On Thursday, April 28th 2016 at 10:00AM EST Gwendolyn Bevis & Micah Frumkin of Management Systems International, hosted a discussion on Improving Data Rigor, What Still Needs to be Done? (link is external)
Management Systems International, a Tetra Tech company, has an a extensive practice in monitoring and evaluation, providing on-going M&E support to a number of USAID missions, and short term technical assistance, training and evaluation services to USAID, the Department of State and others. Since at least 2009, MSI has worked with increasingly deliberate attention on the monitoring and evaluation of democracy and human rights projects in highly restricted environments — situations in which states deliberately and significantly limit citizens’ rights. Almost all projects in this context include substantial digital components. These can add to the complexity of monitoring and evaluation challenges in so far as they place project beneficiaries at a further remove from implementers than more traditional in-person training activities and the like. While simple solutions to the need to obtain data in such environments without doing harm remain elusive, Gwen Bevis and Micah Frumkin of MSI will share some of the lessons learned from their experiences, and facilitate a discussion that seeks to advance practices addressing the challenges.
The focus will be how M&E specialists and project managers can maintain an emphasis on data quality while also seeking to minimize risk to all those involved in the M&E process. They will outline similarities and differences in M&E challenges to the use of digital platforms for online training, news dissemination, and social networking, and present examples of best practices in such areas as protecting anonymity, getting access to users, obtaining user data, and tracking project results.
About the Speakers:
Gwendolyn Bevis is a political scientist trained in comparative politics and research methods, with 30 years of experience in democracy, human rights and governance (DRG) programs, and regional expertise in the Middle East and South and Southeast Asia. She specializes in restrictive and conflict environments, with a focus on civil society, inclusion, violent extremism, and the use of digital platforms in such settings. She regularly conducts evaluations of DRG-related interventions, designs results frameworks and performance monitoring systems, provides M&E training, and supervises research for USAID and Department of State programs and partners working in these environments. Dr. Bevis holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s with distinction in development studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London.
Micah Frumkin is a performance monitoring and evaluation specialist with nearly 10 years of experience in the field of international development. He specializes in the development of monitoring systems to gauge the effectiveness of interventions at achieving results, with a focus on building the capacity of implementing partners to collect, analyze, and use data in restrictive environments. He regularly conducts workshops on logic model design, M&E planning, and data utilization, and is currently on contract with USAID as a Performance Monitoring Specialist in the Office of Learning, Evaluation, and Research. Mr. Frumkin has an MS in Sustainability Management from American University and both a BA and BS from the University of Oregon.