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Socio-Demographic and Economic Survey: Data collectors training in Bamiyan

One of the largest operations ever to be conducted in the mountainous province of Bamyan has just kicked off this week. Three weeks prior to this, over 500 residents of Bamyan were recruited and trained to be data collectors for the Socio-Demographic & Economic Survey.

"Before this project arrived in our district we were all unemployed youth, so this has provided us with a great opportunity to not only earn money but to develop our skills for future work", said a data collector from Yakawlang district.

Trainees came from every nook and cranny of the province and joined together in their districts for the intensive training during the Ramadan period. "It is exciting that so many of us are coming together from different communities to work on this important project in unity", said a young female data collector from Saighan district, Most of the trainees are young people with ambitions to be part of a positive change for their province.

Due to the nature of the work, women were highly encouraged to be part of the recruited team. It can be difficult for a male enumerator to enter the household if there is no male present. However due to the traditions in Afghan society it is often tough to find sufficient numbers of literate women who are able to work and, moreover, travel away from their homes. Of the 500 or so data collectors, approximately 100 are female, often recruited along with their mahram allowing them to travel freely throughout the district for their work.

During the training period there were four examinations that potential data collectors had to pass to successfully qualify.  Out of all the enumerators a remarkable 95 percent managed to successfully pass and are now fully deployed in their enumeration areas beginning the data collection.

UNFPA has been monitoring the quality of the trainings in all districts of Bamyan. During these monitoring visits, the enumerators had a chance to raise their concerns about the difficulties they expect to face during the project, the number one concern being the awareness of the communities they would be entering.
"If this project is to be successful, firstly the people we are visiting should be aware", said a data collector in Kahmard district.

To address this UNFPA and CSO have designed a communications strategy, which consists of radio, TV and most importantly a mobile theatre troupe for the majority of Bamyan which has no electricity or mobile phone coverage let alone radio or TV coverage.