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.

The workshop in Kilwa occurred first. Here, I was the only student of our group in attendance.  I traveled down with the research assistants from REPOA who were doing our data collection on the workshops. For the workshop in Rufiji, two other students from our group joined me.

The research assistants took roster before the workshops started and surveyed all of the attendees afterwards.  Both workshops started over an hour after scheduled.  Getting the roster of all attendants took quite a while, as many arrived late, often in groups, from far away villages.  Another delay in time was due to the unanticipated high attendance at both workshops.  About 120 women had confirmed attendance to each workshop.  We allotted in our printing and seating planning for the possibility of about 20 additionally women showing up.  However, at both workshops, about 170 women (who were nearly all in our study) attended.  This led to a last minute scramble to find additional seating.

The workshop itself lasted about 1.5-2hrs.  We had originally planned to provide lunch, but as it was Ramadan, and the majority of women in our study were Muslim, we provided larger travel vouchers instead.

Both the field assistants and I noticed that the women attending the Rufiji workshop were able to listen and learn better.  This is in part due to the size of the halls where the workshops were held.  The hall in Kilwa was significantly smaller than the one in Rufiji.  The chairs were jumbled and the wind seemed to carry the voices of the speakers.  The hall in Rufiji was much larger and a bit more closed off.  The speakers’ voices carried much better and the seating was organized into rows.

Overall, the workshops were similar enough to compare and were a success.  Far more women came than anticipated (50 additional attendees to each workshops!).  This means that the overwhelming majority of those who were invited came.  Unfortunately, due to such high participation, we may lack the variability between those who have cell phones and those who do not to draw any real conclusions about the difference between the two groups.