Impact and Knowledge Management

Measurement Matters

MEDA is committed to measuring lasting impact.

Gathering data on the work we do to create business solutions to poverty informs our decisions, adaptations, and interventions. By collecting and analyzing data, we can best contribute to our clients’ economic empowerment and prosperity.

Creating business solutions to poverty that are sustainable, scalable, replicable, and measurable is at the core of what we do. Our responsibility is to respond to the needs of our clients and adapt our services to best suit their families and businesses. How can we do this? Through the consistent monitoring of our impact through qualitative and quantitative measures.

Informing Data-driven Decisions

MEDA strives to make informed decisions that reflect the needs of our clients and partners. Ongoing learning is the foundation of our measurement systems. We work to confront our assumptions and respond when our solutions need adaption. Listening to the needs of our clients is paramount to creating business solutions to poverty that are sustainable and change the world for the better.

Approaches

Rolling Baseline Methodology

With staggered client entry, our projects use a rolling baseline methodology that allows us to understand the starting point of their well-being and business performance. Program participants are assessed before they work with MEDA and then again throughout their interactions with us.

Surveys

Surveys are used to establish cause and effect relationships. Surveys are comprehensive, attributable and allow us to gather the data needed to assess indicators related to the business success and wellbeing. Usually conducted annually, they allow us to measure results over time. 

Mobile Data Collection

Mobile phones or tablets are used in rural and inaccessible places to collect and manage data. Mobile data collection platforms allows us to customize surveys to collect specific data needed on income, enterprise performance, capacity, and take photos and GIS coordinates. The flexibility of mobile data collection allows MEDA to quickly pivot and make decisions based on the realities on the ground.

Focus Group Discussions

Focus group discussions are interviews with 6 – 10 participants. Designed to elicit qualitative data, focus groups are safe places for clients and partners to share about their experiences with MEDA’s trainings, tools, and interventions. Questions are asked of the group and the researcher records the vital information shared by the group.

Guiding Principles

MEDA adopts the following principles in conducting its IKM activities

Lean Data

Lean Data Approach

MEDA collects only data that is relevant and material to measuring project impact and learning. Impact measurement and reporting should not be onerous for businesses and individual entrepreneurs, rather MIM strives to make a business case for data collection with private sector partners.

Ethiopians Motivating Enterprises to Rise in Trade and Agri-Business (EMERTA) 2016-2023: MEDA employed a lean data gathering approach in response to COVID-19 restrictions when data collection was shifted to virtual means like over the phone. The surveys questions were reduced to only the “must know” data points (i.e., income, jobs, yields, decision-making for gender, and technology adoption for environment).

Gender Transformative & Equitable

Gender Transformative & Equitable

We collect data that goes beyond sex-disaggregation or counting the number of women. We explore and pilot feminist MIM approaches and practices which provide more insights about the experience of women and men.

Women’s Empowerment for Central America (WE4CA) 2022-2026: MEDA has integrated Gender Progress Markers (GPM) as a methodology that will support the analysis of the project’s ultimate outcome. GPM are a set of outcome statements that describe a progression of changed behaviours for a target group of people from their own perspectives. GPM is also used to monitor and measure the project’s GESI Strategy outcomes progress toward the ultimate outcome of the project.

Context Specific

Context Specific

We understand that each project is unique depending on several factors, including geography and sector. While MEDA has its overall impact targets across its portfolio, individual project targets are set by considering the context in which the project is operating. The targets are monitored on an ongoing basis and necessary support is provided to partners as needed.

Youth Entrepreneurship and Women's Empowerment in Northern Nigeria (Nigeria Way) (2017-2024): MEDA made significant changes to its implementation plan and Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) as new information was captured about changing realities for the clients, within project communities, that would directly impact it’s strategy. MEDA’s practice to conduct annual surveys also serve both reporting requirements as well as updating the implementation strategy to align with changes in the operating context.

Ethics & Privacy

Ethics & Privacy

MIM activities are conducted with respect for beliefs and customs and sociocultural environment, human rights, and gender equality. We make sure that personal data is protected, and informed consent is obtained for the use of information that we gather from entrepreneurs and partners.

Resilience and Inclusion through Investment for Sustainable Agrikultura (RIISA) (2021-2026): In addition to adhering to MEDA’s privacy policy that provides guidelines on collecting, storing and processing client data, the RIISA project has developed a ‘Project Accountability Mechanism (PAM)’ to address any allegation of misconduct as per MEDA’s Code of Conduct and Ethics. The PAM will not only be useful in ensuring client privacy but will also help the project team in becoming more responsive to clients’ opinions and complaints demonstrating our commitment to implement interventions in ethical and responsive manner.

