MERL Tech London

MERL Tech London 2018 is brought to you by Comic Relief, Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL), Oxfam GB, The Rockefeller Foundation, Wellcome Trust, DevResults, International Solutions Group, Esri, and Kurante.

Organizing Team

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 8.23.52 AMLinda Raftree supports strategy, program design, research, and technology in international development initiatives. She co-founded MERLTech in 2014 and Kurante in 2013. 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 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.

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 8.28.16 AMWayan 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.

Steering Committee

André Clarke is the Effectiveness and Learning Advisor at Bond. His role focuses on supporting members to tackle some of the key challenges they are facing in monitoring, evaluation, research and learning. This includes ongoing refinement of Bond’s existing effectiveness resources such as the Health Check, and exploring new opportunities linked to our evolving adaptive management and Futures work. He is particularly interested in the role of knowledge management and learning in improving programme practice and accountability. André Clarke joined Bond in March 2017, having previously worked for Plan International and Save the Children UK. More about Andre here.

Anna Maria Petruccelli is the Grants Data Officer within the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Team at Comic Relief where she manages all the data related to Comic Relief’s live and historic portfolio of grants. Her primary responsibility is to collate and analyze monitoring and performance data from the projects that Comic Relief supports, for both internal and external use. As part of this role Anna has developed MEL data frameworks for co-funded initiatives with partners such as GSK or the Department for International Development and manages the annual aggregation and analysis of data from over a thousand live grants, both for communications and marketing purposes and for decision making. She is also leading on Comic Relief’s transparency work, sharing grant making data on platforms like IATI and 360 Giving and promoting the use of open data across the sector. Anna is also currently developing new ways of reporting and sharing portfolio management information using various data visualization techniques and tools. Find Anna on Linked In or Twitter @AnnnaPetru

Barbara Willett is the Director of Investment Evaluation at the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL).  DIAL is a partnership of some of the world’s most active digital development champions and aims to help the digital ecosystem overcome barriers to delivering digital services to world’s most underserved population. Barbara has been working in the nonprofit sector domestically and internationally for nearly 20 years.  She has worked in MERL roles at multiple levels – program, country, regional, and global – helping to develop and pilot innovative information and data management systems and technologies in the field as well as at headquarters.  She has served as Director of Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning for both Mercy Corps and the American Red Cross.  Barbara received an M.A. in international development from Ohio University and attended Claremont Graduate University’s Advanced Study in Program Evaluation program. She has also served on the Advisory Committee for InterAction’s Evaluation and Program Effectiveness Working Group, is a member of the American Evaluation Association, and has been an active presenter and discussant within the M&E community. She hopes to help advance the role of MERL practitioners in DIAL’s efforts to enable more digitally inclusive societies.

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Emily Tomkys Valteri. Emily is the ICT in Program Accountability Project Manager at Oxfam GB. Emily’s role drives Oxfam’s thinking on the use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) for accountability and supports staff with applications of ICTs within their work. As part of this, Emily manages Your Word Counts, a Humanitarian Innovation Fund project using mobile case management technology to collect, manage and analyze data to inform the program. She specializes in mobile data collection and the use of ICTs for monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (MEAL).See Emily’s full bio here and follow her on Twitter @EmilyTomkys.

Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 8.59.04 AMJosh 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.

Screen Shot 2017-01-28 at 8.18.16 AMMaliha Khan 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.

Mike ISG Headshot

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.

Screen Shot 2017-04-15 at 8.49.18 AMVeronica 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.

Yulye Jessica Romo Ramos is an MSc-educated professional in strategic management and evaluation with more than 10 years of monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (MERL) experience in a wide range of thematic areas across Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe – as part of grants funded by major European and US-based donors such as DFID, SIDA, EC and USAID. Jessica works with a wide range of digital, quantitative and qualitative methods/tools and evaluation approaches, with a specialisation in the use of theory based evaluation approaches for complex interventions and organisations working in conflict or fragile contexts. Her experience includes top MERL positions at international organisations where she has been responsible for facilitating strategic, adaptive and evidence-based management as well as enabling strong project design and business development with the help of MERL approaches. Currently Jessica works for Wellcome Trust, she also leads a specialist evaluation group in London and is a member of both the UK and European Evaluation Societies.