Thoughts from Kenya: M&E Guest Post by Mwita Babere
It’s very sunny here in Kenya but we are still working hard and when I think of Nuru’s mission I work even harder. When I joined Nuru, I never thought I would be so emotionally committed to Nuru and “ending extreme poverty one community at a time”. This phrase takes my heart away, especially when I look at the level of poverty in our communities and how Nuru is improving people’s lives through various interventions facilitated by each program. We are working to achieve something much bigger than our self and serving our communities through this initiative is a privilege to us. Like the common slogan “yes we can”, I believe together, we will help Nuru achieve its mission.
My name is Mwita Babere and I work with the Monitoring and Evaluation department as a Research and Advising Manager. My major tasks are to create and maintain continuous feedback loops to update programs on the data collection progress and reporting, explaining and advising programs on metrics in a systematic and effective way for decision-making. This includes writing M&E reports for all major assessments the team conducts for our impact programs and leadership program. Recently we’ve been able to share reports on 2012 literacy improvements with the Education team and the schools where we work. Before that I completed a report on our findings for the Agriculture team on both maize harvest yield increases and the change in income it causes. I also create M&E curriculums and training guides and co-facilitate data collection trainings. This helps support our data collection team, prepares our temporary enumerators to conduct field surveys in the area, and ensures that a high quality of data is returned to the office.
Additionally, I conduct research on M&E approaches, techniques and best practices so as to enhance our M&E system. Recently I have conducted additional research on needs assessment strategies, scaling and scouting strategies, and household hunger measurements. Currently I’m working on how to measure household hunger so that we can better understand the impact our Agriculture Program has beyond maize yields. By researching best practices and how other organizations and institutions measure hunger frequency, duration, and severity, we can ensure that Nuru uses proven methods. We are working to adapt these tools as we consider the activities of the Agriculture program and Nuru International Kenya, the harvest seasons and cycles of hunger here in Kuria West, and the cultural context in our communities.
These tasks are challenging, yes, but I am always motivated because every day is a learning experience for me. Constant interactions with people in the community gives me an opportunity to get to know a lot of things about the levels of poverty and its root causes, changing my previous assumptions. It’s amazing what M&E results can depict and working with M&E is such an exciting experience. It goes without mentioning that team cohesiveness and good interpersonal relationships within our team makes the seemingly impossible possible.
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