On Thursday, August 6…

This summer, I have been working on creating an online survey to study the cultural perceptions of food allergies in African countries. My original plan was to conduct in-person interviews and ethnographic observation in Senegal, so I started by turning interview questions I had written into survey questions. I created three sections in the survey: demographic questions, questions about food practices, and questions about food allergies. This way, I hope to better understand the food-related choices people make and how these choices impact their perceptions of food allergies.

After piloting the survey and receiving feedback from my advisor, I started distributing the survey. In order to reach my target population and receive diverse responses, the survey link was posted on Twitter and in a Facebook group for South African mothers of children with food allergies. As I now begin the analysis phase of my research, I will look to find patterns in the data that will help me to draw conclusions about the perceptions of food allergies in Africa.

Overall, this research has been more challenging than I expected, but I am grateful for the experience and for the opportunity to conduct research this summer in international development.