Day 4 in Delhi

Okay, it’s early Thursday morning. I’ve been struggling quite a bit with jet lag since arriving, more so than last time. Part of it is that I’m prone to early morning-wake-up-and-overthink sessions as it is, so the new environment and 12 hour time difference isn’t helping.

I took off from Calgary Sunday morning, was in transit for about 24 hours, and arrived here Monday evening Delhi time. I had good flights, including the luck of having 3 seats to myself to lay down. Thanks Jeff for suggesting to pick a seat with that potential.

Spent all day Tuesday going back and forth between sleeping and trying not to sleep, so yesterday was my first day at work. It was really nice to be there, since I have worked here before for about 2 months and knew many of the people. Of course, I felt like I was swimming through molasses since I woke up at 3am and couldn’t get back to sleep.  This morning, I think I made it until 4, so hopefully by next week I’ll be able to sleep in like a normal person.

Some more background about the work: I am here to help build the capacity of a department to carry out evaluations in the primary/elementary school system.  In terms of actual tasks, this means:

1. Learn about and describe the programs

2. Design an evaluation to assess whether and why they “worked” (i.e. whether the programs did what they were intended).  This means working with those involved with or interested in the program to identify questions of interest, and designing data collection tools to answer those questions.

3. Collect data, for example questionnaires and interviews with children, teachers, school administration, community members, etc., and achievement tests with children.

4. Analyse data, summarise and report to those who are interested (i.e. those delivering the program, those making decisions, those funding, etc)

When I came last year, I was brought in with 4 other Canadian evaluators to help work on data analysis and reports.  This year, I’ll be here from the beginning.  I am quite excited about this, because a well-designed evaluation can be extremely helpful to programmers and decision makers…  Not to mention that the subject matter is fascinating – education is such a powerful tool for social change, and there is a huge movement here to improve it.  It’s a fairly new content area for me, so I can’t wait to learn more about it.

Lots more to follow!

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