By : Emily Eckert – Team Lead
So this post is a little late because the interviews have been finished for a few days and my next post is about some of our findings. But I thought it would be a good idea to fill you in on what our 2nd week in Indonesia looked like. Its long days and long nights and not as easy as we expected going in.
Each day went something like this:
6am – wake up, shower, eat breakfast (maybe)
7:30am – leave hotel (if car came on time), pick up Farabi facilitators, print surveys at Farabi because hotel ran out of paper and ink
9am – team 1 dropped off at first village, team 2 dropped off at second village
9:30am – 4:30pm – conduct interviews – 3 per day per team so 6 total each day
5pm – get picked up in villages and head back to hotel
6 – 7:30pm – team debrief, go over next day schedule
8pm – go into Cepu for dinner at the town square
9pm – 12am – work on survey format and analysis framework, academic deliverables, individual research projects, meeting with Farabi
Rinse and repeat for eight days. And this is assuming everything runs smoothly from start to finish. More often than not, we left late, interviews went into overtime, and more meetings with village chiefs popped up to rearrange our day. But that’s the norm here and we’ve come to expect these small disturbances and used to surviving on bare minimum sleep/rest.
Michael has already written about the local culture that we’ve experience during our visits to the villages, so I’m going to focus more on the actual interview process. Our survey covered everything from basic household demographics to detailed income and spending habits. Included in this general section were questions geared towards developing an energy map of the home and community. This means looking at the sources of fuel, water, and electricity.
The tricky part of this process was asking for very private and sensitive information, particularly the questions related to income and spending. We had to reassure the women, and often times their husbands, that this information remains private and confidential. And that the purpose for asking the intrusive questions is to better understand the needs of the community and the effect of the technology on their daily lives. We knew these women were not in the habit of bookkeeping and therefore some of these answers would be very challenging to extract and this was by far the most time consuming process of the survey. Fortunately, all of our interviewees were very open and forthcoming with their answers!
Once this part of the interview was complete, we continued with specific questions about the technology being used. We often referred back to some of the answers they gave in the general section to pinpoint where there may be cost-, energy-, or time-savings (which they sometimes did not realize themselves). This section also had many qualitative questions that were meant to get accurate feedback on the technology. In order to actually get a descriptive response, as opposed to yes/no, we would ask the same question multiple times to try and triangulate an answer. On average each interview took about an hour, sometimes more. But at the end, thanks to local culture and customs, we usually got some sort of tasty snack or fruit before heading off to the next interview!
This week is a blur of awesome food, information overload and a whole lot of fatigue. Good news is we are done and prepped for the analysis. This will include not only the technology and its benefits, but also if the technology has created income opportunities for women and improve their quality of life. Furthermore the team intends to deliver a detailed analysis on the Kopernik and Farabi business model and therefore some of the questions attempted to gain an understanding of that area as well. We have a lot to do, running out of time and more aspects of the project that are not even covered yet. It is a constant evolution and we are looking forward to every bit of it!