MERL Tech London
MERL Tech London is brought to you by Oxfam Great Britain, Comic Relief and Kurante. See below for more information about our 2017 organising team and selection committee.
Emily Tomkys, Oxfam Great Britain. MERL Tech Co-organiser and Selection Committee. Emily works with the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in programme team in Oxfam. As ICT in Programme Officer, she supports staff with applications of ICTs within their work. She specialises in mobile data collection, and coordinating Oxfam’s work on how ICTs can be used within monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL). Emily is also exploring how to improve applying MEAL to projects that use ICTs to maximise organisational learning and programme quality. Before this role, she worked as a research analyst first in the Insights team and later the Protection team. Prior to joining Oxfam in 2010, Emily worked as a data analyst before completing an MA in Global Security. See Emily’s full bio here and follow her on Twitter @EmilyTomkys. (Oxfam GB is a co-sponsor of MERL Tech London 2017).
Linda Raftree, Independent. MERL Tech Co-organiser and Selection Committee. Linda supports strategy, program design, research, and technology in international development initiatives. She co-founded MERLTech in 2014. Linda advises Girl Effect on digital safety, security and privacy and supports the organization with research and strategy. She is involved in developing responsible data policies for both Catholic Relief Services and USAID. Since 2011, she has been advising The Rockefeller Foundation’s Evaluation Office on the use of ICTs in monitoring and evaluation. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Linda worked for 16 years with Plan International. Linda runs Technology Salons in New York City and advocates for ethical approaches for using ICTs and digital data in the humanitarian and development space. She blogs at Wait… What? and tweets as @meowtree.
Nissa Ramsay, Comic Relief. MERL Tech Organising Team and Selection Committee. Nissa is the Evaluation and Learning Manager and Grants Digital Innovation Manager at Comic Relief. She focuses on programme design and supporting partners to develop digital products and services. She is a PhD trained social researcher with a proven track-record of both commissioning and delivering research, evaluation and learning projects. Nissa recently completed an MSc in Digital Sociology at Goldsmiths, where she built up her digital research and data visualisation skills. See Nissa’s full bio here, and follow her on Twitter at @nissaramsay. (Comic Relief is a co-sponsor of MERL Tech London 2017).
Penny Hawkins, Independent. MERL Tech Organising Team and Selection Committee. Penny is an evaluation specialist with extensive experience in public sector evaluation in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. She is the former Head of Evaluation at the UK Department of International Development (DFID) and before taking up that role in 2013, was an evaluation specialist at The Rockefeller Foundation in New York. Penny has held a number of evaluation management roles in New Zealand government departments including as Head of Evaluation for the New Zealand Aid Programme at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She serves as the Chair of the OECD-DAC Network on Development Evaluation and from 2003-13 was a faculty member for the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) at Carleton University in Canada. She is a former president of the Australian Evaluation Society. Penny has contributed to several evaluation publications including co-editing a book published in 2012 Evaluation Cultures – Sense Making in Complex Times. In 2007, she received the AES Award for Outstanding Contribution to Evaluation. See Penny’s full bio here and follow her on Twitter at @penehawk.
Maliha Khan, Independent. MERL Tech London Organising Team and Selection Committee. Maliha is a development practitioner in the fields of monitoring and evaluation and learning and accountability and has led in these functions for CARE USA and Oxfam America. She has been responsible for leading internal teams that provide technical support, maintain standards, lead innovation and provide thought leadership in the organizations. She has provided strategic support in these areas to Nike Foundation/Girl Hub and is currently playing that role for Rockefeller Foundation where she is leading the M&E and measurement work for their resilience portfolio. Prior to joining CARE, Dr. Khan was an associate professor of Sustainable Development at World Learning’s SIT Graduate Institute where she taught development professionals program design, monitoring and evaluation amongst other things. She has worked as a consultant for a variety of iNGOs, Foundations, bilateral, multilateral and government organizations. Maliha is from Pakistan, where she started her career implementing development projects. See Maliha’s full bio here and follow her on Twitter at @malihkhan.
Wayan Vota, Digital Development Entrepreneur. MERL Tech London Organising Team. Wayan is a co-founder of MERL Tech, currently working at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. He is on the forefront of utilizing new and emerging technologies to magnify the intent of communities to accelerate their social and economic development. Wayan has worked at FHI360’s Tech Lab, Development Gateway, Inveneo, The World Bank and Mercy Corps where altogether he created holistic nationwide programmes in 11 countries. He has co-developed and organized multiple conferences to showcase technology’s promise, including Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, Fail Festival, and ICT4Drinks. Wayan publishes ICTworks, the premier online community of technology for development practitioners. Wayan co-taught the inaugural Masters-level class on Technology and Innovation for Development at Johns Hopkins University, using the Principles of Digital Development as a framework to showcase the opportunities and challenges of implementing technology-based international development interventions. See Wayan’s full bio here and follow him on Twitter at @wayan_vota.