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Wednesday, September 18 • 1:30pm - 2:00pm
MEL in fragile and conflict-affected settings: Remote monitoring of the aid program in Afghanistan

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Ulla Keech-Marx (DFAT)

How do you monitor and evaluate a large aid program in an active conflict zone? How do you effectively verify data from development projects and monitor for unintended consequences when the security situation presents significant risks to those on the ground?

The Afghanistan M&E Lab was set up in late 2017 with funding from DFAT's InnovationXchange. Its purpose is to explore creative ways to monitor and manage the Australian aid program to Afghanistan from afar. The findings from the Lab underpin our approach to MEL for the Australian aid program in Afghanistan, and have potential for application in other remote, conflict-affected or otherwise inaccessible settings.

The Lab encompasses a number of sub-projects investigating different potential remote monitoring options. This includes trialling the use of sentinel indicators to monitor change at the system level, developing monitoring and learning techniques drawing on tools for iterative adaptive programming, and investigating whether big data can be used to develop proxy indicators for verification purposes. Can banking big data be used to develop proxies for women's economic empowerment? And can changes in women's use of mobile phones tell us anything about changes in their mobility or status?

In this session we will share our learnings to date on meeting the MEL challenge in Afghanistan.

avatar for Peter Ellis

Peter Ellis

Director, Nous Group
Professionally I'm both an evaluator and a statistician, with a particular interest in using evidence to improve public sector outcomes. While I'm now in consultancy, I've previous run evaluation functions, including as Director Program Evaluation for AusAID, and Manager Tourism Research... Read More →

avatar for Ulla Keech-Marx

Ulla Keech-Marx

MEL Specialist
Ulla Keech-Marx is an experienced international development professional with specialist expertise in MEL, equity and governance. She holds post-graduate qualifications in Evaluation (Melbourne University) and Asian Studies (Australian National University). She has a particular interest... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Ransom

Sarah Ransom

Assistant Director Afghanistan Development, DFAT
Sarah is a development professional with a career focus on governance, civil society, gender, M&E, and all their intersections. She worked in and on South East Asia for over ten years (including postings in Vietnam and Laos) and now works on gender, politics and peace in the Australian... Read More →

Wednesday September 18, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm AEST