Today as we jump into the M&E Tech conference in DC (we’ll also have a Deep Dive on the same topic in NYC next week), I’m excited to share a report I’ve been working on for the past year or so with Michael Bamberger: Emerging Opportunities in a Tech-Enabled World.
The past few years have seen dramatic advances in the use of hand-held devices (phones and tablets) for program monitoring and for survey data collection. Progress has been slower with respect to the application of ICT-enabled devices for program evaluation, but this is clearly the next frontier.
In the paper, we review how ICT-enabled technologies are already being applied in program monitoring and in survey research. We also review areas where ICTs are starting to be applied in program evaluation and identify new areas in which new technologies can potentially be applied. The technologies discussed include hand-held devices for quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, data quality control, GPS and mapping devices, environmental monitoring, satellite imaging and big data.
While the technological advances and the rapidly falling costs of data collection and analysis are opening up exciting new opportunities for monitoring and evaluation, the paper also cautions that more attention should be paid to basic quality control questions that evaluators normally ask about representativity of data and selection bias, data quality and construct validity. The ability to use techniques such as crowd sourcing to generate information and feedback from tens of thousands of respondents has so fascinated researchers that concerns about the representativity or quality of the responses have received less attention than is the case with conventional instruments for data collection and analysis.
Some of the challenges include the potential for: selectivity bias and sample design, M&E processes being driven by the requirements of the technology and over-reliance on simple quantitative data, as well as low institutional capacity to introduce ICT and resistance to change, and issues of privacy.
None of this is intended to discourage the introduction of these technologies, as the authors fully recognize their huge potential. One of the most exciting areas concerns the promotion of a more equitable society through simple and cost-effective monitoring and evaluation systems that give voice to previously excluded sectors of the target populations; and that offer opportunities for promoting gender equality in access to information. The application of these technologies however needs to be on a sound methodological footing.
The last section of the paper offers some tips and ideas on how to integrate ICTs into M&E practice and potential pitfalls to avoid. Many of these were drawn from Salons and discussions with practitioners, given that there is little solid documentation or evidence related to the use of ICTs for M&E.
Download the full paper here!
Posted in accountability, development, evaluation, governance, ICT4D, ICTs, innovation, m4D, monitoring and evaluation, privacy, protection, technology | Tagged emerging opportunities, enabled, evaluation, ICT, monitoring, monitoring and evaluation, report, rockefeller, technology | Leave a Comment »
Photo from Wikipedia.
As I’ve written before, I moved from El Salvador to Rhode Island in 2001 with my 2 kids. Their father is Salvadoran and they look an awful lot like him.
A few years after we moved, when my daughter Clare was about 7 years old, one of the checkout ladies at the supermarket we frequented said to me, “Your daughter is such a nice child. She’s always so helpful. Where did you get her?”
“Um,” I answered, a little confused, “…I gave birth to her?”
“Ooooohhhhhh! OK,” the lady said. “I thought you had adopted her from somewhere.”
I was annoyed with the lady, at first, for the assumptions she was making. I let it go, however, realizing that it didn’t really matter whether I had adopted my daughter or not. I would love her the same, regardless.
People often ask these kinds of questions without meaning any harm. They say things like “Oh, she’s your daughter? She doesn’t look like you. What is she?”
This question always stumps me. “What is she?” I know that people are asking about her ethnicity, but I find the phrasing odd. So I usually feign confusion or make a dumb joke like “Um, what is she? She’s…. a human?”
Clare is 17 now and she’s been getting into slam poetry. Here is her take on it.
An open letter to the woman at the grocery store that asked my mom “where she got me.”
Sitting on the shelf next to the Autocrat Coffee Syrup and the Del’s Lemonade.
I have made my place here.
I do not belong in the exotic fruits section. The Latin foods section.
It is not for you to decide where I call home.
The sticker on my forehead labeling me “IMPORTED” should not be the only thing you see about me.
I am also organic, fair trade original.
I am my own woman. Not a further perpetuation of the idea that the only way to have such an exotic being is to have taken it. As if to fill a space in your collection.
AND HERE WE HAVE CLARE RAMIREZ RAFTREE. ALL THE WAY FROM EL SALVADOR.
To those who ask, “What are you?”
I am anything I want to be.
(Published with Clare’s permission)
Posted in activism, communication for development, gender, girls, migration, politics, random, musing or confusing, youth, youth media | Tagged belonging, El Salvador, migration, Rhode Island | 2 Comments »
I spent last week in Berlin at the Open Knowledge Festival – a great place to talk ‘open’ everything and catch up on what is happening in this burgeoning area that crosses through the fields of data, science, education, art, transparency and accountability, governance, development, technology and more.
One session was on Power, politics, inclusion and voice, and it encouraged participants to dig deeper into those 4 aspects of open data and open knowledge. The organizers kicked things off by asking us to get into small groups and talk about power. Our group was assigned the topic of “feeling powerless” and we shared personal experiences of when we had felt powerless. There were several women in my group, many of whom, unsurprisingly, recounted experiences that felt gendered.
The concept of ‘mansplaining‘ came up. Mansplaining (according to Wikipedia) is a term that describes when a man speaks to a woman with the assumption that she knows less than he does about the topic being discussed because she is female. ‘Mansplaining is different from other forms of condescension because mansplaining is rooted in the assumption that, in general, a man is likely to be more knowledgeable than a woman.’
From there, we got into the tokenism we’d seen in development programs that say they want ‘participation’ but really don’t care to include the viewpoints of the participants. One member of our group talked about the feelings of powerlessness development workers create when they are dismissive of indigenous knowledge and assume they know more than the poor in general. “Like when they go out and explain climate change to people who have been farming their entire lives,” she said.
A lightbulb went off. It’s the same attitude as ‘mansplaining,’ but seen in development workers. It’s #devsplaining.
So I made a hashtag (of course) and tried to come up with a definition.
Devsplaining – when a development worker, academic, or someone who generally has more power within the ‘development industry’ speaks condescendingly to someone with less power. The devsplainer assumes that he/she knows more and has more right to an opinion because of his/her position and power within the industry. Devsplaining is rooted in the assumption that, in general, development workers are likely to be more knowledgeable about the lives and situations of the people who participate in their programs/research than the people themselves are.
What do people think? Any good examples?
Posted in data, development, gender, governance, open data, open development, open knowledge, participation, politics, random, musing or confusing, Re:Hum, smart aid, wait... what? | Tagged #mansplain, #mansplaining, development, devsplain, devsplaining, politics, power, respect, tokenism | 5 Comments »