Hello world,

Well – it’s been a busy weekend and week! On Friday (after a 2-day holiday on Wednesday and Thursday) our team of interviewers began reviewing the guides for our in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. There are English and Kiswahili versions, and I quickly learned the challenges with translation. There were many questions that made sense in English, but the Kiswahili translation was a bit off. Some of the short questions in English needed a much longer Kiswahili counterpart. And vice-versa. So, during the weekend I compiled all the comments (we made these suggestions on the paper copies), uploaded all the guides to Google Docs, and marked up everything we discussed. On Monday, the study coordinator, interviewers, and myself all sat and combed through the guides to make edits and ensure a smooth-flowing conversation.

I have been learning how many logistical things need to be in place for IDIs and FGDs to run smoothly, from making sure all the paperwork is printed out, exactly what order to collect what in, making sure that rooms are unlocked, and the list goes on. I have really enjoyed my role in coordinating the interviewer training, and getting things in place for data collection. I got to visit Kisarawe (the rural town we will be doing the IDIs and FGDs in) yesterday, because we needed to seek official permission from the District Medical Officer to proceed with this formative phase. If all goes well, we should be re-locating to Kisarawe tomorrow with the research team to get this show started. I’m really excited to see what the first few IDIs and FGDs tell us about community views on PrEP, HIV self-testing, and early ART initiation. All the people I met in Kisarawe yesterday were so kind and friendly, and it will be nice to get away from the bustling, loud city of Dar es Salaam.

That’s all for now,



Our team of interviewers reviewing the guides and making suggestions