Saturday, November 27, 2010

Key informant interviews

Bangpakong River
Last 25-26 November our team went to Chachoengsao to conduct key information interviews in the three subdistricts which were randomly chosen as clusters for our survey. The objectives of the KIIs were:

1. to obtain information on the shrimp farming profile of the area, esp according to the scales drawn up by SEAT (business ownership, labour relations, management, no. of ponds)
2. to match the randomly selected farms (which only have the following info: location at subdistrict level, no. of ponds, total area and the like) with the existing farms in the area (to know farmer names and contact info)
3. to obtain names and contact info of shrimp farmers in the area if they could not be matched with the list in #2

There were 9 of us and we divided ourselves into 3 teams. Each team was assigned a subdistrict to visit. A couple of days before going the field, we contacted the KIs especially the fisheries officers and the heads of the subdistricts to make appointments with them. Thus on Thursday, we went to our respective subdistricts to meet with the KIs.
With the kamnan of the subdistrict
Our team went to the Provincial Fisheries Office but unfortunately they could not give us the list of farmer names as per regulation regarding confidentiality. The KI there gave us several pointers on what to consider when conducting a survey. He then directed us to the District Fisheries Office (next door), but he was also not sure if we can get information from there. The DFO was in a meeting but fortunately the meeting was over when we passed by the city hall and so we were able to meet him, and obtained some valuable information. He was also so kind to drive us to our next appointment (with the Subdistrict Office staff), which was in the subdistrict itself, about 15 km from the city center. We appreciated his kindness as there were no public transport available going to that place.
With the subdistrict office staff
The Subdistrict Office staff was so helpful as well. We spent the whole afternoon in her office. For the subdistrict, we were able to match the randomised list with farmer names available in the office. However according to the KI, those selected under medium scale are not hiring any labour so we have to consider them now as small scale. We then asked the KI to tell us which of the farms in the area are hiring labour and she came up with 19 farms. She said farms with more than 10 ponds will usually hire workers, while those with less than 10 ponds can manage the farm by themselves. We will randomize the new lists to come up with names to be interviewed.

After the visit, we were wondering how we could get back to town. Fortunately another staff was driving to town to pick up his daughter from school which is near our hotel. So we hitched a ride with him and he dropped us off our hotel. We are thankful to the kindness of strangers.

The other two teams were not able to match their lists so they asked the KIs and went to the village heads to ask about the farms and move around the villages to come up with new lists. These will be subjected again to randomization to come up with the list of farmers to be interviewed.

While in town, we also were able to look around for another hotel where we would stay during the survey itself. We also asked around for information on local transport to be used during the survey, which we target to start on 1 Dec.

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