Agenda

MERL Tech will gather 300 thought leaders and decision makers who are using technology to increase monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning impact in development over two days at FHI 360 Academy Hall in Washington, DC .

The PDF version of this agenda.

Jump to Tuesday, October 4th

Monday, October 3rd

8:30-9am: Registration

  • Light Breakfast and Registration
    Wake up, grab coffee and treats, and find your friends and your seat before the event begins

9-10am: Opening Keynote

  • How Can We Increase Innovation in MERL Tech? Sara Farley, The Global Knowledge Initiative
    Innovating on the technologies that support MERL is necessary but insufficient in our quest to improve the standard practice today. Underpinning next generation MERL are a host of unaddressed issues that demand reckoning if we’re to seize the full potential of M&E fused with research and learning. Questions we’ll explore at the opening of the conference:

    • How much do we understand and therefore influence decision making with the MERL systems we’ve designed to date?
    • When it comes to systems and complexity, how sufficient is our MERL practice?
    • How fit for purpose are our MERL tools and our thinking within dynamic systems?
    • What examples of successful innovations in MERL offer promise?

10-10:30am: Inspiring Lightning Talks

  • How to Learn and Teach with Mobile Surveys: Laura Scanlon, Girl Effect
    Strangers arriving at doorsteps, demanding intimate information from adolescent girls is an intimidating research approach that rarely allows girls to feel comfortable revealing the real truth. There is a better way: girls living in poverty, empowered with technology designed for them, can become qualified researchers gaining more authentic and faster research than the professionals.
  • How Feasible is SMS for Large Scale Surveys? Pamela Riley, Abt Associates
    SMS is a promising channel for data collection – it is relatively inexpensive, easily automated, and can be less intrusive than face-to-face interviews. But there are open questions about using SMS: What is an optimum number of questions to ask? Does timing matter? How do financial incentives impact response rate? Thanks to a large experiment in Kenya, now we know!
  • Designing In-app Monitoring Through Pop-up Surveys Nicki Ashcroft, Institute for Reproductive Health
    Designing an app for paying customers requires specific approaches for everything from user experience to back-end data analysis. How does the approach differ when you are working with dedicated research participants in an efficacy trial?
  • How We Can Leverage Citizen-Generated Data: Alex Sardar, CIVICUS
    The development community has 7.1 billion problems, and number one among them is inclusion. To have a meaningful outcome to the SDGs, we are in need of radical doers and thinkers. Fortunately, we also have 7.1 billion solutions. Data directly generated by the world’s citizens can accelerate participation and inclusion and create the needed political imperative.
  • Big Data: Moving Beyond Teenage Sex: Kerry Bruce, Social Impact
    Last year we heard from Ben Ramalingam that Big Data is like teenage sex, “everyone is talking about it – but no one is doing it.” Fast forward a year and after a little practice, we now have one approach to “doing it” with secondary data.

10:30-11am: Morning Break

  • Reconnect with your friends and peers in MERL and technology, reflect on the morning’s inspirations and ideas, and visit vendor demonstrations.

11am-11:45am: Speed Networking

  • MERL Bingo – With Prizes! Nick Martin, TechChange
    Connect with old colleagues and meet new peers in a lively, facilitated MERL Bingo session that introduces you to over 300 potential collaborators, and sets you up for all those quiet sidebar discussions that are core to future partnerships. And yes, there will be prizes!

11:45am-12:15pm: Mid-Day Keynote

  • What Does it Mean to be “Responsible” in MERL? Danna Ingleton, Amnesty International
    A thought-provoking presentation on what it means to be “responsible” when it comes to using technology and data in research and story telling. How old issues with ethics have never really gone away but have morphed into a different kind of complexity, and what that might mean for MERL?

12:15-1:15pm: Birds of a Feather Lunch Tables

  • Connect with Peers at Informal Discussion Tables
    An opportunity to debate core issues with like-minded peers during a casual, yet focused lunch-time discussion.

