Jambo Rafiki (Hello friend)!
My first two weeks at Population Council have been absolutely amazing. Essentially, I am leading the qualitative analysis of the first year data collection in order to complete a program and process evaluation. The results will help inform potential changes that can be made to improve the program implementation and uptake for the second and final year of the intervention. I first created a codebook which is being used to code all of the in-depth interview and focus group transcripts among adolescents, parents, community gatekeepers, program mentors, school heads and teachers. Because I have a lot of prior experience in qualitative analysis, I was also asked to train the other intern, Laura, in using Atlas.ti, a qualitative analysis software. We have had a really great time getting to know each other and collaborating on the qualitative coding thus far. Despite my previous experience in qualitative analysis, I had actually never had to complete formal intercoder reliability tests to ensure that coders are using the designated codes and interpreted the code definitions correctly and consistently. We have started to run these reliability tests (with much success, I want to add!) and I’m grateful to have gained this knowledge and to now be familiar with how to use the online program to run these tests.
In addition to coding and keeping in close contact with my preceptor and study PI on our progress and timelines, I have also been meeting with other scientists at the Council from the HIV, Reproductive Health, and Poverty, Gender, and Youth departments to learn more about the other projects being conducted at the Council. One of the things I love most at the Council is that they really make it a priority to have an environment of information sharing so that all of the staff members can benefit from study findings and lessons learned.
So far, I could not have imagined or asked for a better internship experience. Between the collaborative office environment, friendly staff members, and just the real love I’ve already developed for Nairobi, this opportunity is turning out to be everything I had hoped for and more. I am already getting excited to complete the coding and get into the real analysis and results write-up, which will culminate in a presentation on key findings and learnings to the AGI-K study partners, as well as to the Council office staff…. More on that later. 🙂