What do you get when you cross the community’s point-of-view and working to determine the impact of programming?  Participatory evaluation.

According to the World Bank, participatory evaluation is when stakeholders are involved in various phases of the monitoring or evaluation process.  In June, Gaby mentioned the M&E team is in the process of developing Program Metrics.  And in fact, we are narrowing down the many indicators we’ve been generating from Logic Models to develop Program Metrics, or outcome indicators.  Aiming to assess changes in behavior, practices, decisions or policies, we have been involving our Nuru staff in this process of generating Program Metrics.  Rogonga, along with three new Kenyan M&E staff members, have started to delve into the Logic Models and have provided critical insight on local practices and understanding that originally the Western staff did not consider.

For example, in developing a healthcare evaluation plan, we want to determine “percent of children fully immunized” as well as “percent of expecting mothers attending four antenatal care (ANC) visits.”  If it wasn’t for our new staff member Esther who has two children, we wouldn’t have known that in Kenya not only do expecting mothers receive a card tracking ANC visits, but this card is also used to document the child’s immunizations as well.  Since Esther brought in her child’s card, this will help us determine how we will format our survey questions to ask the community.

Further, in developing the agriculture evaluation plan, we seek to determine how to assess when Nuru farmers experience instances of hunger.  Rogonga and staff from the agriculture team noted this could be measured by the number of farmers who run out of maize to carry them over to the next season.  Therefore, we determined our Program Metric (tentatively) is the “Percent of Nuru farmers buying maize before the next harvest.”

Ideally, this process of participatory evaluation will continue when we implement evaluations as well.  One of our biggest challenges is measuring the impact of the leadership program.  With their unique approach of integrating management, design thinking, problem solving, and leadership, we have been looking at resources such as Management Science for Health’s How Can Leadership Be Measured as well as a document developed by the Sustainable Leadership Initiative and The Public Health Institute of Oakland, California called the EvaluLEAD guide.  We realize our measurement of the leadership program needs to assess many domains using a variety of participatory techniques.  The inclusion of our staff members as well as beneficiaries to our programs in the evaluation is vital as both are impacted by the leadership program’s efforts.

Of course with participatory evaluation, we need to be aware of biased views.   But we are excited about the next phases of Program Metric development here at Nuru Kenya.