1:15-2:15pm Mid-Day Breakout Sessions

  • How Can We Incentivize Actual Use of M&E Results Data?
    Josh Powell, Development Gateway; Taryn Davis, Development Gateway
    After interviewing nearly 500 local data producers and users, we found few incentives and many barriers to using M&E results in national systems. Sadly, this isn’t a surprise to many of us. Let’s have an honest and candid roundtable conversation on how the MERL Tech community has succeeded (and failed!) in incentivizing their own organizations, donors, partners, and other stakeholders to actually use M&E tools/data to make decisions.
  • How Can We Use Technology to Implement Collaborative MERL? Danielle de Garcia, Social Impact;
    It’s no secret that technology has connected individuals and organizations in unprecedented ways. Despite the obvious benefits to collaboration, these tools are often used in interventions but not for MERL itself. How can technological tools facilitate collaborative MERL initiatives? Is collaboration in MERL worth it? What approaches to participatory voting structures, concept mapping, analysis, and feedback loops are available? Let’s figure out how we can work better together.
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting…An M&E System Implementation: Mike Klein, ISG; Kate Mueller, DevResults; Carlos Ruano, International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement
    Is your organization thinking about implementing an M&E tool or taking on work in a new sector? Do you feel “ready” to do so? And what does readiness actually mean organizationally, technically, and managerially? We’ll explore some of the experiences and lessons learned around organizational readiness/capacity for evaluation, knowledge transfer, and assessment; technical/tool readiness; and the management perspective that marries the two.
  • Are Dashboards the Magic Bullet for Quicker, More Inclusive Data-Informed Decision Making? Tara Nutley, Palladium; Colleen McLaughlin, BroadReach Healthcare; Amanda Makulec, JSI
    Can data viz best practice guidance be followed in low-resource, systems-weak and data-siloed contexts? Come learn about how HIV programs have used dashboards and if they actually facilitated decision making. We’ll discuss how we coached community programs to use Excel-based dashboards in Zimbabwe. We’ll also talk about more robust dashboards that have incorporated benchmarking, predictive analytics, and other advanced features in South Africa. Let’s have a real discussion about what works to make data actionable.
  • Mapping M&E Indicators: How Much Spatial Detail is Too Much? Rocco Panciera, UNICEF; Clara Burgert, ICF International
    The exponential increase in available georeferenced information and GIS computing power is leading to mapping of M&E indicators at unprecedented spatial detail, while decision-making mechanisms operate mostly at coarse administrative units. How far can (and should) GIS go in highlighting spatial details in development indicators? What is the optimal trade off between spatial detail and reasonable decision making scale?
  • Developing and Operationalizing Responsible Data Policies: Emily Tomkys, Oxfam GB; Linda Raftree, Independent; Maliha Khan, Independent; Siobhan Green, Sonjara
    Oxfam, CRS, Girl Effect, USAID and others have developed/are in the process of developing responsible data policies. What elements were considered? How did these organizations go about the process? How did they gain buy-in? How did they address operationalization challenges? What were the tensions and the barriers? We’ll discuss how these policies impact implementation and design of MERL tools and systems, and the opportunities and challenges for all stakeholders.

2:15-2:30pm Afternoon Break

  • Reflect on the previous session, visit vendor demonstrations, and choose your next experience

2:30-3:30pm: Early Afternoon Breakout Sessions

  • How Can Machine Learning Improve Quantitative Evaluations? Paul Jasper, Oxford Policy Management; John DeRiggi, DAI
    Machine Learning is everywhere these days: Netflix uses it to predict the next movie you will be watching. The WHO is testing it to predict outbreaks of epidemics. And financial institutions nowcast the uptake of mobile money services using similar approaches. But what about evaluations in International Development? What techniques and methods exist, how will they improve the way in which we implement evaluations, and what are associated risks?
  • Is Collective Impact An Approach to Meaningful & Effective Collaboration? Henry Jewell, Akvo, Sarah Schmidt, USAID LEARN
    At the previous two MERL Tech conferences we have had many discussions about the importance of collaboration between orgnizations, but little seems to change once we settle back into our day-to-day work. What are the barriers to effective collaboration? Is collective impact, a powerful approach to cross-sector collaboration, the answer? How can technology and the MERL Tech community contribute to the collective impact approach?
  • When Participation Doesn’t Work in Organizational M&E Efforts: Eloisa Devietti, Oxfam America; Rashmi Sharma, Oxfam America, Libby Cunningham, Seed Global Health; Clelia Anna Mannino, SEED Global Health
    Participatory processes are at the heart of many development organizations, but how much consultation is too much when implementing organization-wide monitoring systems? Can we be both agile and participatory when designing for the full data lifecycle within limited operational budgets? Where are the failure points and what can we learn from them?
  • From RCT’s to A/B: Choosing Lean Methods for Evaluation: Kathryn Vasilaky, GroundTruth; Ralph Lin, GroundTruth
    Randomized controlled trials have become the gold standard for measuring impact, but their cost, timeline, and structure limits innovation. A/B testing is the RCT’s younger, cheaper and faster corollary in the tech industry. It is is a widely used and simple-to-implement if the the primary vehicle of the intervention is built in an ICT framework. This session will explore how we can improve MERL efforts when combined with rapid prototyping, to shorten the build-measure-learn feedback loop.
  • Community-Based mHealth is Enabling Faster and More Complete Data, But Is It Accurate? Jennifer Burnett-Zieman, Dawne Walker, Liz Nerad, Michelle Li, Palladium
    Many community-based programs now use mobile technology to facilitate data collection and reporting, but without strategies to assure and improve data quality, there is great potential for community health data to misinform decision-making with flawed data. Join us to learn about quality assurance best practices, and a forthcoming toolkit to improve community-level mHealth data collection.
  • Rethinking Consent in the Digital Age: Emily Tomkys, Oxfam GB; Linda Raftree, Independent; Danna Ingleton, Amnesty International
    We collect multiple digital data from program participants – when signing participants up for programs or research, and photos, videos, and stories for MERL, and marketing. Our old ways of requesting consent need to be modernized to meet the new realities of digital data and the changing nature of data. We will explore the major challenges of informed consent and find guidance on how to address them.

