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Community Contribution

USAID LEARN’s Approaches to Help Participants Internalize Data

Monalisa Salib, Katherine Haugh, Kristin Lindell

There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that people struggle to actually use data and evidence to inform their decisions. While there are a number of reasons for this, one of the main reasons is that teams and organizations often fail to internalize the data and evidence they have. If people don’t interpret or reflect upon their data, they are much less likely to use it to inform their decisions. Through our experience, we know that facilitating fun and engaging group reflection is one way to enable teams to interpret their data, build team cohesion, and take collective action.

Linked here is a matrix of three interactive approaches to data internationalization that you can apply in your work. The three approaches are relevant to both qualitative and quantitative data and have been used by USAID LEARN to internalize and apply what we’ve learned from our data. There are any number of approaches that can be used but these are some of the most easy to understand if you're new to facilitation or helping others internalize data.

Our ability to manage adaptively hinges on our ability to interpret and apply data and evidence. Therefore it is important to match the facilitation exercise to the type of data you have and the purpose of your session in order to facilitate meaningful participation. Questions to consider before using the Data Internalization Matrix:

  1. What type of data do you have?
  2. How should the data be presented so it’s engaging?
  3. How much time do you have with the participants?
  4. What do you need the participants to do? Do they need to make decisions, take action, simply understand for general awareness, etc? What are your intended outcomes for sharing the data?

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