JICA Ogata Research Institute

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Research Fellow Conducts South Africa Training for Local Collaborators

September 13, 2010

Visiting Fellow Yoichi Mine, who heads “Prevention of Violent Conflicts in Africa” research project, visited Cape Town, South Africa, from August 28 to September 2. The objective of this trip was to monitor the progress of the training program for the local collaborators who are in charge of the survey, and check the local security situation. This survey is conducted to observe the disparities in income, assets, economic opportunities, education and health, as well as the differences over time in political systems and networks between groups with a different identity.  

 

Some of the survey questions pose a risk of upsetting interviewees and even provoking violent reactions as they intend to reveal the differences in perception between ethnic groups. Due to South Africa’s historical background and the current political situation, it is essential to ensure that the collaborators fully understand the objectives, contents, and questions of the research to minimize the risk, and feel confident enough to carry out the survey. This training program is therefore designed to improve the collaborators’ understanding and boost their confidence before they start the actual work.

 

The three-day program was held at a community center in a suburb of Cape Town. A total of 21 residents from the targeted area were first divided into three groups according to their ethnicity, and the collaborators practiced conducting the perception survey with them, using the questionnaire.

 

A workshop was also held to discuss each question on the questionnaire. Mine explained the meaning and context of each question in detail repeatedly, which helped transform the collaborators’ attitudes toward the survey, deepen their understanding and improve their motivation. Some even practiced the survey with their family voluntarily at home and raised some issues they noticed during the next day’s session .

 

The training program also had a positive effect on team-building. With their shared understanding, the participants are now able to cooperate with each other in conducting the survey. JICA-RI plans to present the research outcomes to the donor community. Its political implications, backed by empirical studies, can be used as a policy prescription for building a better political process for development, detecting the signals of conflict, and defining the role of development assistance.

DayAugust 28, 2010(Sat) - September 02, 2010(Thu)
PlaceCape town, South Africa

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