Sorry for the long radio silence!

We are back from Africa, and we’re hard at work synthesizing the results of Evaluation 1. Two weeks ago I spent one full week building an excel model to analyze the data our evaluators gathered in the field.  It’s got some glitches and some errors at this point, but it’s being intensely reviewed by Stephanie, the Senior Research Officer, Sarah and Crystal, our two evaluators, and two volunteers who generously give their time to tedious tasks such as these.

Speaking of tedious tasks to which people generously donate their time here at Nuru, thank you so much to all of you who have volunteered to input data! Amazing. Huge thanks to Adam, Brad, Lauren, Katherine, Kelly, Jany, Michael, Sara, Luke, Lindsay, Alicia, Samantha, Ridge, Claire, and Eileen, and thanks to the rest of you who offered up your help! Yes, we needed that many people to input these surveys. There were almost 600 hard copy surveys, and a data entry tool in excel that we had to use to incorporate them into the model. Crazy amounts of data.

One of the challenges of the model build was the way incremental datasets formed throughout the survey, based on the way people answered questions. For instance, for a metric relating to immunizations for children under five, an equation in excel had to be formulated that only took into account surveys conducted in the homes of families within which any children under five exist. Another challenge involved compilations of answers to multiple questions within surveys generating binary data for a particular survey. For instance, many questions were asked of families concerning their use of bednets (e.g., does everyone sleep under a bednet,?, does the family treat the bednets with insecticide?, do the bednets have holes?), and for each survey, all responses to these questions are compiled to determine whether the family uses bednets properly.

Anyway, the model was fascinating and difficult to build. Contact me if you’re interested in seeing it!

We are awaiting the completion of all data entry before we’re able to report our final index scores. Exciting.

Other than model building, we on the research team are focused on a number of other big things, including getting ready for publication of our next Best Stuff Out There report, cranking out a couple of research projects for our foundation team members as they get ready to go back out to the field, managing our volunteer team, and beginning a major overhaul of our metrics system.

Let me know your thoughts on what we’re trying to do! It’s been the busiest month so far for the Research Team.