i’m not dead, but i am the president–well, a president, of the local evaluation society. which sounds impressive, until you hit the inevitable and unsurprising part that this particular association was in the doldrums, and i really can’t say no to an adventure–i mean, an opportunity–to stick my neck out and hope for the best. it might sound like toastmasters-level self-deprecation, but i really think if i’m being elected to being a president of anything, that outfit’s fucked. at least it’s a voluntary position, and it goes hand-in-glove with my actual job, but from the other direction. still, that’s what happened since my last update. and the ringing note of confidence regardless, i guess i am a little excited? i mean, reviewing the state of affairs that i’ve been left with, it’s not like it was mismanaged or anything genuinely bad. it’s just been on a long-term decline. part of why i’m not in any position to divulge so publicly, but it is evident it could put in more work in identifying people already working in development in the country at least, like the ones in the various civil societies having to suffer through being given the job positions of ‘project coordinator’, ‘program officer’, or ‘grants officer’ and the like, and having to pick up ‘monitoring & evaluation’ as a job function pretty quickly, by hook or by crook. and often the learning is spotty and experiential at best, unless if you’re lucky and/or clever enough to wedge a foot into the more international side of things and get your capacity built by the internal organisational resources. there’s tonnes of such people. i should know, i was one of them. it’s funny though, because i never really set out to be activist-ing on anything, or even have a ‘career path’, but i guess my little nerdy, process-oriented, editor heart found both? i’m now insufferably That Person: the one whose daytime and nighttime pursuits are exactly the same. it makes me want to collapse my other pastimes altogether in one presentation, of which i in principle have no issues with… until i think about the kind of fiction i write. but then i tell myself, if Stacey Abrams can write romance novels and take on Republicans in the US, then i certainly can claim kin (well insofar that we both write, and we both do work in governance… every other point of comparison utterly falls flat, including and especially the part where i make money with any part of this). but i digress a little only to say my busy two months had been busy in all quadrants. i mean, i managed to write two pieces (roughly 7k in combined word total), which is extremely irregular and unusual. what can i say, buddy cop dynamics delight me. got the opportunity to attend a theatre script readthrough exercise as well, with possible actual roles in the future. excited not only to get my feet wet again with theatre, but also this particular theatre group intends to highlight more works from across the Global South, and there may even be opportunities for us to try our hand at writing a script. oh, and i’m starting on yet another attempt to actually finish a crochet blanket with my handspun. all i have on my ig is just WIPs. if you didn’t already suspect i have ADHD, that ig certainly is evidence. speaking of ADHD, i’ve switched to a higher dose Concerta! That does help in my forgetting to take the Ritalin throughout the day. So far so good, I’m still all over the place but it’s easier to hold on to my motivation. but you win some, you lose some: i went back to the most basic type of a barely structured bujo setup, because trying to maintain order was itself too stressful and leading me to procrastinate on updating my planner etc etc. work-wise as well have been interesting. got to lead a couple of internal technical presentations for a couple of central banks. i got the opportunity to lead on writing the final report of an internal mid-term evaluation, which was definitely a moment of sympathy generation for all the consultants i’ve helped to shortlist and hire over the years. (i mean, i did support one external project evaluation as part of a consulting team but a junior role is still a junior role). next time, i’m hoping to do a bit more analytical work on impact, more specifically orientation towards impact. it’s a tricky evaluation criteria, especially if you’re like me, and your opening position is that demonstrating impact at a programmatic level is almost quixotic just because the projected change is so far ahead and outside the project’s actual conclusion. oftentimes people confuse outcome and impact and where to locate them in a project’s anticipated pathway to change, and that’s before letting in free-floating aspirational language like ‘goals’ or ‘objectives’. meanwhile, i got roped in to the internal task team to review our existing project management processes. and even all that, and i still can’t catch up to my teammate’s work output. the nice thing, i guess, about being a person who’s really fitting in with their chosen career, is that however i can feel about the day-to-day, i really do like and enjoy this line of work. and with my exco role, it made me more systematic about engaging people and the latest literature in the field. that said, trying to lead an actual body of any kind is incredible hard work, or rather, hard work because i’m not used to it. right now i’m still in the information-gathering phase as well as having some preliminary ideas. it’s easy enough to think about, but ugh, the actual planning! the actual writing! this is why i barely write anything!! people think i’m joking, but no seriously, i need a stenographer. TTS function can only go so far.