Connectivity, currency fluctuation, M&E, tips for proposal writing: For development executives

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Over the past month, Devex has gone behind the scenes on the future of global health data and drilled into how internet giants are helping expand connectivity around the globe. We asked experts for their advice on saving money amid challenging currency fluctuations, how to write a winning proposal, and ways to engage communities more in monitoring and evaluation. Here is the best of our Executive Membership content.

Global Health

Good data on public health is vital for good policy, and never in history have we had so much information to draw from. Yet there are still big gaps in what we do and don’t know. That tension is often on the mind of Chris Murray, director of Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, who spoke with Devex’s Catherine Cheney about the future of health data. IHME has been a pioneer in health data analysis and recently received $279 million grant from the Gates Foundation to expand its work. Murray shared his advice on how development organizations and governments can harness big data to drive their work. Read the full discussion here: “Why invest in health evidence? Q&A with Chris Murray of IHME

Connecting the next 4 billion

Internet connectivity is an essential component of economic development, according to a growing list of big tech companies and donors. Microsoft, Google and Facebook are pushing hard to increase internet access and connectivity around the world. Devex interviewed Paul Garnett, the convener of Microsoft's Affordable Access Initiative, about the company’s work and how friendly competition with tech company peers can help bridge the digital divide. Read more about how internet companies are working with major donors to bring the Web to new markets: Collaboration, competition, connectivity: Q&A with Paul Garnett of Microsoft's Affordable Access Initiative

Exchange rates

Fluctuating currencies can cost international charities vital dollars and cents, according to two organizations that have devoted great attention to mitigating their risk. The Global Fund has said it has saved tens of millions of dollars by being vigilant about exchange, and Cambridge Global Payments advises nonprofits and government agencies on how to avoid losing value in the ups and downs of the market. Devex’s Sophie Edwards drills inside their top recommendations and strategies — a must read for any global operation: How development organizations can save money in a world of fluctuating currencies.

Writing proposals

Details are king when it comes to writing and submitting proposals or grant applications.

Business development executives spoke with Devex about some of the key steps that organizations can take to give their projects the best chance of winning funds. Telling a strong story, watching for consistency, and checking the simple stuff are among the tips experts shared with Devex: Writing a proposal? Here's a checklist to guide you 

Monitoring and evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation is an important aspect of project implementation, but it is often left to donor agencies and experts. Devex explores what would happen if local communities are actively engaged in the process. Devex’s Jennifer Ehidiamen talked with project managers and experts to find out how resources can be harnessed at a local level for improved results: How communities can be involved in monitoring and evaluating development projects

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