Seated at the middle of the main office building, which they usually refer to as the ‘white house’, you will spot a four-member team most often with their heads ‘buried’ down into their computers.
At the extreme left corner of the ‘white house’ you will also spot an always stylishly dressed lady with comparable character; her cranium always ‘buried’ into her computer. The majority of staff members refer to them as ‘data people’, M&E guys, and a few others discern them as ‘data auditors’. Internally, within themselves, they refer to themselves as the ‘data diggers’.
The team is the research, monitoring and evaluation (RME) team headed by Suzy Wendot, the RME Manager, and comprises of four other team members; Edward, Senior RME Officer, Brian and Musa who are the RME Officers and Patience who is the unit’s RME Intern. Often, the ‘data diggers’ receives support from Nathalie, who also doubles as the Donor Compliance and New Business Development Advisor and also Julia Mayersohn who is the Programs director.
Roles of the ‘data diggers’
Contrary to the discernment that the ‘data diggers’ are data auditors, the team assumes a supportive role to all the service delivery channels focusing on data quality, accuracy, consistency, integrity, timeliness as well as generating data, presenting programs impact to the country management team, senior management team, program staff and most importantly demonstrating evidence-based impact to the donors.
The team drives the research agenda in the organization; they design, execute and disseminate research findings across the organization, to program partners and donors. The ‘data diggers’ also show case the program’s impact through the documentation of human success stories and case studies. The team also manages service delivery data in MSK through entry, analysis and presentation to the Country Management Team (CMT) and regions.
Thus, when you saunter into the ‘white house’ and spot them with their heads buried into their computers, they are focused into ‘digging’ out and generating relevant programmatic data and evidence required for improved and better service delivery to women, men, young people and people with disabilities.
I love this team. I have the best team in the whole world; very hard working, supportive and focused.
Suzy Wendot, RME Manager
The ‘data diggers’ travel to the field each month for supportive supervisory visits across the channels. During the field visits, they give personalized technical support both to our field teams and the AMUA network service providers. The support focuses on documentation of best practices, data quality audits and orientation on the programs benefits of accurate data capture and reporting.
I am glad you are here, I want you to see the struggle we go through in getting you correct data. We are committed to adhering to your standard procedures of collecting and reporting accurate data.
Daniel Njagi, Central Region social franchising coordinator was quoted saying during a recent ‘data diggers’ supportive supervisory field visit.
‘Data diggers’ achievements
The team, are not medical service providers by profession; however, they are most definitely part of the service provider team, significantly involved in the contribution and tracking of key performance indicators geared towards the realization of MSK’s mission of Children by Choice not by Chance.
Over the last year, the team has concluded major research studies which include: annual client exit interviews and mystery surveys focused on obtaining information on how best we serve our clients, market brand research focused on generating information on how our clients perceive the Marie Stopes Kenya brand, vasectomy research which informed the organization on the perceptions of the community in relation to the uptake of vasectomy services, STEP UP research to inform on the barriers of post-abortion family planning uptake among the 18-25 years cohort and Strengthening Patient-Centered Accessibility, Respect, and Quality of Care for Maternal Health, Family Planning, and Post Abortion Care (SPARQ) study which is currently in progress in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco among others.
What the ‘data diggers’ like and dislike
Regardless of having their heads always ‘buried’ into their computers, the ‘data diggers’ have a social life outside of their day to day activities. Edward, the long-serving ‘data digger’, is a loving family man with two kids; Sasha and Blair. Edward, a self-declared journalist, likes writing, reading and a bottle of beer during his free time. He dislikes dishonesty. Suzy, a newly-wed beautiful lady, loves travelling all over the world, running marathons and Zumba dance. Suzy has participated in almost all the in-country marathon races not forgetting the countable international marathon she has participated. She dislikes any talk about or associated with death. Musa, a family and a father to one kid, Adam, loves listening to music, watching soccer and sharing knowledge. He dislikes crowds and dishonest people. Brian, who is an aspiring family man, loves food, photography, watching soccer and movies while Patience, a happily single and equally good looking lady loves dancing, traveling and meeting new people. She dislikes rainstorms, crowds and irresponsible people. Nathalie, a brilliant well-dressed lady, loves nature travel, partying, dancing and a glass of chilled red wine. Julia, a beautiful and smart programs leader loves her bike and running.