Meet our Team: Hildah Essendi, MERL Director

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Fresh off the starting blocks, Hildah Essendi has been with us for less than two months. The team had been eagerly anticipating her arrival, and she’s taken up her position at the helm of the Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning (MERL) team.

Get to know Hildah as she finds her feet at Triggerise.

What drew you to Triggerise in the first place?

I had been impressed by Triggerise’s work on improving the sexual and reproductive health of youth for years. In particular, I was intrigued by Triggerise’s use of the Tiko platform to draw young people to health service delivery points. I love that the organisation uses technology so innovatively — this is the future!

I am passionate about improving the sexual and reproductive health of adolescent girls, young women, and the youth. I have previously been involved in similar work to connect youth with access to family planning, gender-based violence care and support, HIV prevention, testing, and treatment, among other services.

How do you see yourself fitting into the Triggerise ecosystem and the work we do together?

I am excited to lead the MERL team, as evidence is crucial in informing programming. Evidence is also important in tracking performance of interventions and in assessing whether what we’re doing is having the desired impact. I love working in evidence as I appreciate this critical role in development work. I would like to make a contribution to Triggerise’s work in order to greatly improve the health outcomes of our target audience.

Which Triggerise office or project country do you want to spend some time in?

I would love to work from the Cape Town office because then I would be in touch with the ongoing work in South Africa. I would also get to work closely with some of my team members who are based in Cape Town.

What’s your favourite thing about working here?

I love the passion the Triggerise team brings into the workplace. It is exciting to be on this team, as our efforts and commitment make an impact on the lives of the young people we serve.

What is one of your favourite ways to rest and recalibrate when you’re not working?

I watch sitcoms and I most enjoy walking the journey of language articulation with my toddler.

What does the word “connection” mean to you? How does it play a role in how you interact with people?

Connection in my view is having strong links with colleagues that help us learn, become engaged in our work, and foster loyalty. I feel that having strong ties with my team is a prerequisite to achieving our goals at Triggerise. I take time to build connections as these make interaction easier. They help me learn more about my colleagues and (hopefully) they me, and creates a bond that makes working together (almost) seamless. This has helped me enjoy my work and feel more engaged in what I do.

How do you hope to leave a mark on the world?

By making my contribution in efforts to make life easier for those in unfortunate circumstances. With my research and evidence skills, I aim to do my part in helping to determine the most-felt needs, tracking projects’ implementation, and assessing their impact.

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