Recap of the Summer and Trip to Esfuerzo

In my previous post, I described the four protocols written before the trip to guide our field research in Esfuerzo de Paraíso, Dominican Republic. The JdV Inclusivity, Road, Electrification, and Health protocols each had goals and outlined methods to achieve them. In this post, I will describe how the trip went and how we were able to accomplish the goals we set out, even when things didn’t go as planned.

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Writing the Protocols to Guide Our Field Research in Esfuerzo

I had trouble posting this while I was in the Dominican Republic, so I had to wait until we got back to post this blog. The final summary will be coming soon!

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Improving SOMOS’ Ability to Navigate Esfuerzo

In less than two weeks, I will be back in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for the second time this year. I am going with two other members of SOMOS and from August 8-16 we will be working on four main objectives related to community leadership, social inclusivity, access to energy, and improved health (my next blog post will describe these ‘protocols’ in greater detail).

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CBPR and Flood Mapping in Esfuerzo de Paraiso – Matthew Crittenden

The Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) methodology is one of the core tenets of SOMOS and the work we do. It stresses the importance of community engagement in sustainable development projects and attempts to dismantle the hierarchical donor-recipient relationship which most traditional development projects possess. Through pursuing a more egalitarian partnership, we hope to increase community ownership in Esfuerzo de Paraiso and the community’s capacity to sustainably improve health outcomes. The role of the community in our partnership is incredibly important because improved health outcomes can be sustained only if they are maintained and sought to be improved in our absence (when SOMOS members are not physically in the community).

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Becoming an Ethnographer

I am new to ethnography research and  I am a little nervous, yet excited, to start our research. After arriving in country, I notice myself getting comfortable with a day, two days of adjustment. I am not stranger to hearing stories but for some reason, the research context makes this task daunting. At its heart, we are walking to a community and simply asking “Tell us what is it like to be you. Tell me your triumphs, your struggles, what you care about and where your needs are not being met.” This is what I will try to focus on.

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