Monitoring, evaluation, and research activities generate important data, but they often fail to change policies or programs. In addition, local program staff and partners often feel disconnected from these activities, which undermines their ownership of data and results. To bridge the gaps between monitoring, evaluation, and research and to give them a common purpose through locally owned, actionable learning, we developed an integrated Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning, and Adapting (MERLA) framework. Implemented and refined in over 20 countries, the framework integrates data-gathering methodologies with collaborative techniques for translating evidence into knowledge that influences program practice and government policy. In this publication, we describe the MERLA framework and present two case studies demonstrating how its application enables learning and adaptation led by in-country teams.
An integrated MERLA (Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning, and Adapting) framework for evidence-based program improvement
Stelmach, R. D., Fitch, E., Chen, M., Meekins, M., Flueckiger, R. M., & Colaco, R. (2021). An integrated MERLA (Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning, and Adapting) framework for evidence-based program improvement. American Journal of Evaluation, . https://doi.org/10.1177/10982140211018751