M&E Research Framework, Part 1

Danya International’s system of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is designed to support multiple stakeholders toward meeting their performance accountability. This M&E system is particularly suited to contribute to solutions that address the accountability challenges in public education where responsibilities and functions are distributed across various levels.

As public education strengthens its accountability at the institutional level, policy leaders are expected to lead with results, address challenges of resource allocation, and communicate decisions with various stakeholders in a timely manner. At the instructional level, educators are expected to use data to improve their practice, challenge learners with more rigorous standards, and develop a keen understanding of accountability. In each of these levels, in other words, there is a need for using timely data to plan, decide, communicate, and evaluate. Using the most advanced technology to organize data collected from multiple sources, Danya’s M&E system offers unique features that support stakeholders at various policy levels in achieving their goals.

M&E Shapes Leadership and Administrative Culture

 

Leaders in public education at the federal, state, and local levels face performance-based accountability. Leaders must maintain the data analytic capacity to address multiple functions simultaneously, including a persistent focus on student achievement, application of both rewards and sanctions, and a strategic deployment of resources. Danya’s M&E system is designed not only to fill the data analytic need of administrative agencies but also to generate greater transparency that helps sustain publicly accountable, high-performing organizations.

 

At the federal level, the M&E system can strengthen the capacity of administrative agencies such as the Bureau of Indian Education and the Office of Head Start in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to monitor the quality of local service delivery throughout the country. Data collected from local sites and from national data sources can be organized into usable, timely dashboard indicators. Using the dashboard and/or an integrated data system, federal program administrators can address key policy issues. Among these are:

  • What is the current status of federally funded services? An example of how the M&E system addresses this issue is the trend-line mapping on program quality. Indicators on the dashboard can report on specific federal standards and aggregated measures.
  • Are there disparities in federally funded services? Danya’s integrated database allows for detailed analysis on the distribution of services among various population subgroups, geographic areas, and jurisdictions, among other characteristics.
  • What do we know about policy implementation? In an intergovernmental system, policy implementation can be complicated. State and local use of federal program funds, for example, can be tracked as part of the M&E system. Staffing recruitment, retention, turnover, and compensation can be analyzed in a timely manner.
  • Can data serve to change the organizational culture of an agency? Danya’s M&E system can create the conditions for organizational learning. When federal administrators start using the dashboard for policy discussion, a new incentive is created for state and local program personnel to begin focusing on the indicators of interest. The M&E system, in other words, can generate a process of data collaboration and exchange across different levels of the policy system.

Stay tuned for Part 2.
Vice President, Program Management and Evaluation
Danya International
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2 thoughts on “M&E Research Framework, Part 1

  1. Thanks for the update, Jennifer. This a great tool we have. With federal/state program coffers already at record lows – and facing additional drainage in 2012, the M&E system and subsequent data can be extremely beneficial in separating those programs that are performing from those that aren’t. GPRA holds some promise to help agencies manage for results and obtain the information they need to plan, implement, and evaluate program results. But it would seem that the M&E research tool can provide results on a deeper level. This is a tool that will allow programs to provide agencies and Congress with several kinds of information that are key to their funding and survival going forward (i.e., which specific program approaches or models are most effective, the circumstances in which they are effective, and if the individual programs are working nationwide).

  2. Pingback: M&E Research Framework, Part 2 | DanyaBlog

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