Reflections on fieldwork preparation and practice

Stories from New Zealand and Zimbabwe

  • Carol Maibvisira
Keywords: HIV prevention, sex education, youth, fieldwork, Zimbabwe


This paper reflects on my experiences from a doctoral fieldwork trip to my hometown of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. The research examines the effectiveness of HIV prevention sex education, using the perspectives of Zimbabwean youth. I begin by reflecting on my New Zealand based pre-fieldwork training. Then, I discuss the process of setting up the participatory action research [PAR] study in Zimbabwe. I explore the importance of in-country support, namely from Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts [IYASA]. This support made the fieldwork logistically possible and added its local credibility. IYASA connected me to Amakhosi Performing Arts Academy who provided the research venue and supported youth participant recruitment. Youth and teacher [key policy implementers] focus groups where held over approximately two and half months. My key insights are:

  • I spent time getting to know the participants outside the research space which helped build research partnership.
  • Using creative icebreakers and expressive tools like drama helped support youth voice.
How to Cite
Maibvisira, C. Reflections on Fieldwork Preparation and Practice: Stories from New Zealand and Zimbabwe. pacifichealth 2014.