Finding a new host organisation for the Minimum Economic Recovery Standards (MERS)


The Minimum Economic Recovery Standards, or MERS, were first drafted in 2007 with financing from USAID and facilitated through The SEEP Network and its partner relationships working across both the humanitarian and development sectors. The MERS seek to improve the uptake and use of quality market-based programming (MBP) and market systems development (MSD) concepts across the crisis lifecycle by outlining key standards in programming in the MERS Handbook. The MERS are cross-sectoral in their application and offer the potential to bridge the language and programming divide between humanitarian and development actors. 

The Standards were developed through the joint efforts of more than 90 agencies and over 175 practitioners and are overseen by the MERS Advisory Committee (AC). To date, the MERS have undergone three iterations to maintain their relevance with changing contexts, priorities, and programming approaches. 

After the unfortunate collapse of The SEEP Network in late 2021, the MERS and Market in Crisis (MiC) advisory committee (AC) members took decisive action to safeguard these critical resources. Their primary goal was to ensure both continued public access to the MERS and future management of these vital standards. Throughout 2023 the MERS AC has also been promoting its regional use to a wide range of stakeholders. However, the AC recognized that the sustainability of the MERS is contingent upon a consistent host and ongoing funding to support the continuity and better uptake of MERS in future. Consequently, the MERS AC is excited to announce the launch of the process to select a long-term home for the MERS and hope to have an institution selected by August 2023.

Role and Expectations of the Hosting Organisation

We, the MERS AC, invite organizations to join us in taking accountability and ownership for the MERS by submitting their Expression of Interest (EoIs). We are  anticipated responsibilities of the MERS host organisation are as follows:

  • Maintain the MERS handbook and relevant resources and ensure their accessibility. 
  • Have a clear vision to mainstream the adoption of MERS across different sectors/programming and promote learning, reflection, and best-practices around MERS to increase its uptake.
  • Facilitate working groups, learning products, and knowledge sharing events related to MERS.
  • Support the update of MERS, if needed, and the creation of practical indicators based on the MERS framework. 
  • Provide a sustainable funding strategy to cover management and activity costs related to MERS.

The host organisation is also expected to establish a way of working with the MERS facilitator and the AC to ensure the co-creation of the “Future of MERS” strategy which will include: 1) the requirements and opportunities for the future of the MERS; 2) Governance model and funding strategy to deliver the MERS strategy; and 3) Online outreach/marketing strategy for MERS. 

Eligibility and Qualifications 

There is no fixed institutional structure requirement, but the host entity should be formal enough to receive institutional funding and have enough stability to provide a secure home for MERS. The entity does not already need to be an expert in MERS, but it does need to be able to show an ability to drive a learning agenda with a diverse audience and be willing to collaborate with entities/individuals with the technical understanding to support any evolution of the MERS. 

The host institution is expected to have: 

  • Have a vision that aligns with the evolving objectives of the MERS, particularly aligning with the forthcoming “Future of MERS” strategy, with a focus on areas such as innovation and localisation
  • Have previous experience in learning and knowledge management, capacity building, and the technical capacity to foster the uptake of the MERS and deliver its learning agenda. 
  • Have the necessary human and technical capacities to manage the MERS related activities. 
  • Have the ability to fundraise and/or articulate a sustainable funding model that will maintain a certain investment and cover funding shortfalls.
  • Have a robust communication network that fosters engagement and accessibility of diverse stakeholders such as local and international NGOs,  donors and clusters.

Submission Process 

Interested entities are expected to submit EoI by June 23th, 2023 to Maha Elhayek, who is managing the due diligence process as an independent consultant for the MERS AC, at The EoI should not exceed 3 pages and should outline the following:

  • Entity profile including:
    • Name of Entity and Official Address.
    • Type of Registration
    • Location of Registration and any Other Offices
    • Main Contact Point and Info. 
    • Website and other Social Media Links
    • Brief description of the entity’s areas of expertise and work and geographic coverage. 
  • Explanation of why the entity is interested in this opportunity including:
    • Description of any previous relevant experience and capacities they have to fulfil the role of MERS host organisation.
    • Explanation of their view of the Future of the MERS, including how they envision their role within it.
    • A work plan on how to achieve the requirements of this opportunity and how they plan to collaborate with the MERS AC. 

Interested entities can also add  supporting materials /evidence to support their EoI. 

If you have any inquiries regarding this opportunity, please feel free to reach out to Katie Whitehouse at Please make sure to include the subject line "MERS HOST EOI QUESTION" in your email and submit it no later than June 21th, 2023.