News & views | 27 March 2019 | by Marieke Meeske

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Training Basra and Kirkuk enumerator teams for a new round of HSS data collection

Mid-March 2019, Carrie and Marieke travelled to Baghdad to train 28 enumerators from Basra and Kirkuk to prepare for the upcoming rounds of data collection in both governorates. The Human Security Survey (HSS) kicked-off in Iraq in 2017, making this the third year of the project. Due to political and security conditions resulting from the referendum on Kurdish independence in September 2017, the HSS has been on pause in Kirkuk since that time. However, this year the partners in Kirkuk consider the situation to be sufficiently stabilized, and 15 motivated enumerators joined us for the training from 14-18 March. They were accompanied by 13 colleagues from Basra governorate, some of whom were already participating for the second or third round of data collection with PAX.

Typically the enumerator training takes four days, and covers topics including research ethics, interviewing and listening skills, digital security, random selection procedures, and how to effectively manage difficult situations in the field. It also involves a great deal of time working practically with the HSS questionnaire and methodology. As this was the first time we were organizing a joint training for two different teams, we decided to have three days of the training together with the whole group and deliver one day (with the most technical material) for each team separately. This provided a really valuable opportunity for sharing of lessons learned, as well as the chance to discuss some of the really significant differences that exist within a country as diverse and complex as Iraq. Approximately half of the trainees were new to the HSS project, and the other half already had some experience with conducting and/or supervising the HSS. As a result, the trainers were able to deepen the level of the training content and activities, as well as facilitating ‘mentoring’ and collective learning among enumerators themselves.

Overall we had a great five days together, which was also reflected in the closing ceremony on the 18th of March. Both teams are currently conducting the surveys in their own governorates, according to a proportionally distributed data collection plan. All surveys are planned to be finalized in April, just before Ramadan.

Practicing how to conduct the HSS with an observer to provide constructive feedback (NB: in the field women interview women and men interview men)

Mock interview in the module dealing with difficult conversations: practicing how to react when a household member interferes in the interview

Another practice of the HSS (NB: respondents are given a ‘role’ to play, e.g. a respected tribal leader)

Participants helping each other learn how to utilize the HSS’ mobile survey collection tool (KoBoCollect)

Participant explaining the answers to a homework exercise about random selection

Preparing the survey location selection process: determining those areas that are inaccessible and/or should be omitted from the process for safety reasons

Enumerators proudly showing their certificates at the end of the training

We greatly appreciate Iraqi Al-Amal Assocation‘s hospitality in both hosting us as well as the training. It was a great location!



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