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About the MERL Center

The monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) Center is a community creating resources about the intersection of MERL and open source, for people of any technology capacity.


The scope of the MERL Center

MERL Center members collaborate on GitHub repositories and Google Workspace to create case studies and guides to help (non-software developer) MERL practitioners understand if, how, and when to use open source solutions. More information on how MERL Center members collaborate can be found in this blog post. Case studies go in depth on specific examples of using open source solutions for MERL purposes, or MERL aspects of open source solutions. Guides discuss major topics at the intersection of MERL and open source, such as the pros and cons of open data.

To date, MERL Center content has been text and picture based. Future MERL Center content may include code (scripts, software), data, and mathematical models. Other topics in MERL, such as design and project management, may be added as focus areas.

About MERL Center members

The MERL Center is an interdisciplinary community of MERL practitioners, open source experts, software developers, project managers, and more. As of September 2021, there are 40+ MERL Center members living and working in five continents. Most MERL Center members are of underrepresented groups in the technology industry, such as women of color.

How to join

If you'd like to become a MERL Center member, please fill out this form. We ask that members have at least one year of professional experience in MERL or experience in open source software, content, or data.

Note that we are pausing onboarding for the holidays and will resume in mid-January 2022.

Brief history of the MERL Center

  • September 2019 - Founded by the GitHub Tech for Social Good team at the MERL Tech conference in Washington, DC
  • December 2019 - Grew to 20+ members in three continents
  • August 2020 - Welcomed its first cohort of stipend recipients
  • October 2020 - Presented the MERL Center concept to the American Evaluation Association (AEA) conference
  • February 2021 - Grew to 40+ members in five continents
  • September 2021 - Website launched
Join the MERL Center!

Please fill out this form if you'd like to participate in the MERL Center! We're always looking for new members.

Note that we are pausing onboarding for the holidays and will resume in mid-January 2022.

Fill out the form