Poster Topical Area: Methods and Protocols
Location: Hall D
Poster Board Number: 687
Objective: The objective is to describe the advantages of using a community cluster approach in organizing a community-based survey.
Methods: A longitudinal study is being implemented in Sierra Leone comparing the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of four different supplementary foods in a supplementary feeding program (SFP) for treatment of Moderate Acute Malnutrition in children age 6 to 59 months. The study is funded by USAID and implemented by Tufts University in partnership with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Washington University in St. Louis, Project Peanut Butter, and Caritas Bo; household surveys are managed by Caritas Bo using tablet-based electronic data collection and qualitative interviews.
Caritas Bo is using a community cluster approach to conduct household surveys of SFP participants. Sample PHUs are organized into geographic clusters, and research teams for each cluster live in the community. To effect the placement of Research Assistants in coordinating clusters, community structures were assessed to evaluate security and availability of basic social services. Team selection was based on a review of the strength and weakness of individual team members to ensure the formation of a balanced team in each cluster with a leverage on the potential for effective logistical support and level of community engagement. Research Assistants are trained in community engagement strategies, and managing community curiosity while using tablets during interviews in rural communities.
Conclusion: As an innovation, the cluster approach provides an advantage of managing community curiosity which is attracted by the use of high technology devices (e.g. smart phones and tablets) in rural communities. The use of cluster approach in staff deployment increases community trust since interviewers live in the communities, reduces operational cost, increases efficiency in data collection and improves coordination.
Memuna Kadie Sawi