Friday, October 28, 2016

Monitoring and Evaluation

By Sara:

Part of my work (both in Uganda and) here in Kenya, is to work alongside local partner organizations on the projects they're doing. Like I've talked about before, here I'm working with the Anglican Development Services (ADS) of Nakuru in a nearby area called Solai. They're participating in a project on Conservation Agriculture that is funded by the Canadian Food Grains Bank (CFGB) and which includes many different organizations throughout Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.

CFGB put on a training for the organizations in Kenya who are part of this project to help them do better work in monitoring and evaluating the work that is going on. In order for me to become more informed about this project so I can support ADS better, I went along for the training.

I learned a lot about the outcomes that this project is working toward and the way that these outcomes are going to be measured.  They also talked about the baseline survey that was done in each of these areas - they went around with a long questionnaire and talked to people to see what their situation is like before participating in this project.  In five years, when they project is over, they'll go back and ask those questions again to find out if there has been any change.  We did a fair amount of work where each organization's participants in the training sat together and looked over the data they got from the baseline survey.  Then, we figured out how, specifically, we will be able to tell if peoples' lives have improved after learning about and using conservation agriculture.

Here is the group of people from ADS that I was working with:

This isn't my favorite part of my work, but I do enjoy the people I get to work with and it is important to know how we keep accountability in project work and determine whether it is successful or not.

At one point in the week, there was a demonstration of how we often think that there is a barrier keeping us from doing something, but it is not really there, it's just in our head.   They blindfolded some people, put up this rope, and told them to step over it without touching it, then go under it without touching it.

The first time they went over and under the rope, it was there.

The second time, the rope was gone, but they didn't know.  Everyone who wasn't blindfolded was very entertained!

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