June 1, 2012
The moment has come! Presentation day. Still running on adrenaline. Starting at 5:30AM to go to Kinko's to pick up the printing, arrange the pages, and get it bound before meeting the rest of the team to practice our presentation on campus. Caffeine. Dunkin Donuts. Start the day.
Our team had decided to use Prezi for our presentation. We figured what we lack in "sexiness" in our project, we would make up in creativity. We also decided to have only two people present and two people handle Q&A. We practiced all morning, but I thought Arvind had a tough role in selling our story. Like we learned from our presentation lecture, we really needed to sell a story, because that's what the audience will remember and take away in the end. I thought Arvind and Meaghan did a fantastic job presenting. I also think Ivory and I handled the questions well. After listening to the types of questions being asked to the other groups, I was intimidated, but practicing answer those questions in my head by adjusting them to fit our project certainly helped formulate potential answers.
Being an OCD and competitive person, it was a bit disappointing that we didn't win, but the SRH Swazi team certainly deserved the win. They were a strong team that made a great proposal and I'm happy to see that project moving forward!
Receiving all the feedback from Wolffy, Monita, Cristin, Joan, Zadok, and Michelle has been invaluable. It has given all of us confidence as consultants and shows us what it takes to keep improving.
The last couple of weeks has gone by so fast and had been so stressful and had been so rewarding and had been so overwhelming and had been so amazing... not enough words to describe this class! It's not often I cry at the end of class (not out of happiness at least) and the end of this class was a real heart tugger. Everyone has gotten so close and seeing the professors be that proud of us and what we've produced in this class was the real cherry on top. I'll miss you IH 744! xo
May 31, 2012
Doomsday. Or something that feels like it. Today is the LAST day before presentations and submission of our final proposal. It's both nerve-wrecking and exciting all at the same time. I think our entire team is running on adrenaline at this point.
We put in every ounce of energy and every last brain cell we had in finishing our proposal. More time would have been great to work on this project, but there would never be enough time. We're putting hte finishing touches and rushing to get our proposal done in time to send to Kinko's for printing. Luckily, we had Arvind and his bike so he sped away by the 9:30PM Kinko's gave us. Phew.
May 30, 2012
Both yesterday and today, our group divided into two to tackle different components of the project. I am SO thankful to have the team I have. Being able to trust our team members is SO important. Being an OCD person, it's sometimes difficult to let go of the rein when things need to get done. Having other OCD team members certainly helps and I strongly believe that our team is capable in making something GREAT.
Having taken M&E certainly helped in creating the budgeting component for our project. We also came into great realization that our project is CHEAP. Well, relatively cheap. P4H's strengths are their partnerships and their network of medical experts. With P4H depending on a lot of volunteers, I think they will be fairly pleased with the budget of this project.
May 29, 2012
The long weekend was perfectly placed in the middle of this course. This short break was so necessary to reboot and regain focus. We definitely needed some R&R, but we also knew we had a lot to get done. Since Arvind was still away for the wedding, Meaghan, Ivory, and I met up on Monday to discuss the work we did independently and what else needed to be done.
This class was productive. It went by SO fast, but we felt it was productive. As we add more components to our project each day forces us to make sure that our concept and logic of the program is consistent from beginning to end. Today's cluster critique definitely helped to clarify and streamline our project. It's really interesting to see that we weren't the only project that took a sharp right turn, because our presentations in the cluster critique was not the same from last week. It's interesting to see everyone else's project evolve as well. And evolution happens from survival of the fittest, which means that our project is only getting stronger, right?
May 25, 2012
A little explanation and elaboration to the feeling of despair yesteray. Monita told us that the 4th/5th day of this class always tends to be when chaos hits. How accurate that is! We had met with our technical advisor, Joan, yesterday who gave us a LOT of really useful advice. It was such a pleasure to meet her and our discussions generated a lot of sparks and ideas. So much sparks and ideas that our project took a sharp right turn by the end of class...cue chaos. We did finally establish our team to be Team of Champions in honour of using MSH's Challenge Model.
From looking at the syllabus, this day (M&E day) was the day I feared most. After just taking Candace's M&E class last semester, it was intimidating to think of doing what we did in a semester in a day. However, having had taken that class last semester actually really helped with tackling today's task.
Arvind is off to a wedding this weekend. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't jealous. Not only that he has a "mini-vacay" in the midst of all this, but that he's attending an Indian wedding. That's definitely on my to-do-list in my life.
May 24, 2012
How I feel portrayed in a picture...
But, I think we've made progress by the end of the day. KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON!
May 23, 2012
Ever since the first class, I knew this class was going to be like none other. Just after 3 classes, I can see that it is intense, challenging, and oh-so-practical. I absolutely LOVE that this class has taken the concepts and skills beyond hypotheticals and really threw us into the fire in designing real projects for real clients. Talk about creating incentive to work hard!
Getting the experience to work with Zadok Sacks from Physician for Haiti (P4H) has also been such an experience! It's so great to be able to hear immediate feedback on the program we're designing and tailor it the best way possible for P4H and it's even more exciting to see how commited and excited he is about the progress of our program design.
The cherry on top is definitely the group I've been assigned to in terms of the organization and the team. Meaghan, Arvind, and Ivory are great team members! So far I feel that we've all pulled our weight and we all have something unique to contribute to the project. Although fostering our learning and understanding of project development and practicing these skills are goals of the course, our goal is to win that $5000.
I guess you could say that learning the concepts and skills of project development is the objective, but winning the funding panel over is our goal.
May 22, 2012
After having a night to digest the scope of work and what our program could potentially look like, our team dove right in to our situation analysis. However, with a broad scope of work at hand, it was challenging to figure out what to focus on. Unlike other projects where the intervention is more tangible, P4H's angle is more abstract. We struggled with this a bit, but Zadok plans to attend our class again tomorrow which would be really useful in clarifying things!
May 21, 2012
Starting the class by putting ourselves in a donor's shoe was a great way to start! Forcing ourselves to think from the perspective of a donor and what we would look for in a proposal was an eye-opener for when we have to write the proposal.
It was surprising to see that my group was the only group that was firm in NOT funding the proposal. We felt the ideas presented were great, but lacked so many crucial details necessary of a multi-million dollar project. We ended up listing all the things we wanted to see changed in the proposal before taking it up again for consideration and decided that the changes needed was pretty much an entirely new proposal. Hence, our decision to NOT fund the project. The discussion with the whole class and hearing the actual verdict on this project proposal was another eye-opener. It was a bit of a shock, but not much of a surprise once the identity of the proposal was revealed.
We got introduced to our team and the project we were assigned (P4H!). My group seems to have a variety of background and looks real promising! We were fortunate to have Zadok with us as well to get oriented and understand our client better. Here's to a good start!