Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning and Adapting (MERLA) Specialist – USAID Health Financing Activity


Do you believe that everyone deserves access to affordable, quality healthcare? Are you driven by creativity, bold ideas, and disruptive innovation? Are you inspired by exceptionally talented, diverse, impact-oriented colleagues? Do you thrive in a dynamic, high-growth, fast-paced environment?

ThinkWell is a growing, flexible health systems organization, with both global influence and local grounding. Our focus is on driving transformation in the global health space by always questioning and disrupting conventional wisdom about what works or what can or cannot be done. We believe in pragmatisms over ideology and develop solutions tailored to a client’s context and political realities without replicating global models and all-purpose solutions. We know that to drive change, we must focus on how the world could be, rather than making excuses for the status quo.

BackgroundUniversal Health Coverage has become a major driving force for health financing and systems reform in many countries around the world. Indonesia launched its National Health Insurance program (Jaminan Kesehatan National JKN) in 2014. By 2017 JKN was already managing 223 million consultations for both primary and advanced treatments, amounting to US$2015 billion. By 2019 the coverage is an estimated 218 million people making it the largest single purchaser in the world.

Indonesia is building its capacity in health financing such as more effective systems of revenue collection, management of the pooling system, effective provider payment models (for primary health care and tertiary care) including strategic purchasing and linking payment to the quality of services.

The two main government bodies responsible for managing the health financing reforms are the Ministry of Health and Social Security Agency for Health (Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial Kesehatan, BPJS-K) ThinkWell Indonesia

ThinkWell is priming Health Financing Activity (HFA), a five-year (2019-2024) $14.9M bilateral contract with USAID/Indonesia. The HFA will work in unison with the MoH and BPJS-K to sustain and increase efficiency in financing for health to improve financial protection, equitable access to quality health services, and health outcomes in USAID priority areas of HIV, Tuberculosis (TB), and Maternal and Newborn Health (MNH). ThinkWell is joined by Results for Development (R4D), and two centers of excellence: the Center for Health Economics and Policy Studies (CHEPS), and Gadjah Mada University – Center for Health Policy and Management (UGM-CHPM).

Job Location: This is a full-time position based in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Reports to: ThinkWell Chief of Party (COP) for HFA in Jakarta

The RoleThe Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning and Adapting (MERLA) Specialist will provide technical leadership and strategic direction to the HFA for MERLA activities, including their design and implementation, to drive performance management and build local capacity in Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning related to sustainable health financing.

ResponsibilitiesResponsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Developing the overarching learning agenda and facilitating learning exchange and training activities;
  • Developing and updating the HF Activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan (AMELP) to adequately measure and track progress and outcomes of tasks in the HFA work plan, in consultation with USAID/Indonesia and HFA partners
  • Developing a complementary Data Management Plan detailing the collection, handling, storage and dissemination of data, including gender-related indicators and geographically tagged indicators on the location or geographic scale of the activity’s performance and/or impact
  • Lead the production of all contractual reporting: monthly, quarterly, biannual, BAST; and any reports required by USAID or the Ministry of Health. This includes facilitating team meetings, synthesizing qualitative and quantitative results, and producing high quality reports, and success stories. Ensure key reports are posted to USAID’S Development Experience Clearinghouse (DEC).
  • Lead HFA’s compliance with USAID’s Development Information Solution (DIS), the agency’s web-based portfolio management system.
  • Providing support, in collaboration with the Strategic Health Purchasing Specialist, to strengthen the existing Health Policy Network and convert into a vibrant knowledge exchange platform
  • Conduct detailed review of draft annual work plans and budgets submitted by Activity Managers from subcontractors and ThinkWell technical staff. Review feasibility, cost-efficiency, link with results framework, consistency between activities and deliverables, and alignment of activity narrative with budget assumptions. Conduct meetings with Activity Managers to provide feedback in a productive and positive manner and facilitate delivery of high-quality work plan and budget.
  • Serve as the Activity Manager for selected HFA activities as needed, including conceptualization, work planning, client discussions, recruiting local experts, and supervising execution of all tasks and production of all deliverables.


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