Meet the team!

Posted in News Story

Time to meet the team!  This summer six Georgetown students have joined Woubie, the full-time Project Manager (also a Georgetown grad!), in Nairobi to work on the Twaweza video impact evaluation.  Hannah and Don are Georgetown undergraduates, Whitney, Reimar, and Keith just finished their first year at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, and Emily just graduated from GPPI and will be joining Woubie for two years as another gui2de Project Manager.  This week we lost Reimar, who returned to the States Monday night to start an internship at MCC in Washington, DC. However, I would like to introduce you to the remaining five. At the Masai Mara, the “big five” are lions, leopards, Africa elephants, African buffalos, and Black Rhinoceros. At gui2de, we have an equally awesome “big five.”

First, we have Whitney Odden, aka our Ms. Captain! She booked our flights before we arrived and when Woubie left the country, she took over the leadership role with ease. She sends us task lists and agendas each night and has made sure that all of the work this week – from training all 60 enumerators to preparing the phones and GPS units to finalizing the material for the 25 venues – went smoothly. 

Next, we have Emily Kayer, aka Ms. Care! She arrived in Kenya mid-June and will live here for the next two years working on a gui2de project in partnership with CARE. It is a sanitation project in primary schools across the country. Outside of work, she takes care of all of our guacamole and pineapple needs – she makes a mean guacamole. And the other night she cooked an amazing dinner for everyone – including our fearless leaders James and Billy.

Next, we have Hannah Hill, aka Ms. Chief Visual Officer! She helped to create the flyers and she designed the participation cards – and then iterated them 5,000 times so that each woman would have an individualized card. And once we had collected the GPS coordinates for the venues and the 150 sampling circles, she graphically matched 6 circles to every venue and completed the sampling randomization.

Next, we have Keith Ives, aka Mr. Mobenzi! Mobenzi is the platform we use to record the surveys on the phones. From adjusting skip patterns on the survey to registering phones and assigning them to enumerators to provisioning Mobenzi onto more than 60 phones, he has had his work cut out for him this week. We are so grateful for the Mobenzi skills he learned during his Nigeria project.

And last, but definitely not least, we have Don Jayamaha, aka Mr. Circles! Don mapped Mukuru, the slum where we will be showing the videos for our project, and then mapped 150 equally sized circles – each 100 meters from its neighboring circles – onto the map. He then found the GPS coordinates for each of these points. He has also done a stellar job training all 60 enumerators to use the GPS units so they can find these 150 coordinates and correctly survey women within our sampling areas.

Despite the variety of work that needs to be done, we have had time to explore the country.  One Sunday we had an adventure-filled day in Karen, where we say baby elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Orphanage, fed the Rothschild giraffes, had lunch overlooking the Nairobi National Forest, crossed a long and precarious chain bridge to visit the Kitengala glass factory, and toured the Karen Blixen house (from the Out of Africa movie).  We have also hiked Ngong Hills (which got their name because they look like the knuckles on your hand), bargained–ferociously–at the Masai Market, visited the museums and memorials in Nairobi city center, and visited sanitation and cooking centers in the Kibera slum.

We have also been very happy to have both James Habyarimana and Billy Jack in the field with us for about a week.  In addition to lots of hard work, we also had some time for a few good meals—including one hosted by the interns!