“How do you clean your hands?”
“With mud”, he answered.
“Could you show us?”
He walked over to the tap, diligently scrubbed his hands with water, applied soap and washed it off. No mud ever entered the process.
It was a study to understand hand hygiene practices, and we were using a survey tool, enumerators’ observations and spot checks to understand how people washed their hands. The rationale for using multiple methods was to check how people washed their hands, without trying to impress the enumerator or changing their behavior because they were being watched.
As this example shows, different tools found different answers. Yet it was difficult to reconcile the findings during analysis as there was no accompanying qualitative data to explain why the respondent would say one thing and do another. Luckily, during the pre-test, our researchers had noticed this. We found that respondents, who had interacted with peer educators telling them to wash their hands with soap and water, thought they were being asked to show the ideal way to wash hands and not how they normally do it.
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