In last week’s post, I mentioned that we actually have some MPAT data at this point, and we are working on figuring out how we will use the results. The title of the post was not that indicative of the information I presented unfortunately. I didn’t really get into how we are balancing program evaluation with an assessment of the state of the community, I just stated that we are doing the latter and a little bit of the former, and that we are incorporating the former into the latter. How is that for a confusing review of a short post?

I think it’s probably a good time to update you on what we are actually doing to assess program effectiveness. As a reminder, when the founders of Nuru first conceived of a metrics system, the idea was to develop and use a tool that did two things: measured the effectiveness of our interventions and measured the poverty level of the communities where we worked.

After the first year of our operation, we decided that one tool could not perform both measurement missions for us. We came across the MPAT and decided that it was a great tool to do the second thing: measure the poverty level of the communities where we’re working. Still outstanding is the first draft of our tool to do the first thing: measure program effectiveness. This tool will be a list of what we are calling Program Metrics.

As I have mentioned on this blog, we are developing these Program Metrics using logic models. Logic models are great tools to just get down on paper and discuss all aspects of program interventions as they occur in logical order from the background and planning phase (what resources do you have? What assumptions are you making?), to the action phase (what activities are you conducting? What outputs will these activities lead to?), to the longer term results phase (what outcomes do you expect to result from your work? What indicators will you use to assess these outcomes?).

While Jamie and Rogonga have been hard at work managing the day-to-day conduct of the MPAT in the field, I have been working with Nuru program staff to refine the logic models that they have been developing over the last several months. I recently met with Jake to discuss the Agriculture Program logic model; his program now has a draft list of metrics as a result of that discussion. I have also been working with the CED Program with Vivian as the lead, and they will be ready to begin developing a draft list of metrics within the next three weeks. The same is true for the Leadership Program with Thomas as my main point of contact and the Healthcare Program with Lindsay Cope as my main point of contact. Education, and Water and Sanitation, as they are both in R&D, are not working on logic models right now, but both programs are thinking about metrics and getting on the right path.

Next week I will write a bit more about this. I’ll tell you some of the things we are planning on measuring, and maybe you can let me know what you think about these tools! Until then….