Final Thoughts on Summer Research

After coming home from Tanzania, I have had some time to reflect on my summer.  I am grateful to be able to drink tap water again, but I miss the novelty of living in a different country, and the stimulation of new experiences.  If I were to do it over again, I would be sure to study Swahili before I arrived.  Though many academics and professionals speak impeccable English, I missed out on truly interacting with the people I met day to day.  Even when I tried a few jumbled and mumbled words in Swahili, it was appreciated as an attempt to communicate and connect.  I can only imagine the connection a greater fluency would have provided.

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Land Rights Workshops – Blog #3

Two land rights workshops were put on.  The first one was in the village of Kilwa Masoko in the district of Kilwa.  The other was in the village of Ikwiri in Rufiji.  The participants were invited to the workshop that was in the same district they lived in.

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Villages and Spillovers – Blog #2

As we went forward with the procedure, we began to realize that village life would be sure to incur spillover effects.  When constructing the contact lists, we saw this.  Of those who did not have their own mobile phone, people would often have a shared best contact.  In one case, a teacher in one village was the best contact for eight participants!  This would imply that an influential person in a village may receive an invitation to this workshop, though labeled for a specific person, and invite those in his/her circle that he/she thinks will benefit from learning about land rights.  This could include women in our study who did not list the person as their best contact, or have their own mobile phones.

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Mass Text Messaging Systems – Blog #1

For my project we are putting on two land rights workshops, one in each district where phase 2 of the project took place. We invited all 400 participants in our study who have been randomly assigned cell phones. They are all being invited to the workshop via SMS text message. Of those that do not have cell phones, a message that says the message is for our intended recipient will be sent to the number listed as the participant’s best point of contact.  There were about 10 women in each district (20 total) who had no listed phone number.  Unfortunately, with no way to contact them, they were not invited to the workshops. Messages were sent out on three different occasions.  One initial invitation, one reminder invitation, and one reminder about the workshops were sent out.  There was also one call reminder made to each participant, as not all participants are literate.

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