Post 11 – April 24th

What We’ve Done: We have ramped up our efforts in terms of in-depth interviews and are now up to 20 Skype and written responses. The best method of finding new contacts has been referrals from past interviewees. We feel like we have finally begun to reach a greater cross-section of the Ugandan diaspora! We have finalized the survey(s) and are working on getting it to the right listservs (Yahoo forums, UNAA mailing lists) as well as putting it up on Facebook. Hopefully this will give us enough data for statistical significance as well as further design ideas. This week, we have been trying to dig deeper into a potential field visit in September. Our options are to visit a conference such as UNAA (New Orleans) or SASA (Toronto) OR find someone to coordinate focus groups for us in places with a high concentration of Ugandans such as as London or Boston OR combine the two efforts. Our goal is to put some work in over the summer developing concepts enough to get feedback on them and/or facilitate participatory design sessions with our user group. Therefore, we are talking to the contacts we’ve made in each of these locations to get a feel for what could be accomplished during a visit. Then, we can get our budget passed along for approval. Obstacles: We have had a couple no-shows for interviews, but that is to be expected. We are feeling the pressure of a May 20th presentation, especially missing a team member this week, but we are excited to move on to the visioning stage of the process. Sometimes we wish we...

Post 10 – April 16th, 2015

What we’ve done: These last days we’ve been exploring even more ways of getting in touch with Ugandan diaspora (and even with Ugandans living in Uganda) to get more insights for our research. New ways we’re trying are posting the surveys in popular forums in Facebook and Yahoo Groups, exploring the Amazon’s mTurk platform, posting in popular social news platforms like Reddit, Tumblr, Craigslist and Ugandan newspapers. We’ve been doing more interviews and so far we have completed 11 interviews with Ugandan diaspora members. Also we got two emails answering our questions from other diaspora members. All of these interviews have brought us many insights but we still want to push for more interviewees, especially from different social classes so we can get a better picture of their needs. We also did a very insightful brainstorming session to get some concepts around our research. Most of our concepts are focused around mentorship, diaspora aid, local and foreign awareness and basically, Ugandan needs. We concluded our session with some storyboard visioning exercises. We found around 9 relevant books as literature review for our diaspora research focus and we’ll decide which ones to read this weekend. We finished two digital surveys (using Typeform), one for the Ugandan diaspora community and one for the Ugandan local community. We are expecting to get many replies using this digital medium.   Obstacles: Doing the interviews is a very long process and requires time and attention. We’ve been trying to get high quality data in a short period of time but we’re still struggling with the biased diaspora Ugandans sample. We are exploring two new ways to...

Post 9 – April 11th, 2015

What we’ve done: This week and past week we’ve put a lot of effort into identifying members of the Ugandan Diaspora and contacting them to set up interviews.  We sent over 50 inquiries through several different mediums, these include couchsurfing, meetup, personal connections, referrals, and google searches that lead us to different diaspora groups and individuals.  From these inquiries we have received a 25% response rate, and have been able to schedule ten interviews, five of which we did this week.   For these interviews we prepared a variety of questions, these include asking them about their story of leaving Uganda, what they miss the most, what the Ugandan community is like in their current home country, what their dream for Uganda is, among others. The five people we interviewed currently live in diverse locations, including the Netherlands, London, Washington D.C., Kampala, and Toronto.  We also were able to get a written response to our questions from a member of the couchsurfing community. Each interview lasted between half an hour to an hour, and during them we were able to uncover interesting cultural insights. We were also able to identify different ways that the diaspora can contribute to the Ugandan community, including knowledge sharing, foreign lobbying, sharing resources, and being positive representations of Africa.   Outside of the interviews we made great strides in our literature review.  We are currently each reading one book related to Africa, radio, and development.   Obstacles: Due to pivoting two months in to the project we feel behind in our research phase and hoping that there is a way to tie in our...