In almost every PPI training, you’ll find at least one person who really understands the statistical foundation of the PPI and becomes your advocate and then almost by force of nature, there’s the other… the one that gets it but challenges you to explain some concepts in a more nuanced manner or with a more detailed example. Both types of participants are quite helpful – the former helps to get others to buy into the tool and the latter helps to strengthen the training module.
In a training in Senegal in December, I was challenged to explain how we get from the likelihood of being below the poverty line at the individual level (say the client has a 60% likelihood of being below the poverty line) to percentage of clients below the poverty line at the group level (50% of the clients in the organization are below the poverty line). As a result, I no longer assume that people get this basic probability concept and have now incorporated it into my trainings.
Yesterday in Cairo, I was once again challenged. The participant from Dakahlya Businessmen's Association for Community Development (DBACD), one of three microfinance institutions among the first to receive PPI training, asked, ”How do you calculate change in the number of clients above the poverty line if there are drop-outs.” He noted that the example given the previous day had assumed no drop-outs, making the analysis straightforward but, as he pointed out, in reality there would be drop-outs. I attempted to verbally describe the process and modify the example using the flipchart but he shook his head in the negative (implying he didn’t get it) and the others followed. Last night, I re-worked the example with drop-outs and presented the following color-coded analysis this morning:
After walking through this analysis, there were smiles, and when asked if everyone now understood how we calculated the number of clients that had moved above the poverty line, they nodded in affirmation. Now, we’re back on track!
Sharlene Brown is a Program Officer with the Grameen Foundation Social Performance Management Center, handling trainings for MFIs in Sub-Saharan Africa and Middle-East/North Africa. Sharlene is based out of Washington, DC.