Field Work

MWA-LAP Training: Week 1 Recap

I’ve been in San Pedro Sula for the last week as part of the program launch workshop for the upcoming Millennium Water Alliance-Latin America Program (MWA-LAP).  Program partners from CARE, WaterAid, Water for People, AKVO, OneDrop Foundation, MWA, and Improve International all contributed to a great week of training, sharing of experiences, and great lessons in the value of working in collaboration with others.

Here are the highlight lessons learned from the week:

  • In developing countries, context in language is key.  What means “hole” for a latrine pit in one country can mean something INCREDIBLY different (and comical) in a different country.  Also,  “el apoyo”  and “el pollo” sound very similar when a native El Salvadorean is speaking quickly and understanding context makes all the difference in trying to figure out how a chicken is going to help people understand a new web platform.
  • The knowledge of local stakeholders is invaluable.  Even though a dozen set of eyes looked over our baseline survey before coming to the workshop, it wasn’t until it was in the hands of the field staff that glaring issues became apparent.
  • Regardless of language, everyone enjoys sharing stories about their lives, their families, and pictures of their dogs over beers and wine.

The second week of trainings start tomorrow in Mexico City with World Vision and Living Water International.  I’m hoping that I will finish this week with as many good connections and new ideas as I did in Honduras.

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