Monday, 9.00-9.30 (Bridewell Hall)

The MERL Space: Where are we coming from and where might we go? Penny Hawkins, Independent
New technologies are opening immense possibilities for improved monitoring, evaluation research and learning (MERL), yet there’s an urgent need to understand the value, the impact, and the risks of using digital technology for MERL. Where to we expect that info-tech for MERL will take us? Where do we want to go with all this vigorous activity? (Bridewell Hall)


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.