Have you missed me? It's been a while since my last blog post but as promised here's my blog post about my work. I've been trying to come up with thesis ideas in the weeks since I last posted a la Beautiful Mind (before you realise he's schizophrenic) so hopefully news on thesis shortly.
I am on placement with WUSC-Sri Lanka (duh?) and I'm based in the Badulla office which is located in the Southern region of the country and responsible for programming in not only Badulla but also the surrounding districts.
My official job title is Junior Program Officer - Micro-credit and Employment Services and as part of my work here I'll be working in Badulla, Hambantota, Moneragala and Matara.
A primary focus of WUSC's work here is the empowerment of women and marginalised youth thus these are the key target groups for all the developmental efforts here in country which includes the provision of Vocational Training and micro-credit. Presently there is a shift towards building the capacity of the local partners and less focus on direct implementation by WUSC.
As part of the capacity building efforts, the first task which I am working on is the design of a Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system for micro-credit organisations. The system will hopefully address the deficits in reporting which presently exist as well as allow these organisations to track their performance and improve their sustainability.
Right now I'm working on visiting these organisations and assessing their present M&E structures. This part has been a bit challenging given the language barrier but I am trying. I have managed to pick up a little Sinhala. So far most of my vocabulary is limited to issues of microcredit or buying vegetables in the market and while I know how to ask the questions - understanding the responses is a different issue.
During the course of the year I will also be working with micro-credit partners to expand the range of service currently provided to clients; Vocational Training partners to develop or strengthen production units, and the Regional Employment Strategy for the South.
So that's a brief over view of what I'm doing here for the next 9 months - time is flying quickly lol. And it shouldn't be so long before my next update...