3:30-4pm Afternoon Ice Cream Social

  • Reflect on the previous session, visit vendor demonstrations, and choose your next experience while enjoying a little afternoon pick-me-up ice cream snack.

4-5pm: Late Afternoon Breakout Sessions

  • How Can We M&E the SDGs? Ayan Kishore, Creative Associates; Geeta Batra, GEF; Anupam Anand, GEF
    With 17 goals, 169 targets and 230 indicators, measuring progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals is a massive challenge, compounded by low-capacity governments unable to fulfill data collection responsibilities – indeed most MDGs had incomplete M&E data. How can we leverage remote sensing, such as satellite data, and citizen monitoring, like mobile data collection, to create comprehensive SDG MERL?
  • What Is Your M&E Confession? Samhir Vasdev, IREX
    All of us have made mistakes in the design and implementation of our program M&E. From misguided indicators to incoherent data collection, or a counterpart faking evaluations. Whatever your M&E sins, join this session – a cross between Fail Fest and group therapy – for a safe space of honest, expletive-laden introspection about our individual, progammatic, and institutional M&E failures. We’ll operate under Chatham House rules: what’s said in the confessional never leaves the room.
  • The Power and Pitfalls of IVR and SMS for M&E: Natasha Beale, Equal Access; Courtney Roberts, Moonshot Global; Melissa Persaud, VOTO Mobile; Katy Money, GeoPoll
    We all use SMS and IVR for countless surveys, and we know we could probably be using both better, but how? Let’s review lessons learned from conducting surveys in Africa and Asia, and explore questions on providing incentives to mobile survey respondents, locailization and training considerations for users, and most importantly how program implementers can use the data collected from mobile surveys.
  • How to Use Big, Indirect Data for Smaller Surveys and Better Decisions: Sally Goodman, Novametrics; Elizabeth Bowman, Army Research Lab; Kerry Bruce, Social Impact; Melissa Patsalides, USAID; Gregory van der Vink, Novametrics
    Aid and development efforts are frequently hindered by a lack of direct data, and huge quantities of time and money are spent on one-off surveys, which paint only a partial picture of a situation. What can indirect data, data fusion, open data, and integration teach us about an issue? How can we use them to minimize costly data collection, and improve decisions?
  • The Lifecycle of Responsible Data: Denise Baer, CIPE; Kristen Sutara, CIPE; Siobhan Green, Sonjara; Zara Rahman, The Engine Room; Emily Herrick, Reboot
    In open data practices, there is a need for responsible data practices at every point of engagement—with citizens, policy makers, and institutions—throughout the data lifecycle. But at each stage of this lifecycle, there are also tensions and tradeoffs between data transparency and issues of privacy and security. We will walk through the open data lifecycle—from research to archival — discussing frameworks and tough questions for stakeholders to address at each stage.
  • How Can We Better Manage Informal Feedback? Grace Higdon, Oxfam GB; Emily Tomkys, Oxfam GB;
    We know that institutional deficits persistently obstruct our ability to ‘close the feedback loop.’ For example, the most valuable community feedback is often given informally or face to face and is largely left undocumented. Are organisations doing enough to make sure feedback mechanisms meet community needs and preferences? Where are the tools to enable us to improve these processes and better manage informal feedback?

