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Technology and Innovation for Monitoring and Evaluation (TIME) Lab




The Technology and Innovation for Monitoring and Evaluation (TIME) Lab within The Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO), an attached office of NITI Aayog, works to harness the power of data and technologies to strengthen the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) ecosystem in India. The objective of TIME Lab is to build a technology-driven and analytics-enabled ecosystem to optimize processes and enhance quality in the M&E practice. This is a new initiative of DMEO to enable quick experiments for proof of concept towards identifying and refining the building blocks and architecture of a national level M & E Stack by leveraging efforts at collecting quality data in the centre and the states.


Vision & Building Blocks

Nurturing a collective space driven by Data, People, Processes and Technology for rich analytics and efficient service delivery. The focus of TIME Lab is to generate insights through technology-driven analytics, making data more accessible and reliable. With a focus on creative combination of available conventional and unconventional data sources, TIME Lab aims to make M & E more effective, timely and efficient to channel the country’s scarce resources and public expenditure for sustainable and equitable development.

Data Monitoring and Evaluation Stack (DMES)

While the volume of data generated is increasing day by day, issues pertaining to data standardization, interoperability, accessibility, and low technical skills and capabilities puts a limit to the use of this data for deep, holistic and timely insights. Further, issues around high data collection costs, weak quality control mechanisms in data collection and limited structured repository of large-scale “evaluation” data have also been experienced by users and stakeholders in governance, growth and development of the country.

The TIME Lab envisions to build a Data Monitoring and Evaluation Stack (DMES) to bridge these gaps. The stack aims to build an ecosystem of partners, advocate and build capacities to encourage usage of new data sources for evidence generation, monitoring and evaluation, and explore use of big data and technology applications in M&E.

TIME Lab’s DMES aims to use multiple existing databases and triangulate them for monitoring and evaluation purposes with support from survey data as required. The focus will be to have prescriptive and predictive analytics and not just descriptive analytics. To address continuous increase in the volume and detail of data captured, TIME Lab’s DMES anchors itself on cloud computing to ensure successful data processing and analysis.

What DMES is not? It is important to note, that the DMES is not just a database or an aggregation of hardware servers that would aggregate ministerial and public data base, but leans on aggregated access of public databases as an input to enable strengthening the M&E ecosystem. The stack aims to amalgamate tools, techniques, and processes to evaluate conjectures and hypothesis in the M&E domain.