In the development sector, giving a clear, quantifiable picture of a program’s impact helps beneficiaries and funders ensure that grant money reaches its target, and it also assists foundations, governments, and NGOs in making better funding choices. Yet, such methods and behaviors are not always widespread or consistent, leading to inefficiency and poor cost recovery. This article presents three Asian examples from Surabaya, Indonesia; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; and Mumbai, India of innovative strategies to improve monitoring and evaluation and the collection of data to measure impact.
In India, Mumbai-based Vera Solutions also believes that data can transform the efforts of social-change organizations. The company uses mobile data and cloud-based systems to build customized databases. These databases can be automatically analyzed and give important programmatic information to staff in home offices and in the field to understand quickly the effectiveness of particular approaches and programs. Time, effort and funds can be spent more efficiently and effectively with easily accessible numbers from the field. In Mumbai, Vera Solutions worked with the Foundation for Mother and Child Health (FMCH), a program that aims at improving nutrition and health for underprivileged communities in the city, to build a clinic management system.