Not Just Another Set of Statistics -Jeremy Boglosa,Performance Director:ODSS

The highlights of research studies are generally expressed in numbers, statistics.  But having been a researcher myself in various capacities, I acknowledge that there is a real person with a real-life story behind each statistic. 

As one of the Supervisors for the Prevalence Study on Depression, Alcohol Use and Suicidality Among the HIV Population in the FCT,  and having attended the weekly feedback meetings from the sites, the stories I hear from the interviewers take me back to my days as an interviewer in the field.  I remember how enriching the experience of having direct interaction with your respondents was.  In fact, I think the interviewers get the most exciting albeit demanding role in a research team.  Demanding in a sense that one has to make sure logistics are in place, protocols are observed, data is gathered as recommended, confidentiality chain is kept and all the other responsibilities that come with being an interviewer.  I also consider the role very exciting because of the human interaction that sometimes becomes unpredictable yet challenging as it requires one to maintain his professionalism without losing that human connection.  This is what happens during our weekly feedback sessions with the interviewers.  We talk about numbers and accomplishments (and learn from our mistakes, too) but we also look at the human side of the story, not the personalities/identities of course, but their stories.  This process of being in touch with the human side of the research process keeps us rooted to the main reason why we are doing it in the first place --- to address issues that affect human beings; not just to showcase statistics.