Now that I had established my mission, niche, and theoretical underpinnings, I began thinking through more practically how I would bring together this broad range of stakeholders and designing a tool inclusively. I decided to travel to Uganda and conduct interviews with USAID implementing partners, the USAID mission, and Ugandan government officials. While I would easily have access to policymakers and researchers in the US, engaging practitioners and policymakers in a recipient country was crucial for closing feedback loops and ensuring the fulfillment of my mission. So I traveled to Uganda and met with about 15 different nutrition implementing partners, the SUN civil society action coalition, the SUN secretariat in the Office of the Prime Minister, and the USAID mission. I approached the interviews not by promoting the usefulness of a mapping tool, but by asking more basic questions like:

  • Could a map be useful for your work? If so, how?
  • How are decisions about project locations made?
  • What are the incentives and constraints to collaborating with other implementing partners?

I learned so much about how the various actors in the SUN movement coordinate their activities and funding, which is crucial for understanding how a mapping tool could fit into that. Above all, I learned that this map is essential for sparking planning questions, incentivizing coordination, and facilitating spatial M&E. I got a lot of feedback about what kinds of variables and components need to be included in the tool in order for it to be effective and sustainable.



  1. emilymasi says:

    It’s awesome that you got to go to Uganda and interview the USAID officials in person as opposed to long distance communication or meeting with US officials. It sounds like you learned a lot about issues like planning. It must have taken a lot of planning to bring your trip together and coordinate communications with so many parties.