Well! I have been very sick for the last six weeks. I certainly won’t get into all the details of my illness here on our M&E blog, but I will mention that I’m sorry there have been less frequent updates from me than I would prefer to give. I especially feel this way because there has been a lot of news from the team! Big things going on.  Oh, and I am on the mend, so I think I’m back and you should start hearing from me more frequently now.

First of all, Evaluation Number 2 for Nuru, which will begin in less than two weeks, on May 9th, is being plotted out, planned, coordinated and prepared-for. As you might have read in  the last blog, Rogonga Augustine (our Research Team Field Manager), and Jamie Frederick (our Research Program Manager) conducted a thorough census of the two sub-locations where we will be conducting the Evaluation using the MPAT. Ngsiru and Nyamaranya, the two sub-locations we’re referencing, are in the Kuria district of Kenya, but have not experienced any Nuru interventions as of yet. So, they will be serving as a baseline for this implementation of the MPAT.

After the completion of the census, which was a huge endeavor, I would say that the next most pressing and important work we are focused on is determining our sampling frame for the MPAT. We plan to survey a very significant sample of these two sub-locations. Over the last couple of days, I have been working on a plan to randomize the sample as much as possible, and I’ve been communicating that plan to Jamie and Alasdair. Unfortunately for Jamie, she has to worry about actually making the random samples of data to be gathered happen. This is so challenging due to geography, topography, and, of course, weather. This is going to be quite an adventure!

The other big get-ready-for-the-Evaluation piece of work has been translation of the awesome MPAT survey into both Swahili and KiKurian. Here in the States, I commissioned a couple of firms to complete a double-blind translation of the surveys into Swahili. I have my two English versions of the survey sitting right next to me on my desk as we speak for my review. It will be interesting to see  what discrepancies there are! Jamie and Rogonga are managing the KiKurian translation of the surveys in Kuria.

In addition, I’ll keep you in suspense as to who it is, but it seems we have hired our next Fellow for our team. It’s exciting. More news on that next week.

Finally, I have danced around it a bit in this entry, but I’ll mention it officially: we have changed our team name! We are no longer the Research Team. Now we are the Monitoring and Evaluation Team.  That means my job title has changed and every way we reference this team has changed. We are excited about this because this new title more accurately represents what we do here on this team.

Until next week and sorry I have been away.