Our interns have begun their work with us! We will benefit so much from a new set of eyes and ears and two new brains on our research team. Big stuff.

Nathalie arrived in Kuria over the weekend. She has been very busy doing turnover with David on all activities related to the PIN as well as all activities that our research liaison engages in. The PIN we’ve talked about a bunch here on this blog, so check out the background in some of our back posts

Research liaison duties have not been touched here. They entail basically two major activities. One is the collection of weekly audio updates from our field staff. These are really exciting. As of right now, they are internal tools for Nuru domestic staff to catch up on what’s happening in the field. It might be interesting in the long run if we made these updates public. Any thoughts?  They’re just three-to-five minute interviews where field staff tell us what they’re program has been up to. The second research liaison duty is the facilitation of research requests from field staff to the research team. As we’ve mentioned before, the research team consists of an amazing team of fifteen volunteers who research topics of interest to Nuru staff. These requests often come from field staff. Our field liaison helps with this process.

Speaking of the process, Lindsay has been hard at work analyzing our process since she’s been with us. She’s already taken a red pen to all of the shared documents that I use to manage these volunteers, and her latest effort is the design of a survey for our volunteers. She’s trying to see what the volunteers hope to get out of their Nuru work, and whether we are meeting expectations! This will be an exciting thing to figure out. The process of managing these generous folks since I’ve been here has challenged me. They give so much to us here at Nuru, but it’s tough to really capitalize on their capabilities, and it’s tough to give them the feedback they really deserve. Lindsay will be able to help us out with this.

In other news, Stephanie is still working hard on our big Metrics overhaul. We had an excellent discussion today about the decisions that are currently being made by our field staff about what areas to focus on in measurement of poverty in the communities where we work. As always, there are no simple answers, and there is truly no universal standard. There is a lot of talk of the need for a universal standard, and a few organizations have taken a stab at creating one, but behind closed doors, practitioners criticize these standards. We’ve heard the criticism.

Stephanie had a discussion with one particular practitioner outside of Nuru yesterday and got some interesting food for thought from this discussion. Some questions that I personally have because of the discussion Stephanie and I had:

Is consumption really the only thing that needs to be measured?

Is it really consumption, or might it be income level?

If either of those is the case, should, when we refer to our “holistic” model, we mean that we have two major areas of focus (CED and Ag), and three subordinate focus areas (Water and Sanitation, Healthcare, and Education)? I find these interesting questions!

Until next week!