Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Officers work in The Hunger Project (THP) Program Countries gathering data from our programs and determining their progress and impact in the field. Their work is crucial in improving and developing new programs for and with our partners around the world.
Andrés Arau, an M&E Officer with THP-Mexico, is interviewed here by Impact and Influence Officer Carolyn Ramsdell from THP’s Global Office.
Carolyn: How long have you been with THP and what were you doing before you joined the THP team?
Andrés: I have been working at The Hunger Project since July 2009. Before that, I spent four years in Canada studying economics and global studies at the University of Ottawa.
Carolyn: Do you have an achievement from this last year of which you are most proud?
Andrés: During this year, we have become better able to track every single activity with a lag of no more than a month. We are able to communicate, with accuracy, the total amount of activities, participants, and the exact number of grassroots partners. This work has allowed us to better integrate with the global M&E system and to follow-up on what is happening in the communities after the partners attend to the different activities.
During October and November of the present year, THP-Mexico facilitated Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRA) in five communities of Oaxaca. This was the first time that the organization applied this methodology in the field. As a result, the grassroots partners identified, in a participatory way, what is the actual state of their social, physical, human, financial, and natural capitals and recognized key opportunities to transform their situation. Every one of the five communities ended up with at least two project ideas in different subjects and well-structured documents of their Participatory Appraisals on their Sustainable Livelihoods. This represents the beginning of a long-term participatory monitoring and evaluation systems designed and managed by the people.
Carolyn: What is the most challenging part of your work as an M&E Officer?
Andrés: Every region had very diverse names for similar workshops or activities. Therefore, the first stage of the work was to list all the activities and group those that had similar purposes so we could really track and report the activities and outputs.
Another very important challenge that we faced is to really develop participatory M&E methods that contribute to the empowerment and capacity building of our grassroots partners. This, we consider, is vital for the long term self-reliant transformation of the communities that we partner with.
Carolyn: What would you like to learn from your fellow THP M&E Officers around the world?
Andrés: It would be fantastic to get to know what every THP program country is doing in M&E and use that information to increase our know-how to better develop evidence on how our methodology is cost-effective in ending poverty.
Carolyn: And a little bit about you personally, what is your favorite food?
Andrés: Sandwiches, paella and mexican food.
Carolyn: What are some of your interests or hobbies?
Andrés: Reading Latin American history, playing and watching soccer, traveling around Mexico and other countries.
Carolyn: Sounds interesting! Thanks for taking the time to share with us, Andrés!
We at THP are proud to have dedicated M&E Officers like Andrés working to empower people and determining the most effective and influential ways of doing so. Take a minute to learn more about some of the inspiring work being done by THP-Mexico and Andrés!