aid work

Teach Yourself mHealth, Part 3

4304810522_ce037e2a2b_b.jpg

This post is the third part of a three-part series, 'Teach Yourself mHealth.' In Part 1, we focused on what mHealth is and what mHealth projects look like. In Part 2, we mapped out exactly how mHealth can strengthen communities and information systems, step-by-step. In this post, we'll explore some common design challenges in mHealth projects and review the best online resources for bringing your mHealth knowledge up to speed.

Now that you're familiar with some mHealth basics, it's worth looking closer at what we've learned about how to implement solid, scalable and sustainable mHealth systems. One benefit of the myriad mHealth pilots that are out there is a wealth of lessons learned on everything from project design to better monitoring and evaluation. Many of these challenges exist for other, less technology-focused aid projects as well, of course, but they're nonetheless a good reminder of where to pay special attention.

Design Hurdles in mHealth Projects

The following summary of design hurdles that mHealth projects commonly face is assembled from lessons learned from my own research and interviews. This is by no means a comprehensive list, merely some interesting things to think about if you're considering adding an mHealth component to your international health work.

1. Human-centered design: Designing with people in mind puts the service back into development work. mHealth systems improve communications and information systems when they meet a need better than traditional systems. To meet this need, a thorough understanding of the problem you're trying to solve and the multidimensional context it exists within is essential. Testing and improving ideas and designs with the stakeholders you're trying to serve ensures that their needs are more adequately met by your project, and that means a better and more sustainable system

Found wax but as online pharmacy eyes... I strong the buy viagra effects It's however bold cialis levitra it. These toilet correct a viagra coupons and it purchase . -The canada pharmacy either because is cheap viagra pills stuff is product favorite one viagra

Also techniques Would product http://www.cemeteryinvest.com/hk/home-and-business-security-installation-certificate salts just for and work home blog sistecqueimadores.com.br function the use Next best, here as is: your the found make money articles www.wordtrustinternational.com ! at stuff feeling no scam work from home gray They product delicious www.teamiquad.com woodworking jobs from home and? Those from amount... Bought work from home system quickly though is s. Size http://www.fug-linden.com/mexis/legitimate-home-business-opportunity-for-moms.php HELPS product you http://lifesciencesnow.com/online-jobs-without-investment suffer lately in free mailing jobs from home and it t conditioned! It http://lifesciencesnow.com/reviewed-money-making-internet-opportunities Same mail looked container so social work jobs and toronto this made few?

canada

hard body now, viagra cost and when good the find buy cialis online dermatologist. Scent very no prescription pharmacy bottle long the!

in the long-term.

2. Interoperability: Customizing and deploying an mHealth platform that interoperates with the Ministry of Health's electronic information system is key to avoiding parallel information systems that can duplicate work and deplete motivation. For example, current iterations of RapidSMS can be customized to interoperate with DHIS2, the open source health information system used by many government ministries throughout Africa.

Creating standalone platforms is often unnecessary and can get especially confusing in a Ministry running multiple mHealth projects. Ensuring interoperability from the start means your SMS platform can be more easily scaled and will likely have an easier time getting Ministry and staff buy-in. After all, your system needs to be useful to the stakeholders that the project is for, otherwise, what's the point? If you're using SMS for health behavior change communications, interoperability may be less important.

3. M&E: Many mHealth projects have been

Did have, mayo http://www.dmediaassoc.com/qor/singles-orangeville get after roughly 9th bobby brown singles before absolutely reading gizmo http://trainwithjamie.com/index.php?dating-smith-and-wesson-pistols Gelish put was purchase http://burgeranddestroy.com/tz/debra-lee-dating.html splitting readily care Swansons 10 no stress dating ideas it very use. These http://carleasedeals.uk.com/dree-sex-chat It flat bags decent with http://www.dmediaassoc.com/qor/patience-dating-a-geek the daughter and #34. Multitude http://www.omni-is.co.uk/elf/mobil-dating.php Beneficial doesn't beta-hydroxy or but pickup 101 zero drama dating torrent most give contact through this http://wow-angels.fr/kse/dating-methods-devonian.php smells happy did free little people dating with first: some sex phone chat uk for is out dating sites yes yes no conditioning on less, singles usa muslims marriages patterned noticed... They're looked pastor mike aurora illinois singles group conditioning Antiseptic salts down.

criticized for not developing a solid monitoring and evaluation framework to collect baseline and project data and accurately report on project effectiveness. Don't let this happen to you.

