This week I got to meet many listener group with my team. We travelled with a big van from Phnom Penh to Kampung Chhnang, Battambang and Pursat. Each location we met with listeners, two locations with Krusa-FM, and one location with Voice of Love SW listeners.
The purpose of this research is to evaluate how the FM service and SW service meet the listeners’ needs, what they like to listen and how Krusa-FM could serve them better.
In each meeting, the research assistant Sophors explains this purpose and delivers the four-page questionnaire. The other assistant, Vanda gives out the pens. Most participants usually start filling the questionnaire, slowly. But always there are few who sit staring at the questionnaire. Sophors tells them that he and Vanda will help with the filling in the answers.
Sometimes I feel like we need more assistants. The truth is, in country side, there are much more illiterates than I expected. There are many things I have learnt about doing research in rural areas. One thing is, make the questionnaire as simple as possible. Even in our four page questionnaire usually only two pages are filled.
The other thing is, be ready to interview people orally. I have heard that Cambodians do not always understand the question, but once talking, you can clarify things.
The third thing is, Cambodians are not used to say their opinions. That is why it is difficult to get them answer about wishes and wants.
I have really enjoyed meeting the people in different provinces. I have practiced certain simple sentences to talk in Khmer. My teacher (lukru) has been a 22-young old Indonesian Mennonite volunteer 'Bobby' (in the photo in the very front) here at Krusa-FM. He has been learning the language for six weeks, and has a book that I can use.
It has been very encouraging the hear families again and again saying how Krusa-FM gives them hope, or trustworthy information, or health tips.