By Annet Akatukwasa, Resident Enumerator for PMA2020/Uganda
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda)
My working experience with Makerere School of Public Health – PMA2020 Project
I am Annet Akatukwasa, I joined PMA2020 as a Resident Enumerator in 2014. I didn’t know exactly what I was venturing into. Through training, I realized it was such an exciting and modernized way of collecting data – conducting surveys using system generated forms – ODK! This was new and exciting as it made work easier and enjoyable, more organized, improved accuracy and convenience. It was easy to work with respondents as it was first of its kind in my enumeration area.
My appreciation goes to the entire team on the project that I have worked and interacted with during training sessions and in the field, right from Principal Investigator, coordinators, facilitators, supervisors to my fellow research assistants, it has been such one big family. I have no regrets.
My experience in the field
All the surveys I have conducted so far are health related (reproductive health, water and sanitation, surgery needs conditions - SOSAS), I have been able to observe that the studies created a positive attitude in the lives of the people towards research especially the respondents who appreciated being recognized through selecting their areas, households and or family members to participate in such studies. Through interactions and observation, residents/respondents appreciate being representatives of a wider community leave alone knowing that someone somewhere especially the government cared about their livelihoods. This positive attitude made my work easy that I never encountered any resistance throughout the entire period. It has been a learning experience and exposure, interacting with leaders, residents, SDP (service delivery point) staff and the public at large.
...residents/respondents appreciate being representatives of a wider community leave alone knowing that someone somewhere especially the government cared about their livelihoods.
The project taught me a modernized way of data collection, and this has widened my knowledge and experience, is a source of income – my remuneration has improved my life and family. Using ODK to do mapping, listing, and conducting interviews eased my work as errors could be easily detected and corrected, files could be saved and worked on later where necessary and completed files sent to the central staff; all this and a lot more made work interesting and exciting compared to paper questionnaires which are bulky to carry, can get lost or damaged, leave alone the time taken to ask and fill them.
The project taught me a modernized way of data collection, and this has widened my knowledge and experience, is a source of income – my remuneration has improved my life and family.
I have been able to learn and improve on new and advanced skills in data collection, I have met and interacted with new people, made new friends and been exposed to new challenges and experiences which all has created a positive impact in my life.
It was always my dream to go for further studies; and I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Environment and Natural Resources at Makerere University. Why am I saying this? PMA2020 project is one of the factors that contributed to my winning of the scholarship!!! As I applied, one of the requirements was being a staff or working with Makerere University. Therefore I am indebted to Makerere School of Public Health – PMA2020 Project for having employed me, recommended me and qualifying me as a potential candidate for the project. I am achieving my dream. Long live School of Public Health, Long live PMA2020.
I look forward to a continuous and good working relationship.