Year in Review 2023

As we enter the new year, we want to take a moment to reflect on our journey in 2023 – a year that marked a significant milestone for TolaData and our impact measurement community.

 

2023 was a year of change, growth and innovation. We said goodbye to our good friend and former CEO Jo Bennett, who left TolaData in June to pursue other ventures, and we welcomed our new CEO Yazeed Sheqem, a seasoned leader and digital enthusiast who has brought with him a fresh vision. With his leadership, our team has been working to add new sought after features to make TolaData more powerful, and to provide our growing community with the best possible tools for the social impact space.

 

We’d also like to say a special thank you to our primary partners and customers, including GFA Consulting, Aam Digital, GIZ, Sufosec Alliance, LO Norway and Fairtrade International. Your cooperation and support over the past year has been invaluable.

Here are some of our key data points over the past 12 months:

Product developments

We also launched a number of new platform features and enhancements to make TolaData more versatile and adaptable to our users’ needs. Here are some of the highlights of our product developments in 2023:

 

  • Discussion feature: Users can now engage in dynamic discussions and foster direct collaboration among team members with centralised communication directly on TolaData.

  • Data approvals feature: Team leaders can now set up approval workflows to ensure precise data control and quality.

  • File upload feature: Along with adding paths and linking URLs to online files, users can now upload documents, images and other file types directly onto the platform.

  • Multi-factor authentication feature: More security for organisations, as administrators can configure MFA from LastPass, Microsoft or Google Authenticator for their users to use as additional security when logging in.

  • Time-based analysis for aggregated indicators: Users can now see periodic results of their aggregated indicators, and analyse how contributing indicators developed over time, including their disaggregations.

 

To help users make the most of our growing feature updates, we also kick-started our Feature Focus webinar series showcasing TolaData’s key components, from building a project all the way to visualising results. We plan to continue releasing new episodes as we roll out our upcoming features, so stay tuned. If you missed any episodes you can head over to our dedicated hub where you can rewatch all of the recordings, including our latest episode on our new Discussion Feature:

Community and partnerships

We also want to highlight our special collaborations with customers and our broader community throughout the year. 


In partnership with Fairtrade International, we recently published the first of our joint-newsletters offering a deep dive into how their impact measurement team is utilising TolaData to monitor their global DONUTS programme. You can read our first dispatch here
 and we aim to bring more news from Fairtrade and their use of TolaData on their programmes in the coming months.

Meanwhile, we also began our Case Study series demonstrating how TolaData is being deployed on a range of initiatives across multiple countries and key sectors, such as food security, rural job-creation and international agricultural cooperation. Success stories included use cases from the bi-ministerial Sino-German Agricultural Centre, the Swiss-based Sufosec Alliance consortium and Germany’s development agency GIZ.

As part of the series, we were also privileged to host joint webinars with teams from the Sufosec Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (AMEL) Unit and the GIZ Global Project for Rural Youth Employment (RYE), to share best practices and insights on their use of TolaData for monitoring and evaluation on the global initiatives. A special thanks to all those who took part and gave their time and valuable insights. If you missed them, you can rewatch the special webinars here:

In September we hosted the child education non-profit So They Can for a two-day impact measurement training in Arusha, Tanzania. Held in a hybrid format with our Nairobi- and Berlin-based experts, attendees joined from across Kenya and Tanzania for the organisation-wide sessions on digital M&E with TolaData.

In October, we were excited to be featured as a part of the Platform for Social Innovation’s Impact Tools Library. The platform is an integral part of the German government’s new national strategy on social innovation and emphasises the importance of impact monitoring and measurement. You can see our profile and other recommended tools here:

2024: The year ahead

We have some exciting plans and goals as we look ahead into 2024. One of our main priorities is to continue our collaborations with other organisations to develop and improve our platform for more users. Some of the things we are working on include:

 

  • Global Indicator Library: With support from Fairtrade International, we are deploying the Global Indicator Library feature which enables system administrators to define a set of standard indicators which can be pulled into any project within the account. In doing so, the possibility to standardise data collection within organisations will be strengthened in TolaData. 

  • Automatic indicator updates: Our team is currently working on an automatic update feature for TolaData’s third-party integrations, so that teams always have the most recent data at their fingertips.

  • Case Management: In cooperation with our partner Aam Digital, we are developing advanced capacity for real-time case management integration with TolaData. 

 

We are very proud of what the TolaData team has achieved together in 2023, and we are excited for what lies ahead in 2024. Thanks to our partners, users and our supporters for being a central part of our community and we look forward to bringing you more over the coming months. Stay tuned!

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The TolaBrief Newsletter

A monthly round-up of news and useful links on the digitisation of the sustainable development sector, from the team at TolaData

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