Thursday, 13.45-14.45 (Balcony B)

It’s not the tool’s fault! How change management for MERL Tech can make or break your implementation. Alison Blajda, Vera Solutions; Laura Fenwick and Keith Fleming, Pact Inc.; Hannah Dunphy, Justice Rapid Response
Too many MERL tech implementations suffer because the last-mile efforts that lead to user adoption — training, user acceptance testing, and incorporating feedback — aren’t part of the project plan. With staff already working at capacity, a lack of structured change management can lead to frustration with a new data system. In this session, we will explore how best to manage technological change, common pitfalls to avoid, and successes we can all replicate. 

Session Level:

Beginner, Intermediate

Session Details:

This session will provide attendees with the tools to approach a tech implementation for MERL with change management at the forefront of the planning process — rather than an afterthought. Following a presentation of case studies by Pact Inc, Justice Rapid Response, and Vera Solutions, attendees will explore a framework to guide pre-implementation.

Attendees will then have an opportunity to discuss their organizational successes and setbacks with the panel. Attendees will leave this session with a deeper understanding of strategies, tactics, and tools designed to mitigate common change management challenges when implementing tech for MERL. Participants will hear from seasoned practitioners with experience navigating change management preparation, processes, and pitfalls for small, medium, and large NGOs and international member organizations and networks. Session goers will leave with a framework for managing technological change.

Session Leads:

Alison Blajda, Consultant, Vera Solutions. Ali is a Consultant with Vera’s office in Washington, DC. She is passionate about work in the social sector, and is excited to be helping organizations leverage data to improve their operations and increase impact. Prior to Vera, Ali spent five years with Population Services International (PSI) managing social marketing and adolescent health programs in East Africa. Ali holds a BA in International Affairs from George Washington University and an MS in Health Policy and Management from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. More about Allison here, on Twitter @VeraSolutions, at Vera Solutions or at its blog.

Laura Fenwick, Grants and Contracts Manager, Pact Inc. Learn more about Laura here and at Pact.

Keith Fleming, Deputy Director of Global Information Technology, Pact Inc. Learn more about Keith here and at Pact.

Hannah Dunphy, leads communications and external relations for Justice Rapid Response (JRR), a Geneva-based organization that deploys international criminal investigators to assist with inquiries into crimes of mass atrocity. For more than 10 years Hannah has actively developed multimedia content, digital campaigns and outreach strategies for international human rights non-profits, civil advocacy coalitions, media organizations and the United Nations. Prior to joining JRR, Hannah worked with UN Women, the International Center for Transitional Justice, the American NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court, Amnesty International USA and more. Hannah holds a BA in International Criminal Justice from New York University, and a MA in International Conflict and Security from The New School. Connect on Twitter: @_hannahdunphy @J_RapidResponse or learn more about JRR on its website.

Learn more about Hannah here and at Justice Rapid Response.