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At the beginning of March I had the opportunity to facilitate a training session for the AMREF Staying Alive Project. The AMREF Staying Alive Project focusses on  improved maternal and child health services. They’re using Akvo FLOW for their data collection. This training is a continuation of the training that other Akvo colleagues gave in Malawi last December

This was my first training in the field. Having just arrived in Kenya from the Amsterdam hub, it was great to dive right in and handle a training session in a neighbouring country. The training was being facilitated in Soroti, a town about 6 hours drive from Kampala, which is the capital of Uganda.

The training itself went pretty well. Other then a couple of connectivity problems, which are bound to happen in a rural area with low Wi-Fi, we had no problems with facilitating the training.

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A key thing I discovered is that there needs to be an incentive for the enumerators to use our tools in the field. One of these incentives can be the interest that the enumerators have in the tool. I think the biggest challenge when training is to provide this incentive and make the participants enthusiastic about using our tools.

In the case of the training we gave in Soroti, doing a survey at the local hospital provided this incentive. The participants could use a real life case with a survey that was tailored to what they would use during their work. This resulted in the participants being able to compare FLOW to their old paper based surveys. It was great hearing from the participants about the benefits that mobile surveys brought in comparison to doing paper-based surveys. It also made the participants enthusiastic and interested in using mobile data collection tools.

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The training felt to be a good mix between theoretical knowledge and practical experience that encourages the participants to try out the tools. Bring on the next round!

Tim Janssen is a Project Officer at Akvo’s East Africa Hub.

You can view the full Flickr set of photos from the training here. All images by Francis Warui.