5-5:30pm: Mid-Conference Keynote

  • Where do we go from here? Melissa Patsalides, USAID
    How is USAID using a more well-rounded approach to MERL, including new and innovative approaches as well as more traditional ones, to improve its development programming? What is the role of technology-enabled work, new M&E methods, and Collaborating, Learning and Adapting (CLA) in the future of USAID’s approach to MERL?

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Jump to Monday, October 3rd

Tuesday, October 4th

8:30-9am: Registration

  • Light Breakfast and Registration
    Wake up, grab coffee and treats, and find your friends and your seat before the event begins

9-10am: Opening Keynote

  • How Do We Build a Revolution While Standing on the Shoulders of Giants? Maliha Khan, Consultant
    We are not the first to struggle with using technology for MERL. What can we learn from our past and in what others are innovating to realize the potential for MERL tech? We will start the second day with a reflection on how knowledge builds upon itself, incrementally improving upon existing ideas until the cumulative adds up to the revolutionary.

10-10:30am: Inspiring Lightning Talks

  • Remote Monitoring in Tough Environments: Nikki Bourassa, Internews; Megan Guidrey, Internews
    Programs in politically sensitive countries or current conflict zones sounds mysterious and intriguing, and unfortunately the data collection process for these types of programs can be equally enigmatic. No longer! If you use them right, technology tools and methodologies for MERL can work where you cannot.
  • Using Big Data for More Jobs: Saori Imaizumi, World Bank; Shinsaku Nomura, World Bank
    Labor markets in developing countries experience skills mismatch, irrelevant skills development, and information and coordination failure due to a lack of real-time labor market information. Yet analyzing big data from Babajob, an India-based online job portal, shows how we can form better labor market policy and focus on relevant, demand-based skills development training.
  • How to Go From a Data Mess to Dancing Dashboards: Hoang Bach Dao, FHI 360
    Take a journey from the usual issues that we all face in our programs – incoherent collection and no real analysis – to amazing dancing dashboards complete with easy queries that even program directors can use, all with the tools you already have, and skills you can develop at MERL Tech.
  • Messaging Apps for M&E: Game-Changers, or Just Hype? Jacob Korenblum, Souktel Digital Solutions
    The rapid growth of messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and SnapChat is creating a new world of M&E possibilities…or is it? These apps could streamline data collection and generate richer results–through easier uploading of images, audio files, and location data. They could also simplify incentive payments. But are household surveys via SnapChat Stories actually feasible?
  • Calling the Public Pulse: High-Speed Mobile Phone Surveys at Scale: Elvis Mushi, FSDT
    Traditional surveys based on face-to-face interviews are costly and time-consuming, but there is a better way. We can build statistically valid national population samples and call them to get real-time feedback on what matters most to our constituents.

10:30-11am: Morning Break

  • Reconnect with your friends and peers in MERL and technology, reflect on the morning’s inspirations and ideas, and visit vendor demonstrations.

11am-11:45am: Morning Plenary

  • Big Data for MERL: Opportunities and Challenges Michael Bamberger, Consultant; Peter York, Algorhythm; Max Richman, Datakind; Veronica Olazabal, The Rockefeller Foundation
    Assessments that look retrospectively at an intervention are abundant. However, new forms of tech-enabled data collection, including big data, may allow us to move beyond focusing on ‘what happened’ and ‘why’. The proliferation of digital data complements conventional evaluation by enabling large-scale trend analyses, and even more interesting, is the predictive potential of big data. However, much of its potential application to development evaluation is only beginning to be explored.

11:45am-12:15pm: Mid-Day Keynote

  • An Invigorating Look at Implementing New MERL Technologies: Panthea Lee, Reboot
    How can we adapt program design and internal practices to be more receptive to technological approaches, including the Principles for Digital Development, in new and ongoing MERL programs?

12:15-1pm: Birds of a Feather Lunch Tables

  • Informal Discussion Tables
    An opportunity to debate core issues with like-minded peers during a casual, yet focused lunch-time discussion.

