It was a week of crunching numbers, simplifying formats, evaluation, learning points, discussion and good fun!
For our sanitary pads program in Bihar, I went to visit Dharma Life in Delhi. Dharma Life is our implementing partner; they recruit and train women to become Dharma Life entrepreneurs (DLE’s) in the sales & distribution of sanitary pads. DLE’s become a role model in their community, creating behavioral change in the use of hygienic menstruation materials.
We started out with an agenda for a two day meeting and ended up working actively together for four days. We experienced once again how important face to face time is. It gave us time and space to go into indepth discussions. No, we don’t always agree and that’s fine. Actually, it’s more than fine. It keeps us on top of things and focused. We had some very productive discussions about the definition of a job and coping with temporary inactive DLE’s.
Being clear on this, we need to keep track of these active DLE’s and of the income they make. That way we can measure the impact we have and taken action when needed. Again, discussion. What do we really need to know and what can we expect from the field team to produce? How can we make reporting as effective as possible? Excel was our best friend and by the end of Thursday afternoon we were pretty proud of ourselves ;-) We’ve sent it off to the field team and hope they will be equally proud….
Next to a lot of other aspects we aligned on, one more ‘biggy’ was preparing for the workshop with all the partners in October. Live from the Netherlands, Carolijn joined us on a skype call. Goals, objectives, … Carolijn wormed information out of us. And as we speak José and Carolijn are preparing the workshop they will facilitate in October in Bihar. We are looking forward to it.
Arhsleen, working with you is a treat! Looking forward to the next trip.