Originally posted at karibusauri.wordpress.com
My first week’s rotation at the Sauri Millennium Village was with the education sector. In three short days I observed MVP sponsored computer labs, school feeding program kitchens, gender separated latrines, a monitoring and evaluation planning meeting, rainwater harvesting, school livestock; the list goes on. The education team is constantly on the move; traveling to schools and attending meetings to move projects along, share knowledge and solve problems.
At the first meeting I attended, MVP and school management committee members quickly identified community contributions for classroom construction, made plans to solicit bids, and set a plan into action to identify a contractor and begin construction. At another meeting series I observed, participants chose to create a zone-wide evaluation of MVP interventions. Three business days later items had been identified and costed and test dates set. Three business days after that, the committee will design the test, a month later it will launch. These are turn-around times that would make corporate bigwigs green with envy!
Unlike corporations, MVP constantly considers what will happen after they leave. Requiring that parents contribute maize and beans for their kids to participate in the school feeding program is a solid step toward sustainability. However, these actions risk hurting the poorest families who cannot always provide. Until local management committees determine how to best engage parents and adjust programs to support needy families, like those in Nyamninia Primary have done, coordinators will constantly struggle to maintain the balance between sustainability and immediate impact from education interventions initiated by MVP.