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Surveillance & Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning and Adapting (MERLA) Director, USAID/ Tanzania Malaria Case Management and Surveillance Activity

Project Management
International Development Group
211AM Requisition #

RTI International’s Global Health Division is currently accepting applications for a Surveillance & Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning and Adapting (MERLA) Director for an anticipated USAID-funded malaria program in Tanzania. Under this activity, USAID/Tanzania will fund malaria case management, malaria in pregnancy (MIP) through quality improvement initiatives and malaria surveillance, MERLA, entomological monitoring, drug efficacy monitoring, and monitoring of other drug-based interventions. RTI anticipates this activity will also seek to improve private sector engagement strengthening the existing linkages between community health services/ community-level leadership and facilities/District Health Teams that promote malaria prevention, detection, and treatment in households.


The Surveillance & MERLA Director is the subject matter expert on malaria surveillance. They provide technical assistance to NMCP/ZAMEP regarding surveillance platforms and data use for decision-making. The Surveillance & MERLA Director will also be primarily responsible for the design, management, and implementation of information systems to ensure quality monitoring and reporting of the Activity’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan (MELP). They will be responsible for the development and oversight of OMDM evaluations and the Activity’s learning framework.  The Surveillance & MERLA Director will provide primary support to the team for timely, complete, and quality reporting of all monitoring, evaluation, and research data from project activities. S/he plans for and supervise intermittent performance evaluations. S/he and the Surveillance & MERLA team will support the NMCP and ZAMEP in improving their data quality for more rapid use and improved evidence-based decision making.  The position is based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.



  • Provide oversight of Project technical assistance for surveillance activities, including support to routine malaria surveillance on Mainland and enhanced surveillance and stratification activities in Zanzibar. Coordinate training, IT support and other project activities to support these efforts.
  • Provide expertise and capacity building in use of surveillance data and other health information in evidence-based decision making for malaria programming in support of the NCMD and DHMTs.
  • Oversee MERLA efforts and work closely with COP and technical staff to ensure they support and inform activity planning, budgeting, and project decisions.
  • Lead the development, implementation, refinement, and harmonization of the project’s MERLA system and AMELP including develop and operationalize indicators; monitor progress; support design of evaluations; and implement the CLA plan.
  • Design and implement the project’s Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA) activities, including the learning agenda, providing leadership and facilitating project review meetings (‘pause and reflect’ sessions), activity after action reviews and relevant stakeholder collaboration meetings.
  • Work with technical staff to oversee tools for data collection, storage, and analysis; and train staff and partners on project Surveillance & MERLA system operations, collection methods, and tools.
  • Ensure data quality and integrity through field visits and spot checks to verify data.
  • Design a routine project evaluation and performance improvement process that uses evidence (indicator, evaluation, and qualitative data) to adjust project activities.
  • Design needs-based, rigorous, operations research studies and protocols to generate evidence for gaps in program understanding, as prioritized with stakeholders.
  • Lead the development of quarterly and annual progress reports on the status of project implementation, including progress towards defined targets; contribute to other project reports such as annual work plans and technical briefs.
  • Supervise and mentor MERLA staff.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Minimum of a Master’s in Public Health or relevant discipline and Minimum of 12 years of professional experience, or a combination of education and experience, in a Surveillance, M&E position in the health field in Tanzania.
  • Minimum of 8 years of professional experience in a M&E position in the health field in Tanzania; experience with USAID, PMI and/or other development partner projects preferable
  • Demonstrated experience in establishing M&E systems and tools; designing and implementing project evaluations, quantitative and qualitative research, surveillance surveys, data analysis; CLA tools and methods; and familiarity with research methodologies and sampling techniques.
  • Demonstrated experience with computer and/or web-based performance data recording and reporting systems and other technologies that improve the quality of monitoring system integrity and data collection/analysis/reporting/visualization; familiarity with DHIS2 a in Tanzania preferable. Excellent proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite applications as well as data, management, and mapping platforms (including DHIS2, STATA/SPSS/R).
  • Demonstrated capacity to use conduct analysis and use data for decision-making and experience training others to do so.
  • Experience and in-depth knowledge  with global development priorities and reporting requirements; experience with programs focused on health impact considered highly desirable.
  • Ability to work effectively, responsively, and collaboratively with government counterparts such as government ministries, development and private sector partners, civil society organizations, private sector, and academic/research institutions.
  • Excellent management, communication, and organizational skills, as well as flexibility and capacity to multi-task.
  • Demonstrated experience leading and building the capacity of MERLA staff in a decentralized setting.
  • Demonstrated track record in disseminating programmatic and research outcomes and findings at national and international conferences, as well as in published literature.
  • Excellent English language ability and strong interpersonal, written, and oral presentation communication skills.


This position is contingent upon award and funding; the anticipated award date is June 2022. To apply, please upload your resume to the RTI Careers Page.Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. RTI is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.


RTI does not permit any payment requests demanded during any part of the hiring process.  If such requests are made, please report it to the RTI Ethics Office via HRethics@rti.org.  Any candidate making any payment will be disqualified from consideration for future employment with RTI.



Individuals interested in working for RTI please note that as of January 18, 2022, RTI will require all staff in the United States and, except where prohibited by law, all staff in the United Kingdom and the European Union to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated in order to work at RTI. Those who cannot get vaccinated for medical or religious reasons can request an accommodation.

As a global employer of choice, RTI is committed to equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging in the workplace and the communities and markets where we serve our mission. We value diversity of thought, culture, background and perspective and welcome applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, creed, citizenship status, disability, protected veteran status, or any other classification protected by applicable discrimination laws or RTI policy.

We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Further information is available here.

Ethics Notice: No one at RTI may ever demand payment for anything of value in exchange for anything related to the hiring process (including, for example, for applying for, interviewing for, or receiving any offer of employment).  If any such request is made, please report this request confidentially to RTI’s Ethics office at HRethics@rti.org.  Any payment made will disqualify any applicant from future employment at RTI.  Please only use the HRethics@rti.org email address to report ethics concerns; any job applications sent to this email address will not be processed.

RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach—one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development. We believe in the promise of science, and we are inspired every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities, and businesses around the world. For more information, visit www.rti.org.

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