Accessing and collecting data for development was once a major challenge. Now, as the development world increasingly collects vast amounts of sophisticated data, the challenge has shifted to finding tools and approaches that enable implementers and donors to adapt their decision-making based on the data collected. Navanti Group’s Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) Support Activity to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Mission in Nigeria recently completed several trainings designed to build the capacity of the Mission’s Implementing Partners (IPs) in data analysis, visualization, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping, and management of performance data. In all, 482 participants received the trainings for a total of 4,020 training hours.

The data analysis and visualization trainings proved so popular that participation increased threefold in the advanced training sessions that followed. One participant remarked that the MEL Support Activity “taught me how to simplify my job and save time.” Another participant reported that the training tackled a “very tricky spot we face in analyzing and visualizing data.” Improving USAID IPs’ data analysis and visualization skills is a key objective to facilitate reporting on their activities and their progress towards achieving the goals of USAID/Nigeria’s Country Development and Cooperation Strategy (CDCS). The GIS training, in addition to being popular, provided useful lessons for future programming. Due to high demand, the MEL Support Activity hosted two hybrid, in-person and online, training sessions. Both sessions aimed to improve participants’ capacity to build maps with geocoded data from indicators to assess progress on supporting the Mission’s CDCS.

The trainings were developed in response to findings from a USAID and IP survey on learning priorities. In an effort to put Nigerian firms at the forefront of project activities, Navanti Group partnered with UrBizEdge, a leading data analytics firm in Nigeria, and Hayche Digital, a leading provider of data management and GIS services in Nigeria, to conduct the trainings. The MEL Support Activity also provided support to participants with disabilities.

The USAID/Nigeria Program Office and the MEL Support Activity are currently working on a “utilization tracker” to determine to what extent training participants can apply the skills they acquired via these trainings in their work. The findings will inform the topics and methods of future training programs.

USAID awarded the MEL Support Activity in Nigeria to Navanti Group in July 2021. Navanti Group provides a broad range of technical assistance to the USAID/Nigeria Mission, including data quality assessments, field-based monitoring and evaluations, support for learning, and enhanced data analytics through improved utilization of GIS mapping. Navanti Group implements the MEL Support Activity in partnership with Social Impact, Inc. 

Since 2008, Navanti Group’s mission has been to deliver information through on-demand analytical reports, with clients benefiting from subject matter expertise and near real-time data on atmospherics, conflict, and population trends throughout Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Central Asia, the Levant, and Eastern Europe. Through primary research, publicly available information, and open-source analysis, Navanti Group’s subject matter experts advise on cultural nuances and answer client driven requests for information on food security, health, civil society developments, peace and conflict, and governance. For further information visit: NavantiGroup.com. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.