The four Hart Fellows in the 2015-16 group have been with working community partner organizations in Nepal, Bulgaria, Costa Rica and Brazil since July. At this point—with 4/5ths of their fellowship ahead of them, they are busy refining their community-based research questions and beginning to conduct their field research.
Scott Boisvert is working with the Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation in Sofia, Bulgaria on a study that will assess the prevalence of tuberculosis in the Roma population. He has collaborated with his community partner on the initial design of a survey, and will work with local interpreters and the Roma health mediator network to disseminate the survey in several Roma communities. Watch his video diary here.
Anne Martin is partnering with Villas Mastatal, a family-owned farm in Mastatal, Costa Rica to study sustainable agriculture practices. Anne has already seen that the vast majority of Costa Rica’s agriculture production comes from large, conventionally farmed plantations. Her qualitative research methods—including interviews with smaller scale organic farmers, will be guided by the core question of her project, “What are the major barriers to small-scale, diversified and organic agriculture in Costa Rica?” Watch her video diary here.
Laxmi Rajak is conducting her research with Teach for Nepal (TFN), a nonprofit organization that provides recent graduates with two-year teaching fellowships at public schools, in Kathmandu, Nepal. Her research project focuses on the student experience in the classrooms of TFN fellows, with a focus on how issues of caste, gender, family income and family education impact the quality of the learning experience for students. Her research will include both qualitative and quantitative approaches, including school visits, written surveys, individual interviews, and an examination of school attendance records and exam records.
David Robertson is working with Catalytic Communities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His research project centers on urban planning policies regarding favelas – relatively underserved urban areas that were originally formed as squatter settlements. He will interview favela leaders and residents as well as civic and academic leaders regarding land titling policies. He wrote an article for Rio on Watch about a community meeting in August 2015.