Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting, Research and Learning (MERL) Manager |APEP in Abt Associates Australia Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Full Time

Website Abt Associates Australia

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Job Description

About the Program

The Australia PNG Economic Partnership (APEP) known as “The Partnership” is a new multi-sectoral investment to assist GoPNG to create a stable and more prosperous country. The investment will be the main vehicle and coordination point from which Australia will deliver its economic development aid to PNG and will be the primary vehicle to implement Comprehensive Strategic and Economic Partnership (CSEP). The Australian Government is committed to delivering The Partnership in accordance with the principles of integration and alignment with PNG’s economic sector policies, systems and processes.

“The Partnership” will contribute to the achievement of the following overarching goal: a resilient and diversified economy that provides a high quality of life for all Papua New Guineans.

The Partnership overarching policy objective is: to assist PNG in its efforts to achieve sustained growth, capable of lifting the standard of living of all citizens, while also ensuring Australia maintains its reputation as PNG’s economic partner of choice.

The Partnership is a multi-sector investment with gender equality, disability social inclusion (GEDSI) and women’s economic empowerment (WEE), climate as well as economic dialogue and open government, positioned as cross-cutting objectives working across all engagement areas.

It has five End of Program Outcomes (EOPOs) that are expected to be achieved:

  • EOPO 1 – Safeguarding Macroeconomic Stability
  • EOPO 2 – Strengthening Public Financial Management for Improved Service Delivery and Inclusive Growth
  • EOPO 3 – Supporting More Efficient and Inclusive Markets
  • EOPO 4 – Fostering Inclusive Growth and Expanded Livelihoods
  • EOPO 5 – Catalysing Economic Research and Dialogue

About The Opportunity

The MERL Manager will work within the MERL and Adaptive Management Unit and be responsible for aspects of the MERL agenda that are delegated by the MERL and Adaptive Management Lead.

The MERL Manager will work closely with staff in APEP sub-programs to ensure timely, consistent delivery of MERL plans, activities and reporting that meets good practice guidelines and DFAT standards. The role will actively promote learning, continuous improvement, and adaptive management, provide oversight to the MERL MIS and, in collaboration with sub-program staff, provide MERL technical services to sub-programs.

For outputs delegated to the MERL Manager, be responsible for ensuring the quality of those outputs is compliant with DFAT and Abt Associates policies and deliver on agreed objectives as set out in APEP operations manuals.

Key Responsibilities

The Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting, Research and Learning (MERL) Manager has responsibility for, in close collaboration with Program MERL Staff:

  • Oversee the day-to-day activities of the MERL Analyst, MERL Officer, Senior MERL Coordinator and MERL Reporting Specialist
  • Contributing to good practice guidelines to drive consistent MERL design and implementation across sub-programs, meeting DFAT M&E Standards.
  • Supporting the development of MERL work plans, that prioritise MERL-Comms activities across and within sub-programs of APEP that are consistent with agreed good practice guidance.
  • Promoting the establishing and sharing good practice, capacity building of staff, the use of sensible common systems/formats and appropriate collaboration on common issues.
  • Supporting the development of quality (consistent with agreed good practice guidance) MERL-Comms products of sub-programs, including baseline analysis, theories of change, MEF/PAF, major analyticaleview activities, evidence to demonstrate progress, progress reporting etc.
  • Supporting the conducting of periodic review and reflection exercises to formalise consultative learning that assists with operationalising adaptive management and continuous improvement.
  • Promoting greater gender equality and social inclusion and that this translates into positive outcomes.
  • Supporting the sub-programs to systematically collect, analyse, and report progress data against the APEP MEF/PAF and requirements of the AHC (PNG PAF) and DFAT (ADRs-Tier 3 Indicators), as required by the APEP MIS.
  • Promoting high quality and strategic performance reporting for the sub-programs in a way that balances accountability, rigor and learning to promote adaptive management and program improvement.
  • Promoting and supporting, as appropriate, the implementation of key diversity and inclusion policies, including: Gender Equality Policy, Respect at Work Policy, Flexible Work Policy, Paid Parental Leave Policy, Compensation Policy, and Leave Policy. This should be transparent in progress reporting.
  • Other duties as directed

Key deliverables

Quality assured drafts of products produced by the MERL program team members for review by the Uni Manager

  • MERL-Comms Work Plans
  • Preparing agenda items for the Monthly MERL-Comms meetings promoting good practice sharing and capacity building (possibly supplemented by a weekly Work Plan progress meeting)
  • Supporting the updating of MEF/PAF and Theory of Change probably informed by the annual review and reflection exercise(s)
  • Assisting the Lead to periodically review GESI, Comms and MIS Strategies
  • Supporting the production of timely and quality Six Monthly Progress Reports and communication of the main findings/issues with stakeholders
  • Supporting the conduct of significant analytical exercises, including but not limited to: baseline analysis, beneficiary surveys to assess socio-economic impacts, adequate designs of new initiatives, reviews of significant initiatives, VfM analysis etc
  • Supporting the establishment and maintenance of a MIS that collects, stores, facilitates analysis, and supports reporting/accountability and learning needs
  • Supporting the production of timely and quality Program Completion Report(s)

Key working relationships

  • APEP MERL & AM Unit Manager
  • Other APEP MERL and Adaptive Management team colleagues
  • Other APEP staff
  • Relevant AHC representatives
  • Relevant GoPNG representatives

About You

For applications to be considered, a response to the key selection criteria below must be provided.

  • Tertiary qualifications in monitoring and evaluation, project management, public policy, development or relevant field; accompanied with strong data management systems knowledge.
  • An understanding of the monitoring, evaluation and reporting, and public diplomacy requirements of Government of PNG and Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade (DFAT).
  • Familiarity with political economy analysis and an ability to translate this into clear practical approaches to the sharing of lessons to inform policy and practice.
  • Demonstrated experience (8+ years) managing a team and activities across large and complex politically sensitive environments in PNG with the ability to work with internal and external stakeholders.

How To Apply

Please submit your application online; attach your cover letter and CV as a single document, addressing how you meet the Key selection criteria of this role .

We welcome and thank all applications; however only shortlisted applicants will be contacted .

Closing Date: 14 December 2022

A bt Associates is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to upholding high standards of Child Protection, Anti-bribery and Fraud Protection.

We encourage applications from experienced and capable women, and people with disabilities

About Us

Abt Associates a mission-driven, global leader with a proven track record in complex program implementation in the international development sector. We offer bold solutions and technical excellence in Health, Economic Growth, Governance, Research & Evaluation, Environment & Energy, Gender Equality & Social Inclusion. Working with our many partners, we have driven measurable social impact for more than 55 years, to achieve our mission of improving the quality of life and economic well-being of people worldwide. We operate in remote and challenging environments and employ more than 3,700 staff in over 50 countries. For more information about us and what we do, visit our website at


Abt Associates values individuality and celebrates difference with a strong commitment to all forms of diversity and equality including racial equity, gender, sexual diversity and disability inclusion. We strongly encourage people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to apply for this position. We offer flexible work arrangements and a culturally safe environment for staff members from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.


We are deeply committed to safeguarding, to protect and prevent harm and abuse to individuals we work for and who work for us. Our recruitment and selection procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation. We will not tolerate discrimination, harassment, child abuse, sexual abuse or exploitation in any form, and expect everyone to be treated with respect and dignity.

Company: Abt Associates Australia

Vacancy Type: Full Time 

Job Location: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Application Deadline: N/A

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