Five inspiring TED talks on monitoring and evaluation

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks.  For those that are new to TED, you may find their growing library of videos of the talks of interest.

Following are five interesting TED talks that relate to monitoring and evaluation.  I hope you find these useful and inspirational in your work.

Esther Duflo: Social experiments to fight poverty

Alleviating poverty is more guesswork than science, and lack of data on aid's impact raises questions about how to provide it. But Clark Medal-winner Esther Duflo says it's possible to know which development efforts help and which hurt — by testing solutions with randomized trials.

Why watch it? - Some clear and good examples of the kinds of questions that randomised control trials can answer.

Sheena Iyengar: The art of choosing

Sheena Iyengar studies how we make choices — and how we feel about the choices we make. At TEDGlobal, she talks about both trivial choices (Coke v. Pepsi) and profound ones, and shares her groundbreaking research that has uncovered some surprising attitudes about our decisions.

Why watch it? - Gain a better understanding of the personal, cultural and contextual factors that could introduce bias into your choices as an evaluator.

David Damberger: What happens when an NGO admits failure?

International aid groups make the same mistakes over and over again. David Damberger uses his own engineering failure in India to call for the development sector to publicly admit, analyze, and learn from their missteps.

Why watch it? - Learn how publically sharing examples of failure and improve accountability, creativity and transparency.

Sanjay Pradhan: How open data is changing international aid

How do we make sure that development and aid money actually goes to the people who most need it? Sanjay Pradhan of the World Bank Institute lays out three guidelines to help relief efforts make the most impact — while curbing corruption. One key: connecting the players who are working to change broken systems with the data they need.

Why watch it? - Learn about how data can be used to improve accountability and transparency through citizen feedback

David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization

David McCandless turns complex data sets (like worldwide military spending, media buzz, Facebook status updates) into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut — and it may just change the way we see the world.

Why watch it? - Get inspired with better ways to present your data

Have you found other interesting talks?  Please share them with us in the comments.