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Thursday, September 5 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Harnessing Low-Cost, User-Friendly Google Resources for MERL

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Traditional tools to monitor programmatic activities and manage the resulting data can be expensive, complex and require extensive IT support. Pact Colombia and Seed Global Health have harnessed low-cost, user-friendly Google tools for collecting, collating, displaying, and managing data. This session will demonstrate how each organization is using Google tools for MERL. Presenters will display key features, share implementation, ethics and data privacy considerations, and facilitate a discussion on good practices and user-friendly tech solutions for MERL. Attendees will leave this session with a better understanding of how Google Sites, Forms, Sheets and Data Studio can be used to display, capture and showcase a variety of information, and how it can be integrated with their work.

Session format:
First part (20 minutes): Through the Pilares project (funded by USDOL), Pact has created a customized user friendly monitoring system using Google Sites that provides access to project information, key documents and forms for data collection. Project partners submit data through Google Forms and Google Sheets and use Google Drive to store updated files, reports, images and other information, thus capturing disaggregated data on project activities and their outputs and outcomes in real time. The system was so well received by project partners that it has been re-created for partner CSOs to use as well. This part of the session includes: 1) Quick overview of Pilares project; 2) Challenges and needs for data collection in the Project; 3) Short demonstration of the google site; 4) Best practices and lessons learned from implementing

Second Part (20 minutes): Seed Global Health harnessed the power of Google’s Data Studio, a free dashboarding and data visualization tool mostly used in the marketing and advertising fields, to create interactive and customizable data reports, showcase information, and form a repository of knowledge within the organization. Google Data Studio allows Seed to make programmatic data and information easily accessible to its stakeholders in a user-friendly way, which allows them to continuously interact with the data and use it to inform day-to-day program and organizational operations. This part of the session includes: 1) Quick overview of Seed Global Health; 2) Background information on challenges and needs for management of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning data and information in the organization; 3) Short demonstration of the Google Data Studio dashboard and its capabilities; 4) Best practices and lessons learned from creating and implementing this tool

Third Part (20 minutes) General considerations and Q&A - May include: Quick Presentation of child labor monitoring by civil society organizations that includes all the Google tools mentioned before; Possibly short video of staff/CSOs discussing their experience with the Google tools; Ethical and data considerations in both organizations; Security concerns; Additional open questions


Laura Cortés Obregón

M&E Officer, Pact
Laura Cortés Obregón - M&E Officer for Pilares project at Pact Colombia - is a public and private project design and evaluation specialist trained at University of Medellín. Laura has more than 7 years of experience in projects of international development focused in M&E in South... Read More →

Maria Lopez

Monitoring, Evaluation & Learning Specialist, Seed Global Health
Maria Lopez is the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Specialist at Seed Global Health, where she supports Seed’s MEL systems and practice across all countries of operation. For over five years, she has provided research, program evaluation and strategic planning support for organizations... Read More →

Thursday September 5, 2019 2:30pm - 3:30pm EDT
Academy Hall C FHI 360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Ave, 8th Floor, Washington, DC