What I learned in the past two days has been twofold: both in the research we conducted and the practice of data collection and primary research. I feel as if my team (Michelle and Kate) and I learned quite a bit and really honed in on some great recommendations. However, the skills that I have picked up through these exercises are what I will really be able to apply in the future.
We were responsible for analyzing the health centers that Byrajju operates in the villages surrounding Bhimaravam. We spent our time conducting interviews, focusing on the effectiveness of Byrajju in identifying and serving a market. We are still analyzing the data, but feel as if we are moving towards some key reservations via these observations.
The personal lesson that I took away from this experience was how time management and flexibility are two skills that “dance” while in the field. I’ve learned how important it is to stay aware of your goals, set quotas, and push those around you to stay focused and away from assumptions. On the other hand, staying flexible during primary research is key if one does not want to lose their mind. During our second day, a very talented and passionate group leader led us to multiple situations that kept us from continuing research (tea at his house, a spot lecture with the village chief, etc.). The experience was wonderful, even though we were able to only collect about half of the interviews that we would have been able to without these tangents.
This project was eye-opening to say the least. In so many ways. Interacting with people who live a completely different life than we do has been touching. 100%.