We shared what we built in 2017. Here's where we're headed next.
Our team recently collaborated to lay out our 2018 goals for DevResults. From many competing priorities, we established a set of objectives that reflect the needs of our users, the direction of international development, and our vision for how to deliver excellent software and service. Not all of these goals will be accomplished this year but they will remain top commitments until they are complete.
1 Linked Data Tables
We're in the middle of our first priority: an expansive, three-phase, project to offer user-defined relational tables. This set of features will allow you to maintain the relational structure of your beneficiary lists, training logs, survey responses, and countless other types of linked records. It'll be easier to design your data tables, link to external data collection tools, and to dig deeper into the data to assess progress.
In the first phase, we created the scaffolding to support this new tool. We're close to wrapping up the second phase, which will allow users to link tables by information they share. The beta release is coming out soon, so if you would like to help us test this feature, please sign up to be a beta tester. The third phase will allow indicators to calculate results from linked tables.
You've told us that a few new analysis options will dramatically enhance DevResults' utility for your M&E reporting needs. At the top of the list of options we are working to enable are:
- Built-in analysis of change over time: we plan to add options like % increase from last year and % increase from baseline to Pito, the same way you can currently elect to include targets and actuals.
- Comparison of targets and actuals: adding a column to Pito for % of target will also help automate completion of reports. There are several options for how to interpret this kind of metric, which we'll discuss in a later post.
- Cross-disaggregated indicator results from data tables: several people have suggested this functionality and we’re eager to build it. e.g. If you record the gender and education level of each trainee, you should be able to assess the gender breakdown for each education level and view results by these categories. We'll first tackle it by leveraging the grid option on each indicator's reports tab, and eventually undertake a major overhaul of Pito.
3 Expanded Training Options
We’re heavily investing in broadening our training options to provide organizations with additional resources for expanding internal capacity for using DevResults.
- DC-Based Trainings: in February, we launched DC-based trainings with a 3-day DevResults Fundamentals course for both users and administrators. We saw enthusiastic enrollment from nearby organizations, including new staff, those seeking a refresher, and some looking to beef up their own training skills. Folks gave us valuable feedback about what kind of local training options would best complement their internal operations and we're currently planning regular trainings in DC. Stay tuned for an invite to our next training.
- Online Training Courses: we've nearly finished work on our first online training course for DevResults users with "contributor" responsibilities. Down the road, we plan to offer online training options for partners, contributors, administrators, and trainers around the world.
4 Bulk Configuration
Recently, DevResults has expanded the options for making configuration changes in bulk, like uploading activities, indicators, locations, users, and more. We're going to continue adding this kind of functionality to support the DevResults administrators who make changes on a large scale. These tools will also provide a DIY avenue for site creation alongside that of the standard setup template.
5 Activity Improvements
Some of our more targeted initiatives will focus on enhancing the activity pages. We plan to:
- Improve the layout of activity pages
- Offer activity-based dashboards and permissions
- Give users the ability to re-name activities using terms that are consistent with their organizations' terminology, like project or grant
6 Beneficiary Tracking
Finally, we're ending this blog post by circling back to where we started. Providing linked tables (goal #1) gets us 90% of the functionality that folks need when they think of longitudinal beneficiary tracking. After we roll out linked tables, we plan to tackle the remaining 10% by developing easy, intuitive, and secure tools for tracking interactions with beneficiaries and connecting data to relevant indicators.
As always, we welcome your feedback about our plans and eagerly await your ideas for new or improved features.