Tuesday 11.15-13.15 (Salisbury Room)

Moving data from the dashboard to the driver’s seat – Feedback loops and downward accountability: Emily Tomkys, Oxfam GB; Yasmeen Al Husban, Oxfam; Anne Martin, Akros Global Health
Too often, M&E data never goes beyond monitoring and evaluation. Too often indicators say “where” we are, but rarely, “why” we are there and “how” we can go further. Too often, program participants are burdened with endless data reporting without opportunity to use this data. Both Akros and Oxfam reject this status quo! How? Simple: by using tools that connect data ownership and data use, creating feedback loops to influence programmatic change. Join us discuss and share how we can be more accountable to communities we serve.

Session Details:

Akros and Oxfam are co-leading a session on leveraging digital tools for data-based feedback within M&E, hoping to reorient the approach to data collection and facilitate a more comprehensive cycle of data use. We aim to help audience members reframe traditional frameworks by discussing feedback as a dynamic force in any program and the need for strong and accurate data to support this.

By the end of the session, attendees should understand the theory behind different types of feedback in data collection, and different methods of delivery of data-driven feedback. What’s more attendees should understand which tools and methods for collecting data and delivering feedback are most effective for different situations.

The session will be broken into three parts. The first part will focus on building knowledge of the theory behind using feedback; session leads will guide a discussion amongst the attendees on virtuous data use, feedback methods and best practices. In the second part of the session, the session leads will discuss two case studies, one each from Akros and Oxfam, that highlight the successful use of these ideas in real programs.

  • Akros will discuss mSpray, a GPS-enabled visualizing tool that spray operators working in parts of Zambia use to help track and plan activities for Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS).
  • Oxfam will discuss, SurveyCTO as a mobile case management feedback mechanism which is used in Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, to capture feedback from refugees and manage the feedback to resolution.

After the case studies, the session will culminate with an opportunity for session attendees to brainstorm and design their own data-driven feedback systems based on given scenarios as outlined by the session leads.

Session Leads:

Anne Martin, Health Informatics Officer, Akros, Anne is a public health specialist with in-depth training and experience in quantitative analysis and practical experience in program development and project management. She works with Akros, based in Lusaka, Zambia, as a Health Informatics Officer, focused on building technology appropriate, data-driven systems and developing in-country capacity for these systems. Anne’s role has both programmatic and research arms; she focuses on program implementation and qualitative assessment, while simultaneously investigating quantitative analysis of program metrics. Anne’s placement at Akros is via the Global Health Corps Fellowship program. Her current work is complemented by her prior experiences, where she managed health software implementations based in the United States before pursuing research focusing on the economics of public health work and database development.

Emily Tomkys, ICT in Programme Officer, Oxfam GB, 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 planning, monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning (PMEAL). 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.

Yasmeen Al Husban, MEAL Officer, Oxfam, Yasmeen Al Husban has been working for Oxfam in Za’atari refugee camp since the start of 2016 in the MEAL (Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and learning), department. She is responsible for data collection, data analysis, preparing logframes, designing accountability mechanisms and following up with programme teams to make sure that all teams are applying and understanding MEAL concepts in their work. Yasmeen manages the use of ICTs for MEAL in Za’atari which includes mobile data collection and a mobile case management system for collecting and following up on feedback received from communities. Yasmeen studied computer engineering in Jordan but followed her ambition to pursue work in the humanitarian sector. Yasmeen previously worked with Relief International in the same department, and she is very grateful to all who choose to work in this sector, who also hope to have a safe and shiny world some day.


Feedback Loops and Downward Accountabiity ETomkys YAlHusban AMartin