Present or lead a session!

Thank you for your interest in presenting at MERL Tech DC! MERL Tech is a community-driven conference. We’re actively seeking practitioners in monitoring, evaluation, research, learning, data science and technology to facilitate every session.

Submission Deadline: Monday, April 30, 2018

Session leads receive priority for the available seats at MERL Tech and a discounted registration fee. You will hear back from us in early June and, if selected, you will be asked to submit the final session title, summary and outline by June 30.

MERL Tech is dedicated to creating a safe, inclusive, welcoming and harassment-free experience for everyone. Please review our Code of Conduct. Session submissions are reviewed by our steering committee.

What We’re Looking For:

  • Roundtable discussions that explore complex MERL Tech challenges and emerging good practice
  • Debates around key contested issues in the MERL Tech space
  • Workshop sessions with practical, hands-on exercises and approaches
  • Creative approaches to engaging with others around MERL Tech issues and topics
  • Lightning Talks to showcase new ideas or to share focused results or learning
  • Fail Fest Talks to share what hasn’t worked and what can be learned

To get you thinking — we’d love to explore aspects like:

  • Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning: How are ICTs and digital tools and approaches being used in each of these areas? What good practice can be shared on selection and implementation of new tools and/or approaches into organizational or evaluative processes and/or establishing and sustaining management information systems and data bases. How are technology and digital data impacting the ways that MERL Practitioners do their work as a whole (as “MERL”)? What specifics should we be thinking about separately (the “M” the “E” the “R” and the “L”?) What evidence is there to point us to good practices in using digital approaches in each (or all) of these areas? What quant and qual and mixed methods approaches are important to know about?
  • Ethics, inclusion, safeguarding, and data privacy: How are ICTs and tech-enabled MERL supporting greater inclusion of marginalized and/or vulnerable individuals and groups? What impact does the use of digital tools have on women and girls? On people living with disabilities? On the elderly and the non-literate? What are the challenges with exclusion or extraction when we rely on ICTs? How can we use tech to enhance ‘downward’ accountability? How can we balance open data and privacy, ensure data quality; manage data privacy; informed consent, unintended consequences, the GDPR; privacy impact assessments? How can organizations move toward responsible management of data?
  • Data (big data, data science, data analysis) What experiences (positive, negative and mixed) are out there related to the use of digital data, data science and big data approaches in MERL efforts? Sharing of hands-on / experiential workshops on data science approaches and ways to combine big data with qualitative and more traditional approaches.
  • Evaluation of ICT-enabled efforts: What are some effective ways to evaluate technology-enabled efforts and programs that have digital components (e.g., ICT4D programs, transparency and accountability, governance, mEducation, mHealth, financial inclusion)? How are we evaluating ICT-enabled MERL efforts? Do we have any evidence on what MERL Tech approaches are working well and why, where, and with/for whom?
  • The future of MERL: How are new ICTs, social media, digital data, big data, data science approaches, machine learning, artificial intelligence; sensors, the Internet of Things, drones, satellites, biometrics, blockchain and other emerging innovations and new ICTs changing MERL? What emerging qualitative tools should we know about? How are shifts in technology-enabled MERL affecting development, humanitarian, advocacy, and human rights work? What are the risks and wider implications? Will big data really mean the end of evaluation as we know it?
  • Failures:  Failure is one way of learning, yet our sector is often afraid to talk about what doesn’t work. At the Friday Fail Fest we’ll welcome brave speakers for short and humorous “Fail Talks” to a friendly crowd.

Submit your session ideas by Monday, April 30th, 2018!