Benjamin (Ben) Playfair
During this past Spring Break, I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC with six other students in the Development Practice & Policy Program to undertake a week-long client project to complement the training we received during DPMI. Students were divided into three groups and worked with FHI 360, Root Change and the Grameen Foundation on projects including program design, program management and monitoring & evaluation.
My group worked at the Grameen Foundation (GF) where we tackled a large scope monitoring & evaluation project, considering how GF defined, tracked and counted beneficiaries given their integration with another micro finance organization earlier this year. The problem was challenging, considering the multitude of technologies, services and networks that GF works in to reach the poor of over 25 countries. Our work involved in depth stakeholder interviews and analysis with executive leadership, global program managers and country directors, among others.
At the end of the week we were able to present a concise summary and analysis of nearly 20 stakeholders, and presented this back to GF leadership and staff. In addition to giving voice to GF stakeholders as they consider what new methodology they will use within their count process, our team recommended a set of five recommendations to the leadership and M&E team at Grameen to take into account.
This experience was a huge learning opportunity for me. It complimented much of what we learned during DPMI as well as my own background in M&E and gave me hands on work experience at a high level within an international NGO. The skills we developed while doing our analysis and learning experiences we had while engaging with GF stakeholders is something I will be able to carry on during my continuing studies at MIIS as well as in my future endeavors as I seek to do M&E work with international nonprofits.
To find out more about DPMI Client Projects, click here.