Dahari, an NGO working in the Comoros islands, aims to shape sustainable and productive landscapes with Comorian communities. This local NGO contacted the RHoMIS team in order to better understand their beneficiaries and to measure the impacts of their projects. Earlier this month, I travelled to the Comoros to train the enumerators that were going to be using the survey.
While my work typically focuses on the analysis of RHoMIS data and the development of “back-end” systems, this trip was a fantastic opportunity for me to better understand the farmers behind the data and to gain a deeper understanding of the data collection process. I wanted to write this blog to describe the effort that goes into designing the RHoMIS survey and explain the important role that enumerators play in both survey design and data-collection.
Simon is a PhD candidate hosted by the International Livestock Research Institute and Wageningen University & Research. His research areas include ‘environmental impact assessment’ and ‘food and nutrition security’ in rural communities.
Each entry in the RHoMIS database provides a small insight into the life of a rural household. Research teams go to great lengths to make these snapshots in time as true to life as possible. We design the study – ‘localising’ the survey tool, setting an appropriate sample size and randomising the selection of households. We train a team of interviewers – providing a common understanding of each survey question. Then in implementing the survey, we travel long distances off the beaten track – by foot if necessary – having very personal discussions with rural households two to three times a day for weeks if not months at a time.
Despite these efforts, some aspects of these ‘snapshots in time’ get distorted – resulting in imperfect representations of the rural households’ inputs, outputs, characteristics or wellbeing.
A shared article from the RHoMIS team, based in Bristol, UK and Quito, Ecuador. We write reflections and updates on the development and impact of the RHoMIS tool.
As 2018 turned into 2019, the RHoMIS servers continued to spin and process data from rural households around the world. We are excited to announce that on Wednesday 9 January, the total number of households in the RHoMIS database passed the 20,000 milestone.
The actual number is 21,024 rural households, gathered from 27 countries. More than just a number, these statistics represent a quality and breadth of data that allow for scientific analysis and improved and informed development interventions.
In one of the coldest weeks of the year, we gathered in Wageningen, a beautiful historic university town about one-hour south of Amsterdam. About 25 of us had come together for the first-ever RHOMIS users workshop, held in the smart WICC hotel near the city centre. Wrapped up warm, we arrived in fits and starts over the course of Monday, with participants travelling from as far afield as Cape Town, Quito, Bristol, Nairobi, and Vancouver.
The RHoMIS blog is written by a community of practice. The COP is made up of RHoMIS users and creators from across the world. Here we share their stories of how RHoMIS is helping to record and analyse household data.