August is over! My three favorite months of the year have come to an end. I can’t help but feel a little melancholy during this time of year, just because of the little chill that makes its way into the Ohio air and memories of my childhood and saying goodbye to the childhood friends I enjoyed the most.

It just so happens that it’s a bit of a melancholy time for me in my current profession as well! First of all, there are just some general struggles that Nuru is experiencing right now. I won’t get into any specifics, but it is just a hard moment in our organizational history. I am a firm believer that we are learning lessons at this very moment, and that this is a trial out of which we will come stronger and better in the long run. Since we are in the struggle, though, it’s pretty tough to self-reflect. 

Another cause of my melancholy is the reality that our two hard-working interns, Lindsay and Nathalie, are bidding us official goodbyes within the next week! They have both worked very hard this summer and helped us out immensely. Our research team has benefited in innumerable ways by having two extra brains on the task of keeping Nuru on the cutting edge and objectively measuring poverty levels in communities.

Lindsay has been working a lot with me on management of our volunteer team. It’s been just great to have someone around to help me think about how to manage these generous folks effectively. She’s come up with some great ideas and done great work. In addition, she’s helped me kick-start something that you all will see soon – an extensive writing piece on all the M&E work we have done so far here at Nuru. It will be featured here on the website, so look out for it in coming months.

Nathalie has made great strides in managing our PIN’s evolution into phase two of  existence, as you can read about in last week’s post. Her free-thinking creative and open mind have been exactly what we needed this summer for this great new tool we are developing. Her work in the field will be continued by Jennifer Lee.

The good news about Nathalie and Lindsay is that they have both expressed an interest in continuing to help out! I will be happy if  they can. Very happy.

In other news, the metrics overhaul is moving along! We now have lists of draft indicators for three of our five program areas: Education, Water and Sanitation, and Community Economic Development. Agriculture and Healthcare are still in the works. The fall will bring vetting, further definition, and further research related to all of the metrics we have picked. I will give some more detail on all of this work in the coming weeks. It is all very exciting!