Training young people in research methodology

At Dance4Life we work for and with young people, passionately practicing Meaningful Young Participation in all our activities. This is why our young global research assistant Josephine flew to Jakarta to train four junior local enumerators in quantitative and qualitative research methodology. The training provided them with the capacities to support the research that Dance4Life is conducting in Indonesia, with help of our franchisee Rutgers Indonesia. Our Trainer4Life Gobi was there to contribute with her strong facilitation skills. Josephine wrote a blog for us about her experiences.

An interactive journey
Last July I facilitated a training for four young professionals on how to conduct qualitative and quantitative research in Jakarta, Indonesia. The purpose of the training was to equip the young professionals with the necessary skills to conduct data collection for our research. This research is investigating the association between socio-emotional learning and sexual reproductive health outcomes. The blueprint for the training was co-created by Dance4Life’s research specialist Marina Todesco and the global research assistant (me). We used the Explore toolkit “Manual for training young people as researchers”, created by Rutgers and IPPF. During the 2.5 days I took the young professionals on an interactive journey on how to become confident and capable Dance4Life research enumerators.

Once-in-a-lifetime experience
Having the opportunity to travel to Jakarta for Dance4Life in order to facilitate a training, pushed me outside my comfort zone. In the past I have mostly avoided giving presentations or workshops as I had no control over the pitch of my voice or breath. The workshop showed how far I have come in my presentation and facilitation skills, compared to when I started university about 5 years ago. Dance4Life has enabled me to become confident in my skills and has continuously given me room to improve and grow. It was also a true pleasure meeting the young research enumerators as each one of them brought their own strengths and insights into the group. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Foundations for the training
Day 1 started with co-designing the tree of expectation and rules followed by a fun introduction session. This was followed by setting the foundation for the rest of the training. It was key to ensure that all participants were brought to the same skill level and therefore they were taken through Basics of Research and Key terms. Once everyone was on board, an extensive explanation of the research they are involved in was given. The first role-play session was on how to conduct the Baseline, Endline and Follow-up Data collection.

Lots of role-play exercises
Day 2 focused on sessions for the qualitative data collection. After the recap session of the previous day we dove right into how to conduct the interviews for the research. Role-play was utilized again where each participant needed to interview a respondent. Different scenarios were given to the respondent for each interview in order to encourage the participant to think quick on their feet. This allowed me to see how the participants would do out in the real world. Later in the day the participants learned how to facilitate and conduct Focus Group Discussions. Role play was utilized again in order to encourage the participants to be flexible and to deal with any situation appropriately. After the role plays of the day, time was spent discussing and going through potential challenges the Enumerators could face during data collection and come up with potential mitigation strategies.

Confident and capable enumerators
Day 3: On the final half day of the training time was spent discussing ethics in research and the D4L Safeguarding Young People Policy. In order to ensure that the Enumerators fully grasped the policy, role playing was used. Once the sessions concluded and evaluation of the training took place and all four participants received a Certificate indicating they are confident and capable Dance4Life research enumerators.