Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Adviser – DCRP  –  Pacific Community

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Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Adviser – DCRP

  •  Pacific Community
  •  Suva, Fiji
Contract Development & NGOS


  • Suva-based position (Fiji)
  • Competitive expatriate package
  • Join the principal development organisation in the Pacific region


The Pacific Community (SPC) is the principal scientific and technical organisation in the Pacific region, supporting development since 1947. We are an international development organisation owned and governed by our 27 country and territory members. In pursuit of sustainable development to benefit Pacific people, our organisation works across more than 20 sectors. We are known for our knowledge and innovation in such areas as fisheries science, public health, geoscience, and conservation of plant genetic resources for food and agriculture.

The Geoscience Energy and Maritime Division provides advice, technical assistance, research and training support to Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). There are three (3) areas of scientific programming and two areas of focus within this division:

  1. Oceans and Maritime Programme (OMP) – assists member countries with services that provide applied ocean science and knowledge for evidence-based policy-making and technical solutions for improved ocean and maritime governance, management and capacity development.
  2. Georesources and Energy Programme (GEP) – assists member countries by applying technical knowledge in the areas of geoscience and sustainable energy use.
  3. Disaster and Community Resilience Programme (DCRP) – assists member countries to demonstrate strengthened resilience through integrated action on disaster risk management, climate change adaptation, natural resource management and increased access to water and sanitation.

The role – The Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Adviser will provide project and programme-level MERL advice and support for DCRP in the GEM Division to enhance project and programme planning, monitoring, and reporting of results across projects, in the division, in SPC, by donors and partners.

The key responsibilities of the role include:

Project MERL advice and capability building

  • Provide MERL inductions to new/existing staff as well as ongoing coaching and/or training to build understanding of how MERL can be used not only for reporting and communication purposes, but for results-based management and testing assumptions
  • Advise on the development and revision of high-quality project results frameworks and MERL plans

Disaster and Community Resilience Programme and sector MERL leadership

  • Lead the development and strengthening of an integrated DCRP programme results framework and costed MERL Plan
  • Lead implementation of the DCRP MERL Plan (including managing associated programmatic budget) and drive programmatic research elements of the Plan

DCRP programme and project planning advice

  • Lead coordination of the DCRP annual and multi-year work planning processes, ensuring alignment with the FRDP, SPC Strategic Plan, GEM Business Plan, and project workplans
  • Facilitate strategic discussions within DCRP to consolidate the programme’s inputs into the GEM business plan and SPC-wide strategic planning and MERL initiatives.

Facilitation of DCRP contributions to GEM and SPC corporate reporting and learning

  • In consultation with the DCRP Deputy Director, organise the six-monthly and annual reflection and learning workshops at a programme level; and assist the PMEL Team Leader GEM to organise the six-monthly and annual reflection and learning workshops at a divisional level
  • Provide MERL advice to the PMEL Team Leader (GEM), DCRP Deputy Director and DCRP Programmes Team.

For a more detailed account of the key responsibilities, please refer to the job description provided.

Key selection criteria 


  • Postgraduate qualification in a relevant field such as evaluation, public sector policy, project management, international development, disaster risk management, climate change, water and sanitation or natural resources management 

Knowledge and experience

  • At least 8 years of experience in international development project or programme implementation, including at least 5 years in monitoring and evaluation for projects/programmes
  • Knowledge of different international donor expectations in relation to MERL
  • Demonstrable experience in programme MERL support for large multi-disciplinary programmes implementing large bilateral donors, including conceptualising, technical writing and streamlining MERL processes to meet multiple audience demands 

Essential skills

  • An excellent understanding of international best practices in development effectiveness
  • Good knowledge of the Pacific regional and cultural contexts and operational realities
  • Knowledge and experience of creating/using tools and strategies for the efficient and effective entering, processing, cleaning, extraction and analysis of data
  • Demonstrable experience in delivering effective MERL coaching and/or training
  • Experience in successfully working within a deadline-driven environment 

Language skills

  • Excellent English communication skills (oral and written) with a working knowledge of French being an advantage 

Interpersonal skills and cultural awareness

  • Ability to work in a multicultural, inclusive and equitable environment


Salary, terms and conditions 

Contract Duration – 2 years

Due to the current travel restrictions caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the priority SPC places on its staff safety, health and well-being, please note that there may be delays in taking up the appointment. These matters will be discussed thoroughly with successful candidates. In most cases, any appointment and on-boarding would only commence when relocation to the duty station is permitted.

Remuneration – The Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Adviser is a Band 10 position in SPC’s 2022 salary scale, with a starting salary range of 2,512‒3,140 SDR (special drawing rights) per month, which currently converts to approximately FJD 7,410–9,263 (USD 3,592–4,490; EUR 3,014–3,768). An offer of appointment for an initial contract will normally be made in the lower half of this range, with due consideration given to experience and qualifications. Progression within the salary scale will be based on annual performance reviews. Remuneration of expatriate SPC staff members are not subject to income tax in Fiji; Fiji nationals employed by SPC in Fiji will be subject to income tax.

Benefits for international employees based in Fiji – SPC provides a housing allowance of FJD 1,350–3,000 per month. Establishment and repatriation grant, removal expenses, airfares, home leave travel, health and life and disability insurances and education allowances are available for eligible employees and their eligible dependents. Employees are entitled to 25 working days of annual leave per annum and other types of leave, and access to SPC’s Provident Fund (contributing 8% of salary, to which SPC adds a matching contribution).

Languages – SPC’s working languages are English and French.

Recruitment principles – SPC’s recruitment is based on merit and fairness, and candidates are competing in a selection process that is fair, transparent and non-discriminatory. SPC is an equal-opportunity employer, and is committed to cultural and gender diversity, including bilingualism, and will seek to attract and appoint candidates who respect these values. Due attention is given to gender equity and the maintenance of strong representation from Pacific Island professionals. If two interviewed candidates are ranked equal by the selection panel, preference will be given to the Pacific Islander.

Applicants will be assured of complete confidentiality in line with SPC’s Privacy Policy.

For your application to be considered, you must provide us with:

  • an updated resume with contact details for three professional referees
  • a cover letter detailing your skills, experience and interest in this position
  • responses to all screening questions

Your application will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed at shortlisting stage if all the above documents are not provided. Applicants should not attach copies of qualifications or letters of reference.

Please ensure your documents are in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format.

For international staff in Fiji, only one foreign national per family can be employed with an entity operating in Fiji at any one given time. SPC may assist on a case-by-case basis with submissions to Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their consideration and final approval. SPC cannot and does not make any guarantee whatsoever of approval for such applications to the Fijian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and where an application is approved, the spouse or partner will subject to such terms and conditions as may be set from time to time by the Ministry.

Screening Questions (maximum of 2,000 characters per question)

  • Briefly describe (400 word or less) your understanding of, and experience and demonstrated ability in:

a) Designing and running MEL systems and databases with extraction and analysis using both qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods

b) Developing and maintaining partnerships and collaborations to assess common objectives, and facilitating meetings to gather MEL information for a specific project or objective within a project.

c) Writing MEL evaluation reports and information for a range of audiences, from government officials to private sector to community members.

  • SPC values monitoring and evaluative processes that inform learning, adaptation and planning. Please describe an example where you have used M&E to generate and apply learning for performance improvement.
  • Describe your experience in strengthening organisational culture for generation and use of robust MEL evidence, highlighting approaches with different organisational stakeholders from different sectors (MEL practitioners, programme managers, senior managers, science and technical staff, etc).


Programme & Project Management


Fiji Residents Only

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