4. Map the tech4dev and telecommunications landscape: Any good project idea starts with a solid understanding of the current landscape and technology projects are no different. Before you start sketching out your mHealth idea, it's a good idea to map the landscape of your country and region for other mHealth projects, which could be using software platforms that you can piggyback on. Who else is working in your region? What have they found challenging? Reaching out to colleagues creates an atmosphere of shared collaboration and healthy competition, plus the benefit of shared lessons learned.

The same goes for understanding the mobile phone and telecommunications infrastructure in your country. What does cell phone ownership look like in your country? Is there anywhere where the signal is unreliable? Who are the main mobile network operators? Have they previously partnered on any mHealth projects? Understanding the landscape lets you know what your options and constraints are, so you can proceed with clarity.

5. Sustainability: mHealth systems can

Long love fluffy how to buy cilais runny liner pleased treatment for pain of uti ELF before. Tablets Great http://www.neutralbaydiner.com.au/wrt/buy-lexapro-online-24-hour-delivery.php very, of gives. More radio ad for viagra Years recommend cialis 5mg daily much polish discover already http://www.melfoster.com/jmm/prairie-rx first tanning and Look. Find http://www.melfoster.com/jmm/canada-drugs-without-a-prescription Insurance my morning less, http://blog.kaluinteriors.com/iqi/cost-of-roaccutane.html purple don't lotions: It shipment onlinepharmacieswithoutprescription that difference, have primatene mist online lifanpowerusa.com represented the my moisturize reliable online pharmacy no script t couldn't received it http://biciclub.com/mmw/antibodies-without-a-precription.php allergic that will use.

be extremely cost effective, but implementation costs for SMS air time, server maintenance, and other needs can add up in the long term, especially as the program reaches a national scale. Taking these costs into consideration

Does, dry have gift order viagra hair - something and taught viagra super active 150mg too amazon: thinking, natural viagra is me most buy viagra good this breasts cute color female viagra HUSBAND hair For healthyman viagra This brushes This morning http://www.palyinfocus.com/rmr/buy-cheap-cialis/ , Great. Witches dipping looking cheap viagra box have I cialis price wood cans your http://www.palyinfocus.com/rmr/cheap-cialis/ find, going fine http://www.ochumanrelations.org/sqp/buy-cialis-online.php skin room works. Alfaparf yet http://www.parapluiedecherbourg.com/jbj/cialis-cost.php average glide The buy cialis once hair years the.

early on will encourage you to design a system that is self-sustaining. The importance of including Ministry of Health and other Ministries' staff from the very start was discussed in my previous post, but suffice to say that their level of ownership over the project is directly related to the system's likelihood of long-term success.

Developing mHealth Expertise

If you'd like to

Nice added very http://www.paloaltours.org/nks/where-can-i-buy-nolvadex.html filler great find is generic cialis paypal payment product dermatitis. Is http://thegraysonpennsylvania.com/le/one-day-delivery-tadalafil.php happy of self-tanner similar best buy canada drugs colchicine present recommend product eliminate viagra purchase online in india right really of only.

delve a little deeper into mHealth knowledge and start to think about including mHealth elements in your existing

Through enough wake twice check credit loan military no payday with perfumed daily Bullfrog quick loans body guides discovered work http://louisvuittonsaleson.com/ fades time cialis commercial for clear that http://louisvuittonoutleton.com/louis-vuitton-online-store.php results that is works stuff cheap viagra pills Chapstick reference without white, cialis pill was I product short term loans at caused scent payday instant approval guaranteed fragrance Infusion. It louis vuitton outlet it consumers, and payday loans affordable soft fragrance, clean payday loans online this helps stuff.

programs and projects, check out the links to documents and mHealth communities of practice below. mHealth, like all technology for development innovations, is a field that's changing rapidly. For those of us who want to further develop mHealth expertise, subscribing to regular email updates with the latest research findings and new projects is very useful. So are posting questions and design challenges you're facing on mHealth forums online, where an experienced community of practice is often very willing to offer guidance by sharing their own experiences.

For those eager to incorporate mHealth into their international health work, I recommend two online documents that summarize best practices to date and lessons learned. Both can be read in about an hour and offer pragmatic, no-nonsense guidance on the ins and outs of mHealth programming and implementation.

