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UEA Workshop on Artificial Intelligence for MERL
Posted: December 10th, 2023: Utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools such as ChatGPT and Claude to support technical writing for proposal design. The session will comprise of the following components. The presentation will happen on the 19th day of December 2023 from 9:00AM to 11:00AM, thereafter, the Uganda Evaluation Annual General Meeting will commence. For details about the AGM, click here.
  1. Where it came from: An overview of Artificial Intelligence and its origins in Natural Language Processing
  2. What's the big deal? How it differs from "Googling" and when Googling is more efficient than AI
  3. AI Controversy - The rapid growth of AI and subsequent concerns amongst governments and those who believe it will eliminate jobs in data analytics amongst other occupations
  4. Which One? - Types of AI for creating art focusing on those most useful to UEA and its members
  5. Asking the right Questions: Prompts in AI vs. Prompts in Google Search
  6. Confidence Checking - The limitations of AI and AI "Hallucinations"
  7. Example of AI in Action - Demonstration of "Claude" as "he" helped me to write a proposal in response to a USAID solicitation


Time: 19th December 2023, 09:00HRS - 11:00HRS
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Meeting ID: 986 4672 4299
Passcode: 280029


Brief about the Presenter(s)

Nicholas and Carmen Demeter have a combined 45 years experience working with the US Government Agency for International Development (USAID). The pair will be supporting UEA’s 2024 “Fill the Pool”, a reference to building capacity amongst members of all experience levels. Topics will leverage the collaboration between senior, mid and junior UEA Members. Capacity Sharing workshops will be held at the Localization 4 Development Hub (or “the Hub”), temporarily hosted by UMI, while UEA and the Demeters submit proposals for sustained funding.

Leading up to a $60 million USAID procurement in the Spring 2024, the workshop curricula will focus on preparing UEA Members to participate in the procurement, eventually offering new products that are available from the international community, but rarely conducted due to failures in understanding the local system. Products such as Political Economy Analysis, Power and Systems Analysis, System Mapping and Local Context Factors.

The Hub also seeks to build cohesion amongst UEA Members so as to leverage collective bargaining power to get better positions on MERL teams and increased pay for all types of MERL work from data collection to final report dissemination and advocacy for recommendations. Topics on technical and cost volume designs, recruiting, USAID compliance and regulations will be offered on a regular basis when quorum is obtained. Visiting experts will provide lectures on new trends in MERL, while senior UEA members will collaborate through live proposals, selecting teams for paid mentorships to design methodology, conduct rapid local systems analysis, and graphics design.

As teams lead more complex MERL activities, the Local4Dev Hub will offer activity management, lean reporting through activity dashboards, higher level financial management, donor engagement, among other topics requested by UEA and its members. In addition, the Hub will hold annual events related to technology in the MERL sector “MERLTech” and “FailFest” a humbling but important look at the years' development failures and what was learned. Bio’s of Carmen and Nicholas are below:

Carmen Demeter is a Certified Project Manager professional for international development with experience in project management and operations, human and institutional capacity development, and learning. Deep knowledge of multi-donor engagement and partnerships working with diverse teams and partners globally. Well-informed about USAID’s program cycle guidance, Assistance & Acquisition (A&A) management, and FAR regulations. Trusted team member, detailed-oriented problem-solver with ability to inspire, lead, unite efforts, and collaborate to tackle complex issues managing teams through uncertainties and strategic changes. Focuses on results, efficiency, organizational capacity building, and talent development to provide high quality services and products for clients and partners. Learning champion with a history of engaging teams in activities with structured feedback loops for continuous learning and adaptation.

Nicholas Demeter is presently working on spec to set up a localization hub for small and medium organizations in Uganda to secure USAID and other donor funding. Nicholas previously worked for USAID Uganda as a Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor for the Office of Education, Youth and Child Development (EYCD). He provided ICT4D solutions along with technical guidance and support to various USAID projects and Offices in Uganda. Prior to working directly for USAID, Nicholas worked from HQ and in the field as a Chief of Party in over a dozen countries in Africa, Middle East, Former Soviet Union, and South America, in subjects related to Democracy and Governance, collaboration, learning, and adaptation (CLA) monitoring, evaluation, research, and learning (MERL), Communications, Strategic Planning, and Organizational Capacity Development. With over 20 years of experience in the international development sector. As an independent consultant, Nicholas has led the design, technical writing, management strategies and graphics for over 3 dozen proposals in MERL, D&G, Infrastructure, Environment and Economic Development among others.


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