And so… week three starts. The goal is to learn and analyze the different programs led by the MoGD with its different internal and external partners. These include EPAG (Economic Empowerment of Adolescent Girls and Young Women), a 2 year pilot program aiming to increase employment and income for Liberian women, a Social Cash Transfer scheme that is arguably successful and is seen as a viable way to 'pull the poorest out of the poverty trap' (Jeffrey Sachs' 'End of Poverty' flashback).
My goal for the coming weeks is to fit the current Monitoring and Evaluation Framework being developed at the Ministry at the moment within these programs and to also assess the internal capacity and capability gaps within each. Phew! I am still not sure where to start but I plough my way patiently, through the considerable number of dog ear-marked reports written by various national and international consultants, i.e. my predecessors over the years.
(Anyone with experience with best practice cash transfer programs are welcome to comment/ give suggestions!)
Weekend update: These are the last few days of the fishing season. The season runs parallel to the dry season in Liberia (from late October-early November to late May). And so…we went fishing in Marshall Islands in Mugubi Country (about two hours drive from Monrovia). There was a storm the night before and still drizzling in the morning when we set out. It was a refreshing change from dusty and noisy Monrovia and be part of the fresh and lush green vegetation and brown red muddy tracks of Mugubi. The catch of the day and indeed of the season according to our Lebanese fishing crew was a 115kilo blue marlin that took 30 ms to be fought in and pulled into the boat. Bloody pictures to follow soon :)
Au revoir from a stuffy cubicle in the Gender Ministry for now.
P.S. I discovered a cheaper super-market called Exclusive, owned by the Lebanese with ready-to-eat ‘pav bhaji’ (Indian street food of spicy mashed veggies with bread). Looks like it’s going to be dinner tonight!