The key to achieving organizational goals comes from determining and understanding the real needs and wants of target markets, to optimize the delivery of desired outcomes more effectively and efficiently. MERL should be a continuous process that is integrated into any business or development program. MERL brings learning to the early stages of project implementation in a rigorous, empowering, and flexible way. It applies proven monitoring, evaluation, and analytic techniques to increase effectiveness systematically. MERL guides programs in testing key program adaptations to inform how best to achieve desired results – potentially at a lower cost. This includes focusing feedback loops on specific aspects of the project, and may also include using advanced statistical methods to reduce required sample sizes and the use of tools that can support rapid data collection – cell phones and tablets for survey implementation, SMS and IVR technology for remote data collection, and geospatial imagery from satellites.
- Collect relevant, actionable data to support adaptive management/data-driven decision making and to measure the impact of our programs
- Appropriately leverage technology to improve the efficiency, quality, and accessibility of data collected
- Ensure monitoring and evaluation findings are effectively utilized and applied to design and improve programs
- Promote/support the design, implementation, and utilization of rigorous and ethical research that improves program delivery and expands the evidence
- Share our learning with our staff, our program participants, local stakeholders, and the broader development community and policymakers