Judging impact in the SDG era: The crossroads of data science and M&E!

Dear Colleagues and Friends, 

In an era marked by rapid technological change...

Data science and next generation measurement approaches and tools—be they big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, satellite imagery or mobile technology—are opening new possibilities for addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). What are the implications for how we judge impact?

On behalf of The Rockefeller Foundation and UN Women, this panel brought together industry experts from diverse schools of thought to explore how data science and new M&E technologies are supporting efforts to assess the SDGs. Among the various topics, we will explore are:

  • Tensions and trade-offs in the adoption of these new capabilities
  • Ways to ensure we move toward an equitable and inclusive future
  • Questions we should be asking ourselves now, but aren’t

We had a candid discussion with NY-based colleagues on Oct 11 and since then, and quite incredibly, an evaluation team has won a Nobel Prize for their innovative approach to measuring impact! Clearly there is a lot of interest and momentum on this topic.

During the discussion, there were a few resources that were mentioned and/or that we thought useful to share:


Look forward to our ongoing engagement on these topics!

Veronica Olazabal, Senior Advisor and Director, Measurement, Evaluation and Organizational Performance @ The Rockefeller Foundation

Shravanti Reddy, Evaluation Specialist @ UN Women

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Comment by Deborah McSmith, MPH on January 13, 2020 at 23:09

Is anyone in the group aware of articles or webinars that discuss various methods for assessing long term impact - eg, evaluations that take place up to 5 years after a project or an intervention has been completed, to measure the level of sustained change?  Thanks, Deborah McSmith

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