I rejoice in the title of ‘ Monitoring and evaluation and programme support facilitator’. This means in reality that I do a bit of everything all over Northern Uganda which is just how I like it .
The last few weeks have been particularly busy and varied. Here is the timetable:
Week 1 in Soroti ( south east of Gulu ) with Russ, another volunteer , to deliver training to the Principals and Boards of four Vocational Training Institutes that we are working with. We try to make the training as interactive as possible – the case studies we use provoke a lot of really heated discussion. We could have spent at least 3 hours on :-
The board chairs sister has a furniture business; he recommends that you buy the new office furniture from there. Is this a good idea? Agree /Disagree /Not Sure
Returned to Gulu with Russ in his double cabin pickup which unusually didn’t break down, stopping off to buy 10 kg each of oranges and tangerines for £1 equivalent and then to Lira for an interview with consultant doing an evaluation of VSO in Uganda for DFID.
NB: In Uganda if you go in the field you are expected to buy local produce to take home to your family /staff/ work colleagues.
Week 2 – A tour of West Nile with a big group
I was doing gender toolkit dissemination , market relevance survey and interview analysis with Arua Tech, and Governance and Strategic Planning with Board members and Principals from the 5 vocational training institutes we work with in that region .
Mark came along to do Curriculum Support, Mentoring and 2 days training at a college that has just joined the programme
Russ was there to do Governance and Strategic Planning training with me and work with the students on market analysis. Yet again the Board Chair’s sisters furniture business provoked lively debate!
Rose was doing Monitoring and Gender Toolkit dissemination
Elizabeth who had only been in Uganda for a week was assessing the quality of information in the databases
Richard drove the big black Prado down some very windy bumpy roads to get to the colleges and took us across the Congo border at one point.
Our route took us from Gulu to Pakwach, Nebbi then up along the Congo border to Arua and then to Moyo crossing the river at Laropi , through Adjumani and back to Gulu . A big loop. Unfortunately there was no local produce to bring back .
Week 3 in Gulu
A quieter week – planning and developing two days training on the projects monitoring and evaluation framework and a new reporting template for the 11 Gulu based Vocational Institutes and visiting Gulu Persons Disabled Unit to introduce a participatory research project to the students and form a research team with them .
Week 4 Training in Gulu
Delivering the training on Reporting and Documentation to 55 vocational training staff in a very small room with Samantha and Elizabeth (fellow volunteers). Oh and spending a whole day updating the access management information system to deliver the new reports .
Two half day sessions with the Student Researchers at Gulu Persons Disability Unit, developing the research parameters and questions and agreeing the research plan . They are now going off to carry out the research by conducting surveys( about 60 surveys ) with other students ,staff , their families and communities , local politicians , local business people with disability. The research is looking at how Vocational Training Institutes can improve access and facilities for Persons with Disability (PWD) and support PWD into sustainable livelihoods. The interviews are being conducted in Luo (the local language) so I will have plenty of opportunity to improve my skills.
Week 5 Soroti
Off to Soroti for the Reporting and Documentation Training and to carry out Market Relevance consolidation with the students at Uganda Martyrs Vocational Institute.
Week 6 On leave
To Kampala, Fort Portal and Murchison Falls Park for a rest !!!!!!
The best bits:
o Facilitating the Disability Participatory Project with the students at Gulu Persons Disability Unit
o Working with the students on consolidating the market relevance surveys in Arua and Soroti
o The lively discussion in the governance training on the chairman’s sisters furniture shop and other contentious issues
o Travelling around Uganda
o Working with VSO staff and volunteers
The worst bits:
o Having to sort out the travelling and subsistence expenses for the delegates at the training sessions
o Noisy hotels