Applied Learning Unit Creates New Databases

Applying program data in effective ways

Three interns at Blumont / IRD worked with the Applied Learning Unit to take data collected through the organization’s programs and create comprehensive databases that can be used to advise future program development and implementation. The databases synthesize past and present program data to provide three separate, interactive databases that allow employees to access the most up-to-date and accurate information surrounding programs.


Interns Yicheng Pu, Helen Tazelaar and Vahid Khatami


First, the Lessons Learned database is a compilation of knowledge and understandings gained through experiences that have had an impact for Blumont / IRD, its stakeholders and its beneficiaries. Within this database, each lesson is rated on a scale from negligible to extreme and is organized by category, sector and project. This user-friendly database will allow Blumont / IRD to build on previous successes and give employees an invaluable reference tool when designing and implementing programs.

The second database is a compilation of indicators from past and present projects. Indicators measure the progress of a program in meeting its goals and objectives and can range from health to education or agriculture. Unlike lessons learned, indicators are measured or collected directly and therefore do not require observation or analysis, resulting in data that is easier to interpret. The use of this database will allow employees to gain insight from previous experiences and perfect program planning.

The third database is an exhaustive collection of contractors that have worked with Blumont / IRD. It tracks contractors as well as their performance and will allow the organization to continue collaborating and building positive relationships with the best contractors. In addition, it will enable Blumont / IRD teams to readily identify and access specialized service providers to fill gaps, address service needs and complement efforts being carried out both at headquarters and in the field.

Though markedly different in content, these three databases serve a common purpose; they facilitate the sharing of knowledge and learning within the Blumont / IRD team. The organization has collected incredible amounts of data surrounding lessons learned, indicators and contractors over the last 18 years. By organizing all of this information into databases, sharing it and effectively using it, Blumont / IRD is demonstrably practicing its corporate priorities of learning, innovation and being evidence-based by effectively and efficiently using data to inform management decisions and to shape future thinking and processes.