Adapting M&E Tools for Crisis and Conflict Settings: Webcast on the Rapid Feedback Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Approach for USAID Programs
The USAID Education in Crisis and Conflict Network (ECCN) hosted a webcast on Tuesday, July 25, on Adapting M&E Tools for Crisis and Conflict using the Rapid Feedback Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (RF MERL) approach for USAID Programs.
Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) in crisis and conflict settings can be particularly challenging—from rapidly changing contexts to difficulties in obtaining reliable data to capacity limitations. This webcast will provide an opportunity to preview and discuss a particularly well-suited approach to M&E for such contexts. The RF MERL, funded by the USAID Global Development Lab, relies on ground realities and rapid feedback cycles to test the feasibility and success of local interventions and provide timely feedback. RF MERL strikes a balance between rigor and feasibility to design, implement, and test intervention options with the flexibility necessary to change directions based on new information—a critical concern in crisis and conflict settings. Case studies of education programs in challenging contexts were featured.
Danice Brown brings 10 years of experience in Monitoring and Evaluation and international project management. She has expertise in education and vulnerable children, Monitoring and Evaluation, WASH, and nutrition and agriculture. She is an expert in quantitative evaluation methods such as randomized control trials and quasi-experimental design such as regression discontinuity, difference in difference, instrumental variables, geo-spatial impact evaluation, and propensity score matching. She provides expertise in data collection using mobile devices, including survey programming, training of enumerators, quality control, data cleaning and analysis. Her research focuses on food security and complex network analysis. She also brings on-the-ground experience in project management for the Peace Corps in Morocco, Refugee Family Services in Atlanta, and the UN Relief and Works Agency in Jordan. Danice has an MPP from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.
Arif Mamun, PhD
Arif Mamun (PhD, Economics, University of Washington), a senior researcher and an associate director of international research at Mathematica, is leading the Mathematica team for the Rapid Feedback MERL consortium. Dr. Mamun has considerable experience in conducting and directing impact and performance evaluations, using quantitative and qualitative data across a broad range of areas, funded by USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and other agencies. He has served in leadership roles for research in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine, and the United States.
Melissa Chiappetta, a performance-management and evaluation expert, specializes in evaluations of education and agriculture, food security, and nutrition projects in developing countries. Chiappetta leads Abt’s Center for International Evaluation, which coordinates our state-of-the-art research, monitoring, and evaluation capabilities across a range of technical sectors, from international health and economic growth to social and economic policy, environment and natural resources, and U.S. health. Prior to joining Abt, Chiappetta served as Impact Evaluation Program Director at Social Impact, an organization aimed at making international development more effective. She also has been a senior technical advisor and a research manager for USAID and U.S. Department of Agriculture performance and impact evaluations. She has served as a technical team member or manager for more than 30 performance and impact evaluations. Chiappetta also is an experienced performance management and evaluation trainer, having trained hundreds of staff from USAID, the U.S. Department of State, and multiple private and nonprofit organizations. Chiappetta earned a master’s degree with a concentration in international development from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Sophia van der Bijl
Sophia van der Bijl is a senior impact assessment advisor in the USAID Global Development Lab’s Office of Evaluation and Impact Assessment, where she coordinates evaluation planning for the Lab’s programs and manages several mechanisms under MERLIN (Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Innovations). She has more than 18 years of experience in M&E. Prior to joining the Lab, she worked in USAID’s Bureau for Food Security, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and Chemonics International.
Molly Jamieson Eberhardt
Molly Jamieson Eberhardt leads the portfolio of work at the intersection of Evaluation and Adaptive Learning and Education practices. This includes working with programs to embed rigorous monitoring and evaluation methods into their program design and implementation efforts to facilitate data-driven decision making. Molly works with implementing partners to develop research plans and facilitates processes to translate the findings into improved program design and impact. Molly has also managed the external evaluations of education programs for their funders, including an evaluation of a chain of low-cost private schools in Ghana and an evaluation of citizen-led learning assessments carried out in seven countries by five civil society organizations using household surveys to measure learning and influence policy. Molly leads the design and execution of such evaluations with a focus on qualitative data collection (such as key-informant interviews, focus groups, and direct observation) together with rigorous analysis of existing program data (including comparative cost-effectiveness analysis, mapping of growth patterns, and testing the technical appropriateness and quality of program tools). Prior to joining R4D, Molly worked at the Rockefeller Foundation supporting its Global Health and Social & Economic Security initiatives. She then became a Teach for America corps member and spent three years teaching secondary mathematics in the School District of Philadelphia and KIPP Charter Schools in Washington, DC. Molly holds a bachelor's degree from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and studied education policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education.
For more on this event