In preparation to Chennai and before flying out.
Prior to the field study there was not a lot I got to do in preparation for the trip. What I did focus on was the project as a whole, its scope, roles, expectations and so on. Basically, I was trying to gauge what we can achieve with what we have. Mapping out the project in this way is one of the primary tasks for myself, this helps me understand my roll better in context of the larger picture. In a way its like a fly sitting on the wall and observing, listening, and all you focus on is getting insights. This insight helps me manage my own expectation and what I can deliver with the resources available. The caveat being, focus on using resources from individuals without overlapping with their rolls in the project.
With regards to practicalities, at this point I knew that we would be conducting ethnographic field study for a period of five weeks. The group consisted of 5 members lead by University of Helsinki. They would do quantitative and qualitative aspects of nutrition for mother and child, focusing on children under two years. This phase of the field study would involve the team gathering information from the target groups through various methods like individual interviews and observation of maternal and child food use and feeding practices.The five of us will be working in same village during this period. The field work was divided into three areas, Quantitative, Qualitative and I was looking at the possible systemic influences of such a solution [ this includes studying the mobile use by the villagers and its influences on the community… macro socio-economic environment – Process, Communication, Power Structure, Programs form Government and roll of local actors like NGO’s. ]
I have also been doing research on the topic of child nutrition in India. At this stage mostly collecting as much as information as possible, quick unsorted information giving a insights for the field study. [ News, photos, YouTube videos, journals, research papers, existing solutions, and so on… ]
I guess I am trying to simply this as much as possible. I think its important to give a good picture of what we are dealing with before I can take you to the village. In the next post I will talk about the a seminar session “Ethnographic Methods in the BoP Markets”. This was organized in preparation to the field study.