In December of 2008 and December of 2009, our CEO did a deliberate and good job of reminding us that the end of the year is just a spot on the time/space continuum, it’s not really the end of any particular task or piece of work, nor does it actually signify any accomplishment we have or have not made. It’s just a moment. After the revelry of the New Year celebration, we all must get back to whatever tasks we have at hand, all of which are continuations of tasks in which we had been engaging in the prior year.

Despite that, this year the Research Team is faced with a couple of huge tasks that are due, you guessed it, at the end of this year. Now, because it is August and therefore one full month into the second half of 2010, we are starting to feel the heat of our looming deadlines!

One task that I just today wrapped my head around once again, after months of being on a way back–burner, is that of trying to publish a write-up of the work we have done related to Monitoring and Evaluation since I joined Nuru as the Research Director. Lindsay, our fearless State-side intern, is coming to Columbus (where I am located) next week to help us move this task from the back to a front burner.

To that end, I sent her a document that I wrote in November of last year about where we were on this at that point, as well as a research project that Aerie (one of our staff members) had written around that time about how to get published. We’re going to look at those two documents, talk about what has happened with M&E here at Nuru since they were produced and what is happening now, then come up with a plan for publication!

It’s interesting to think about this in this day and age, though. I think my mother is the one who originally suggested that we try to “get published”. The thing is, I’m published every week here! Publishing is easy. The hard parts are publishing within the context of a respected and less obtainable (not that is not a respected venue, I hope you understand) and coherently telling a story or making a point in the form of an old-fashioned article. Here, you get weekly updates about everything that’s happening from ant invasions to metrics meetings to process productions. Each week is a new topic, and sometimes topics do not relate. It’s just a quick and casual snapshot into the general life of a Nuru team. An article must have a point. This is the challenge Lindsay and I will take on next week.

To elaborate on a point I made above about our looming deadlines, I feel I must remind you (and myself!) what they are: the metrics overhaul is due at the end of the year, our Community Health Worker (CHW) research is due in November, we need to find a new technology solution for all of our metrics systems, and as mentioned, this publication problem must be solved by the end of the year. Two of our interns are only with us until the end of August, so time is ticking!

Thanks for reading and until next week!