In 2019 we collected data in Tanzania and are currently conducting virtual fieldwork in South Africa. While COVID-19 has certainly impacted our research, we are thankful for strong partnerships that have enabled adjustments to methodology during this time of global pandemic. We plan to begin data collection in Ghana shortly, and hopefully in person once it is safe for all involved to do so.
In Tanzania, we conducted research in the Dar es Salaam and Mwanza regions with the assistance of our partnering organization, Under the Same Sun (UTSS). Dar es Salaam is located in the Western region of the country on the Indian Ocean and is Tanzania’s largest city and former capital. While quite cosmopolitan at the city centre, there remains a rural feel once in neighborhoods and surrounding areas. Mwanza, Tanzania’s second largest city, is a thriving port city in the Northeast of the country on Lake Victoria that has managed to maintain a casual feel. We met with mothers’ groups in Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, and on Ukerewe Island.
We selected these sites in Tanzania, as this is where the involvement of NGOs with mothers impacted by albinism is focused, and where there are high rates of albinism and threats to human rights.
We are in the early stages of data collection in South Africa. Due to COVID-19, we were unable to travel and gather together for face-to-face interviews as was planned in 2020. Following REB amendments, we developed a method for virtual fieldwork to allow research to move forward until the time that it is safe to be together in person. Data collection is currently underway in the Northern Cape province and we will begin fieldwork in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal shortly. These sites were chosen based on the locations of our research partners as well as to ensure a broad and varied sample of experiences.
As travel restrictions ease, we hope to begin fieldwork in Ghana in early 2022.