IFC Project- Biweekly Meeting 4- Last Two Weeks Reporting Experience by the Field Team- 14 February 2022

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Melesech (FR-Jawi): In the past two weeks, there aren’t many new things. But some farmers are exhibiting boredom. Some are even saying, “Hasn’t it been 3 months already?”. The livelihood special questions ask about the months that they incur the most expenses regarding harvesting their product.  The traders don’t harvest any products and when I replied “No” to that question, the next question about the mode of payment comes. So, I had trouble asking those questions to traders. The crop monitoring survey still doesn’t skip questions that were mentioned in the last meeting as well. But regarding finding respondents, it was a much better in these two weeks. I didn’t have much trouble with that.

Samuel (FR-Butajira): It has been a good 2 weeks, even better than other weeks. They used to be only open about just expenses but not income. However, now they are telling me openly even about new income sources like Chat and Remittances. I take it that it is the result of the relationship we have developed.

When it comes to the livelihood special question, it seems like the same questions we asked previously. It was simply divided by months. The respondents kept saying, “Didn’t we talk about this last time?”. As a recommendation, it would have been better if it was divided by seasons rather than months if the questionnaire is conducted for other farmers in the future.

Because the special question administration was a bit delayed, I changed my appointments of Friday to Saturday to be able to do that. The respondents were not happy about it. They asked me, “You always come on Friday. Why did you come on Saturday this time?”. This shows that they have reserved the days for me and expect me to come on a weekly basis which I think is very positive. I was very appreciative of and amazed by that.

Tigist (FR-Dangla): Everything was fine in the past two weeks. I only had a problem with those three traders. They were not available, and they sometimes go so far away from their farm that I had trouble contacting them. They have also been asking for incentives, and they are getting bored, saying things like, “We told you that the last time. Why are you asking the same question?”.

The other problem is on the crop monitoring; even if I answer that there is no new crop to harvest, it still doesn’t skip the follow-up questions.

The respondents are also more open and remember more details about their week. For example: they were not telling me about their small expenses before, but now they are, even if it’s just an airtime purchase, which demonstrates a better improvement than the previous time.

Most of my respondents were very cooperative, and they are very interested in receiving results at the end of the three months, which is what I say to them as a motivating factor when they display boredom.

One incident I had which I shared in the exchange group is that there was a funeral and they all went to a nearby Kebele to attend. So, I travelled to that church in that Kebele and sat down with them to do the interviews one by one in the church. I finished by 6:30 PM that day. In a way, it was good for me because I found all of them in the same location rather than travelling to each of their homes. All in all, it was a good two weeks for me.