Learning to Use Information for Effective Program Management in Western Kenya
“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
"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.
"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
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."
Technical Assistance to the New Partners Initiative (TA-NPI) is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and implemented by John Snow, Inc. (JSI). The information provided on this web site is not official U.S. Government information and does not represent the views or positions of the CDC or the U.S. Government. The contents are the sole responsibility of John Snow, Inc. For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.