MERL Tech DC
MERL Tech DC 2018 is organized by Kurante and sponsored by Social Impact, DevResults, International Solutions Group, Esri, Oxfam America, Digital Impact Alliance and FHI 360.
See below for more information about our 2018 Organizing Team and Steering Committee.
MERL Tech Organizers
Linda Raftree supports strategy, program design, research, and ethical uses of technology and digital data in international development initiatives. She advises Girl Effect on digital safety, security, and privacy, and contributes to their research and strategy efforts. She has supported development of responsible data policies and guidelines for CRS and USAID, and she supports Girls Who Code and the Bank Information Center on safeguarding. Linda runs Technology Salon in New York City and organizes the MERL Tech conference. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Linda worked for 16 years with Plan International. She has published on the intersection of digital technology and adolescent girls, child/youth migration, youth workforce development, and monitoring and evaluation. She is the co-author of several publications on technology and development, including Emerging Opportunities: Monitoring and Evaluation in a Tech-Enabled World with Michael Bamberger. Linda blogs at Wait… What? and tweets as @meowtree. See Linda’s full bio here.
Wayan Vota is a co-founder of MERL Tech and Kurante. 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.
MERL Tech Steering Committee
Danielle (Dani) de García is a Director of Performance Evaluation, Innovation, and Learning with Social Impact, where she oversees a portfolio of monitoring, evaluation, and learning contracts. Dani’s recent work includes leading and participating in a number of evaluations and strategic planning engagements for USAID, Carter Center, MasterCard Foundation, MCC, US Department of State, and MacArthur Foundation initiatives around the world. Throughout her career, Dani has provided performance management and organizational development assistance to the World Bank, CATHALAC, and international NGOs; and has worked in more than 25 countries. A lover of social network analysis, participatory methods, and technology, she also has developed and delivered trainings to thousands of governmental, multilateral, and NGO staff around the globe. See Dani’s full bio here.
Haneen Malallah has worked extensively in the social sector in managerial, consulting, and advisory capacities. Her engagements include work with multiple international non-governmental organizations based in the US and assignments with entities operating nationally in Jordan and Oman. She is currently serving as the Knowledge, Learning, and Accountability Advisor at Oxfam America where her work focuses on capturing and sharing relevant information internally and externally, promoting reflective learning practices, and supporting strong information architecture. The role provides a linkage between people, technology, and results to best utilize various systems and platforms to encourage knowledge management and sharing practices. Haneen co-led the development and implementation of Oxfam’s Responsible Program Data Policy, the first of such policies in the INGO sphere. Haneen’s assignments included work in the areas of communications, strategic planning, impact assessment as well as collaboration and capacity building. She started her career in the area of training design and delivery in Amman, Jordan. Additionally, Haneen has been an adjunct faculty at the SIT Graduate Institute as well as Marylhurst University, and, utilizing adult and experiential learning approaches, has taught in the areas of human resources, organizational behavior, organizational theory, intercultural communication, as well as sustainability and social change. Haneen holds a BA in Psychology, a BS in Communication Studies from Spalding University and an MS in Development Management from the School for International Training. She is fluent in Arabic and English and has travelled extensively. Haneen received a Fulbright Scholarship and the King Hussein Peace Scholarship. In addition, she served as an EMDAP fellow between 2007 and 2008. See Haneen’s full bio here.
Josh Mandell supports strategy and sales at DevResults, where his role is geared towards understanding the needs of the international development community and getting tools in their hands to help them achieve measurable results. Prior to DevResults, Josh worked on international education and training projects funded by the U.S. State Department, USAID, and various foreign governments. First at AED and later as an independent consultant, he coordinated operations for several education initiatives in Baghdad, Iraq. While earning his MPA from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service, Josh focused on the intersection of technology and monitoring and evaluation. See Josh’s full bio here.
Maliha Khan is an international development practitioner who focuses on dealing with issues of complexity in measurement and accountability systems; designing initiatives for social change, and leading organizational change processes. An expert in ethical issues and data, she led the Oxfam confederation-wide “Responsible Data Policy”, one of the first policies of its kind in any development organization, approved in 2015. She has also advised other organizations on responsible data policy and practice, including helping to develop the policy for Catholic Relief Services (CRS). She is the founder of Daira, a boutique client centered start-up that specializes on enabling organizations to make better decisions using data, analysis, and insights for international development. See Maliha’s full bio here and follow her on Twitter at @malihkhan.
Michael Bamberger has a Ph.D. in Sociology from the London School of Economics. He has 45 years of experience in development evaluation including 23 years with the World Bank where worked on development evaluation, evaluation training for the Asia region and gender and development. Since retiring from the Bank he has worked as an independent consultant on development evaluation with 10 UN agencies as well as with development banks, bilateral aid agencies, NGOs and foundations. Michael has advised the Evaluation Office of the Rockefeller Foundation, is a member of the International Evaluation Advisory Panel of the Independent Evaluation Office of UNDP, and is a member of UN Women’s Evaluation Advisory Panel. He is also on the editorial board of a number of leading evaluation journals. Recent publications include RealWorld Evaluation: Working under Budget, Time, Data and Political Constraints (2012); Introduction to Mixed Methods in Impact Evaluation (2012); How to Design and Manage Equity Focused Evaluations (2011); Emerging Opportunities: Monitoring and Evaluation in a TechEnabled World (2014); Dealing with Complexity in Development Evaluation (2016); and Integrating Big Data into the Monitoring and Evaluation of Development Programs (2016).
Michael Klein is a director of International Solutions Group (ISG), a company that works with governments, U.N. agencies, international organizations, NGOs and other companies to improve the implementation of humanitarian aid and development programming. In his director role, Klein works with a wide array of partners on programming in the more than 40 countries in which ISG operates. Recent engagements he led include: program and organizational evaluations; organizational adoption of ICT-based M&E systems; mobile data collection via online forms, SMS, IVR and other tools; project monitoring and indicator development; and M&E system design and strategy development. See Mike’s full bio here.
Veronica Olazabal is the Director of Measurement, Evaluation and Organizational Performance at The Rockefeller Foundation. She oversees the Foundation-wide measurement and evaluation function at the strategy, initiative, and grants portfolio levels, including the assessment of the impact of the Foundation’s work. She is also part of the Foundation’s senior leadership team. Veronica has worked with the MasterCard and Rockefeller Foundation’s international programs on topics ranging from youth learning and financial inclusion to climate change and market solutions. She led the monitoring, evaluation, and research efforts of social venture Nuru International, UMCOR (The United Methodists Committee on Relief), and the Food Bank for New York City. Veronica has also co-chaired InterAction’s Working Group for Evaluation and Program Effectiveness and represented civil society for the United Nation’s discussions on development effectiveness. In addition to currently serving on the American Evaluation Association’s (AEA) Board of Directors, she is the founder of AEA’s Social Impact Measurement (SIM) Topical Interest Group (TIG) and co-chair of AEA’s International and Cross-Cultural Evaluation (ICCE) TIG. See Veronica’s full bio here.