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Burkina Faso: REs to Supervisors

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As PMA2020/Burkina Faso enters its third round of data collection, the team is proud to recognize the superb performance of Maimouna Compaoré and Slyvie Diessongo, who were Resident Enumerators (REs) during the first two rounds of data collection in Burkina Faso and have both been promoted to field supervisor.
In their new position, they will now lead and support a group of REs for the third round. During rounds one and two, both Maimouna and Sylvie worked in the Ouagadougou region, where they continue to work, and each is now responsible for supervising 10 REs.
Maimouna earned her Bachelors of Arts in Finances from the Institut Supériuer Privé Polytechnique. Prior to joining PMA2020/Burkina Faso, she led family planning education campaigns for the Association Burkinabé de la Bien-être Familiale (ABBEF). 
Sylvie joined PMA2020/Burkina Faso from her village of Yargatenga. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in Economics from the University of Ouagadougou, where she continues to pursue training to become a Financial Administrator.  

How did you hear about PMA2020/Burkina Faso?

MC: I saw the announcement at my university and found it interesting, especially as it dealt with family planning. I thought it might be interesting to combine the survey work with my experience leading education campaigns.
SD: For me, PMA2020/Burkina Faso was my first experience with survey work. I was recruited in my village of Yarngatenga.  There were two of us, and we came for the training.  PMA2020/Burkina Faso selected me to be an RE in Ougadougou since I speak Moore (the most common language there).

What is it about the work with PMA2020/Burkina Faso interests you and makes you want to continue to participate?

MC: Well, what I’ve liked a lot is being together with the other enumerators – all the enumerators. Collaborating with everyone. When you go into the field, and you try to interview people, and they give you the details; often, you are a little touched. When you collaborate with the people in your neighborhood, afterwards, each time you pass by, they will say to you, “Hello Enumerator!” and that, that makes you feel good.
SD: For me, what I have liked a lot is the fact that it is women enumerators – not men.  That really moved me. When I first arrived, I said to myself, this is something we can do as women. And when we started going out into the field, I saw that this woman-to-woman approach was really good because it worked. I can’t imagine men asking the same questions.  It really moved me, and I said to myself, this is very well thought out.  Here, in the field, it’s really great to collaborate with people. When you talk to people, and they confide in you, and they tell you things that are really very personal, it’s touching.

How did you get promoted from RE to supervisor?

MC: For me… there is a love for my work. You have to love your work. You need to master the questionnaire so as not to stutter in front of the respondent. I think, in terms of becoming a supervisor, there won’t be any problems when you work hard, and I think that this is related to the fact that the bosses have also put their faith in us.  Because in the field, we did not have many problems. 

Are there things that are difficult or that you don’t like about the work?

SD: There are some people who are very difficult to work with, but that isn’t linked to PMA2020, that’s not linked to the protocols or the manner in which PMA2020 is implemented. It’s more about the nature of certain people.

What do you think your supervisor role will look like? What do you think will be different?


MC: I believe it will be a little different, because we won’t be going out to interview different households like the enumerators do. We are responsible as the supervisor to help the REs if there is a problem, and also to interview public service delivery points (SDPs). It’s that interviewing public SDPs that is a little bit complicated in Ouagadougou.
SD: And, we said to ourselves, if the team thought of us, it’s because we did good work somewhere, and that they think we can be supervisors. Thus, I think we will provide the best data that we are able in order to continue with this position. We want to do what we did before and more... so as not to disappoint them. I think that, this approach, passing from RE to supervisor, is really good because you have all these experiences, you already have experiences from the field. If an RE calls you to explain a particular problem, if you have already experienced that problem, it's easier to help her, because, you see, you have already seen this kind of problem, you’ve already dealt with it and everything. I think that it is a very good idea. 

Any final thoughts on being a supervisor?

MC: Well, I’m excited to go from being an enumerator to becoming a supervisor... We’ve moved up the ranks!
SD: Yes! But I think moving on to being a supervisor, there are households that I am going to miss.

​Thank you to Shani Turke (PMA2020/Burkina Faso program lead) for the interview, and Research Assistant, Meagan Hawes, for providing transcription and translation support.