At Afriqinsights, we focus a lot of our time in staying updated with what goes on in Africa, what opportunities lie and what information projects can reveal to us and our partners. Our amazing team all plays a part in our mission to empower Africa. That’s why we would like to highlight a team member and share a little bit of what makes our team special. This month we caught up with David Muyaloka, our Zambia Country Manager. No project would be done correctly without a research manager making sure that we get the best quality data. David is a star research manager in this sense and his excitement for research is contagious.
Hey David, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself and what you do.
Not a problem, my pleasure! I’m happy to help.
So David let’s learn more about what you do as a research manager. What is a day like for you when you have a project with Afriqinsights?
I wake up early, sometimes as early as 5am, depending on where the project is. I arrive at the location with agents and I give them a briefing to go over what we will be doing, my expectations and what we will do for that particular day. From then we get to work! After the work is done we have a briefing again to discuss how the day went, what challenges the field agents encountered and receive some recommendations from then in order to improve for the following next day.
What are some of the challenges of what you do?
When I am managing a project recruiting agents and arranging interviews with candidates are some challenges. Interviews are more challenging because I need ensure that I am choosing the best candidates to collect quality data. Another challenge is sometimes projects require going to remote places and at times we don’t have easy access, but we try by all means to reach out to those people. Another challenge is being present and supervising field agents to make sure that no one is cheating ourselves out of quality data. There’s also the possibility of having crooked field agents that just want to cut time. I have to deal with that situation because it can compromise our data and we can’t tolerate that.
What is the local team structure look like?
Lately because we have been handling very sensitive topics in our projects, our field agents are women. These topics recently have been particularly focused on women, so in order to collect quality data we ensure that our interviewees are comfortable with their interviewer. Then there’s me who is the field manager and my assistant.
What gets you excited about the project? What gets you excited about the work you do?
I love research! I enjoy it because it feels like it’s at my fingertips! I also love to travel a lot! Sometimes these projects take me to places I’ve never been before. I get to know new towns, cities or villages. Research actually helps me fulfill my ambitions and talents. So I get to enjoy what I do and I get excited when we get a new project because I know that it will be and opportunity to visit somewhere new. Even outside of the project or work with Afriqinsights, being in these locations I have never been to actually are very valuable. I learn a lot!
What is your favorite place that a project has taken you to?
Mazabuka in Southern Zambia. It’s actually far from the capital city. My field agents and I learned a lot. We were around different cultures and the challenges they face in rural areas.
Last but not least what’s your favorite African food?
Hahahaha! Interesting question. I’m a Nshima guy. It’s our staple food in Zambia and I really like it with its traditional relish (pumpkin leaves with ground nuts). So delicious!
Hey, that sounds really good! You’re making me hungry and Zambia is too far away!
Hahaha! you’ll have to come visit sometime!