Staff Spotlight: Bénédicte Razafinjato
Data is at the heart of everything PIVOT does, and behind that data is a dedicated team that ensures its continuous collection and analysis. Among the key members of that team is Bénédicte Razafinjato, who joined PIVOT in November 2014 – nearing the end of PIVOT’s first year of work – as a Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Assistant. Having just completed her master’s degree in Mathematical Informatics for Social Sciences, she heard about PIVOT and was immediately attracted to the idea of using her training to work for a health system strengthening project near her hometown of Fianarantsoa. Bénédicte’s academic training focused on research around factors that contribute to the success or failure of malnutrition programs at public health centers, providing experience in an area that would be directly applicable to PIVOT’s work.
Soon after her start, Bénédicte proved herself an indispensable member of the PIVOT team. Laura Cordier, who directs PIVOT’s M&E strategy, says that Bénédicte’s “deep understanding of data and analytics” along with an “appreciation for the importance of setting up systems to improve the quality of care being provided to patients” are what facilitated her rapid climb through the ranks during the organization’s years of early growth. Bénédicte soon moved from an entry-level position to that of a technician on the M&E team. In that role, she demonstrated not only her own adeptness in the realm of data management and analysis, but also a talent for building her team’s capacity in those areas, says Laura. This and her general dedication to her team soon earned her the role of M&E Supervisor, where she further developed her proficiency and grew into the position she occupies now – M&E Manager.
Bénédicte says that “success” is a concept that motivates her, and – in order to see PIVOT’s programs succeed – she is committed to being a champion of data quality. One of the aspects of her work she enjoys most is being able to inform her clinical colleagues of their successes, as told by the numbers she is charged with analyzing. And, when faced with challenges, she enjoys knowing that M&E’s comprehensive information systems can also help to uncover factors that might be inhibiting their work.
She says that her colleagues never cease to surprise and inspire her with their commitment to growing and improving their own scope of work to better serve the population. In turn, colleagues describe Bénédicte as a serious and dynamic collaborator, as demonstrated by her close partnership with the Ministry of Health to ensure that health facility staffs’ daily patient logs – which feed into PIVOT’s information systems – are maintained as accurately as possible.
Outside of work, Bénédicte enjoys playing basketball with friends to decompress, and is a basketball referee for both men’s and women’s matches at the national level. She is also an avid reader of historical writing, and a fan and casual critic of documentary films. The thing she enjoys most about living in Ifanadiana District is its natural beauty.
Both personally and professionally, Bénédicte lives by the Walter Bagehot quote that says “the greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” This and her immeasurable contribution to PIVOT’s mission are indicative of her unwavering enthusiasm when faced with the challenges that come with data management in health system strengthening projects. We are fortunate to have Bénédicte, whose ambition matches PIVOT’s mission to break cycles of poverty and disease in Madagascar.