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Senior Adviser for Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL), Abt Britain

Dr. Fiona Mactaggart is a monitoring and evaluation and public health specialist with 10 years of experience assessing health programs. As a senior member of Abt's monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning (MERL) practice, she contributes to program design and implementation in four key areas: research (e.g., survey design), evaluation methodologies (e.g., contribution analysis), learning systems (e.g., peer-reviewed publications), and cross-cutting MERL capabilities (e.g. adaptive management). She also manages more than a dozen MERL experts in the Head Office and on in-country MERL technical teams. Mactaggart has worked extensively in the Pacific and Southeast Asia.

Mactaggart serves as a senior technical advisor and MERL quality assurer on several projects. They include the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office-funded Portfolio Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning platform in Nepal and several M&E-focused projects that respond to climate adaptation and mitigation goals. In Nepal, she advised the Department for International Development on an evaluation methodology to assess their 16-year health investment in Nepal. In Brazil, Mactaggart provided training on core M&E concepts to Ministry of Health professionals. She supports project teams with developing and testing theories of change and designing MEL systems in complex settings. Mactaggart contributes her research expertise to programme teams during the design, implementation, and analysis phase and during preparation of peer-reviewed journal articles.

Before assuming her current role in January 2019, she was the monitoring and evaluation manager of Abt Britain’s primary healthcare programs in Papua New Guinea. She oversaw the collection, analysis, and dissemination of health information to the community, clients, and government. Before coming to Abt, she served as senior project coordinator for the Improving Regional Health project at Wesley Medical Research. She served as a research consultant for Options Consultancy Services Ltd. in London, focusing on public health projects and for the School of Population Health at the University of Queensland. Her peer-reviewed publications have been cited over 30 times.


  • Monitoring
  • Evaluation
  • Research
  • Learning
  • Public health
  • Primary healthcare

Key Projects:

  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Operational Research programme in Nepal
  • Better Health programme in Brazil
  • Portfolio Monitoring Evaluation and Learning platform in Nepal
  • Good Governance Fund in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, and Armenia

Selected Publications:

  • Field E., Vila M., Runk L., Mactaggart F., Rosewell A., Nathan S. ‘Lessons for health program monitoring and evaluation in a low resource setting’. Rural and Remote Health. 2018 
  • Mactaggart F., McDermott L., Tynan A., and Gericke C. ‘Exploring the determinants of health and wellbeing in communities living in proximity to coal seam gas developments in regional Queensland.’ BMC Public Health. 18:51 2017
  • Mactaggart F., McDermott L., Tynan A., and Gericke C. ‘A systematic review of the health and wellbeing outcomes in mining communities of high income countries’. The Australian Journal of Rural Health 24: 4 p230-237 2016
  • Mactaggart F, Tynan A, McDermott L, Whittaker, M. ‘Exploring the health and wellbeing outcome associated with mining activity in low and middle income countries’ Global Public Health 17: 1-15 2016
Dr. Fiona Mactaggart