Data collection is not a walk in the park. Day two of the health services mapping with Map Kibera brought to light two major challenges to systematic data collection.
I do not claim that these challenges are unique, nor that today was the first day the mappers came across these issues (in fact yesterday, and during the previous mapping exercise, the mappers expressed some of the same concerns):
1. Suspicion. People do not want to give up information about the services they are providing. This could be for many reasons (they don’t believe you are who you say you are, they think you are being exploitative, research fatigue, they are not licensed to provide said service, etc).
2. Research fatigue. From my (limited) experience in Kibera (I spent 3 months in the area in 2008 and have been back a few times in 2009 & 2010), the settlement is one of the most over-researched places in Kenya, if not in Africa. As an example, as we were walking around today, I saw 2 groups of researchers walking around with clipboards interviewing people door-to-door. And what ever comes of the research? Does the community see the benefits? Likely not in their eyes. As such, even groups such as Map Kibera doing ‘community research’ are viewed with suspicion…and the cycle continues.