An Experience I Never Want to Live Through Again

So last night at around 8:20 p.m. I finished writing/compiling the Q4 and annual report. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. So the program I work on has six partners other NGOs, in addition to the four areas we work in so basically I’m compiling ten reports. Not so bad. That was until I saw the inputs.

First of all, there are four things to be submitted with the report only two partners all documents and on time. So then the qualithy of the writing was poor and it was basically bullet points 20 mosquito nets distributed, 15 traditional attendants trained. Then on top of that it was missing information and the data in the narrative didn’t add up with the data sheets. I used every single swear word I knew yesterday and then I think I even made some up.

Seriously, there is a lack of professionalism in the NGO world. Once of my colleages describe it as “Touchy feely people who eat their own young.”

Then at the last minute when I was trying to make it pretty I couldn’t figure out the formatting on the page numbers and I didn’t have many photos from Upper Nile and Southern Kordofan. The report was 65 pages long and I spent since October 15 writing it. I must have sent more than 100 e-mails clarifying things that were written.

Then the kicker, one of the partners forgot to send it a jpeg photo with their report and asked me to send over my M & E Officer to collect the photo, when he got over there, they told him, “Oh were not working today.” I was sooooooo pissed that I’d wasted my time and resources to help them out and they “weren’t working.” Get off your ass, open up your computer and get the photo how hard is that. NGO workers. SIGH.

The issue is that we need more people in this work who have worked in the professional world, but NGOs are snobby about, “Oh you have to have field experience,” so instead of getting compentent professsionals we get people who have lived in hardship places but can’t get anything done. Another interesting thing is that I used to want to work for the UN and I thought they were a good organization, but once you get out here, you realize just how worthless they are, a total and complete waste of money. If I were president of the United States I would pull all development money out of the UN. And every NGO worker you talk to has the same opinion. There are a few good people in the UN, so I’ve heard, I haven’t met any yet, so don’t be fooled, they aren’t doing anything out here at least not on the development side, oh wait yes, they are, they pull down huge salaries, and huge per diems, our taxpayer dollars hard at work.

So now I’m working on another report and then I’m preparing for data quality assessments and then I’m going to work on how to never, ever have to relive that experience again. Getting information out of people for the report reminded me of being in the hospital having my leg debrided, everyday they would discover a little bit more tissue that was dying and every other day they would remove a little bit more; tedious and painful.

Oh well it’s done now, onto the next challenge. But that is why I haven’t been writing, because I’ve bene writing the annual report, more like rescuing.

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