Friday, February 26, 2016

Weekly P.E meetings--or collaborative group think?

Hi to you all. I am posting things as they are happening in my professional life, and sometimes that can be kind of slow. This week however, was fairly interesting.

First, I had a skype call with Beryl, Carolyn and the other DPMIplus participants about our organisations, what we do and what our deliverables would be coming up in the next few months.

Personally I am freaking out because I don't know what I do on a daily basis can relate to ANY of the deliverables that Beryl is asking from us, and the higher level work, happens at higher pay grades than mine (wouldn't you just bet).

So, I am trying to exhibit some initiative to reaching out to other people at my office to help them with projects that require a results framework, or possibly a SWOT analysis. I'm getting really good feedback. But the future has yet to be determined.

Also, before I continue any further, I would like to add that I REALY want to work here. I feel like I have found a home and a calling. I am very confident that I have the skill set and the capacity to create a lot of value added products for SI and their clients.

So after the Skype call on Monday I attended the best PE (performance evaluation) weekly meeting. We addressed as a group problems that we were encountering with our team leaders in the field, who were resistant to adopting the EQUI model and taking the training we established for creating excellence in the field of evaluation. It was conducted with flip chart paper and small group discussions on how to address different hypothetical scenarios related to this problem. We identified what was happening, and proposed solutions to this problem.Then we all shared in the larger group what we came up with. I thought it was very productive and useful and was a welcome break from the monotonous lecture/ presentation of regular meetings.

Creating participation collaboration between co-workers is so essential to creating a cohesive team, and I'm very impressed with how SI approaches work like a graduate program, dedicated to solving real-world problems they encounter.

And for the kicker, Thursday I attended a USAID funded round table on civil society engagement and cross-sector programming. Basically USAID Local Solutions office wants their partnering organisations to implement DRG (democracy, rights, and governance) programs integrated with their other projects. Basically mainstreaming DRG into health, education and environmental programs. This provoked a lot of productive discussion around how it is already happening and the challenges associated with it.

Also, I got to see Evan Bloom (who teaches DPMI and capacity building classes with Beryl at MIIS) speak and present about how Root Change (his org) is using capacity 2.0. I thought it was very cool.

Anyway, that is all for now, please check for periodic updates, I may post a "life in D.C" blog entry soon about the quirks of the town, and how I UBER EVERYWHERE and it's AWESOME!

Friday, February 5, 2016

First Week!

Hi to you all!

I am off and running with Social Impact! It's been an interesting first week, learning the ropes, meeting people and getting acquainted with what I will be doing here for the next 6 months.

I will use this blog to describe my life, but also my professional deliverables so I can personally keep track of all the projects i will work on throughout my time here.

My first project was to re-write an electronic survey for a paper copy to be used in the field evaluating a Discovery Learning Alliance project, essentially a TV show meant to encourage girl's education in rural Kenya. Writing the questions made me remember how lucky i am to have the opportunity to work in this industry.

My next project will be doing quantitative analysis on a USAID funded project through FHI 360 WASHplus project. I will also be doing report writing! this is where the written communication skills get put to the test! Can i write the English good? We will find out.

Today we had a brown bag lunch with Kerry Bruce from the Global Fund to end Trafficking. She gave a very interesting talk on using big data to create intervention on human trafficking. Super interesting theory, but i'm not sure how much it will change practice.

And one last thing, for the grand finale to the week, i'm going to the Paul Collier discussion at American University tonight. it's called a 40th anniversary lecture. I'm not sure what anniversary they are referring to, but i'm sure i will find out.

That's all for today folks, have a great weekend, and i will post more soon.