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Friday, September 6 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm
The Role of Tech in the Organizational Journey to Better Data Management and Use

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Many international NGOs are trying to become data-driven and increasingly see technology as the solution to bridging the disconnect between strategy, program delivery, and impact. But what is the actual role of technology in what is a multi-faceted journey of organizational change?

In this session, we will explore how two international NGOs, Orbis International and Oxfam GB, have used technology to support and even spur broader MERL changes in their organizations. We will discuss the human and institutional realities that limit possibilities and provide opportunities--and that invariably make such endeavors challenging, turbulent, and prone to failure. We will also examine the contrasting approaches taken by these NGOs to solve similar organization-wide problems at the nexus of technology, data, and MERL. In addition, we will draw upon the experience of Salesforce.org to distill some best practices in organizational data management.

Orbis International is an international blindness prevention NGO with a flying eye hospital and 40+ long-term projects, with hospital partners in 18 countries. Over the last two years, Orbis partnered with Synergy International Systems, the provider of the Indicata M&E platform, to develop its global M&E system. We will present: (1) our experience of leveraging the implementation of Indicata to change widespread organizational habits and dysfunctions and to improve core organizational processes around MERL; (2) how, after the system went live, we charged M&E managers with correlating outputs with outcomes to demonstrate global impact, (3) the current state of our digitally enabled approach to impact measurement.

Oxfam GB, a humanitarian, development and campaigning organization operating in over 80 countries, will present the learning from the Your Word Counts feedback and accountability project. This is a multi-country innovation project that uses SurveyCTO for mobile case management, our DataHub for data management, and PowerBI for analysis--all with a focus on collecting, managing, and responding to feedback from communities. A brief overview of the project will give participants a flavor of the combination of technology versus methodology. A core component of this project has been to look beyond technology to bigger issues of innovation, organizational culture, responsible data, and privacy by design. From one country in 2016 to ten at present, and with a plan and a budget to scale globally, we will share how we are doing and the challenges we still need to overcome.

This session will also include a breakout into small groups so that participants can share experiences and exchange perspectives. Participants will come away with a nuanced understanding of how they can leverage technology initiatives to bring about deeper MERL changes in their organizations.

avatar for Richard Tighe

Richard Tighe

Global Advisor - ICT in Programmes, Oxfam GB
Ric Tighe works as a Global Advisor within Oxfam GB’s ICT in Programmes team. He leads on Oxfam’s use of digital beneficiary registrations and distribution tracking in humanitarian programmes (including e-vouchers & cash distributions) and is involved with a number of Digital... Read More →

Arlene Lozano

Director of Monitoring & Evaluation, Orbis International
Arlene Lozano has over 15 years of experience in program management and operations for domestic and international organizations. She has cross-sectoral experience in performance improvement, process redesign, project management, coaching, capacity building, research, monitoring and... Read More →
avatar for Arshak Hovanesian

Arshak Hovanesian

Director of Business Development, Synergy International Systems
Arshak Hovanesian is a Director of Business Development at Synergy International Systems, a global software company and the provider of the Indicata monitoring and evaluation platform. Throughout his decade-long career at Synergy, he has been the architect of numerous strategic deals... Read More →
avatar for Eric Barela

Eric Barela

Director, Measurement & Evaluation, Salesforce.org
Eric Barela is currently the Measurement & Evaluation Senior Manager with Salesforce.org, where he leads efforts to evaluate the impact of its global philanthropic efforts.  Prior to joining Salesforce.org, Eric was the Chief Knowledge & Impact Officer at Partners in School Innovation... Read More →

Friday September 6, 2019 2:00pm - 4:00pm EDT
Academy Hall A FHI 360 Conference Center, 1825 Connecticut Ave, 8th Floor, Washington, DC