Data Use for Program Improvement: A Framework and Toolkit

How can we better link data and its use to improve our programs’ outreach, outcomes, impact, and cost efficiency? This document seeks to address this question by providing a program implementation quality (PIQ) framework, examples, and practical tools for program managers and other staff to enhance the use of data for program improvement. This framework and toolkit are designed to help programs reach their full impact potential by providing guidance on how to employ quality improvement decision making in low-resource and conflict-affected educational contexts.

We present a framework to enhance the use of data for improving program quality. This model has been developed based on a review of the literature on data use, evaluation use, research mobilization, and data-informed decision making, and three case studies situated at the intersection of humanitarian and development work, specifically International Rescue Committee (IRC) programs in Nigeria, Pakistan, and Sierra Leone.

This framework is presented in four sections; for each section of the framework, we provide a summary statement, a brief explanation, common challenges, and a table with links to relevant questions, templates, and examples. The intended audiences are program managers, technical support staff, program staff, and staff in charge of monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEAL). The reader may choose to use this PIQ guidance in one of the following three ways:


  1. Reading the framework in its entirety without engaging with the linked resources;
  2. Engaging with the resources linked throughout the document while reading and saving those of interest for future reference; or
  3. Navigating to a section of interest to explore linked resources further in-depth.

Resource Info

Resource Type



Published by

International Rescue Committee (IRC)


Programme Cycle
Research and Evidence