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Thursday, September 5 • 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Integrating Big Data into the Evaluation of Complex Development Programs

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The session will illustrate ways in which big data and data analytics can strengthen the evaluation of complex programs. Previous MERL Tech sessions on complexity have usually presented a specific analytical technique but without a framework for defining complexity or an overall methodology for evaluating complex programs. The first session will introduce a framework to assess the level of complexity of a development program and a 5 step methodology for evaluating complex programs.

This will be followed by a presentation on the importance of systems analysis for the evaluation of complex programs, and the opportunities and challenges for introducing big data and data analytics into systems analysis. The session will focus on systems mapping, systems dynamics and social network analysis.

The third presentation will discuss how the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank is applying complexity concepts in its evaluations and the potential contribution of big data to strengthen complexity-responsive evaluations.

All panelists will illustrate their presentations with examples of widely used big data and data science technologies that are starting to be introduced into program evaluation (e.g. geospatial analysis and remote sensors, social network analysis, mobile apps and social media analysis - among others). Panelists will also draw lessons on the opportunities and challenges of using big data in program evaluation.

Participants will leave with a clearer understanding of: complexity, a user-friendly approach for evaluating complex programs, real-world examples of how big data techniques have been applied in complexity-responsive evaluations – and the accessibility of these approaches to development agencies. It is hoped the framework will stimulate further research and future MERL Tech sessions on the application of big data tools to complexity evaluation.

avatar for Michael Bamberger

Michael Bamberger

Independent Consultant, Independent Consultant
Michael Bamberger, jmichaelbamberger@gmail.com, Independent Evaluation Consultant. 40 years of experience conducting and teaching development evaluation in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East and Asia. Working for the past few years on the opportunities and challenges for integrating... Read More →

Danielle de Garcia

Senior Director and Division Head, Social Impact
Dani de García is the Senior Director and Division Head for the Strategy, Performance, and Learning division at Social Impact. She leads SI’s technical team that provides services in monitoring, performance evaluation, learning, organizational development, and strategic planning... Read More →

Jos Vaessen

Advisor, Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank
Jos Vaessen joined the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank in 2016 as adviser on evaluation methods. Since 1998 he has been involved in evaluation research activities, first as an academic and consultant to bilateral and multilateral development organizations and from 2001... Read More →

Thursday September 5, 2019 2:30pm - 3:30pm EDT
Vista FHI 360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Ave, 8th Floor, Washington, DC
  Data, 1 Hour Break Out
  • session type Panel