|Training Human Settlement Workers in Eastern & Southern Africa (AFSC - Mazingira Institute, 1981)|
|Training case studies|
Seven school-leavers from a site and service project area in Nairobi were trained in a number of techniques including questionnaires, in-depth interviews, case studies, and keeping a community news diary. They have since progressed to data interpretation and assistance in developing survey methods with university lecturers and graduates. In Dodoma, Tanzania, a similar group of school-leavers had to learn technical skills in identifying simple types of construction and infrastructure, and basic measured drawing, in order to record the data. Two principles are most important in this type of training:
1. Developing a rigorous respect for accuracy.
2. Knowing why data is being collected.
Trainees develop judgment of the usefulness of data and can also evaluate its accuracy. Advantages of this type of training are:
1. It creates employment in the community.
2. Community members are motivated to collect useful and accurate data if it will benefit them.
3. They know more about the area than people from elsewhere.
4. It can forge linkages between settlement leadership and technical management; that is, it contributes to the potential for self-management.
Mazingira Institute, which presented this Case Study, has found this type of trainee much more effective than the average university graduate. In particular, much more reliable data on incomes has been gathered by these trainees when using their intelligence and a loosely structured set of questions than mechanically trained interviewers using a mechanical set of questions. The illustration shows a set of income questions used by these trainees; each person and source of income in a household can be identified, and the questions must be adjusted to the type of earnings: e.g. "flow many days did your brother work last month?" and, "What is the daily rate of pay?" These can then be multiplied by the interviewer who can then write down an accurate typical monthly income. (see over)
Example of Income data that can be collected by trainees.
Apart from doing routine data collection tasks, a resident field team will quickly detect important issues, especially where they are personally affected. Illegal activities, such as pressure on families to sell plots to outside entrepreneurs, have been monitored in this way. The issue of confidentiality and use of data is a difficult one; data which is sensitive may be used politically by one group against another (such as officials versus residents) or it may be used for positive action. An objective of participatory research should be to involve local residents and leadership by employing residents and jointly establishing the purpose of surveys. Similarly, action to be taken on data can be jointly decided by technical personnel, the residents and their leaders. A resident field team can also be trained to demonstrate upgrading, water supply planning or health and nutrition. It is important that those trained in data collection .and analysis do not become the employed, literate, decision-making elite.
NOTE TO THE READER
HOW TO JOIN SETTLEMENTS INFORMATION NETWORK - AFRICA
The participants in the first Workshop on Training Human Settlements Workers established an Information Network so that they and others can continue to exchange information about their work. If your work has something to do with improving human settlements through community self-help, you may wish to join the Network. In this way you can regularly hear from other people doing the same kind of work. It is hoped to send out a newsletter every three months.
If you wish to receive the newsletter, fill in the form overleaf, pull out this page and send it in to:
Settlements Information Network Africa (SINA)
PO Box 14550
SETTLEMENTS INFORMATION NETWORK - AFRICA
2 Name of Organisation
Address of Organisation
3 What work do you do? Please provide a short description of what you and/or your organisation are doing in human settlements.
4 Do you have any suggestion or requests for the Network and newsletter? (For example, information you need that others may be able to send to you, suggestions for topics future meetings, ideas you have about what should be the objectives of the Network, etc.)
5 Do you have any documents, training materials or other materials you think might be of interest to other members of the Network? (Anacin an extra page if the list is long.)
6 Do you know of interesting self-help settlements projects not mentioned in this document that might be of interest to the Network, or any other people or organisations you think might like to join the Network?
7 Please do do not (tick one) print my name or my organisation's name in the Newsletter.
It is hoped that the next Newsletter will include:
A list of all the members and the work they do
Documents and other information available from members
News about work members are doing
Comments and suggestions about the Network
Ideas for future Workshops
Requests for information
If you have any requests for information or suggestions about what should be included in the newsletter, write it on the form and it will appear in the Network, so other members can respond.
You can join either as an individual or as an organisation - just fill in the appropriate place on the form. It is intended that the Network be open to individuals and organisations, both government and NGOs.
You are welcome to pass on this form to other people or organisations that you think may wish to join the Network.
Diana Lee Smith, Mazingira Institute
The Case Study presented at the Workshop also showed how school-leavers can learn to analyze data by simple manual tabulations, be involved in discussions or interpretation of data they have collected, and carry out simple assignments of interpretation. For example, they can be asked to write a list of the differences and similarities of various areas surveyed, based on one or more tables. This makes them aware of the usefulness of the work they have put in, and also prepares them to carry out interpretation tasks later. In addition, it has the benefit of increasing sensitivity to good data, so that it makes sense and supports or supplements their experience.
LITHULUSI TSEO U TLA LI HLOKA
"Tools" From the Training Manual "Build Your Own House" LEHCO-OP, Lesotho.