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Success Stories

Learning to Use Information for Effective Program Management in Western Kenya

Matibabu staff member seated at her desk.
Liza Onyango-Abuje, Matibabu’s communications, monitoring and
evaluation manager, believes she is a better manager and a more
strategic thinker as a result of assistance from TA-NPI.

“Since the trainings, I am more confident. I used to prepare reports at a very basic level, just to comply with Ministry of Health requirements. Now I look at things more strategically," says Liza Onyango-Abuje, communications, monitoring and evaluation manager at Matibabu Foundation in Ukwala, Western Kenya.

"I know these reports can help us make decisions, like do we want to expand into other areas? Or do we have the capacity to carry out our activities to better help the people we are serving?"

Change has come to Matibabu Foundation, a small, homegrown community-support organization founded in 2003. Matibabu was awarded a PEPFAR New Partners Initiative (NPI) grant in 2008 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In conjunction with this grant, Matibabu was also a recipient of technical assistance to strengthen both its management and programmatic systems. Implemented by John Snow, Inc., and its partner, Initiatives Inc., TA-NPI is designed to build the capacity of the New Partners Initiative grantees.

"Before NPI our procedures were not well organized," continues Liza. "Human resources were not well managed and our facility had little equipment. Today, we have grown. We have more staff, our management systems are in place and working well, and we even
support other facilities nearby because we have the equipment and supplies to conduct lab tests.

"TA-NPI has developed trainings that are helping us all function more effectively as an organization and as a health facility providing services to a large client base. I attended a quality improvement training which helped us identify problems within our system and put processes in place to solve those problems. It's a continuous process where we review whether our solutions are working, and if not, we put in new strategies," Liza says.

Exterior of the Matibabu clinic.
The Matibabu Clinic in Ukwala, Kenya now has updated facilities and equipment, and trained staff thanks to its NPI grant.

"But most critical, for me, was the monitoring and evaluation training. Before TA-NPI, our monitoring and evaluation was nonexistent. Now we understand why it is so important—not just for our donors and partners, but for us, too. The information we gather in our monitoring and evaluation now helps guide Matibabu in our decision making.

"For example, in our revised data collection tools we now have a place to write down 'winning strategies' or lessons learned for things that did not go as well as hoped. We use that information to actively plan to either continue with an intervention or to adjust it to make it more effective."

Supportive supervision training has also been important to Liza's work. "Supportive supervision has given me a new way of working with the people I supervise. I think I used to be a bit judgmental," Liza recognizes. "Now I don't judge them immediately. I look at all the things that could be affecting their performance. Problems could be a systems issue or a
capacity or skills issue. Understanding this has been really helpful and has enabled me to be a better manager."

Matibabu Foundation will receive three years of NPI funding and three years of technical assistance between 2008 and 2011. TA-NPI’s goal is to leave behind an organization with strong management systems that can meet all donor requirements while also meeting the needs of the community it serves.

"It will be difficult when our NPI grant ends next year," says Liza. "We may have to scale-down a bit. But I am confident that we are now a strong organization that can partner with other groups to continue helping the community here in Ukwala."

RESULTS

With Matibabu’s enhanced capacity and
lab facilities, more than 6,600 patients in 2010 accessed CD4 and full hemogram lab tests, thanks to the NPI grant and TA-NPI’s support.

 

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