Alasdair Cohen, the lead author of the MPAT, is coming to the project site to lead our evaluation in May! This is such exciting news! We are excited for a million reasons, but most notably we are glad that the Nuru site will be a test-bed for innovation in poverty evaluation. As I have mentioned before, this will be the first time that the MPAT is conducted in Africa. Who better to lead the work than the lead author of this interesting tool? He watched the tool develop from infancy to its current tested form, and he, and by extension, IFAD, will learn more about its inherent risks and benefits through the experience of using it in Kenya.Since we have spent the last month or so recruiting and assessing potential evaluators, and now we have one, our work must shift to all the other tasks that need to be done to get ready for the evaluation. Last week I checked in with all of the great candidates we interviewed and firms who made proposals to us and let them know that Alasdair would be working with us. Remaining tasks that are at hand for the next couple of months are these:

  • Buying some GPS units and getting them ferried to Kenya (thanks, Tanner!)
  • Completing the census in the two sub-locations where we’ll be conducting the MPAT
  • Making a plan for doing data entry in the field (getting computers and space where it can be done)
  • Getting the word out to potential enumerators about some work that might be available to them in May
  • Getting the word out to potential data enter-ers about some work that might be available to them in May
  • Determining an appropriate sample size and sampling frame based on the results of the census
  • Developing a work plan for the conduct of the MPAT
  • Managing a double-blind translation of the survey tool
  • ….A bunch of other things I’m neglecting to write.

It will be a big task to get this done!  In the meantime, though, I guess it is OK to bask just a little bit in the happiness that comes along with knowing that the expert on the tool will be on hand with us to help get this thing done in May. I think it will go about as well as it possibly can with that being the case.