By Ricki Watkins, LCC CRSP
- Tanzanian university and graduate students learned proper survey techniques.
- These students will help in future survey data collection for LCC CRSP HALI-2 project.
- HALI-2 researchers will use the surveys to assess what type of education is the most effective in improving pastoralist livelihoods
- Once researchers receive clearance, surveys are approved, and training is finished, data collection can begin.
This summer Tanzanian university and graduate students learned proper survey design and revision techniques during the development of nutrition surveys for the LCC CRSP HALI-2 project.
The students, who are a part of LCC CRSP’s HALI-2 project team, will assist with survey data collection once the surveys questions are finalized, the research has been cleared by Tanzanian and U.S. ethical and research review bodies and the students complete their training. The HALI-2 project team will use this data to accomplish its research goals of strengthening livestock health and pastoral livelihoods in Tanzania.
“Once we have received full ethical clearance and research approval from Tanzanian and U.S.-based research bodies, we will be collecting data on animal health, human livelihood-related data, child growth and development and nutrition and human health,” HALI-2 researcher Christopher Gustafson said. “We will use the data to test which type of education is most effective in improving animal health and pastoralists’ nutrition and livelihoods.”
To begin the HALI-2 team’s two-day trip to the Iringa Region of Tanzania, the team met with Barnabas Kahwage, the attending doctor at Zahanati ya Kilutheri, a Lutheran-sponsored health clinic in the village of Tungamalenga. Dr. Kahwage reviewed the survey questions for comprehensibility, cultural appropriateness and clarity.
The team then met with three pastoralist mothers each from the Idodi and Pawaga divisions of the Iringa Region. Each student was able to lead a discussion with one of the mothers. The students went through the survey questions with the mothers, checking to make sure the questions made sense and whether the questions were culturally appropriate.
Afterwards, the team discussed how the surveys will be conducted in the future and the importance of proper training in survey interview techniques. For example, consistency in question phrasing and illustrative examples for each interviewee are vital to make sure surveyors are not unintentionally influencing respondent answers. The students used the feedback they received to revise the surveys.
Once the ethical and research approvals are obtained, the students will conduct practice interviews, perfecting their interview techniques. Once this has been accomplished, the team will begin actual data collection.
“The survey team did very well for their first experiences with survey work; however, more practice will make them more comfortable with the process,” the researchers noted in their trip report.