Each country, client, and programme brings its unique set of challenges. Below are some examples of projects that demanded unconventional thinking to devise innovative methodologies and approaches.
- Programme: This client used the sky train in Bangkok to promote its messages and wanted to determine the impact of this communication channel. Rapid Asia was given the task of evaluating how effective the campaign had been.
Challenge: The campaign had already started.
Solution: Data was collected using an exit interview strategy, intercepting respondents at train station exits. By comparing those who had been exposed to the campaign to those not exposed it was possible to assess impact.
- Programme: While malaria is to a large extent eliminated in Thailand, it remains an issue among migrant populations in camp settings. The task for Rapid Asia was to carry out a baseline assessment with migrants and the data was to be used to formulate a communication strategy.
Challenge: Migrants often don’t speak the local language and are based in camps that are geographically apart from the local community.
Solution: Rapid Asia worked closely with other development organisations that had direct access to the camps. A sample frame could then be developed and suitable interviewers could be identified.
- Programme: A major impact evaluation was undertaken in Timor-Leste, looking at the impact of behavioural change communication.
Problem: At the time, and with a short timeline, no qualified field partners were available.
Solution: Rapid Asia carried out capacity development with a local education development organisation covering all aspects of data collection and data processing. As a result, this organisation has been able to carry out data collection for other organisations as well.
- Programme: Unregistered migrants in boarder areas are unfortunately at high risk when it comes to health issues. In this evaluation, there was a need to compare the health seeking behaviour or both registered and unregistered migrants.
Challenge: Collecting data from unregistered migrants can be sensitive, especially when their migrant status needed to be identified.
Solution: Instead of legal status, migrants were asked if they had a health care card and a trusted, local NGO assisted in making some of the introductions.
“I worked with Rapid Asia on a project in Thailand related to influenza-like illnesses, for which I provided technical and cultural advice. I found that Rapid Asia knows a great deal about survey methods including sampling, statistics, and interviewer team management. Although they had limited knowledge on the project subject matter, the team collaborated well with us and quickly came up to speed. They worked out how to adapt the survey methods to fit the situation while applying international data collection quality standards.”
Infectious Disease Epidemiologist