Mountains Beyond Mountains: Data Analysis

Back on campus, the mountain of data analysis that has to be done continues to grow. Between the water resource interviews and social network analysis data, I’ve spent over 24 hours just trying to transcribe the remaining interviews and code the responses in a logical fashion. The codebook is in its early stages, but it is off to a good start. Now to teach myself SPSS and UciNet (SNA software), and a little bit of GIS…

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Data Collection in Chaguite: Part 2

 

The second key component of data collection to answer the research question:  How does the presence of natural resources in a community affect interpersonal relationships for those nearest or farthest from the resource? We managed to reach most of the houses in Chaguite, performing over 30 interviews about the community’s infrastructure and communication networks. Time spent at each household ranged from 11 to 30+ minutes, with some interviewees giving elaborate responses regarding ongoing projects, concerns, or personal experiences. Some respondents were easier to understand than others, and some had more trouble understanding my Spanish than others. There were a few who didn’t really want to “play ball,” aka they didn’t provide responses to the interview questions. I guess I had anticipated a little of that, but it still caught  me by surprise. On another note, by the end of the interviewing, I no longer had to look at the protocol and could recite the entire preamble from memory! That helped the flow of the interview seem more natural and less intimidating to the respondents.

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Data Collection in Chaguite: Part 1

My time in Chaguite was mostly spent conducting interviews at each household. As always, the paths between houses were long and seemed to be uphill in every direction. Along with the MANOS members that I traveled with, I also managed to pull off a meeting with Chaguite’s Water Committee, despite our lack of native Spanish speakers (this is the first trip where we have never had one present). The meeting was brief; we summarized MANOS’s research goals and processes for this trip, asked about any progress with the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) water access project, and left the floor open for any questions or concerns. Direct contact between EWB and community members appears limited, but the attitude towards the project is overwhelmingly positive.

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