Moving from a paper based or an Excel based Monitoring and Evaluation process to a computerized, digital M&E system is a big decision. It involves many tasks such as selecting the right M&E System, customizing the system to your needs, training the staff and partners to use the new system, and continuously maintaining and upgrading the system. There are quite a few M&E MIS available in the market but very few of those would be suitable for your needs. M&E Online® is such system that can make the task of migrating to a digital M&E process amazingly easy and simple. How you ask? Let us see a few features of M&E Online which set it apart from run of the mill M&E software available right now.
Designed by M&E Experts
Most often we look to software companies to build our new software. These companies which may make anything from HR and Payroll software to Salon Management systems, are too focused on the technology and often lack the insight into the needs of Monitoring and Evaluation that are specific to the development sector. United Business Solutions turned this process on its head and started with leading M&E experts and consultants who first defined the needs from such software and identified the modules and features that need to be included to cater to wide range of NGOs and Governmental bodies. The technology experts then built the architecture of M&E Online® with frequent interactions and inputs with many leading NGOs and donors who are now proud users of M&E Online®.
Most frequent reason for resistance to change among the users of any software system is the forced changed in process (which sometimes may even increase the workload) that is implemented without enough consultation and feedback with the end users. M&E Online® solves this problem by customizing the software to match your existing processes instead of forcing the users to learn new processes. This has an added benefit of much simpler learning curve and faster implementation.
The fully customizable nature of M&E Online® also means that the data collection templates, approval workflows, and donor reports that are important to you can be exactly replicated in the M&E Online® software without any compromise.
Real Time Data Validation
One of the reasons why organizations choose to implement computerized M&E systems is to reduce and prevent human errors in data processing. Paper based and Excel based systems are prone to human errors such as typing mistakes or calculation errors. Many computerized M&E systems also lack the capability to arrest these errors. But M&E Online® is equipped with a powerful Data Validation Engine which works real time in the web forms and alerts the user with an error message. Complex validation rules, relationship and formulae can be set in the system for each data capture field. Further strict validation can be implemented thereby not allowing the user to save the data without rectifying the error first, and system may even offer suggestions for rectifying the error.
The true power of a centralized M&E system lies in being able to generate meaningful dashboards with articulate charts, graphs and maps which could give the user the accurate picture of the status of the projects, indicators, and budgets. M&E Online® has a dynamic dashboard which is updated real time with information and can show range of charts such as pie charts, bar charts, donut charts, trend lines, bubble charts and many more. The dashboard of M&E Online® also has interactive GIS maps which depict information based on location. The dashboard of M&E Online® can be exported to be used in reports generated outside the system.
Information Security is a particularly important factor while choosing the M&E MIS. Especially when you are entering financial data or capturing personal information of beneficiaries or participants.
Role Based Access
The first line of defense against data breach is restricting and controlling the access to data. M&E Online® has an effective Role Based Access management system wherein you can granularly give permissions to data access and features based on roles the users are assigned to. For example, a temporary staff may, only be able to access empty web forms and fill and save them, but not be able to view or edit any other data in the system.
The data that is entered into M&E Online® is encrypted using a powerful 256-bit AES algorithm. This is a widely respected encryption algorithm adopted by US government for data encryption. A 256-bit encryption has 984 hundred quintillion (20 zeroes after 984) possible combinations. In simpler words even the most powerful supercomputer in the World, Tianhe-2, would take millions of years to break the encryption.
Power of Cloud Computing
The simplicity and ubiquity of paper based and excel based system arise from the reliability that the form to be filled would be always available without possibility of downtime. M&E Online® brings you the same advantage by harnessing the power of cloud computing. With its distributed architecture and redundant environments, there is virtually no downtime and the system is “Always On”.
Because the system is Web-Based, it can be accessed from any device – including desktops, laptops, tablets, or mobile phone – so that even if the user cannot use his or her own personal device due to some reason, the user can still access the system through any other device using the personal login credentials.
Similarly, there are no headaches of installation on individual devices and maintenance and compatibility issues. The system is centrally hosted and can be accessed through the simple web browser making it absolutely simple and easy to use.
United Business Solutions provides M&E Online® which is not only reasonable with low total cost of ownership, but also designed and perfected over 10 years of operations and being used by thousands of users in over 35 client organizations and 50 countries. Organizations like USAID, UNDP, World Bank, ACBF, and Governments of Kenya, Zambia and Jordan have trusted UBS to automate their M&E processes and keep their M&E data safe.