Welcome to MERL Tech

MERL Tech is a platform and space for discussion, learning, and sharing experiences and challenges with the use of technologies for Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (MERL) in the social impact, humanitarian, and international development fields.

Through MERL Tech, we aim to strengthen understanding of the value, impact, and risks of digital technology in MERL and to support learning and discussion on new approaches and tools for MERL work. We’re also interested in strengthening the evidence  base and learning around technology used in MERL and technology in development.

Areas of interest include:

  • how digital technologies and digital data are being used in MERL
  • how new approaches and ways of thinking are changing MERL and what this means for how development and social impact work happen
  • how participation and voice can be enhanced through digital technologies
  • impact and measurement of digital development and humanitarian programs
  • how digitized processes of data collection, use, and sharing can increase risk and ways to manage data more responsibly throughout the data lifecycle

We focus holistically on the intersection of MERL and Tech, with consideration for five key areas that require attention when it comes to capacity to include digital technology in MERL: organizational, methodological, technological, operational, and ethical.

We strive to be a dynamic and inclusive space where researchers, evaluators, development practitioners, HQ and management, humanitarian aid workers, technology developers, data analysts/scientists, funders, and others involved in this emerging field can come together for multidisciplinary conversations, learning and collaboration.

MERL Tech was started by Linda Raftree and Wayan Vota in 2014 with the M&E Tech Conference and Deep Dive, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, the GSMA and FHI360.

MERL Tech conferences are held annually in Washington DC and periodically in other cities. In the past, we’ve hosted MERL Tech in London and Johannesburg.

Sign up for MERL Tech news or follow us on Twitter (@MERLTech) to share information and to learn about opportunities, resources, events and experiences.

For more information, contact Linda Raftree.