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Notes from the Field: Pasha Moto, Heat it Up! >

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At the close of our four-day training in Nairobi, Kenya, Stephen Makanga of KADET stands up and requests that the participants acknowledge in a Kenyan way the excellent job done by the facilitators. He instructs the group of Kenyans and Ugandans to rub their hands together (creating heat), and then to open them up a bit when he calls half-kilo, then wider at one kilo, even wider at kilo-and-a-half, and wider at two kilos, followed by the rotating of the wrist as though working flour and when he called “Pasha Moto,” they clapped in unison to acknowledge a job well-done. Absa, Donald, I wore huge smiles at this gesture of appreciation and to acknowledge the liveliness and engagement of the participants during the training, we too participated in demonstrating pasha moto!

It was just four day earlier that we started the training and several of the participants, staff of AMFI Kenya (Association of Microfinance Institutions in Kenya) or MFI members of the association that also served on the board or the committee evaluating AMFI’s strategic direction on social performance, wore their reservation regarding the PPI on their faces and in the skeptical glances I received. Certainly, I could not feel the warmth on this day. By the end of the first day, after we, the training team, had thoroughly covered the intent and construction of the PPI, the mood in the room had shifted. We asked participants to share thoughts they had as we wrapped up the first day together and several comments surfaced:

“This was eye-opening!”
“Thank you for demystifying the PPI!”
“We had it in our heads that Grameen Foundation came to Kenya,
conducted a mini-survey, and then created the PPI.”
“I came prepared for battle [on the indicators]!”

I smile thinking of where we began just a few days ago. The concerns regarding indicators and misinformation about the creation process are not unique to this training or participants; these are challenges or concerns I deal with in almost every place I train. But, it is nice knowing that we’ve moved from cool to lukewarm to pasha moto! By all accounts, the friendships made and the exchange of knowledge, this training has been hugely successful!

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.