On Monday, July 29…

I got to Uganda two weeks ago and met with Danice Guzmán, Professor Brooks, Natalie Disher, and the Ford team in Uganda upon arriving at Uganda Martyrs University. That week, we worked on refining the survey, piloting it with our tablets and audio recorders, and training our four student enumerators. Natalie and I also got the chance to visit a couple Savings and Internal Lending Community (SILC) groups and witness how they conduct their meetings. The following Monday, we began interviews in the field with our enumerators. Natalie and I split into two teams and were each accompanied by two enumerators who helped ask our questions in Luganda, and then translate the respondents’ answers back to us. While Natalie has been conducting just her portion of the interview with questions relating to the role of gender in the SILCs (with members of SILC groups), I have been conducting interviews with the SILC members who specifically received the Social Enterprise Project (SEP) loan and asking them additional questions relating to the impact of the loan on their businesses/lives. The interviews have continued into this week and have been going very smoothly! I have interviewed 17 of the 26 entrepreneurs who received loans thus far. Each one has been very receptive to interviewing and providing thorough feedback on the SEP. I anticipate that I will finish the remaining interviews with the entrepreneurs within the next week.

Apart from interviewing in the field, Natalie and I also trained our enumerators in transcribing and have been helping them transcribe interviews when possible (if the interviewee spoke English). In my free time, I have also been helping the Ford Foundation on their upcoming data collection with the SILC groups by scanning their detailed financial books. Each SILC group keeps a standardized and comprehensive log of all financial transactions, attendance, member information, etc. so I am working on scanning important pages of the books so that we can later turn the images into an electronic database. There are about 100 SILC groups and books from the 2017-18 and 2018-19 lending cycles so I have certainly been kept busy with this project.

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