Whew, this wild three-week evaluation is nearing its end. Our evaluators, the interviewers they hired, the Nuru staff here on the ground, and Stephanie, the manager of the Eval, have worked amazingly hard to do this job. I can’t believe what they have been able to accomplish in just a few short weeks.

We have approximately 630 professionally and objectively conducted home surveys, data from over 30 business visits, chemical test results from water points throughout the community, interview data from headmasters, teachers, doctors, nurses, and chiefs and elders, and much more. I am amazed at how much good old-fashioned quantitative AND qualitative data we have in our possession thanks to the efforts of our evaluation team. It is flooring.

Now, we must make the hard copy data soft, and analyze.

Here is a serious request to anyone reading this blog: if you are willing to sacrifice a few hours of your holiday time over the next couple of weeks, please let me know! I will mail you a small pile of hard-copy surveys and you can enter them into our analysis tool. Please help!

Part of what we’ve experienced here is what I would call the field-factor.

In the field, a terrible rainstorm might make a boda ride home last three hours. The upside of this experience is that the storm is beautiful, there is a rainbow, and a generous family allows you into their home for shelter and you get to look into the eyes of a special-needs child who smiles at you, and her father tells you that he is a Nuru member and his harvest has tripled this season, and you can be happy that the little girl will eat. The downside of this experience is that five hours of data entry time is lost.

In the field, a flying broom handle being used to attempt to kill a bug might cause a computer monitor to shatter. The upside of this is that a person with a warm and generous heart gets to share her time with her fellow humans rather than her computer. The downside of this is many hours of lost data entry time.

In the field, people get sick from diseases. The upside of this is a long boda ride with an old friend and the observation of the quickest and most efficient medical examination I have ever seen. The downside of this one is pretty obvious.

So, we’ve had some setbacks here, but I hope it’s clear that the setbacks rest very comfortably within the realm of why the heck we are doing this work.  The people here and the community are absolutely breathtakingly beautiful, and we are here because they deserve the tools to live in a place that is NOT extreme poverty.

Tell me if you can enter some data. It’s fun, I promise!!