I want to report on a few different things this week, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to do a good job with transitions, but hey, I’ll try. Let’s just see how it goes:

First of all, Janine and Lindsay presented their recommendations about the Healthcare program early this week to Jake, Aerie, and Vivian. The recommendations are still very much in draft form, but we are excited with everything they came up with. This is a milestone week for us, as Lindsay Cope and Janine presented on Healthcare, Lindsey Kneuven presented her Education findings, and Nicole presented her findings on the Water and Sanitation model. All of the models will continue to be in an R&D phase for much of next year, but we are excited to have been self-aware enough to take a step back, do some deep research, and really make some big decisions.

Nuru is pursuing a Community Health Worker (CHW) model. We have already begun to employ some CHWs in the field, and you can read a whole lot more about what we’ve been doing so far over on Lindsay Cope’s blog. It is an exciting model that we think can be sustainable and community-run and managed. We are happy about those aspects of it.

Transition here….well, one’s not coming to mind, so now for something completely different:

We are using the MPAT! We made the decision finally. It took us a lot longer than we had hoped it would take us to get to the final decision-point, but we are finally there. As a reminder if you don’t feel like clicking on that link, the MPAT is a tool that will help to measure the enabling environment in Kuria, Kenya. In other words, it will help to measure whether the people who live in Kuria are empowered to not be living in extreme poverty, as they are now. We will use it over time to assess the situation in Kenya. I’ve described in other posts a few of the other aspects of our metrics system and what we hope for it to look like, so look back if you want more context.

Stephanie and I had a conversation today about what using the MPAT really means for us, and there are still a lot of unanswered questions. First of all, we are pretty sure that we are going to need to find some outside help to actually conduct the study. That means we’ll need to start recruiting right away for someone with experience in gathering data in developing countries to go and conduct this evaluation. So. Well, if you know anyone…..There are other issues that we must consider too as we get going on implementing this system! Of course, it is right before the holidays.

Finally, again, no transition, Jake and I have been having a lot of conversations about my role and what the Research Team should really be focused on in the last couple of weeks. It’s hard for me to get my head out of the weeds and have these conversations with him at this moment in time, frankly. I think it’s just a mental thing…I can’t think about not doing all the things I spend the vast majority of my time doing. But anyway, we’re wondering if perhaps the volunteer research team should disperse to the programs. I think that might be an interesting idea. It is time-consuming to manage the volunteers logistically, and the volunteers seem to really enjoy getting directly involved in the work we’re trying to do here at Nuru. Let me know what you think about volunteers