Expressions of Interest – MERL Consultants

About MDF    

Australia’s Market Development Facility (MDF) helps countries in the Indo-Pacific region to grow through improved productivity, economic diversification, competitiveness and trade.

The facility helps government and business partners to identify markets that have high potential to be profitable, grow and deliver social and environmental value. MDF supports catalytic innovation in these markets by co-investing with local and international partners to reduce the costs and risks of early-stage commercial opportunities. This accelerates progress to profitability and scale.

MDF currently operates in Fiji, Timor-Leste, Samoa, Vanuatu, Tonga and Sri Lanka. The facility is funded by the Australian Government and co-funded by the New Zealand Government in Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu. It is implemented by Palladium, in partnership with Swisscontact.

About the Opportunity  

MDF is a high-performing program with a diverse portfolio of interventions in agriculture, livestock, tourism, renewable energy, climate change, finance, freight, outsourcing, business services, transport and logistics. MDF’s MERL team play a critical role in the design of MDF’s interventions, monitoring, evaluation, learning, research, knowledge management and influencing.

MDF is looking to retain a panel of specialists to provide ongoing on-demand remote and/or in-person support to country teams with all aspects of monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) across the Facility’s large portfolio of activities. In MDF the ‘MERL’ function is referred to as Research, Impact Measurement and Inclusion (RIMI).

These positions would be remote but are likely to require travel to one or more MDF country offices. The following outlines the range of tasks that the MERL consultants might be asked to contribute to, noting that the actual assignments will vary depending on the requirements of the MDF country teams and the specific skills sets of the consultants. Input days and the specific tasks will be set out in Tasking Notes when required by mutual agreement.

Key activities on assignment may include:

  • • Provide support to develop and update intervention guides, research plans, attribution strategies, concept note and value for money calculations development, ensuring inclusion indicators are appropriately integrated.  
  • • Analyse assessment results, develop reports and provide recommendations to improve intervention design based on the findings.  
  • • Support the production of content for MDF’s Annual Strategic and Operational Plans, Annual Reports, case studies, and Guidance Notes, as required and in coordination with MDF’s MERL and communication teams.  
  • • Lead and/or support in-depth research on MDF’s impact in target market systems.  
  • • Lead and/or support research on emerging trends in target markets to produce actionable market intelligence for MDF, DFAT and MFAT. 
  • • Support MDF’s MERL director and country teams to integrate Women’s Economic Empowerment, climate change, disability inclusion in MERL-related activities, including, but not limited to intervention guides, monitoring, impact assessments and concept notes.  
  • • Provide support for MERL capacity development, knowledge and skills transfer for local teams as required through formal training, coaching and mentoring.  
  • • Perform other duties as required, which are deemed necessary as directed by the Team Leader, Director, MERL and other MDF leadership.


  • • At least two years’ prior experience in monitoring results in Market Systems Development (MSD) or similar private sector development programs.  
  • • Proven qualitative and quantitative research skills, including demonstrated complex field research in MSD or a related development approach in areas such as productivity, poverty and social norms, sustainability and resilience; and applying the DCED Standard for Results Measurement.  
  • • Excellent analytical skills combined with the ability to translate complex findings and ideas into simple, clear and actionable content.  
  • • Excellent English language skills (written and spoken).  
  • • Proven track record of writing insightful, succinct and accessible outputs for external/non-specialist consumption. 
  • • A bachelor’s degree preferred in economics, business, finance, agricultural sciences, international development, research or related field. 

Please submit your application online including a cover letter and CV, addressing how you meet the requirements of this role.

Closing date: Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis.  

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