Dear CHANGE community,
I am a professor in the public policy school at UW, and I work on water
supply and sanitation issues in poor countries. In particular, I am
interested in studying the burden of water collection time on people,
mostly women, in rural sub-Saharan Africa (globally, a few hundred
million people are still walking to fetch water on a daily basis). I
worked on a project with Gaetano, Rohit Chaudhri and several students a
few years back where we designed sensors to attach to water containers
to track times.
I have a new funded project that I could use help with. In particular,
I would like to design a time-use diary app for low-cost Android phones
that we will deploy to about 200 households in rural Meru County, Kenya.
I'm looking for something like a pictorial version of the Toggl
<https://toggl.com/> time tracking app, since many of our respondents
are not literate. More details below my signature if you are interested.
Let's talk - and thanks in advance for any interest!
Evans School of Public Policy & Governance
University of Washington
The study will be measuring how water carriers use time that they save
when they no longer need to collect water. We worked in this region
three years ago, studying how people collected water (papers here
<http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015WR017468/full> and here
and are returning to re-survey the same households. This will be a
randomized control trial - half of households will receive vouchers to
have water delivered to them for free for four weeks (a smaller subset
may be given large rainwater tanks), and half will continue to walk to
collect water as before. Then they switch places for four weeks. To
measure time use, we want to try to do "contemporaneous" diaries - fill
out data as your day happens - rather than ask people to recall time
use. These diaries are the gold standard in the US but are basically
never done in low-income countries, in part because the study
populations may be illiterate. Each household will be given an Android
phone, and will be reporting data (like child school attendance and
water use) to the study team via text messages on a daily basis. On a
subset of days during the eight weeks, we'd like the main water carrier
to use this custom-designed app to tell us how she is spending her day.
The app would need to be very simple and intuitive for someone to use,
and would need to be able to compile and push the data to the study team
via text regularly. Beyond this particular field site, the methods and
the app would definitely be of use to researchers globally who study
time use. The study is funded by the Swedish International Development
Agency, though the grant money I have devoted for the app is pretty nominal.
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