Addressing healthy settings in Malawi
I have been back in Chikwawa this week to observe Sothin (facilitator) and Kondwani (scribe) collecting social capital data using the tools I’ve been developing for the last few months for my PhD. The aim of this data collection is to test which of the tools most effectively measures social capital for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) purposes.
A fortnight ago the team visited Thukuta and Patasani villages, going door-to-door finding 96 community members to answer an initial questionnaire using the mobile app Magpi. The same participants have taken part in focus group discussions this week. Following the Healthy Settings model, the groups in each village have been split into 6 groups – leaders, elderly and vulnerable, women, men, male and female youth – so opinions from all social groups are included. In addition to the discussions, we are using are a modified version of the Schutte Scale and participant observation to gather extra quantitative and qualitative social capital data.
I was not sure how community members would feel about discussing issues of trust and working together – would it be too abstract? There was no need to worry, each group has had plenty to say. It’s too early to know which tool will prove to be the most reliable for impact assessment but what is already clear from my visit is that using a combination of tools can generate interesting and in-depth data on the social relationships in the 2 villages.