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Meet Arwa Abubaker — Monitoring, Evaluation & learning (MEL) officer, Ascend Sudan /

What do you lead on?  

I lead on tracking programme activities, evaluating the results as well as generating evidence to uphold better  planning, promote policy and influence decision making. 

Why drew you to this role? 

I am passionate about health information systems, particularly M&E. I enjoy data  generation, oversight of things, tracking progress and all this together with diving into field experiences. 

I also believe knowledge and data are the oxygen of a programme, because sharing knowledge is of the utmost value. 

Can you share an example of some of the bigger achievements you’ve had this past year? 

travelled to 10 implementing units in West and East Sudan for Lymphatic Filariasis MDAs (Mass Drug Administration). What was special about those missions was the incorporation of new tools and improving the system of MDAs at the federal level alongside implementing beneficiary feedback  mechanisms (feedback forms provided after training activities) that encourage communities to be part of the decision making, while taking their challenges into consideration for better planning on our part. We also made new information, education and communication (IEC) materials, such as brochures and posters. 

Do you work in a team, country, role of field that is predominantly male? If so, how have you overcome any challenges relating to this?  

Teams have a luminous male predominance at both regional and country levels in Sudan, but my immediate country team for Ascend is predominantly female! I believe being a woman has helped in adding values such as caring, passion, and detail seeking to the work we do. 

What challenge are you working to overcome through your role and work with Ascend and how?  

I challenge fear — fear from traveling to distant areas, fear from digging into the fields and fear from working in a male dominated job.