My Insights from MERL Tech in London

Robert Heine's picture

I just got back from the MERL Tech conference, where those interested in the intersection between monitoring and evaluation, research, learning (MERL) and technology gathered in London. Apart from sharing all about WebMo in a live demo, I got to meet peers and discuss new methods, tools and approaches in the MERL-Tech landscape.

First things first – my overall take-away from the conference as a software provider is quite encouraging: monitoring and evaluation (M&E) Software is no longer a niche. The market has matured. More and more organizations are incorporating M&E Software into their work. That’s great! However, we have been observing some double-edged trends when it comes to who is the one in charge of purchasing an organization’s M&E software.

When choosing the right M&E platform becomes a long-term investment and a strategic decision, purchasing a software can turn into a lengthy process. In fact, the larger an organization, the more likely it seems that the responsibility will be delegated to the IT-department or central office. As you can imagine, an IT-department or central office will choose an M&E software based on different criteria than an M&E professional. A software that matches the criterion of fitting into an organization’s IT-architecture might not be the most useful from an M&E expert’s perspective.

We want our software solutions to both meet the needs of M&E professionals and be easily accessible. One way to ensure this is by breaking down the barriers of a lengthy procurement process. And so, we are extremely excited to announce that we will soon be introducing a slim and sophisticated version of WebMo, which will be instantly available for use. In addition to the new standard version, individual adjustments will of course still be available upon request. An important step in our company’s desire to be as close to the field as possible!