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Resident Enumerator to Field Supervisor

An interview with two amazing young women working on PMA2020/Ethiopia

The resident enumerators (REs) are the primary data collectors for PMA2020. They are females, typically between the ages of 20-35, and together form the backbone of the project. They work hard to collect timely and accurate data from households, females and health service delivery points in their communities. Each RE receives support and guidance from her field supervisor throughout the data collection period and often beyond. Field supervisors help REs troubleshoot a range of technical and logistical challenges and ensure that REs adhere to timelines and collect high-quality data.

The PMA2020/Ethiopia project is now entering its third round of data collection, and the team recently promoted two REs in recognition of their hard work and excellent performance in the field. Yemisrach Kebede and Bezawork Ayele were REs during prior rounds of data collection and are now working as field supervisors for round 3. Below is a brief interview with the two women about their experiences working with PMA2020.

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Yemisrach Kebede was an RE during the first two rounds of data collection in Ethiopia. She worked in Hossana in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR). Prior to joining PMA2020/Ethiopia, Yemisrach worked with the Central Statistical Agency (CSA) as a supervisor on various surveys, including projects for the World Bank, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), and an agricultural sample survey study.Yemisrach is now responsible for supervising 4 REs.

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Bezawork Ayele was an RE during the second round of data collection in Ethiopia. She worked in Doyogena in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR). Bezawork has a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Arts in Gender studies from Addis Ababa University. Bezawork is now responsible for supervising 4 REs.

 

How did you hear about PMA2020/Ethiopia?

Y.K: From colleagues at CSA.

B.A: From REs who worked in SNNPR during the first round of data collection for PMA2020/Ethiopia.

Can you talk about your experiences – positive and negative – of being an RE?

Y.K: It was a great experience during both round one and two. I really enjoyed it.  However, the biggest challenge for me was having to go back and forth, over long distances, to find the respondents. I had a lot of university students in my EA and it was a challenge to know when they would be home.

B.A: I also enjoyed my work as an RE. I loved talking with women in the community and getting to know more people. The biggest challenge for me was being able to have enough charge on my phone and being able to find a place where I could safely charge my phone. I also had some challenges with non-response since some of the respondents in my EA were university students as well.

What does being a supervisor mean to you? What do you see will be some of your responsibilities?

Y.K: For me, this means that I am responsible for helping REs when they have difficult situations. I will also be responsible for randomly selecting households to be interviewed; conducting random spot-checks on REs; re-interviewing a random sample of 10% of the households for each RE; collecting data for the public health service delivery points in all the enumeration areas that I am responsible for; ensuring data quality; and contacting the central staff team at Addis Ababa University when I need additional support.

B.A: I agree with Yemisrach. I see these as our responsibilities. I think our most important job is being available to support our REs whenever they need any help – to make sure that we are doing all that we can do to make them feel like they are supported in their work.

Do you think that being a supervisor will be a difficult job?

Y.K: No, not really.

B.A: Since we were REs we have the same experiences as the ladies we are helping and we know what to expect.

Tell us one part of the job that you like the most.

Y.K: I really enjoy this work. I love to sit with female respondents, to talk with them, to get to know them and hear their stories.

B.A: I graduated with an MA in Gender Studies and have a deep and genuine interest in women’s lives and want to work to improve their roles in our society. Our work with PMA2020 brings improvement to women’s lives and being involved in this work makes me very happy.