Fieldwork for the Older Persons Act (OPA) Implementation Evaluation is currently under way, and this group of dedicated fieldworkers is set to fulfill their task diligently.
Their training took place on 6 and 7 June, and the group worked hard to become familiar with the purpose and design of the evaluation. Working with the staff of the CC&DW Pretoria Office, fieldworkers had the opportunity to get a thorough understanding of what their role in the evaluation is, and to become confident in using the data collection tools designed for site visits.
Site visits to 27 residential and community service facilities for older persons in selected areas is an important aspect of the OPA evaluation. Fieldworkers will conduct one day visits to each site, where they will administer a Facility Checklist (based on the norms and standards for such facilities); conduct Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with Facility Managers and with beneficiaries (i.e. older persons); and collect data about the geographical space around the facility, through community mapping or transect walks.
Experiential learning methodology which included role play and undertaking a mapping exercise in the area where the office is located ensured that learning was fun. Some fieldworkers displayed a hidden talent for acting in the role plays, and made sure that their “interviewer” would be prepared for all kinds of challenges that could occur in the field.
The fieldwork training session also gave the client an opportunity to engage with fieldworkers. While fieldwork is taking place, the group remains connected through WhatsApp to ensure that immediate support is available as required, and that experiences and learnings are shared as they happen.
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