Questions on how to collect monitoring and evaluation data responsibly

When collecting data to monitor projects, is there a need to push back and be more thoughtful about our approach?  Amy O’Donnell of RDF partner organization Oxfam on the recent London TechSalon on using ICTs for monitoring, evaluation and learning:

Some participants shared that monitoring, evaluation and learning can often be “funder focused” as there are requirements for organisations to present impact to donors on a central level…

Only capturing data which is necessary is a crucial pillar in the ongoing responsible data agenda, as we explore the responsibility to use information we collect.

This is not only to reduce the burden on communities in the process of data collection, but furthermore to stress the importance of ensuring contributors are represented based on the information they have entrusted to others.

While discussing ethical issues, questions were also raised about who owns the data anyway? And how do we respect the rights of groups of people as information is aggregated, when the norm is to focus on the individual?’

Do you or your organization struggle with these questions, and have you come up with any solutions? Let us know in the comments.


Image from A users’ guide for monitoring tech and accountability programming, CC BY 3.0

(This post by DevPolicy gives a good recent example of the burden on communities that collecting too much information can involve.)

This can help you with: Getting Data
Issue areas: People’s agency & ownership

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Published on: 15 Apr 2015
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