Last week the Leadership team embarked on our first training of the year, Focus Project One (FP1).  This training is meant to teach Nuru staff some of the basic concepts the organization is built on. It focuses on how we as an organization define such terms as extreme poverty, self-reliance, and sustainability. It is also designed to help participants think critically about their own programs by investigating what their program goal is and how it connects to Nuru’s larger overall goal. Staff learn how to make good choices, they begin to understand more about values, self-reliance, and benefits, and they learn how to assess community needs in order to build effective and impactful programs. Participants also work directly with their managers to begin applying the concepts and content of our lessons in the context of their own programs. FP1 helps to lay the intellectual groundwork that the rest of our trainings will build from and also assists Nuru staff to understand some of what we call the “Nuru basics.”

Other than working on preparing for and teaching Focus Project One, the Leadership team has been busy working with Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) to develop new measurement tools for our program. We have collaborated together to create the “Staff Leadership Review,” which will allow the Leadership program to assess the application component of our trainings. As of now, after each training, staff members take an assessment which helps us to measure how much they have learned in that given series. However, even if someone scores 100%, it can be difficult for us to determine if that staff member is actually applying the concepts they learn from our lessons to their daily work-lives. The Staff Leadership Review, which will be filled out by managers about their down-lines, affords us with a more concrete and trackable way to assess, measure, and quantify the application component of our trainings. Leadership and M&E will hold a joint meeting to train District Managers and Program Managers on how to fill out the Staff Leadership Review this week, so we are looking forward to collecting that data in the near future.

We have also welcomed two new Field Managers to our program and are currently in the process of hiring a District Manager. I am happy to say that our new FMs come to us with very solid teaching experience and they have already excelled at working with the team and facilitating lessons. Our next step in Leadership is to begin practicing and preparing for Basic Nuru Leadership Training (BNLT) which we will begin to teach in mid-March.