mothers2mothers goes to Yale16 August 2012
Admire Chirowodza, mothers2mothers (m2m) Evaluations Specialist, was invited to attend a two week fellowship hosted by the Yale Center for Analytical Sciences (YCAS) and the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS (CIRA). The sponsored fellowship was an incredible opportunity to learn from some the world’s leading institutions, while also sharing some of m2m’s firsthand experience evaluating programs.
For Admire, the trip was more than simply a two week fellowship; it was an opportunity to overcome fears he had harbored about travelling to the US for the first time, a nation which has not always had cordial relations with his homeland, Zimbabwe.
“I arrived in the U.S. a little tired but excited, and any initial worries were soon cast aside by my wonderful host Dr. Casey King and his family. During my visit, I managed to present at two seminars on mothers2mothers work. The sessions were attended by leading researchers from both YCAS and CIRA who discussed and advised on m2m’s evaluation approach and data analysis techniques.
The learning from the sessions was not only enlightening for m2m, but also for the academic staff. I feel that through discussing m2m’s challenges I also managed to further expose the academic staff at Yale to the barriers of implementation research and evaluation studies in a program setting.
During my stay I was also lucky enough to be able to attend sessions with the Young Scholars Program that educates and inspires public school students in math and science. This really opened my eyes to the need to promote similar initiatives in African countries in order to get more young people into science and research careers.
All in all the two weeks were a hugely enjoyable, two-way learning experience, and with the support that various researchers pledged I am looking forward to further improving m2m’s program measurement.”