MSD competency B4

Monitoring and learning

Use field observations and data to change or develop new interventions

MSD competencies

Competency definition

Practitioners actively monitor the progress of intervention and use field observations and results management data to update their assumptions. They decide to change or remove interventions that are not working, expand ones that are and develop new ones as needed.

Knowledge areas

Practitioners with this competency will be knowledgeable about concepts and ideas described and explored in these resources...

Skills and experience

Practitioners with this competency will have acquired qualifications, skills and practical experience that may include:

  • designing a new a product or service that included: customer feedback; piloting and testing of prototypes; iterative cycles driven by qualitative and quantitative data
  • experience in the early stages of a start-up business during business model development and testing, where the organisation had to revise its offering and strategy significantly based on trial-and-error

Guidance for teaching this competency

Content delivery
Concepts such as hypothesis-testing, the Kolb learning cycle and other iterative methods of learning - how they are applicable to market systems programming. Exposure to design thinking and toolkits such as IDEO and Stanford design. Also the use of ‘good enough’ data and indicators during rapid prototyping.

Scenarios & role plays
Get practitioners to undertake a dynamic exercise where they have to make decisions on intervention strategies in a case study or role play format. Provide them with more information in the form of observations and data once they make a decision - they must then decide on next steps. Debrief and discuss the process of pivoting, using new information to change course. Ask practitioners to identify their hypotheses throughout the process.

Coaching & mentoring advice

  • Encourage staff to define specific hypotheses for partnerships and interventions. Push them to define what observations or results will support or refute them.
  • Create spaces for changing strategy and activities based on new information. Encourage staff to make such decisions.

Guidance for assessing this competency

Traditional questions
Probe for an approach to problem-solving that is guided by hypotheses. Watch out for absolute statements. Assess how self-aware the practitioner is about their assumptions and what evidence they would look for to change them.

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