Writing this while sleepless on a plane back from Kampala, Uganda where I was working with NDI's field office and the civic organization group, the Citizen's Election Observers Network (CEON). This was an assessment and planning trip, so I thought I'd walk you, dear readers, through what that type of effort looks like.
NDI has been working with civil society and the parliament in Uganda for about 15 years. Along with our CEPPS partners IRI and IFES, we will be supporting a range of groups as they monitor the process of next year's election in Uganda. While NDI defined at a high level WHAT was to be done in the initial plan, there's a lot of HOW that is left to be determined. The goal of a planning trip like this is to produce a detailed plan to meet program objectives and a shared vision between key stakeholders - including the DC office, the partners, the field office team, and other collaborators - on how to make it all happen. We also need to be able to make sure that the partner's priorities and needs are matched to the appropriate tools.
Typically, on an assessment trip I attempt to analyze a range of factors that determines what is possible for a program and define the most impactful approach. Below are key considerations for an early technical assessment: