Collecting data in crisis-affected countries: a human perspective
Assessments conducted through data collection and analysis are key for creating an evidence-based layer of information to effectively respond to humanitarian crises. Yet behind this technical and numerical world lie hard-working humanitarians who are operating on the ground to give a voice directly to those who benefit from assistance. Every month, IMPACT Initiatives will introduce a member of its staff working in the field and who is actively engaged in collecting information from affected populations to explore what drives them to keep improving humanitarian action.
Meet Muna, the committed 38-year-old Jordanian who went from joining REACH teams to building and managing them entirely.
Your mission. I’ve been working with REACH since 2012, where I started as a field coordinator in Jordan. I am now still working on the Jordanian refugee crisis, as a field manager. Currently I am in charge of building a roster of local enumerators and training them adequately so they can run our surveys across entire camps, with respect, efficiency and clarity. I am also involved in the design of data collection tools we use on the field, facilitating focus-group discussions as well as individual interviews. After that, I also work on the later part of the process: analysis, and reporting.
On Jordan. Working in the most refugee friendly country in the world brings me pride. Yet behind this truth is the fact that the high number of refugees puts great pressure on the country’s systems, and service delivery. This is a constraint we deal with every day when trying to respond to the needs of displaced families pouring in from the entire region.
Typical workday. Aside from the fact that I try to have lunch with my team everyday, I never really have the same day. I continuously run back and forth from the field, to trainings back in our office. Depending on where we are in the whole assessment process, I can also be found at my desk designing and improving our tools, or doing some data cleaning.
Proudest achievement. In all modesty, my proudest achievement is my own progression in the humanitarian sector. I am proud of the level of skill, expertise, and knowledge that I have reached. I feel like I have a real added value in the way I conduct my work, in terms of research, qualitative and quantitative data collection, and analysis.
Working for REACH in one word. Dynamic. In seven years, I’ve never been bored.
Why? Mainly due to the constant change in our daily work. First, because of the different sectors of humanitarian action we tap into, which forces us to break the routine and adapt ourselves to different contexts. Second, because of the connection I have between the field and my office in Amman. The very nature of what I do is in constant evolution because the situation of displaced families in Jordan is also constantly changing. It is my duty to keep up and adapt to inform their specific needs as effectively possible.
Most important teaching. Learning from my experience of being close to vulnerable people and close to their suffering, I’ve come to recognize that happiness, in any form, is about how much you give, not about how much you get. And so I’ve learnt that I am happiest when I am giving.
On evidence-based response. Again, years in the field has taught me that our work is essential in the sense that responding to the needs and vulnerabilities of affected populations we seek to help can only be done well with the right level of information. Personally, I feel very accomplished when the outcomes of our assessments become operational and positively change the response on the ground.
Your dream? To always keep learning. This way, I can continue improving as a dedicated humanitarian and be able to do more, and to give more to those I am seeking to help.
For more information
Learn more about REACH in Jordan.
Interested in the team? Apply online.
For questions, or media related requests, feel free to contact:
John Hollohan, Jordan Country Manager, email@example.com
Emmanuel Gamard, Communications Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org