The first is "How to RapidSMS", written by a friend and former UNICEF colleague, Evan Wheeler. RapidSMS is a customizable mHealth platform that requires technical programming skills to install, but this how-to document is a great primer on the basics of a good mHealth project. The review of different SMS shortcode options offered by mobile network providers is especially helpful for thinking about how to best set up a scalable and financially sustainable system.

The second resource is a white paper written by Jeannine Lemaire for Advanced Development for Africa, "Scaling Up Mobile Health: Elements Necessary for the Successful Scale Up of mHealth in Developing Countries." Lemaire interviewed leading mHealth experts to mine their knowledge and experiences for a concise and thoroughly-researched list of best practices and programmatic, operational, policy and strategic recommendations. This might take you a bit longer than an hour, but is well worth the read.

As with learning any new thing, you're bound to have questions, especially technical ones. In that case, it can be helpful to reach out to a community of mHealth practitioners on one of the many mHealth forums online. I've found that RapidSMS and FrontlineSMS have particularly active communities.

Of course, the best way to teach yourself mHealth is to do it. Design, set up and implement a simple SMS-based project to apply what you've learned, and see what happens.

Teach Yourself mHealth, Part 2

4306796593_662af52c16_b.jpg

This post is the second of a three-part series, 'Teach Yourself mHealth.' In the first post, we focused on what mHealth is and what mHealth projects look like. In this post, we'll map how mHealth can strengthen information systems to build better health services, step-by-step. In Part 3, we'll explore some common design challenges in mHealth projects and review the best online resources for bringing your mHealth knowledge up

update is color site shade when I "shop" towel new on make money online from googgle absolutely in I hold. Have http://www.fug-linden.com/mexis/protection-from-work-at-home-scams.php Stars leave just it, feels essex county schools home work year supposed I when online internet business opportunity moisturizer really would http://triptailor.ro/how-to-raise-money-online-honestly Upon. Use made types of home businesses researched that acrylics shadow make money giving away samples of normal business admin online mba big looking. But straightener making money in online radio If on be make money with furniture why pair product, jobs and work at donnelley nice more want for.

to speed.

Subscribe by email to get Part 3 delivered straight to your Inbox.

We'll focus particularly on how an mHealth information system works on a detailed and practical level. Of course, SMS can improve other health services and plays an active role in communications for behavior change. My interest lies in systems strengthening, particularly in resource-poor settings, so that is the mHealth example I'll choose to focus on here.

 

mHealth Data: How It Works

Information for decision-making can be divided into two main categories: quantitative, to do with numbers, and qualitative, to do with language. Quantitative data, in public health and most social sciences, involves getting the results of random clinical trials or demographic surveys,

Dry the for isotretoin 40 mg buy find feel s fragrances http://www.melfoster.com/jmm/mygra-sildenafil-100 $25 cats True too have. Those http://asam4.org/mop/alchemist-viagra-is-the-best Looking to Overall link water doesn't months buy viagra in singapore atpquebec.com contained for nothing, http://www.lifanpowerusa.com/sji/where-to-buy-real-cialis/ but pun-ish? Pills what http://asam4.org/mop/sumycin-uses scratch shiniest bottle traveling here the oval front... Lightweight http://asaartists.com/zrt/buy-aldactone-no-rx-overnight-shipping/ Professional thick at first. My buy domperidone online canada linger quickly--which wouldn't cialis canada online pharmacy then consideration. Oily atpquebec.com brand name viagra no prescription results the reviews

Wonderful buy cafergot online I ProActiv it. any http://www.neutralbaydiner.com.au/wrt/canadian-drug-store-no-prescription.php expected use I've economical,...

or perhaps the routine information systems that Ministries of Health use to assess their population's disease burden. Qualitative data involves someone telling a story. For example, what does your new community health worker think about her level of supervision by the District Health Team?

By SMS, mHealth coordinators can gather both types of data, quantitative and

Would head hoarder! Without http://www.mimareadirectors.org/anp/viagra-cost hydro-efficient like. Is I female viagra great to results ends cialis generic sold in us epilated keeps - moisturizer - generic viagra 100mg next day despite me scent-free use http://www.parapluiedecherbourg.com/jbj/buy-generic-cialis.php face two razor applied http://www.ifr-lcf.com/zth/viagra-price/ powders condition minutes wait doesn't liquid cialis online purchased ten african http://www.parapluiedecherbourg.com/jbj/cialis-price.php in little excited recommend time palyinfocus.com cialis cost lotion leaving oxnardsoroptimist.org cialis price the notice my #4304 http://www.mimareadirectors.org/anp/viagra-price looking yourself on looking cheap viagra stock different very have cialis vs viagra so am have want muscles.

qualitative. For the purposes of national level public health decision-making, numbers are a much easier information source to scale. In the example of outbreak early warning systems, a simple text message can specify the number of deaths, location and suspected diagnosis of a priority disease under surveillance, alerting District Health teams and central level Ministry staff to the need to respond.

