New research into attitudes on FGC in Kenya

Community researchers after completing training in Kenya.

Orchid Project has embarked on an exciting community-led research project with our three partner organisations in Kenya. The project aims to improve our joint understanding of communities’ knowledge and attitudes towards female genital cutting (FGC). By working with community researchers who will go into their own villages and towns to interview people from across generations, Orchid Project seeks to collect open, honest reflections from people that will shape our programmes through the work of our partners in Kenya into the future.

In conjunction with our three Kenyan partners, the Education Center for the Advancement of Women (ECAW), Coalition on Violence Against Women (COVAW) and SAFE Maa, we are working with 15 community researchers who have been equipped with training and resources to carry out interviews using an online data collection platform and mobile phone technology.

Community researchers during training in Kenya.

Community researchers during training in Kenya.

After participating in mobile data collection technology training with Orchid Project in January 2018, researchers are now mid-way through the data collection process – they are going into their communities in Kuria to the West of Kenya, and into Narok – both in town areas and the rural Loita Hills – to speak with parents, community leaders, and youth, about their attitudes and practices around FGC.

Interviewees are responding to questions including: why they think FGC happens in their community, whether they believe the practice should continue in their communities, and whether they would continue the practice within their family setting.

In recognition of the unique local contexts in which we work, Orchid Project is working with community researchers as they are best placed to capture candid reflections from the interviewees, whilst also ensuring that this project is owned by the communities within which we are working.

Community researchers completing training in Kenya.

Community researchers completing training in Kenya.

Throughout the course of February, researchers will be using mobile phones to interview 2,000 community members about FGC. In March the community researchers and representatives from our partner organisations will reconvene with Orchid Project to start analysing the data to unpack key findings and lessons learned that can be applied to future programming.

This analysis will generate a baseline report showing knowledge, awareness, understanding, attitudes and practice related to FGC in each region. The report will be released this Spring 2018.

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