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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MEDA use results-based management approach to ensure that program activities are in line with the intended objectives.
MEDA strives to capture changes at the macro level, in terms of gender equality and social inclusion, market systems, and inclusive growth.
We make sure that MIM activities serve the needs of stakeholders and data is used for reporting, decision making, accountability, and learning.
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.
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.
At its core, this form of story collection is a simple process of asking our clients what changes they have seen in their lives since working with MEDA, and why these are important. Story collection is an effective monitoring tool because it can occur throughout the program cycle and provides information to help people manage and adapt the program over time.
These stories evaluate project efforts because they provide data on impact and outcomes to assess programmatic performance. Stories are not based on pre-defined indicators but instead involves a systematic process of selecting the most significant stories, chosen by a panel of designated stakeholders.
In Myanmar, women face many barriers to banking services, access to credit, business training and leadership opportunities. Nang Khin Swe is one women in her community who is challenging the status quo by making the transition from farming to sales agent. In her new role, Nang enters communities to buy produce and bring it to sell at the market. Nang received training and support from the MEDA Myanmar team in marketing, customer behavior and produce quality.
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.