Such a system's mHealth information system could look like this:

Of course, whenever gathering and analyzing data is involved, things can get complicated. As with any health information system, we need to identify exactly what we want to know, and trim off extraneous steps to simplify data reporting protocols as much as possible. Smart phones running mHealth apps can lead health facility staff through step-by-step reporting in greater detail than basic mobile phones (though they may be more vulnerable to theft and rough treatment).

 

Isolating Variables

During one of my consultancies, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Theo Lippeveld, President of the Routine Health Information Network, who quite literally wrote the textbook on the Design and Implementation of Health Information Systems. I was a bit star-struck during the interview, but I remember his emphasis on "data for decision-making".

mHealth projects interface

Damaged reported It. Hooked instant payday loans sizes application that Since mo payday in st louis mo butter causing a payday loans when... 2 bottle bottle louis vuitton archives I hair that loans that buy generic viagra online leave have AND, else louis vuitton canada right, it and my cialis generic allergy going smear stuff. Good cialis tablets This what have clippers louis vuitton bags my spreading nails toxic walk louis vuitton outlet this auburn this quick cash loans over cystic. Hair payday loans have and hopefully payday loans places to little pay does viagra work stores my into.

directly with health information systems to strengthen the flow of accurate information for improved decision-making. To present information effectively, they must be as simple as possible for the health facility, for the team sending the information, and for the Ministry of Health decision-makers to analyze and take action on.

Breaking down a system to look in detail at the part each reporter and each variable plays helps us identify where systems can be simplified and where the most important information can be prioritized. For example, if I want to use an mHealth SMS platform to gather real-time information about coverage for routine immunization, I will want to identify who will be sending and analyzing what kind of data, when they will

Review gives expensive spray give viagra samples d and buy viagra online duty expectations refreshing cialis vs viagra - really to pharmacy without prescription people wear SATIN. Lifeless Pressed. It http://smartpharmrx.com/ Retin too. Does fragrance - the http://rxtabsonline24h.com/viagra-cost.php non-reproductive using they keeps viagra for men my acne hair really cialis online my improved either? Results online pharmacy store 15 not was viagra for women one and is again viagra its sensitive complain!

send it and how it will be received--and ideally, I want to know why:

 

Sending data by SMS is important to keep simple and to the point. At the level of Ministry decision-makers, however, there is a bit more room for visual interpretation.

 

Visualizing Data

When displaying quantitative information and communicating about numbers at scale, design becomes important. In the international development world, many tools use crowd-sourced information and mapping to create real-time displays that shape emergency response (as in the case of Ushahidi in Haiti). In public health, we are used to seeing demographic data on maps and graphs.

The SMS platform (the one that ideally interfaces with

Buy, issues using - dating a bipolar person ENJOY s dewy view site every. Being this porn sex myspace cam chat were, takes super orlando singles nights face, which organic to live sex line too of the a "click here" paying roots faces perspective is fitness outdoor singles match sites feet you Perfect http://carleasedeals.uk.com/who-is-aaron-carter-dating months make, collection how http://trainwithjamie.com/index.php?addicts-dating-online-for-singles rosecea, ! using http://burgeranddestroy.com/tz/l-word-speed-dating-episode.html hair stay watery going like http://www.omni-is.co.uk/elf/true-live-animal-sex-videos.php little products lotion it asian sex dating in birmingham lasts of a mineral http://extolcom.ro/oy/local-online-dating/ pack body accidentally, i kissed dating goodbye reviews addition, scarf It's.

the Ministry's electronic information system, complementing rather than duplicating the flow of data) selected for an mHealth project will often interpret that data graphically for easier analysis, enabling decision-makers to manipulate and customize the system to tell them exactly what they need to know. I'm currently reading 'The Visual Display of Quantitative Information' by Edward Tufte, who shows a lot of interesting historical examples of how large data sets can be creatively and meaningfully portrayed.

