This Week: A Fresh Look at ICT4M&E and Casting a Spotlight on Project Pulse

Last week’s M&E Tech Conference and this week’s M&E Tech Deeper Dive provided a much needed platform for discussing the ever changing arena of M&E Tech. Attendees took to Twitter to share gold nuggets from the #mandetech conference such as Susan Stout’s comment that “M&E is an extractive industry. Useless until it informs PFM and empowers local decision makers.”

At the same time, Linda Raftree released a pertinent report on “Emerging Opportunities: Monitoring and Evaluation in a Tech-Enabled World.” The report discusses the myriad of challenges that ICT for M&E faces, current trends, current trends that shouldn’t be trends, and others that should become trends. It ends with a 12 step checklist for considering using ICTs in M&E.

A common understanding among the growing ICT for M&E community is the need for up to date data to make the types of decision based analysis necessary. Plus, there is growing consensus for M&E data, which has usually been kept internal in reports and pdfs, to be available to a broad public, as mentioned in the TechChange post “What the Data Revolution Means for Global Development and M&E.”

But simply using an ICT is not the goal, and even ICT focused organizations, such as SIMLab are steering towards the path of learning the impact of tech and when and how it should be implemented. It’s time to do a little M&E on how we do M&E.

Kiwanja similarly discussed how we need to re-consider how we do ICT4D. He states that trends towards “designing with the user” still fall short. Rather, “Allow the user to design” should be the mantra-providing tools that the user can then transform on their own to use.

The more I thought about this, the more I see the need and desire for just this sort of thing. Tools that enable users to create, construct and contribute are essential, and providing them will do more to empower users to innovate.

Introducing Project Pulse

Today marks the beginning of Project Pulse, a new feature on that allows anyone to weigh in on how development projects are performing in areas of interest to them.  We will feature one project a week in the series, Project in Focus, over the course of the next six months.  You can join or follow this real-time discussion by uploading photos, videos, field reports, project documents, or commentary on individual project pages, adding insights to one of the world’s largest knowledge-sharing sources of data on development resource flows.  Check out the first Project in Focus: KALAHI-CIDSS This World Bank project in the Philippines aims to strengthen local government participation and develop communities' capacity to design, implement, and manage development activities that reduce poverty. 

Weekly updates are written by Taryn Davis of Development Gateway; email her your tips for next week's update to get a shout-out in the post. Katie Paulson-Smith is the Special Assistant to AidData’s Co-Executive Director based at the College of William & Mary.

Tags: This WeekICTDevelopmentusersproject pulseprofilePhilippinesM&Etools