RE: How can evaluation help improve data quality and policies on food security during Covid-19 pandemic? | Eval Forward

Thanks a lot Tim. Very interesting exchanges. I do think there is a lot that can be done with existing data sets and secondary data, but much depends on their quality as well. A few thoughts come to mind

  1. I realize from experience that quite often evaluators collect a lot more data than is required, so the current Covid- 19 situation forces us to streamline approaches and collect only very necessary data. We need to be more aligned to utility. For instance, ask ourselves, what information is required by decision makers therefore what is the minimum data required to address that at the time it is required? What data can be collected remotely and what can be supplemented through existing data?
  2. Where good quality data exists, particularly with unique identifiers, efforts can be made to match data with light touch remote primary data collection, possibly using mobile technology, given travel restriction posed by Covid-19.
  3. I do think more that ever before, enhanced quality measures at all levels are increasingly important. While we lose all the benefits that come with  face to face interaction in data collection, there is still much that can be done to enhance quality of outcomes- For instance, more needs to be done to engage people with the right technical expertise to mine existing data and understand trends; use existing data for modelling what the future situation might look like in view of Covid-19; and use qualitative approaches such as direct observation of crop quality and food availability in markets, where applicable to mention a few examples.