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Moving The MERL Center to its New Home

Sidney Espinosa image

Sidney Espinosa @sidespinosa

Head of Social Impact, GitHub
Bonnie Wolfe image

Bonnie Wolfe @bonniewolfe

Open Source Community Manager, GitHub Social Impact

April 27, 2023 // DevelopersPartnerships

Published on: April 27, 2023

The MERL Center is moving to its new home at Civic Tech Structure on May 1, 2023!

Since launching in September 2019, The MERL Center has grown to 70+ members in 15+ countries. The monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) Center is a community creating resources about the intersection of MERL and open source, data science and human-centered design, for people of any technology capacity. Members have presented at multiple conferences, participated in the beta launch of the WhatsApp Communities program, have filled critical knowledge gaps through its content creation, and include two cohorts of stipend recipients. The networking, professional development, and GitHub skills development gained from The MERL Center are benefits members regularly cite as valuable.

Why Move?

The new home of The MERL Center, Civic Tech Structure, was founded by our current MERL Center Community Manager, Bonnie Wolfe. Civic Tech Structure has a substantial open source community that has contributed to 34 open source civic tech projects in the past five years. Working under the same organization, this community will help MERL Center members advance their technical knowledge of using, producing, and releasing open source software. The move will also consolidate similar community building efforts into one organization, and give MERL Center members more opportunities to grow and network.

What to Expect?

  • There are no plans to change The MERL Center’s website,
  • All MERL Center activities will move under the supervision of Civic Tech Structure after May 1, 2023
  • New member onboarding will resume in May


  • April 27 onward: MERL Center Members are invited to ask questions or submit feedback about the details of the move via our #merl-center-all Slack channel or by emailing
  • May 1, 2023: MERL Center officially moves to Civic Tech Structure
  • May 3, 2023: MERL Center members are invited to the Monthly recap meeting
  • May 15, 2023: MERL Center new member onboarding reopens under Civic Tech Structure

GitHub’s Involvement Going Forward

While we will not run the day-to-day operations, GitHub Social Impact will continue to support The MERL Center as a strategic partner, and as individual members of the community. We look forward to future collaborations! Starting May 1, 2023, all questions and feedback regarding The MERL Center should be directed to Civic Tech Structure.

GitHub acknowledges the many people who contributed to the success of the MERL Center at GitHub, from Mala Kumar, who started the program, to the contractors and volunteer members who contributed to the growth of the community. Thank you!

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