the wonderful world of veena.

02 September 2012

my project explained.

It occurred to me that I'm four weeks into my ten-week project and have yet to actually explain what I'm doing. You know, for the three of you out there who are actually interested. So here you go.

With whom am I working?
Room to Read, an awesome organization based globally out of San Francisco that works to promote childhood literacy and girls' education in 10 countries in Asia and Africa.

Where am I?
I'm a bit all over. The main focus of my project is in Bardiya, a rural district in western Nepal, bordering Uttar Pradesh in India. I started out for a day in Delhi, was in Kathmandu for a week, and have now been in Bardiya for 3 weeks. I'll be here for another two, after which I'll be back in Kathmandu for about 10 days before wrapping up with 2 weeks in Delhi. Confused yet? I've been trying to explain it to Shonali for 3 months, and she's still not figured it out.

What am I doing?
Room to Read Nepal wanted to study the impact the material assistance leg of their Girls' Education program [GEP] is having on keeping girls in secondary school, so I - along with Arpana, my translator - am interviewing stakeholders in 8 of the schools where Room to Read is working to hear their thoughts on the matter. The information we gather will be written up in a final report outlining our key findings and offering recommendations for improvements to the program to make it more successful and more sustainable.

Our progress thus far...
We have completed our interviews in 7 of the schools, with the 8th and final one on our schedule for tomorrow. The schools are spread throughout the district, with the closest being about a 20-minute jeep ride away and the farthest a 3-3.5-hour journey that included jeeps, boats, and buses. It was quite the adventure. In each school we have interviewed the Headmaster, the contact teacher, one Social Mobilizer [Room to Read staff who work in the school], girls who are receiving material assistance, parents of girls receiving material assistance, girls not receiving material assistance, and boys, as well as one individual girl for whom the assistance has made a significant impact. It's been a pretty fun journey so far: we've gotten to meet and speak with a lot of people [nearly 200 so far!], we've gotten to see rural Nepal [rice paddies as far as the eye can see], and we've even received the celebrity treatment a few times [garlands and flowers in one school, chai and samosas in another].

What's next...
Once we wrap up in the schools, we will move on to interviews of Room to Read staff. Here in Bardiya we'll be interviewing two Program Associates as well as the Program Officer for the GEP, and potentially the District Manager as well. Before we leave Bardiya, we'll do a brief presentation for the staff on our initial findings and recommendations.

In Kathmandu we will interview the Country Directors for the GEP and Research, Monitoring, & Evaluation as well as one or two other staff members in the Room to Read office. Additionally, we're going to interview staff from other NGOs who have similar scholarship programs to see what Room to Read can learn from them and to see if there is any potential for partnerships. Before I leave Nepal, we'll do another brief presentation for the staff.

And finally, in Delhi I will interview the Asia Regional Directors for the GEP and RM&E along with a few other staff members. If possible, I'll speak again with staff from other organizations. I will also write the first draft of my final report for the Global Office outlining the project, my methodology, the findings, and recommendations. And I will do another brief presentation for their staff on the initial findings of the study.

Once I wrap up in Delhi, I will make the final edits to my report and will design a presentation to be delivered to the GEP and RM&E staff in San Francisco.

And that's my project, in a nutshell. Any questions?
woo pig.

No comments:

Post a Comment