Religious Leaders Help Fight HIV/AIDS in Africa

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July 1, 2011

We’ve continued to delve into the analysis of our survey data over the last two weeks.  We’ve found a few interesting and important trends, which I’ll mention in a later post.

Today, though, I want to tell you about the role of religious leaders in the fight against HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.  Please note that these are solely my opinions, based on my work experience in southern Africa.

If you haven’t heard about the scale of the AIDS crisis in this part of the world, you can readily find frightening statistics with minimal Googling.  The disease is devastating people of every tribe, class, education level, gender, and age.  Some African nations, with the financial backing of the west, have stemmed the tide, but others, for various reasons, haven’t even made a dent. READ MORE


posted in: 2011, Zimbabwe - 1 Comment

Written June 17, 2011

Patrick Gallagher (in back) and his fellow Emory/IRD intern Chantalle Okondo (middle front) with their survey enumerators.

We’ve returned to Harare after 10 days in the Zimbabwean district of Buhera in Manicaland Province.  Things went about as well as we could have hoped!

To remind you, my Emory colleague Chantalle and I have been charged with designing, conducting, and analyzing a quantitative survey seeking to understand the impact of IRD-Zimbabwe’s REVALUE program on the wellbeing of children of rural groundnut farmers.

We began the field visit by training our four survey enumerators on the specifics of our survey, including how to ask certain questions, probe for answers, and verify crucial information such as the age of the respondent.  In turn, the enumerators provided us with insight on which parts of the survey might be difficult to administer due to linguistic nuances or cultural differences.  Our enumerators shined from the beginning, as they had all conducted a different survey just two weeks previously.  Their experience and honesty enabled us to quickly work out most of the kinks and begin surveying the same day. READ MORE

Patrick Gallagher — Zimbabwe

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Patrick GallagherGreetings all. I’m Patrick Gallagher, a Master in Public Health student at Emory University and summer intern at International Relief and Development (IRD) in Harare, Zimbabwe. I’ll be periodically posting news about my work and other observations to let Candler friends and family know about Emory’s involvement in international development work. Thanks for reading!

I spent a week at IRD headquarters in Washington, DC, becoming acquainted with the organization and its activities. The breadth and depth of IRD’s programs around the globe is impressive (see for more), especially for a relatively young organization, and its people were experienced and energetic. The five-day orientation left me excited to get to the field.

After arriving in Harare, Zimbabwe, on May 22, I got down to business the next day. A thorough explanation of the nuances of IRD-Zimbabwe’s REVALUE program gave me insight into the complexity of agricultural programming in international development, a field to which I had no previous exposure. READ MORE