Cover Image
close this bookTraining Manual in Combatting Childhood Communicable Diseases Part I (Peace Corps, 1985, 579 pages)
close this folderModule 3: Community analysis and involvement
close this folderSession 10: Methods for learning about the community
View the document(introductory text...)
View the documentHandout 10A: Four types of interview questions
View the documentHandout 10B: Suggestions for gathering information
View the documentHandout 10C: Types and sources of information on the community
View the documentTrainer Attachment 10A: Role play #1: The PCV and a local mother
View the documentTrainer Attachment 10B: Role play #2: The PCV and the town elder
View the documentTrainer Attachment 10C: Appropriate and inappropriate techniques for informal interviewing

Trainer Attachment 10A: Role play #1: The PCV and a local mother


A PCV has recently arrived in his or her community or small town to begin work in a primary health care program. The Volunteer vents to begin getting to know people in the area and needs to start gathering information regarding a number of aspects of community life. Today, the PCV has arranged an interview with a mother to gain baseline information on the local diet and nutritional practices and needs of the community. They have decided to meet at the woman's house sometime around mid-morning.

Role Description

Peace Corps Volunteer

You have recently arrived in your site and are anxious to get to know the people in your community so you can get started on some projects. You've taken out some of your notes from training on community analysis and the KEEPRAH model. From those notes you have planned some questions and topics to discuss with a mother in your community; specifically, you want to find out information on the local diet, as well as nutritional needs and practices perceived by her. You don't know the mother very well at all -- one of the nurses from the local clinic introduced you briefly last week. You do know that she has been to the clinic for some kind of treatment or advice, that she has several children and a husband, and that she lives on the poorer side of town. You are scheduled to meet with her midmorning at her house.


You are a typical mother in your small town. You have five children who often get sick. Your husband is a blacksmith's assistant with regular work, but meager pay. Lately, you've had some extra financial needs and the money left over to buy food has been inadequate. Like your friends, you've noticed the climbing prices of food in the market due to the recent drought. These days you're definitely finding it tough to keep your family's stomachs full, nevertheless you still take pride in befog able to cook the traditional dishes of your people. You also keep your tiny house very clean.

Today you are in your house waiting for the arrival of a new American who just moved to your town. It's mid-morning and you are busy trying to finish the noonday meal early so you won't be too occupied with chores while he or she is there. You plan to ask him or her to stay and eat with your family and, in fact, you've prepared something special just for him or her. You are curious to see who this American is and what she is doing. As is customary in your culture, you usually answer or respond to people with indirect statements and use many gestures and nonverbal cues.

Trainer Note

Adapt these brief role descriptions to fit your particular cultural situation, or if possible, ask the role players to make up a similar character based on someone they know. Ask the role players not to interact beforehand. Be sure you read or tell the group the scenario as described above or as modified by you.