Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning & Adapting (MERLA)

A health worker enters treatment data during a school-based NTD campaign

High-quality data are needed to both accurately report on program performance and, most importantly, to ensure programs and countries can make evidence-based decisions on effective NTD interventions. USAID’s Act to End Neglected Tropical Diseases | East program approaches Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, Learning, and Adaptation (MERLA) as a continuous and integrated process of learning, adapting, and evidence-based decision-making.

Our MERLA approach focuses on:

  • Ensuring both routine monitoring and impact assessments produce high-quality data

  • Mainstreaming MERLA within broader NTD programming while maintaining reliability, accuracy, and timeliness of reporting to USAID

  • Promoting learning and evidence-based programmatic adaptation, including through regular ‘Pause and Reflect’ sessions, data visualization, evaluation activities, and operational research

  • Strengthening the capacity of countries to implement nationally owned MERLA for NTD control and elimination, in line with World Health Organization guidelines

  • Using gender-sensitive approaches to measure gender equity in NTD programming