1-2:30pm Round 1 Hands-On Workshops

  • A Pixar Twist on Presenting Data: Amanda Makulec, JSI
    Decades of long, boring reports (and end of project presentations) have left the world with gigabytes of narratives and bullet-point-ridden slides that fail to engage or excite audiences, despite often being rooted in fascinating findings. Join this immersive workshop to learn how to persuade and excite audiences with your data using the power of storytelling and data visualization. We’ll leverage the tools you already have, use free resources you may not know, and craft great visual stories that don’t require any advanced graphic design skills to master.
  • Applying Agile Principles to International Development M&E: Kate Mueller, DevResults; Monalisa Salib, USAID LEARN
    We see a ton of overlap between the trends of adaptive M&E and agile software development over the last fifteen years. Join us to learn the key components of agile methodology, lessons learned and best practices from our own adoption of agile, and detailed discussion of how you can apply these practices in your organization to more responsively manage projects.
  • How to Mine All Your Existing Data: Christine Roehrer, Sonja Teelucksingh, Omid Pahizka, Anupam Anand, Global Environment Facility
    We all have years of excel files, PDFs, and CDs(!) of data squirreled away here and there – invaluable historical data no one can use. The Global Environment Facility spent a year systematically harvesting all its data from 100,000 assets, and learned how scorecards, Tableau, and GIS can make sense of it all. Walk though our step-by-step process to learn how you too can mine the data you already have.
  • Do GIS Mapping Like the Pros: Tony Tseng, Project Concern International
    From Yelping the best Mexican food in town to using Google Maps to get us to where we are going, geospatial data has become ubiquitous in our daily routine. What if we could add that level of user friendly geolocation and visualization to the programmatic data you’re collecting for your projects in the field? How do we rethink our data with a geospatial lens? How do we do it in house and how do we do it at no cost? This session will provide you with the skills necessary to start mapping your data now.
  • How To Do MERL Within Your Mobile App: Nicki Ashcroft, Institute for Reproductive Health; Dominick Shattuck, Institute for Reproductive Health; Jonathan McKay, Praekelt Foundation
    Do you want to have M&E seamlessly integrated into your mobile app so you can research results in real time? Learn about monitoring with pop-up surveys, in-app efficacy research trials, maintaining user engagement, all while maintaining ethical standards and sharing research results with study participants using real-world examples.
  • Google Sheets for Real-time MERL: Faizan Diwan, Dobility; Dr. Christopher Robert, Dobility
    In addition to being an incredible collaboration tool for spreadsheets, Google Sheets can power real-time MERL with an easy — and free! — platform for dashboards and automated tasks. Learn how to publish incoming data to Google Sheets, configure real-time dashboards, manage permissions to keep data secure, automate tasks with Zapier, and even embed your dashboards into other websites

2:30-2:45pm Afternoon Break

  • Reflect on the previous session, visit vendor demonstrations, and choose your next experience

2:45-4:15pm Round 2 Hands-On Workshops

  • Science It! The Checklist for Evidence-Based Decisions: Dr. Leslie Sage, DevResults
    How can you access, analyze, and leverage M&E data for every project across your whole organization? Walk through a checklist for streamlining results management, from implementation to insight, and add your own modifications. The result will be an actionable checklist for optimizing your organization’s M&E practices.
  • Better Qualitative Results with Participatory Videos and Most Significant Change: Anne Laesecke, IREX; Jennifer Bangoura, IREX
    Surveys, questionnaires and bar charts fail to impart the human stories of development projects, but participatory video provides an accessible and engaging means of communicating results to a wide range of stakeholders. Adding in Most Significant Change (MSC) technique and constituents can share their stories of change in their own voice to a wider audience. In this workshop, you will learn about participatory video with mobile devices, gain insight into using MSC in M&E, and have the chance to create a short video using these techniques.
  • How to Build and Share Dashboards With Power BI: Hoang Bach Dao, FHI 360; Stephanie Bruno, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; Merkeb Woldemichael, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
    We all have Excel and make static charts and graphs, but what about using Power BI, a free dashboard tool from Microsoft, to create beautiful, interactive dashboards? Learn how you can collect and visualize both quantitative and qualitative data with Power BI, so it comes alive in real-time with easy queries that even program directors can use.
  • Using Digital Data for Human Rights Focused MERL: Danna Engleton, Amnesty International; Zara Rahman, The Engine Room
    From online videos of rights violations and satellite images of environmental degradation, to eyewitness accounts disseminated on social media, human rights professionals have access to more relevant data today than ever before, and this data can also be integrated into our MERL work. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to use new sources of digital data in rigorous and responsible ways from the authors of “DatNav: Navigating Digital Data Within the Human Rights Field.”
  • Keeping Everyone Alive: Using Tech to Address Risk and Do No Harm in Conflict: Merrill Anne Jordan, IBTCI; Samhir Vasdev, IREX; Rachel Firestone, World Bank; Sebastian Albuja, American Bar Association.
    We can use technology to rapidly collect and democratize information for quick responses, yet in violent conflict situations that expose people to grave physical danger, how we manage and use data responsibly? How can we protect individuals even as we support collective action? Join us to debate and discuss how technology tools can help or harm resilience building and humanitarian response.
  • How Sexist is Our Data? Catherine Highet, FHI 360; Sara Seavey, FHI 360; Zoe Dibb, Girl Effect
    We know that the alleviation of poverty depends on women’s equality, and Sex Disaggregated Data plays a crucial role; allowing us to understand the diverse environments that women live in, and how we can thoughtfully and positively impact their lives. Yet what errors and assumptions do we make in collecting Sex Disaggregated Data? How do we collect meaningful and actionable data beyond just benchmarking the gaps?

