The Balanced Design, Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (BalanceD-MERL) Maturity Matrix

Country

Global

Region

Global

Type

Technical Guidance Document

Year

2018

The Balanced Design, Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (BalanceD-MERL) Maturity Matrix

Country

Global

Region

Global

Type

Technical Guidance Document

Year

2018

Abstract:

The maturity matrix is a tool developed under the Balanced Design, Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning (BalanceD-MERL) consortium to help staff integrate MERL with program design through the use of four principles (mentioned below) in the service of good program management.

1. Relevant: D-MERL is relevant when it is informed by development theory and is intentionally shaped by, and responds to, how local people, context, and strategy evolve over time.

2. Right-sized: D-MERL is right-sized when it is a match between resources (people, time, and money) and goals.

3. Responsible: D-MERL is responsible when it goes beyond the “do no harm” principle to engage respectfully, ethically, and sensitively with the target audience(s) of the program and local partners.

4. Trustworthy: D-MERL is trustworthy when it is conducted according to standards of rigor appropriate to context, constraints, and/or intended use of the data.

Description:

Balance can be achieved by explicitly incorporating these four key principles, underpinned by a focus on utilization, into D-MERL activities. Through these principles, activities, programs, and strategies are informed by: 1. Development theory and shaped by the local context 2. Stakeholder engagement is guided by culturally-sensitive and ethical practices 3. Resources are appropriately matched with program and strategic goals 4. Valid, reliable, and objective results are found and 5. Decision-making is evidence-driven and reflective of a broad range of stakeholders’ voices. The BalanceD-MERL consortium under the U.S. Global Development Lab’s Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning Innovations (MERLIN) program consists of World Vision (Prime), Innovations for Poverty Action, Institute for Development Impact, Search for Common Ground, and the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

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