December 12, 2022

A guide to field visits

Field visits in remote parts of the country can be tricky, but this handy guide will sort you out.

2 min read

Field visits in remote parts of the country can be tricky, especially for those cocooned in big-city comforts, far removed from the ground. But don’t you worry—this weirdly specific guide from an out-of-touch city dweller will help you navigate your field visits with ease.


Always remember that the locals know more about the land than you do. This will prevent you from getting into an argument with them about why they should overhaul their crop production practices. 


Leave all the sector-specific jargon at home. The locals would prefer that you refer to them by name rather than as ‘stakeholders’. They would also rather you come to learn, than to share your theory of change.


Taking photographs of yourself ‘making an impact’ for your LinkedIn page is not a great idea. The only impact it will guarantee is eye rolls from everyone around you.


While it may be easy to miss the city skyline, with its high-rises, air traffic, and light pollution, taking some time to appreciate the smog-less local scenery is always worthwhile. Maybe even take a deep breath of sub-20 AQI air?

An image depicting cows grazing in a field--nonprofit humour
Picture courtesy: Derrek Xavier


Do not scour the menus of local eateries for devilled eggs and kale smoothies. Why not try a local delicacy? Remember that you do not need to say the names of dishes in an accent for it to sound ‘authentic’.


Keep an ear out for people narrating their experiences in the field, while reflecting on how much more refreshing it is than listening to people at conferences drone on about ‘bottom-up’ solutions and community-centric approaches.

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Derrek Xavier

Derrek Xavier is an editorial analyst at IDR, where he is responsible for writing, editing, and publishing content. He previously worked in editorial positions at Cactus Communications and Firstpost. He holds an MA in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam and a BA in Sociology and Anthropology from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.