Recently, articles have been posted to news sites in the development industry with headlines that read something along the lines of, “Well, Our Initiative Failed.” Conversely, other articles in the space speak to fears associated with the budget cuts that would come if donors knew a past initiative did not accomplish the desired outcome.
Trial and error are part of any learning process and should be embraced by the development industry, yet it seems that development assistance professionals live in a culture where even minor failures are seen as taboo. A mindset such as this can lead to drainage of precious resources, which is unfortunate when data-driven decision making is so accessible due to advances in technology that have driven high mobile penetration rates in developing countries.
A focus on regular monitoring, evaluation, and program improvement initiatives are essential to organizations striving for success. In this post, we will explore why, and how, to manage risk in development assistance projects in order to help your organization create sustainable change across the globe.
Monitoring and Evaluation, A Tool
Monitoring and evaluation have become part of all development assistance projects, yet there are still organizations missing key opportunities for performance management. Data collected for MEL provides organizations with information necessary for risk assessment, decision support, resource management, project development, and quality assurance for continuous improvement throughout each of the project stages. Program evaluation of this nature is essential to determine if key performance indicators are in positive zones during the length of the project.
If MEL are being done effectively over the life of a program, then the lessons learned need to be quickly incorporated into the program’s interventions to make the program itself more effective. Not utilizing data to fuel worthwhile program interventions is a missed opportunity for organizations and the people that the organizations seek to assist.
Also important to note is the impact that timely data collection can have on the program improvement process. In the time between data collection, data analysis, and planning of next steps, the situation on-the-ground in the country of interest may have developed further than the study shows. Accurate and timely data collection and reporting is imperative for donors, NGOs, and governments to assess their effectiveness and communicate their success.
GeoPoll’s remote mobile survey methodology allows organizations to collect on-the-ground data from granular target populations without the need for on-site survey enumerators, it is truly remote monitoring and management made easy. GeoPoll’s robust surveying platform and large respondent database provide actionable data that measures project process, demonstrates community attitudes and perceptions over time, and allows organizations to more effectively track the outcomes of project interventions. GeoPoll has multiple survey mode offerings that allow us to reach respondents across all SECs. For fast, cost-effective data within days, contact us today!