Empowerment of Staff & Partners

Empowerment of Staff & Partners

Project staff and partners are empowered to take ownership and responsibility of project-level MIM activities. MEDA HQ staff are responsible for providing MIM support to the field offices upon staff’s request. We involve relevant stakeholders, including project participants and implementers (including project partners and government offices), in all MIM activities.

Mastercard Foundation Africa Growth Fund (MFAFG): MEDA co-created an Africa-wide intervention. The Fund was designed working very closely with our partners in Africa who jointly conceptualized the key interventions and identified the results, indicators, and targets.

Learning & Knowledge Management

Learning & Knowledge Management

We gather data not only to measure impact of our intervention but also for learning and knowledge management purposes. We ensure that the information is readily accessible to all relevant stakeholders.

Ukraine Horticultural Business Development Project (UHBDP) 2014-2021: MEDA used ClickDimensions, a quick and easy tool to measure business intelligence and marketing needs of entrepreneur and enterprise clients, to help MEDA to understand our clientele and their needs and to ease reporting requirements.

Results Based Management

Results-based Management

MEDA use results-based management approach to ensure that program activities are in line with the intended objectives.

MEDA adopts RBM best practices and tools to monitor, assess and adjust throughout the implementation cycle of its projects. All MEDA projects articulate an intervention logic and have accompanying measurement frameworks. These tools and practices allow MEDA to use evidence to improve design, decision-making, and accountability.

System-Level Impact

System Level Impact

MEDA strives to capture changes at the macro level, in terms of gender equality and social inclusion, market systems, and inclusive growth.

Partnerships and Value Expansion for Inclusive Seed Systems (PAVE) (2017-2019): MEDA conducted a study to measure system-level impacts of the PAVE Pakistan project. The study used the AAER framework to develop research questions and data gathering tools with a focus on farmers’ copying in and institutional crowding in behaviours. The study also looked at gendered systemic change using principles of the WEAMS framework.

Utility

Utility

We make sure that MIM activities serve the needs of stakeholders and data is used for reporting, decision making, accountability, and learning.

MEDA has embedded the practice of conducting ad-hoc area-specific research studies in mid-term evaluations in projects including IMOW in Myanmar and EMERTA in Ethiopia, where the findings of these studies were used to adjust project strategies and improve effectiveness.

Industry Best Practices

Industry Best Practices

MEDA aim to gather assessment of its performance by employing robust impact measurement methodologies. We use mixed methods and technology platforms to ensure efficiency, transparency and accuracy of data gathering and analysis.

Greater Rural Opportunities for Women 2 (GROW 2) 2021-2026: During the baseline study the Project has prepared the groundwork for conducting Randomized Control Trials to assess MEDA’s impact in the three targeted regions in northern Ghana. This work included identifying three neighbouring communities within the Northern regions that will not receive GROW 2 services nor any other agencies with similar approaches. These communities will be the control group; and will be considered in ongoing monitoring and evaluation exercises for comparison. This initiative will allow MEDA to better determine the cause-and-effect relationship between GROW 2’s interventions in the Northern communities of focus and the outcomes they experience at the end of the project.

Decent Work Indicator Guide

MEDA strives to create decent work for women, men, and youth, providing them with dignity, equality, and economic wellbeing. A MEDA client is an individual, business, or other organization directly benefiting (financial or technical assistance) from a MEDA intervention as part of a formal contract.

This document is intended to provide guidance for MEDA staff, in particular the Impact and Knowledge Management (IKM) specialists and country directors, who are reporting on the annual strategic plan indicator of decent work.

Sustainability

Sustainability is important to us, and we want to see our clients continue to grow their incomes and operate successful businesses even after we leave. We measure key business performance indicators among past clients three years after our projects close and use this information to continually improve how we create business solutions to poverty.

Stories of Change

The stories of change approach is a form of participatory monitoring and evaluation. MEDA involves stakeholders at different levels to discuss the changes expected and to review which are the most important. This method is valuable for learning about what types of unanticipated changes may be occurring in a project.

This ultimately helped her learn her new duties as a sales agent and eventually recover previous losses. Nang’s second effort in collective crop selling was a huge success resulting in 2,228,000 MMK ($1,450 USD) profit, which created interest in other farmers to follow her lead. “This opportunity created a profession for me.” Through MEDA, Nang sought training for her farmers to increase agricultural processing quality so they could sell their produce for a higher price.

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