Participants in the kick-off workshop about the Endline Study of Her Choice in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, look back on an inspiring week with a lot of interaction, fun moments and acquired new knowledge. The Endline data collection training lasted the whole week and was given by researchers of AISSR (University of Amsterdam). It is a joint training for the local partners of Her Choice in Ghana, Ethiopia and Uganda. In total there were 34 participants covering 11 local partner organisations and the local researchers.
During the training there was a lot of opportunity for the participants to exchange information on topics around data collection (quantitative and qualitative), impact evaluation and how to link the data from the baseline and midline studies to the data from the endline study.
An important starting point for those discussions over the whole week was to take a moment of reflection and give the opportunity to the local researchers and partners to give their feedback on what went well and what not so well at the different stages of the midline data collection process.
Albena Sotirova, the junior researcher in the AISSR team tells us about her experiences during the training: ‘We heard of different positive and not so positive experiences from the three countries. What came out very clear was that for the data collection teams the transition from paper-based to digital-based type of data collection was related to a whole lot of new knowledge over data collection tools and mobile applications. The benefits are visible for everyone. After the first try of digital data collection during the Midline phase of the Her Choice programme we are starting to see big advantages not only in terms of efficient data collection but also in terms of quality of the data and the study findings.’
Sotirova could see a clear learning curve of the participants: ‘During the midline data collection workshop it was the first time for the majority of the participants they collect data in a digital way. Now, preparing for the endline data collection, we could see how much the data collection knowledge in each of the teams improved.’
Sotirova and her academic colleagues Winny Koster and Esther Miedema were particularly happy to hear about suggestions for improvement from the partners themselves: ‘For example, what should be more stressed during the training of the enumerators; how the local researcher, the data collection supervisors and the enumerators could more efficiently interact with each other; practicalities when being on the field.’
For the AISSR team the learning curve was also visible in terms of developing the Her Choice study questionnaires, Sotirova tells us: ‘Adding important topics in the questionnaires that have been emerging since the Midline study; making questionnaires more culturally sensitive and context specific, and also improving functionality around the digital data collection app.’
If one could summarize the experience of the whole week of the Endline training in Addis Ababa, Sotirova explains, then it would be ‘growing-up together’: ‘Mutual learning, mutual professional and personal development, and looking forward together. This also relates to the motto of the workshop: ‘It is all about impact!’’