Data Collection – Part One
On 26th June, 1989, I received a long awaited call from one of the companies I applies for a job. I was very excited but again I had mixed feelings on my appointment. I was told to report for a training for following day, for a period of one week. Early in the morning, I woke up around 05:00hrs knowing that am going to a far place. I washed and then eat a little food and dressed up for the program. I caught a bus around 06:00 hrs, reached in town around 07:00 to catch another bus going to my final destination. When I reached the training centre, the first thing that caught my attention was the surrounding premises. The place deserted and untidy and very disorganized. I wondered what I was to expect. Other people started arriving, they all seemed to be familiar with each other. I was the only one who seemed new. As I sat on my sit I started observing my environment. I felt very unconfutable, as I seemed desolated. For over three hours nothing seemed to be happening until a young man caught our attention. “ladies and gentlemen, you are welcome to the training program my name is Sam, Congratulations for making it for the interview. But you need to pay attention to all the learning materials and tutorials with will be provided to as not everyone will be picked for the final data collection programs. You will need to pass all your tests and exams which will be administered to you.” My heart melted, as I thought am was not good enough to make it to the final part of the training program. Training materials and all necessities were provided to each and every participate. Nothing much of the learning was done on the first day, it was all about familizing with each other and settling. Most people new each other and it seems they had not seen each other for a long time. So it was a great assimilation for them after a long time. They were a lot of hugs, kisses and laughing. I was feeling out of place as I didn’t know anyone. As I was looking around, I saw one of my very old friend I was with at university. As I saw him, I started walking towards him. As I was almost approaching him, he saw me, and ran towards me. “oh my Gosh, is it really you after a very long time”, he said. Oh yes its me. How is this place, I asked. Then he started explaining to me. That placed is owned by a family, two brothers are the key persons of that company and other workers are from the extended family. I need to be careful of what I say and who I befriend. Most of them are spies and they like to report silly things to the stuff, so that they can be loved by the management. They all come from a background of poverty and what they are doing is the only way they can sustain themselves. Serious training commenced on the second day, I arrived very early and I was well prepared. The main thing that was done was to go through the main questionnaire and general rules of dos and don’ts. The questionnaire was very long and we had to look at all the questions one by one to make sure that everyone understands. The master trainers ensured that everyone had a chance to express themselves and all queries were handled very well. The first part of the questionnaire consisted of the rostered which are questions concerning them members of the household. That includes their ages, sex and if they have been to school. The second part of the questionnaire included the employment and income activities for the past 12 months. The third part consisted of questions on the agricultural activities, how many people are involved in agricultural work, how many farming plots each household have, and how long in a period of 12 months did it take them to work on the agricultural activities. The four part consisted of business activities, if any of the household members were or are involved in any buying and selling or merchandise type of activities. The first part was general psychosocial, wanting to find mentally the quality of life that person has or living. Questions included, if that person was general happy with the kind of livelihood they have or not. How many days was that person happy in the last few weeks, how many days was that person bothered in the past few weeks, how many days was that person lonely, how many days was that person very tired and how many days was that person unable to concentrate on what they were doing in the past few weeks. Already just asking those questions can even take over 30 minutes just asking the respondent in the actual field. But in the training it took us over three hours discussing on how well we can deliver these questions to the respondent. The sixth part consisted of questions on what type of financial saving the client is using. Either if the respondent was saving money in the house or at the bank or using mobile money or lending at someone’s place etc. the seventh part, reverted back to agricultural segment asking about what inputs and outputs they had in the past 12 months farming activities. Inputs such as fertilizer, how many bags of fertilizer they have used, how much did they spend on acquiring that fertilizer and did they use manure?, if so, what quantity did they use, how much did they spend. Also if they had used any insecticides, herbicles, and fungicides. Then how much did they spend on those chemicals and equipment used on spraying the crops. On outputs, the questions were on how much and what they had harvested in the past twelve months agricultural period. After that, did they sell any of those agricultural products. If so, how much of the produced quantity was sold, during what period and how much was gained from the selling of those agricultural products. The eighth part were questions on the what shocks they had in the part 12 months. These in include food price changes, floods, drought, sickness of household members, deaths of household or non members, theft, animal or crop disease or death etc. The ninth part of the questionnaire consisted of if at all the respondent is experiencing any form of abuse such verbal and domestic violence. The tenth and final part of the questionnaire consisted of what projections the respondent have in the next five years concerning their livelihood. There were a lot of questions in each section such that it took over two weeks to cater the entire questionnaire. 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