4:15-5pm: Closing Keynotes

  • 5 Lessons Learned From Teaching 15 MERL Tech Courses: Nick Martin, TechChange
    Over 750 students have taken a MERL Tech course at TechChange, revealing insights on where current skills are strong, and not, and the organizational changes that happen when the students return to work.
  • MERL Tech in 2020 and Beyond! Herb Caudill, DevResults
    We’ll end the formal conference activities with an inspiring look at the future of MERL technologies and what tomorrow holds for practitioners and policy makers trying to balance the inherent contradictions in development.

5:00-5:30pm: Hands-On Demo Session

  • A Better Way to Manage International Aid: Josh Mandell, DevResults
    DevResults is a web application specifically designed to empower international development, grant-making, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief programs, with tools for managing M&E data, mapping, project management, and collaboration.
  • A Better Way to Map, Measure & Manage Impact Networks: Deepthi Welaratna, The Possibility Engine
    The Possibility Engine is a flexible web-based platform for managing networks of collaborators in complex environments. The Possibility Engine helps you connect stakeholders, share knowledge and monitor impact in real-time to promote rapid feedback and measurement.
  • Advancing Organizational MERL with Indicata: Arshak Hovanesian, Synergy
    Indicata is a cloud-based M&E software that organizations can use to measure, aggregate, analyze, and track project-level and corporate results, and govern their M&E systems effectively by managing results frameworks, indicators, workflows, data, and users.
  • Mobile School Information System: Kurt Moses, FHI 360
    mSIS is a low technology footprint approach to measuring, monitoring and reporting on school, student and teacher activity within classrooms. Making quality information available not only at the school level, but passing the same information to multiple stakeholders over SMS or mobile networks.
  • High-quality M&E with SurveyCTO: Faizan Diwan, Dobility
    Learn how you can use SurveyCTO to collect data you can truly trust – without consultants, and without breaking the bank.
  • Ki-projects: Allan Kinoti, Kimetrica
    Ki-projects is a web based project monitoring and evaluation software application for building results-based projects and M&E systems to help organizations track and measure the performance of multiple projects.
  • Lifelong Learning with TechChange: Nick Martin, TechChange
    TechChange has a online MERL Tech diploma program for working professionals and prospective graduate students. The 16-week program includes a series three facilitated online courses, on-demand courses, workshops, 1-on-1 mentorship, capstone projects, job placement services, and more.
  • Unprecedented Data Access-as-a-Service: Brian Busch, Captricity
    Captricity offers organizations around the world access to the data they need to serve their mission and improve lives by capturing data collected via paper documents – including handwritten forms. Organizations and social enterprises like IPA, Jhpiego, and Sanergy use Captricity to digitize paper surveys, program evaluations, and field reports quickly, securely and at 99%+ accuracy.
  • Vecna Cares: Paul Amendola, Vecna Cares Charitable Trust
    Vecna Cares Charitable Trust provides technology and training to support and strengthen health systems in underserved areas for better health outcomes. We build systems that close the information gaps between patients, caregivers and decision makers.
  • Voltaic Systems: Jeff Crystal, Voltaic Systems
    Voltaic Systems is a portable power company based in Brooklyn, New York. We design rugged solar systems to power smartphones, tablets, laptops and IoT devices in the toughest conditions around the world.

5:30-7:30pm: Conference Reception

  • MERL Tech Happy Hour:
    We will end the conference with an informal, open bar happy hour to meet others interested in technology for MERL in international development and develop shared solutions to some of our toughest challenges.