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Aid Agencies’ Use of Big Data in Human-centred Design for Monitoring and Evaluation

Strategic Security Analysis - 2016 n°8

Release Date:

July 2016

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Key Points

  • The implications of the emerging trend in the fields of Big Data and M&E in terms of which decision-makers are increasingly told to listen to the data so as to make informed choices based on the outputs of complex algorithms. When the data are about people – especially those who lack a voice – these algorithms run the risk of doing more harm than good.
  • There are two key concepts deemed necessary for Big Data-enabled M&E approaches – Validation and human-centered design (HCD).
  • Newly emerging technological insights have the potential to convert huge numbers of beneficiaries’ views and reactions into a meaningful and shared narrative that provides actionable insights into what works, what does not, and why.