Partnerships: Hamna Shida

Hamna Shida: No Problem

It is July, and I am currently living in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I can now: haggle prices in Swahili, navigate the capricious Dar public transport system, and tell you where to get the best street food. I’ve formed fast friendships and received help from kind strangers that I will never see again. I have both wandered and been lost. But enough about the beauty and grit of experiencing an entirely new place, let’s talk research.

No amount of chill can prepare you for the patience that is needed for academic research. Sitting in three hours of Dar traffic? Hamna Shida. Coordinating with your four implementing partners? A whole new ball game. Let’s talk about those implementing partners.

Tigo is one of the major mobile phone carrier companies in Tanzania. We are working with the manager of corporate social responsibility on getting funding as well as SIM cards and start up airtime for our study participants. The corporate nature of this partner means an MOU,  KPIs, and other acronyms.

Kidogo Kidogo is a social enterprise that provides cost-free mobile phones to women with revenue from selling phone cases. They are providing the phones for the experiment, and are currently forming a partnership with Tigo to sell their phone cases in order and increase their donations of mobile phones. This project is called “Connected Women”.

REPOA is a Tanzanian research organization with whom we are working closely to gather and analyze data. REPOA, along with William and Mary and Brigham Young University, comprises the research team that will be doing an impact evaluated of the Connected Women project.

Care International is an NGO that works in Tanzania and has established Village Savings and Investment Associations for women throughout Tanzania. We need them to help us find a region to carry out our experiment, and mobile-less women to participate…and we need it at slightly faster than the average NGO-pace.

Juggling the needs and schedules of these partners requires many meetings, emails, and most of all, patience. We are lucky to have capable partners whose interests align enough to create something great, however the motto of go with the flow has served us well here. The truth of the matter is that you have to rely on other people and organizations for an experiment of this scale, and that is not always a smooth process. But we do our best and keep going! This will be a common theme in my blog posts as I try to convey the ins and outs of our research.

P.S.  No one really says hakuna matata here. Or jambo… so any American pop-culture-derived knowledge of Swahili is probably for naught.