MERL Tech DC 2019 has ended
Back To Schedule
Friday, September 6 • 10:00am - 11:00am
Building Bridges Between Data Scientists and Evaluators: A Review of Trends and Challenges in Recent MERL Tech Conferences

Log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

Feedback form is now closed.
While “Big data” is the everyday currency of data scientists, it often seems like a mystery box to many evaluators. The prospect of new data sources might be exciting, but it can be challenging to understand their place in evaluation. As digital technologies become more firmly fixed in everyday life, big data is increasingly leveraged for decision making and policy decisions but has been relatively little used in monitoring and evaluation.

This trend is shifting, however, and more M&E practitioners are increasingly exploring the use of big data - and many more are curious. This session will review these trends as well as frame a new vision for the future. Drawing on a review of recent MERL Tech conferences, the session will provide an overview of the ways in which the MERL Tech community has used big data in the past few years, and the ways in which data scientists and evaluators are starting to work together. The session will also turn toward promising new ways big data is being used to better evaluate tech and ICT4D programmes, identifying case studies which bring big data principles to life. It will also identify some of the gaps and promising areas that have not yet been explored. Special focus will be made to ethics, privacy and security. In order to responsibly use big data, evaluators must also consider the source of data, ways in which community members could be at risk if big data is used or big data sets are combined in which compromise at-risk populations.

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 →

Kecia Bertermann

Director, Learning and Impact, Luminate
Kecia Bertermann leads evaluation and learning at Luminate, part of the Omidyar Network. Kecia is a mixed-methods research and evaluator with a focus on the intersection of digital technologies and systems change. At Luminate, Kecia oversees the monitoring, evaluation and learning... Read More →
avatar for Alexandra Robinson

Alexandra Robinson

Director of Evidence, Learning, and Impact, Moonshot Global
Alexandra (Alex) Robinson, specializes in evaluation, learning, responsible data and technology ethics, with a particular focus on supporting strategies that leverage digital technology and open innovation to address complex development and human rights challenges. She has advised... Read More →

Friday September 6, 2019 10:00am - 11:00am EDT
Academy Hall B FHI 360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Ave, 8th Floor, Washington, DC