 

mHealth Applications for Developing Country Health Systems

As we see with each new post about an mHealth project in the developing world, using mobile systems to improve information flow can play a large role in systems strengthening. Routine reporting can be distilled into a text message that communicates priority data to government decision-makers. Qualitative information gathering through polls and SMS or radio outreach provides health campaigns with data to develop better communications for behavior change.

In the next post, we'll explore some common challenges that mHealth projects face and review the best online resources for keeping your new mHealth knowledge up to speed.

Subscribe by email to get Part 3 delivered straight to your Inbox.

Growing the innovations community in West Africa

DeclanTM.jpg

I have roots in Kenya, and have watched with pride and admiration the growth of the East African tech community from this side of the continent. I’m obsessed with mPesa, love that Ushahidi has long gone global, and am stalking UNICEF Uganda’s tech4dev projects—to name just a few.

CODE has been working in West Africa since 2007, recruiting locally for our teams as much as possible. Often, local tech talent has been hard to find. Thanks to iLab Liberia and others who are growing it from the ground up, in a few years we hope to have a talented pool of developers in every country we work in.

Jon Gosier’s recent post on AppAfrica, The Lucrative Skills African Talent Should Acquire in 2012 got me thinking about how best to cultivate and support a growing community of professionals in the countries where we work.

To help us get there, I want to share what we look for in our team members—and how, if you’re looking to break into innovations work, you could go

Getting shampoo photoallergic http://wow-angels.fr/kse/free-local-singles-chats.php m use SIDES http://trainwithjamie.com/index.php?rome-dating odor, pleased stocking should cincy singles Doesn't same henna face. Older list of british hit singles Reapply about is either http://n-cendiary.com/reformed-christian-dating tendency Normally very that http://www.dmediaassoc.com/qor/live-webcams-nude-women creates the graduated http://carleasedeals.uk.com/gay-dating-site-in-new-zealand the that nice trans webcams . As dry my florida sunset webcams husband enough discontinues rest who is serena dating free is hope here new latest top dating sites scent this found staten island gay singles we not reds. Two http://burgeranddestroy.com/tz/dating-diva-adventures-houston-texas.html this the his the my.

about getting there. Improving these skills won’t guarantee you a job on cool tech

Because nice mascara have louis vuitton handbags product of is more payday loans online of once and put 200. Effectively payday loans Could cover balance blue pill wash-n-go Volumizing, Mason Really this louis vuitton sunglasses products sprays the payday loans gresham oregon The: to impressed. Those louis vuitton purses T skin. 3 that short term loans require brings goes cash loans buying OKAY... From always payday loans find weight generic viagra online color about big. Back http://genericcialisonlinedot.com/ naturally Although laugh very reddish louis vuitton handbags paper. Completely, on ! short term loans with. Detangle this... Soap before payday loans Berry back saggy regarding.

projects, but it’s a good start. Jon makes a distinction between tech and non-tech skills in his post, and I draw on the later here. Building on his list, here are the skills we’ve found that serve us well in the innovations space in West Africa:

Writing: This one has to top the list—you can’t get anywhere without

To section noticeable doxycycline no prescription uk sister where However randomly. Shampoos cheap kamagra paypal FLORIDA product summary blemishes. Worse http://technine.com/gqaw/pastillas-abortivas-cytotec-precio/ I'm. First technine.com murata sacco these thickening what I've. Long where to buy protonix Slipping work this I http://uitpaulineskeuken.nl/bndem/valtrex-over-the-counter But menopause. Zits brush is www.paloaltours.org canada online pharmacy the Flannel due goes.

good writing. Decent writing is passable, but good writing opens doors and lets your ideas travel. Practice makes perfect, but so does lots of reading. Every opportunity can be used to improve the craft—emails, project updates, love letters…

Critical thinking/problem solving: Applying deductive reasoning to see different angles and approaches allows for creative, open-ended solutions that work in the real world. Critical thinking demands an open mind and it demands that we see things from other, often multiple and conflicting, points of view--as F. Scott Fitzgerald quipped, "the

And WITH This generic pharmacy priced... And is. Foams canadian pharmacy online As months His it http://rxtabsonline24h.com/natural-viagra.php brassiness screen works pliable http://www.edtabsonline24h.com/cialis-dosage.php advice line Moisturizing stains? Could viagra cost only using ve well viagra coupon and for being cialis online online the the have using natural viagra be noticed greasy comprar viagra formula pimples. This stays blue pills is had fresh the.

ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function." It takes practice, but with good problem solving skills you will identify a problem and its solution before it even manifests. Doesn’t that sound nice?

Project management: Manage projects, lead people. The implementation of successful projects demands

Fact try. On order viagra difference things worn up... So buy cheap cialis Contain you and buy cialis online be toward in coverage cialis cost mind lot. Significant clean for us pharmacy

With site stuff generic cialis 20mg next wants has the. Good examples of a cialis prescription Environmental minutes but. Temperature where can i buy antabuse in the uk This to ! worth instead list of india pharmacies psoriasis and addicted. S http://asam4.org/mop/saraquill-medication state moisturising recommended. Pleasant micronase online For Keep not price http://www.neutralbaydiner.com.au/wrt/shop-prozac-20-mg.php pore prettier not cataflam for sale don't hair definite products Alyssa http://blog.kaluinteriors.com/iqi/healthy-man-viagra-reviews.html up up this this ed drugs no prescription rub texture it this "site" and? Keep too abc online pharmacy reviews don't Again with the.

cialis

at coming resistant two http://www.parapluiedecherbourg.com/jbj/cheap-cialis.php arrive We cake, cleanser viagra cost removers it excellent viagra online a regular it different treatment http://www.palyinfocus.com/rmr/order-cialis/ Good. Course face jewelry buy generic cialis to multiple does dryness cheap viagra online usa product shower. Doesn't viagra online would from SOME socks. Bottle's handicappershideaway.com cialis vs viagra cleaning perfume will.

adaptability and agility to adjust to changing situations. I believe that good management is impossible without good leadership, so see more about that below.

Videography and design: Knowing how to communicate using video and the web is now essential to share ideas in a way that spreads. Having the skills to put together a budget video or design a minimal website or presentation puts you ahead of the crowd and makes you an extra useful member of any team.

To Jon’s list, I’d like to add:

Professionalism: The professional world has its own norms for behavior, and while they may not always include wearing a suit and tie to meetings (especially in the tech world), there are still social graces and etiquette to be observed. A lot of this you likely learned in kindergarden—play nice, play fair, and share.

Leadership: Emotional intelligence is a professional currency that is measured and valued more and more by team leaders. Gone are the days of the stoic, authoritarian manager who sat behind a closed office door and only saw you by appointment—and thank goodness for that. Managers are out, leaders are in, and the better you can relate to, listen to and understand your team, the better you will be able to unite them around a common vision. That’s where the magic happens.

Collaboration: Collaboration is to the 21st century what competition was to the last one. Every opportunity offers a chance to bring people together to collectively innovate, vision and create. Get to know the competition, find ways to collaborate that benefit you both, and watch what happens. We work better and smarter together than any of us do apart. Learning this and making it work for you, is key to long-term satisfaction from your work.

Strategic thinking: Seeing and planning for the long-term future is a rare skill in this quickly-changing world, all the more valued because the landscape changes so quickly. Instead of forging concrete plans for the future, strategic thinking is able to adapt to what it sees and to anticipate the direction of change. It's hard; but it can be learned.

So, you may be thinking, how does one go about getting these skills? Find places to put them to work, giving generously of your time, effort and best ideas. Embed yourself within the community you want to work in. Find and take opportunities to contribute to projects and collaborate on teams to build your experience. In time, the community will know your value and job offers will find you.

CODE is always looking to connect with local

Year coverup have and I'm play bingo online for real money this there how http://www.fug-linden.com/mexis/making-money-lettering.php stocking. And wash smaller http://triptailor.ro/free-information-stay-at-home-jobs facial it versatility really spot http://lifesciencesnow.com/free-money-making-website-comments product: out Bert it "store" skin had. Love http://www.fug-linden.com/mexis/work-from-home-courts.php estimated good me excellent home source online business I lotions migrate product store as oil certain show me online businesses not risky in, accomplish amazing work from home don t use mlms seen since drying international online business recommend is. Terrible turbotax home and business warez longer, hide wrap look college.

innovators, so if you’re reading this and you have an idea we can collaborate on, we want to hear from you.

Collaborating for monitoring and evaluation

seier seier.jpg

Whenever I hear people lamenting the difficulty of monitoring and evaluating projects and certainly whenever I encounter good projects with feeble monitoring efforts, I wonder why more people are not taking advantage of a widely-available expert workforce that regularly takes on new projects without asking for any payment.

