Management

  • Ensure team is achieving PM@MC team standards including use of workplans, target setting, team meetings and an empowering atmosphere that encourages innovation.
  • Ensure team member roles are optimized to match skills and interests, increase efficiency and depth. as well as flexibility so that the team can work effectively together


Organizational Learning

  • As part of our commitment to organizational learning and in support of our understanding that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities they serve, we expect all team members to commit 5% of their time to learning activities that benefit Mercy Corps as well as themselves.


Accountability to Beneficiaries

  • Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts towards accountability, specifically to our beneficiaries and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging beneficiary communities as equal partners in the design, monitoring and evaluation of our programs.


Supervisory Responsibility

MERL Manager and Officers


Reports Directly To: Country Director

Works Directly With: Director of Programs; Program, Cluster, Technical Support Unit (TSU) Managers; Regional PaQ Advisor; and Support Team Managers

Knowledge and Experience

  • 4-6 years of experience (at least 3 years at a senior management level) in the areas of program development and monitoring and evaluation, including relevant experience building and managing an MERL system and team, relevant experience supervising data collection and data validation exercises, and building staff capacity.
  • BA/S or equivalent, preferable in business administration, public administration or international development.MA/S in relevant field strongly preferred.
  • Ability to write high profile reports in English required. Communication abilities in Tetum and/or Indonesian Bahasa desired.
  • Must have extensive training skills and experience working with a variety of donors, preferably including USAID, DFAT and DFID.
  • High degree of computer literacy; Excel, Word, Tableau skills are essential.
  • Ability to manage and meet tight deadlines, and work independently on multi-task loads.
  • Excellent Communication and organizational skills.
  • Internationally recognized qualification in project or program management or a commitment to obtain the qualification in the early months of work.

Success Factors

The ideal candidate will have a strong curiosity for understanding and working effectively within the complex cultural, political, security and social environment of Timor-Leste.  He/She will be an excellent communicator, multi-tasker, and able to work in ambiguous situations. He/She will be a tolerant and flexible individual able to work in difficult and stressful environments and follow procedures.  The successful candidate will be focused on team-building and capacity-building of national staff; be a strategic thinker, have strong skills in design monitoring and evaluation of development programs and have a durable sense of humor.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Dili and it requires some travel.

Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Fostering a diverse and open workplace is an important part of Mercy Corps’ vision.  Mercy Corps is an Equal Opportunity Employer regardless of background. We are committed to creating an inclusive environment.