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Please RSVP Now for MERL Tech 2016 and Submit Your Session Ideas

By Wayan Vota on July 12, 2016


The use of technology for monitoring, evaluation research and learning (MERL) has become increasingly sophisticated and more openly accepted in the international development and humanitarian space. We find ourselves continually pushing forward and asking: What’s next? How can we advance our work? What is the role for new technologies in improving our practice?

Changes in all four areas of MERL are creating a greater need for hands-on training on new technologies as well as a thirst for discussion and new thinking about how the world and our work are changing.

  • How can technology support real-time monitoring and quicker feedback loops that inform and engage stakeholders at various levels in decision-making?
  • Which technologies might help to improve the quality internal and third-party evaluations?
  • Where is technology improving research, particularly qualitative indicators and lean research models that challenge current efforts?
  • What new technology supports comprehensive, organizational and cross-organizational learning, freed from individual, small-team or agency silos?
  • Who is leading the use of MERL tech in international development, or in comparable sectors that we can learn from?

Register Now for MERL Tech 2016

Please register now for MERL Tech 2016 to join 300 practitioners from across the development ecosystem at FHI 360 Academy Hall in Washington, DC for a two-day conference seeking to turn the theories of MERL technology into effective practice that delivers real insight and learning in our sector.

At this highly participatory, community-drive event, we’ll collectively look for answers to questions like:

  • How can we design for the full Data Lifecycle – planning, collection, storage, analysis, disposal – within limited operational budgets?
  • What Responsible Data approaches and policies can we adopt to ensure that we maintain high ethical standards and data security, while still being transparent and collaborative?
  • When and how can Big Data, Open Data, and Real-Time Data support program objectives and begin to predict outcomes in time to impact decision making? What are the risks in these approaches?
  • Where can Remote Monitoring and Remote Sensing improve our understanding of conflict or disaster zones where traditional in-person review is limited? When should we be cautious about these approaches?
  • How can Dashboards and GIS provide faster program analysis and quicker, more inclusive decision-making with all program constituents?

A Focus on Networking and Hands-On Workshops

Our action-packed agenda is designed to encourage a week-long focus on making connections with your peers and learning how to implement new solutions. All conference participants will receive each others contact details before the event starts, and then:

  • October 3 will focus on building interpersonal connections and networks between participants as they explore the tools and theories of MERL technology.
  • October 4 will focus on hands-on, practical workshops to learn how to move from MERL tech idea to action.

On both days we invite you to provoke our thinking with your ideas on where our sector should be headed. The two-day conference will be followed by a free open-bar reception and MERL demo session on the evening of October 4th for casual, yet informative networking.

Submit Your Session Idea Now

Please submit your session idea now – MERL Tech 2016 will be a community-driven conference. We are actively seeking practitioners in monitoring, evaluation, research, learning, and technology to facilitate every session. We particularly encourage:

  • Discussion sessions focused on best practices and established guides.
  • Workshop sessions with practical, hands-on exercises.
  • Session leads with field experience or from emerging economies.

Submission Deadline: Friday, August 12, 2016

We will be charging a modest fee to cover the cost of the event, and session leads will receive a generous discount. We also have a limited number of travel stipends for Global South participants.

MERL Tech Conference
Monday, October 3rd: 8:30-5:30pm
Tuesday, October 4th: 8:30-5:30pm
MERL Tech Reception
Tuesday, October 4th: 5:30-7:30pmFHI 360 Academy Hall
1825 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of his employer, any of its entities, or any ICTWorks sponsor.
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