Programs & Projects

Balanced Design, Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (BalanceD-MERL)

October 26, 2016 - November 26, 2017


WDI’s Performance Measurement Initiative is part of two consortiums under the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Innovations Program (MERLIN) endeavor that were awarded funding from USAID’s U.S. Global Development Lab to test and implement innovative approaches to measuring development impact. On the BalanceD-MERL mechanism, along with four other consortium members, WDI is developing new methods to deliberately balance integration across all aspects of design, monitoring, evaluation, research and learning (D-MERL). This is to create sustainable improvements in the program, resulting in lasting positive impacts on the program’s target audience. This balance is carried out by incorporating four key principles into a program’s D-MERL: relevant, responsible, right-sized, and trustworthy.

The BalanceD-MERL consortium is testing these new methods in two technical assistance pilots: the Women and Water Global Development Alliance (GDA) and the USAID Global Health Ebola Team (GHET). The GHET program is a part of USG Pillar II investments that are addressing the mitigation of second-order impacts of the Ebola crisis, prevention of development losses, and the strengthening key institutions and infrastructure in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. The Women and Water GDA jointly funded by USAID and Gap Inc., draws upon these organization’s complementary strengths to improve and sustain the health and wellbeing of women and communities touched by the apparel industry in India.

The BalanceD-MERL consortium consists of World Vision (prime), Innovations for Poverty Action, Institute for Development Impact, Search for Common Ground, The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

This article is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of WDI and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government. This article was produced by the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in collaboration with World Vision under the BalanceD-MERL Program, Cooperative Agreement Number AID-OAA-A-15-00061, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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