One of the most frustrating things I have found about conducting an interview project over the three I’ve been involved in is actually scheduling the interviews. But scheduling interviews here wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. My target population was nutrition stakeholders on the national level. So naturally I assumed no one would have time to talk to me. But experts in organizations from the UN to the Tanzanian government have genuinely wanted to speak with me and it’s a kindness I hope to repay if and when I break into the development and nutrition field.

But getting my foot in the door was a definite hurdle. In May I began contacting major organizations mentioned on the SUN website in the hopes of finding a first contact, and a few responded. But my crucial first step was when Professor Ickes and AidData were able to connect me to a contact on the SUN secretariat. Once I had someone who could vouch for the quality of the work I was going to do, as well as help me improve that quality, I could get the credible first contacts I needed. From there I was able to schedule first interviews.

Getting these first interviews scheduled took the longest amount of time, but since then I have been rolling along successfully. After I’d spoken to a few stakeholders they knew my general purpose and felt comfortable recommending other informants. Asking respondents for the contact information of other crucial stakeholders is key and that’s how my project really gained momentum. The bulk of my interviews will be in the last two weeks of my time here because of just how momentum I’ve picked up at the end.

Overall, scheduling is always a little hectic and takes some time to pick up. But doing it completely on my own for the first time has been an invaluable experience that will help me with future projects.


  1. jameshamarquaila says:

    I can relate to the issues of getting interviews and gaining momentum. At the beginning I only had one interviewee, which was frustrating! But right before I went to conduct my interviews, someone put me in contact with a second interviewee. That interviewee put me in contact with two other interviewees. This was a great addition to my project. I also think that having relationships with people that can vouch for your project is a great way to advance the process and get potential interviewees to open up and provide that vital information. Hope your project is going well!
    Jamesha Gibson