We sat down for five minutes with Takah Kapikinyu who serves as a Specialist on USAID’s Program Cycle Mechanism contract. Here he tells us more about his work, bridging the gap between donors and implementing partners, and some of his favorite travels.
How would you describe your role?
I work on USAID’s Program Cycle Mechanism contract as an embedded Specialist, which means that I work for Environmental Incentives, but I’m based in a USAID office. I’m a Program Cycle Specialist with the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) unit for USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). I currently assist the resilient food security activities and work on M&E policy and guidance and capacity building initiatives.
This work involves revising the M&E policy or guidance to include collective input from the team around how we can best capture impact for BHA programming. Recently I worked on a report on adaptive management during Covid-19, capturing the kind of adaptations BHA activities implemented throughout the pandemic.
What drew you to work as a Program Cycle Specialist?
I’ve always been interested in supporting USAID in their work. It’s a great opportunity to learn the donor’s perspective and to provide input from my experience on the implementing partner side. Also, after having worked in development for about 15 years I thought it was time for a change and to work with the donor to improve programming.
What is your favorite part about your work?
My favorite part about this role is that I work alongside the same people at BHA that I’ve known for a several years through my work on the implementing partner side. The pre-existing relationship has allowed for trust to build over time and it makes it easier to have some of those difficult conversations. We really understand each other and both sides, BHA and the implementing partners, can tell me if anything is wrong. Essentially, I get to play a bridging role, which I really enjoy.