Using data to improve program quality
Research, Monitoring and Evaluation
Tracking our progress and monitoring each individual project has been an essential part of our DNA since the very beginning of Room to Read. We are committed to putting data at the heart of an evidenced-based program design and holding ourselves accountable not just to our investors but to the children we serve across Asia and Africa who deserve the chance to become literate adults.
We focus on the data that matters. Measuring life skills or reading habits is not as straightforward as counting books and libraries. We assess progress in a large number of project schools and compare it to progress in comparable government schools. Room to Read is committed to tackling comparative assessments in order to receive honest and objective feedback about how we are doing and ways we can improve the quality and effectiveness of our programs.
Data-driven decision making
We listen to what the numbers tell us. We keep a tight focus on the important data that show us whether children are learning and improving and let these data drive decisions. This means building on what we do well, but more importantly being ready to make tough choices when the data tell us our goals are not being achieved.
Turning data into action
We ensure actions are implemented at every level. As country offices receive data from the field, they quickly reallocate resources to the projects that need them; and our skilled staff use data from global research, monitoring and evaluation work across our ten-country operations to improve global program design and implementation in quarterly and annual cycles.
We are committed to conducting high-quality research in order to give us objective and accurate answers to questions of program performance. In targeting these criteria, we strive to meet international standards of academic peer review for research and evaluation as well as respecting the people about whom we collect information by meeting international ethical standards related to the protection of human subjects.
At the same time we remain nimble and cost-effective with a keen focus on the most important research questions, and we maximize the use of our resources through the integration of research into our programs.
Strategic thinking and innovation
Our ability to innovate and think strategically is key to achieving our vision. Our long-term commitments in each country with similarly long-term financial support allows us to think holistically and strategically about the way that the three elements of research, monitoring and evaluation can work together over a period of several years. Long-term commitments also allow us the time and space to innovate and experiment with new research methods and new approaches to data-driven program improvement. We aim to combine state-of-the-art evaluation science from academia with on-the-ground know-how when it comes to turning data into action.
Investing in local capacity
We believe in a strong global and local team. We have a worldwide Research, Monitoring and Evaluation team, with at least one dedicated manager in each country of operation in addition to a number of research officers and data support staff.
Beyond Program Improvements
Influencing the global community
Our data has the potential to benefit many hundreds of millions of children who are not served by Room to Read programs. Governments and the global community are allies in achieving our goals of global literacy and gender equality in education. We influence these groups through the publication of accessible research reports and through targeted advocacy.
Accountability to stakeholders
We publish our results so that stakeholders – donors, government and partner organizations – can hold us accountable. We are committed to transparency and objectivity. Those who wish to fund us – or whom we wish to influence – can have complete confidence in our data because we publish our complete results.
Less than 1% of US nonprofits have received nine consecutive Charity Navigator four star ratings. Our transparency and accountability place us among the best charities. See for yourself.
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