Nearly two years ago, we started the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) Center as a community that collaborates to create resources about the intersection of MERL and open source. We’re excited to announce that this content can now be accessed on our new website: https://merlcenter.org. Special thanks to our members, our fantastic web developer, Andrew Ross, and web designer, Kyle Meehan, for bringing this site to life!
On the website, users can filter content by MERL Technology workflow (e.g. Data Visualization) or by content type, like guides and case studies. Guides discuss major topics at the intersection of MERL and open source, such as the pros and cons of open data. Case studies offer specific examples of using open source solutions for MERL purposes, or MERL aspects of open source solutions. In the top navigation, users can find the MERL Center repository link and a brief history of the MERL Center on the About page. In the future, we’ll include a “project bank” for work that is ongoing and needs community support.
About the MERL Center
The MERL Center currently has over 40 members in five continents. Members collaborate on content that draws from their global professional experience in disciplines such as international development, public health, and education. In a previous post, we discussed the collaboration power of the MERL Center, which helps members of all technology capacities engage on GitHub and across professional silos.
In the words of our MERL Center members:
As an interdisciplinary and innovative community, the MERL Center is a guiding example of the type of work needed to realize the future of open source and social impact. It’s been incredible collaborating with - and learning alongside - experts and thought leaders in this space!”
~ Ben Kinsella
Being part of the MERL Center has been an enriching experience for me both professionally and personally. I have learned so much that aligns with my activism, while also being exposed to invaluable MERL trends, tools, and concepts. It’s amazing that the MERL Center brings together a diverse group of brilliant minds from around the world.”
~ Lihle Tshabalala
The MERL Center provides an opportunity for a diverse group of practitioners across the MERL spectrum to come together and share knowledge, resources, and perspectives. Being part of the MERL center has allowed me to learn from others and share my experiences. This is a great resource and I’m excited to see it continue to grow!”
~ Melissa Edmiston
It’s been great to collaborate with other M&E and open source professionals on content pieces and to learn more about their work. I’m looking forward to seeing how the MERL Center community continues to develop and grow!”
~ Stephanie Jamilla
The MERL Center provides a space for like minded folks to discuss topics often underrepresented in the nonprofit sector. Open source software and open data are key topics discussed and the center is bringing together rich content from many perspectives to help the sector learn more about what’s out there and how to get started.”
~ Andrew Pham
MERL allows us to collaborate with an international forum of practitioners working to improve human services delivery, through effective use of data. We appreciate MERL’s advocacy for open source software and open data. MERL fosters a forum for technologists to share knowledge and work together to build standards and best practices.”
~ Eric Jahn and Sonia Kim
If you’re interested in becoming a member, please fill out this form, and someone from the MERL Center will respond within a week!