Story and Photos courtesy of Karla Narcise-Rodulfo | PME Manager | Heifer Philippines
Twenty-four flags were lined up neatly in front of the hall, each flag representing the country of almost 30 participants. I braced myself to keep from bursting into an uncontrollable smile all day and risk forgetting my purpose in Siem Riep, Cambodia. The Global Impact Monitoring Workshop from January 28 to February 3 was not ordinary; we happily worked with passion and hunger for knowledge.
It was a humbling experience to be surrounded by Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) practitioners with vast and diverse experiences. It was fun to listen to the debates, discussions and even friendly arguments of people with different cultural perspectives on poverty. Yet, everyone was united in Heifers goal to end hunger and poverty. It also reminded me that I am not alone in M&E struggles and together we can find a solution to give dignity back to the communities we work in.
The informal discussions outside the workshop were just as life-changing as the lessons. Our common interest made bonding easier and the friendships more sincere. I still smile remembering those wonderful days in Cambodia, but I dont control my smile anymore. I may look silly with a grin plastered on my face, but I want to pass on the gift of learning with happiness.
In June I will celebrate my 7th anniversary with Heifer Philippines. The daily journey has had victories and bumps as I planned, monitored and evaluated the path. But when I joined Heifer International everything had a new light; unlike most companies, the faceless figures now have stories to tell, feelings to share and good news to celebrate. The life-transforming gifts Heifer shares with communities and the testimonies behind its people have an important impact.
Heifer stories are heartwarming, but also need to be recorded, organized, analyzed and kept safe for a global audience and future generations. Everything counts and everything that can be counted should be recorded because what cannot be measured cannot be managed. If it cannot be managed it will never be done.
We are now back at our desks and normal activities, but this time we are more knowledgeable and armed with a fresh perspective, inspiration and a new evaluation system. We are more than ready to learn, fail and make use of lessons learned to improve ourselves and the work to be done.