Field Data Collection for Humanitarian Needs Assessments
Following discussions that the Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS) and the Emergency Capacity Building (ECB) project had with various organizations working in Somalia, the need for an improved capacity in data collection and needs assessment was identified. In order to improve this capacity among local NGO staff working for international and local NGOs in Somalia, it was decided that ACAPS and ECB would organize several trainings in “Field Data Collection for Humanitarian Needs Assessments”.
The main objective of these trainings is to equip participants with the skills and knowledge to collect good quality data during a needs assessment. More specifically, the training aims to:
- Understand how field data collection contributes to analysis of needs and decision making
- Understand the importance of good quality data collection and how it is used in analysing needs
- Understand the importance of collecting quantitative and qualitative data
- Practice different participatory data collection techniques to increase accuracy and reliability of data
- Understand how to ensure data accuracy and how to overcome inaccuracy
- Have an awareness of potential problems in doing needs assessment
ACAPS and ECB have up till now, organized two trainings in “Field Data Collection for Humanitarian Needs Assessments”, one in in Mandera, which is a boarder town between Kenya and Somalia (October 4th – 5th), and the other in Galkayo, Somalia (October 10th – 12th). The Mandera training was logistically supported by OCHA, while the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) supported the training in Galkayo. Due to high interest and large numbers of applicants for these trainings, ACAPS and ECB will organize additional trainings. The next scheduled training will take place in Galkayo on October 29th – 31st.
So far, 46 local NGO staff members have been trained, of which 40 were men and 6 women, representing 33 local NGOs, operating in the regions of Mudug, Galguduud, Banaadir, Nugaal, Gedo, Lower and Middle Juba, Bakool, Bay and Hiran. The participants represented the sectors of Nutrition, Livelihoods, Agriculture, WASH, Health, Protection and Disaster Management. The average age of the participants was 31.6 years old. The educational background varied some, however 73.9% had obtained college or university degrees, and just one had only completed primary school. These trainings should be seen as a great achievement for ACAPS and ECB, considering access issues and security concerns in Somalia.
The training has been very well received, both by participants and partners working in the region, and many suggested that the training be extended to other organizations and regions. The groups of participants for both trainings were extremely enthusiastic, with high levels of active participation in the training. The main criticism received was related to time limitations and that they would like additional days of training.
ACAPS and ECB will also endeavor to measure the actual impact of these trainings by attempting to evaluate whether data collection techniques have improved. This will be done by speaking to the clusters and other partners and assessing the quality of data received by the trained NGOs, reviewing whether there is an improvement in project proposals submitted by the participating NGOs, conducting a post training evaluation of the participating NGOs on the skills they have attained during the training, and by speaking to beneficiaries.