This policy brief was developed to assist decision-making in the field of international development on when and how to best utilize data science methods. It is meant to assist all levels of decision-making (from the field to the boardroom) as well as development actors (from donors to community-level NGOs). This general applicability stems from a research focus on general principles and processes that can be adapted as needed. The recommendations include a general decision-making process that outlines how data-science methods can integrate private-sector best practices with legacy Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) systems. It also presents next steps for operationalizing this process. Feedback from an advisory group consisting of donors, service providers, and thought leaders then establishes the foundations for a future-focused research agenda.
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