18/05/2013 by Hugh Lort-Phillips
At the beginning of May Beatriz travelled to Niger to implement a SQUEAC in the Gaya health district where HKI has a CMAM program. Here are her experiences: "Although we were not expecting it, security constraints in the country obliged me to stay in Niamey, so we had to rapidly react to adapt to this new situation where I am giving support remotely. The investigation team (composed of three staff from HKI plus two representatives of the regional and district health/nutrition authorities) came to Niamey for three to follow a theoretical and practical training. The first two days we did a general overview of the methodology, especially of stage 1, and already started analyzing the quantitative data available and preparing the questionnaires and selecting the villages for the qualitative research on the field. The third day we went out to do a pilot test in a health center of the periphery of Niamey where we had the chance to interview some mothers of beneficiaries, a few community health workers and the staff of the HC. Although in the beginning I did not think doing the pilot test was essential, after conducting it I consider it was extremely important - I highly recommend doing it in cases like this where not able to work directly with the team on the field. It allowed everybody to really understand the objective of this stage and how to think in “barriers” and “boosters” to coverage when doing the interviews. Moreover, we had the chance to practice the BBQ methodology using the real information we collected during the day as an example. Altogether, this experience made the team more confident about going to the field by themselves – for which they were not psychologically ready before hand. We end up the day by going over the objectives and methodology of the stage 2 and 3. Although the team will come back to Niamey to work together on the Prior and to prepare the wide-area survey, it was necessary to explain to them the active and adaptive case-finding methodology for the small-area one."