Doing research for CARE Nederland has been exceptionally gratifying and interesting so far. We kicked off the research with the first visit to CARE’s office at the beginning of January. We were given a warm welcome with a cup of coffee and a tour of their office. CARE was genuinely interested in what motivated us to do research for them and what our vision is for this project.
As researchers, we were especially interested in what kind of work they do and how our project fits in into their everyday activities. Meeting up with their project managers was particularly useful for aligning our expectations and establishing a smooth personal communication. I was thrilled with how our first meeting went and I was already looking forward to the next one.
In a few weeks, we came back to The Hague with some tangible results. We presented our research timeline and, having already done some research into CARE, aimed to clarify any confusion we had about the project.
After the first meeting, we were not sure how to approach the research but the second meeting clarified everything and we started seeing the way through all the data available. Right now the team is on a clear pathway towards setting up indicators that could be used to measure change in three domains of change that, if successful, lead to resilience – sustainable livelihoods, good governance, and social justice.
Apart from these meetings with CARE, the team met a few times and started with the research plan. We decided to split up the work by domains of change – so, I will work on social justice, Michal on good governance, while Sannah and Agha will work on sustainable livelihoods which is the biggest domain that CARE works in.
So far, we have been working separately with the project data in each individual domain. However, the best part is coming together and discussing what we found out so far, what are the obstacles, and how we can solve them together. This brings the whole team together and streamlines our individual work towards the combined end-result.
Within the team, we broke the ice and we are already friends! We schedule not only formal meetings but also social activities. Our long hours on the train to The Hague revealed that we all love food so, from now on, I bet that most of our gatherings will be food related. After all, there has to be a balance between work and play in life.
Monika and Sannah working on their research in last week's Research Weekend