Ibitola

Research, Nigeria

I love the variety of thematic areas that I get to work on... There is no room to get bored.
Ibitola O, Nigeria

I am an Evaluation Associate Director for Kantar’s Public division. My role involves business development, writing evaluation and research proposals, inception reports and study protocols. Also, once we win a bid, I work alongside my division director and evaluation director to provide technical oversight for evaluation and research projects. So, on a day to day basis, when I am not attending meetings, you will find me writing a proposal, analysing data, writing technical reports and/or overseeing projects.

A fascinating project I have worked on was the UNICEF 2014-2017 WASH programme evaluation, in 7 states, which recently concluded with a consortium of organisations. The programme consisted of 4 contributory projects, namely: Sanitation and Water in Nigeria Project (SHAWN) II, Water Supply Sanitation Sector Reform Programme (WSSSRP) II, Water Supply Sanitation Sector Reform Programme (WSSSRP) III and Niger Delta Support Programme (NDSP). Kantar was responsible for the quantitative study. I was involved in writing the inception report for the quantitative component, developing study tools and training protocol, and training enumerators. We have since received great feedback from the consortium lead and the client. The result of the overall evaluation, which will combine both quantitative and qualitative methods, will inform another duration of UNICEF’s programmatic design for WASH in Nigeria.

The end-line evaluation of the Stop the Diarrhoea Initiative by Save the Children is another interesting project I worked on. The initiative was a four-year programme with focus on the treatment and prevention of diarrhoea in the targeted communities, by contributing to at least 50% reduction in the prevalence of diarrhoea. The core programme elements included child health, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), advocacy, health education, community mobilisation/participation, service delivery and partnership. I was involved in writing the technical report to the client. The results at end line showed that four key indicators met the set target of 80%: measles vaccination, administration of vitamin A supplements among 6-29-month-olds, handwashing with soap and water after defecation and access to improved toilets.

I started out my career as a health data analyst and then moved into health insurance underwriting. While there I came across a team of evaluation consultants and my interest in that line of work was stirred. I moved into health systems consulting where I started working on monitoring and evaluation of development projects and later combined that with knowledge management and business development. The rest, as they say, is history.

I love the variety of thematic areas that I get to work on. For example, while working on a health project, which is my core background, a proposal might be requested in agriculture or say governance. There is no room to get bored. I also love the multi-country collaboration that happens on projects. Being able to rub minds and get support from colleagues across countries, when required is exciting. Kantar has great minds. For example, the team lead for one of my current projects is a colleague in the Kenya office. She is a subject matter expert in agriculture. Although we sit in different countries, we hold virtual meetings with the client as one team and it is seamless.