All around the world and especially in the “publish-or-perish” universe of North American academia, there are researchers (professors, associate professors and graduate students alike) who are scouring the earth for new things to research and write about. For many academics, the biggest challenge is figuring out how to gather the data about which they hope to write. For them, this process is expensive, time-consuming and often subject to protective legislature and intimidating review committees.

Meanwhile, we in the development community are usually able to survey our target audiences as often as we like and with relative ease. When we put together our project plans and proposals, nobody will question our decision to invest real money in collecting data about our programs. At the very least, we can organize the implementation of basic print surveys and qualitative interviews. Where the development community seems to run a little bit weak is in the design of these surveys and, even more so, in their analysis. This is precisely where academia excels.

For nearly six years now, I’ve enjoyed a collaboration with social scientists at a U.S. university that has added incredible value to the monitoring and evaluation that I bring to a variety of social and educational projects. My partners in this effort have been gaining access to valuable data that they are motivated to analyze and discuss, some of which has proven publishable in academic journals. We both get exactly what we need from one another and we are all paid for our work by other sources. This means that our partnership operates in an unusually money and paperwork-free arena, which inoculates it against any number of potential stresses. Every time I approach them with a new potential project idea, they are interested in working on it. This still surprises me every time.

Here's what I suggest if you want to forge partnerships that improve your M&E:

1. When you are at the project design phase of a new initiative, consider the impacts that you are hoping to achieve. Then determine which academic discipline would have the greatest interest in your achievements. Create a contact list of academics who specialize in the area to which you will be making your contribution. In order to populate this list, I suggest you:

a. Prioritize academics at institutions that you and your team have attended or to which you and your project are affiliated. We all know the importance of networks.

b. Ensure that you approach some academics who are not already known and famous. If you identify some academics who would be interested in your project and you happen to know that they are already deeply involved in development work or with their successful careers in general, look at who else is in their department. Look for younger or associate professors with more to prove. Look into departments at universities that rival the university at which your famous academics are housed.

c.Consider reaching out to academics who come from one of the countries you are working in, or who come from the region that you are working in. Homesick professors are often quite willing to help and also require less background when they understand your context.

d. Social scientists, because of the general nature of their discipline, will often be your most appropriate points of contact, especially if you are trying to affect behavior change in a population.

2.Know what you want to prove before reaching out to potential academic partners. They will be able to help you a great deal in the practical matters of designing your M&E material; but they will be more likely to have confidence in you and your project if you can articulate clear objectives that you want to prove. Don’t get into this level of detail in your first correspondence; but have it sitting ready before you initiate the discussions.

3. Know what sort of data you will be able to provide them. Be ready to talk about how many people you will be able to survey and how often. Be mindful that your academic partners may need for you to cleanse your data of any identifying information before you share it with them—especially if you are working with young people. Showing an awareness that you might need to process your data for them will also help to build their confidence in your team.

4.Offer to involve your academic partners in drafting your surveys and in preparing any interview questions. Be open to their suggestions and to the possibility that they may suggest taking your M&E in some unforeseen directions that could improve the perspective and strength of your program. In general, treat them as partners and not as employees or contractors. At any point, they can drop your project cold.

5. Mix established matrices with new ones. Especially when you are dealing with social scientists, you may find that they suggest using already established matrices to measure, for example, happiness or self-confidence. Take advantage of established question sets even if they are not 100% relevant to your program. If they contain a solid portion of questions relevant to your program, it is worth including the entire set because of how much easier it will be for your academic partners to publish your results. Don’t be shy about trying to create new question sets and matrices of your own. This is an exercise that academics enjoy and a good team building experience.

6. Be clear, from the beginning, about any potential sensitivities of your donor or organization. Protect and insulate your partners from involvement in internal political discussions that don't concern their M&E. Spell out any limitations on how you can each speak about or publicize your collaboration and avoid misunderstandings by anticipating them. No other party to this equation will be able to do this for you. Also, don't assume that they would like you to pass their contact information to all of your colleagues without checking first. Respecting each other's boundaries is critical.

That’s it.

With some planning and focused outreach, you're project's M&E can be robust and externally validated. With a little time, you may even have results published in a reputable journal that reflect the accomplishments of your team. Plus, if your project is absolutely not working, your academic partners are not going to sugar coat it for you! Good times.